London’s Best Beer, Pubs & Bars, which was released yesterday and retails at £12.99, is intended to help boost beer sales within a challenging environment for pubs, which have been hit by higher taxes combined with a squeeze on spending.
The guide lists 250 pubs, bars and specialist drinks retailers, selected by beer connoisseur and writer Des de Moor. With support from CAMRA’s regional branches, de Moor sifted through pub listings from CAMRA’s database to arrive at a shortlist of venues, which he then visited to compile his final recommendations for the guide.
Encourage pub visits
CAMRA explained to BigHospitality that the pubs were selected from a combination of sites that had been surveyed by CAMRA over the past 12 months and personal recommendations from de Moor.
“We’re very confident this guide will generate a lot of business for the featured sites and encourage people to go out and experience pubs and bars in the capital,” said a CAMRA spokesperson.
De Moor added: “It’s been really encouraging to witness first-hand how a new generation of enthusiastic and imaginative licensees is encouraging a notably younger, more diverse and very savvy crowd to discover fine beer, both in brand new pubs and much improved old ones.
“I hope my book helps even more people join in the celebration by enjoying what's surely now the greatest range in Europe of the world's best drink.”
The guide, which is sponsored by the London Brewers Alliance, will officially launched at CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival, due to take place between 2-6 August in London’s Earl’s Court.
London’s Best Beer, Pubs & Bars takes a different form to CAMRA’s Good Beer Guides, as it is said to be more “all-encompassing”, with more detailed pub listings and a more consumer-oriented approach.
CAMRA said there are no plans as yet to roll out similar guides for other parts of the UK. Although the London guide will not be re-published every year, it may be updated every few years to reflect changes in the marketplace.
The guide includes information on London’s brewing history and details on the beers served across the city, from real ale to traditionally made foreign beers.
The 250 venues listed in the guide represent a range of licensed premises from gastropubs to specialist retailers and East End boozers to high class restaurants.
Each listing features a full review, opening times, beer offering, local transport links, and advice and tips to help visitors get the most out of every outlet.
Amongst sites highlighted by de Moor as special recommendations are:
- Harp, Covent Garden (CAMRA’s National pub of the year)
- UTOBEER, Borough (Represents the specialist shops in the guide)
- Old Brewery, Greenwich
- Bricklayers Arms, Putney
- King William IV, Leyton