Rake, Borough

14 Winchester Walk
Borough Market
020 7407 0557

In a city where every street now seems to have a craft beer bar, the Rake can proudly claim to have been the first. It opened only in 2006, showing how quickly the craft beer boom in London has grown.

Utobeer, who have a bottle stall in Borough Market next door, wanted an outlet where their beer could be tasted, and chose a former market workers cafe to set it up. Two or three cask beers, 16 keg beers and over 200 bottled beers are available.

There is a wall on the bar that has become famous for the signatures of brewers who have visited the bar (photo 3). Some are quite artistic, some are just scribbles and a couple of breweries seem to have been allowed to add a metal plaque. Part of the area is reserved for that craft beer bar essential, an electronic beer menu. The bar is quite small with limited seating space, and at popular times (which is mostly) the punters head outside to a tiny beer garden with parasols.

As the first craft beer bar in London the Rake quickly became influential and a number of American craft brewers launched their beers here. Now there are frequent tap takeovers from breweries across the world.

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