I think I've found my happy place! Pretty sure I would miss this place walking via Borough Market on most occasions, however, an intentional trip was definitely worth it!
The downside is that some beers are quite expensive and the bar itself is small. The upside is that all of the beers are delicious, they have a great range of UK and foreign beers (both on tap and in bottle), there is a lovely covered patio area and you can drink under the canopy of the far edge of the market.
The staff are all very knowledgable on the different types of beer and good at providing a tour of craft beers for those who can't tell there IPAs from their ESBs.
The Rake is definitely a place I will be coming back to.
this is the best craft beer bar i have been to in london so far...
I walked into 'the rake' the other week, on one of those rare sunny London days, and asked the bartender to recommend both a saison and a sour beer. Without hesitation the bartender suggested some quality beers. I was back at the Rake over the weekend and asked the bartender to recommend a citrus style DIPA and without hesitation the bartender pulled out a fanatic thirst quenching beer. OMG These bartenders know their stuff!
Brilliant service too! They have even let us bring in some goodies from Borough market to eat while we sampled their amber nectar. i wish i lived closer.
I can see why people like this pub. It just didn't cut it for me. The beer selection is nice, and there's at least three cask ales and a bunch of local bottle brews. The venue itself is kind of small, and there's a huge outdoor area which is nice to spill out into when the weather is nice, except as soon as I went out into the outdoor area all I could smell was something vile, which forced me to go hiding back inside. And since it's so small, it's not like there's anywhere to go inside. They did make me wary with one of the beers which was advertised to be quite hoppy, but luckily the others weren't so bad.
So if you like a small pub with a hipster vibe, this is your place. It's just not mine.
On a windy cold night in London town my friend, who clearly had no consideration for my health, dragged me out of the warm restaurant to go down to this place. He was insistent. As he is one of the main organisers of the beer festival I was not in the mood to tell him that beer isn't really my thing. It would have broken his cute little heart and his wife would have never forgiven me.
So in we went and I was impressed with the amount of different beers they were offering. I was also submitted to a lecture about micro breweries in the UK, but I didn't mind as the designs of the different beer bottles were fascinating. I have to admit I made my decision purely based on the label design. It was amazing and I'm clearly not a beer expert, but if you want something outside the usual box, please go and drink here.
Great bar!!! Half of the selection is "world" ales, and the other half is EU centric. They have some special stuff on tap that you may only read about on beeradvocate.com or other such foofy beer websites.
The bar is quite tiny, but a heated patio helps a lot!
I'd love to go back. This place was a beer lovers dream. The bartenders also give a damn about what you drink and will gladly engage in a brew conversation with you.
Definitely worthy of a "classy beer club" and apparently Brewdog unveiled Tactical Nuclear Penguin here..so that's mega cred.
A great pub sadly let down by overly expensive beer and very poor service.
My first gripe; the prices. Some bottles are £9.50 each and while there are cheaper alternatives available there's no price list, forcing you to play Russian Roulette when you go to get a round in. Going there with mates? Better have some £50 notes at the ready just in case.
Secondly; the staff don't seem that concerned about the beer they serve. I ordered a Partizan Dubbel (a beer brewed just a mile from the pub) and the man behind the bar looked at me like I was an alien, despite them having several Partizan bottles in the fridge (and for those not in the know, Partizan is super, super well known around these parts).
Finally, the staff can just be downright rude. My partner went to the bar and asked for an IPA, hoping they'd recommend something. The barman told her she'd have to be more specific. She said she'd like something she'd not tried before, again hoping they'd recommend something unusual and local; again, zero assistance from the supposedly knowledgeable staff.
Finally, the pub itself is a bit grotty. I normally like that but when you're charging £9+ for some drinks you'd at least expect a beer garden that doesn't smell of an overflowing toilet.
All in all a great selection of beer and much promise, just sadly let down by the basics.
Phenomenal little bar just outside of Borough Market with a beer selection pretty much unparalleled to anything else I've seen in London. It may be a tiny place, but it has a massive fridge full of beers and a few taps that rotate regularly featuring beers of all different types from all over the world. The walls are covered in greetings & autographs from visiting breweries and they've got a light snack menu that features bacon flavored snacks I haven't been able to find anywhere since. Seating is pretty limited inside, but they do have a nice little patio w/ heaters. The only thing preventing this from being a 5-star is that there isn't more seating inside.
Go here to try the beer and then go to their UtoBeer stall at Borough Market to buy some to take home with you. Can't go wrong!
Bottom line: this is truly a beer lovers beer bar and a trip to Borough Market w/o stopping here for a pint is a waste!
In a sea of generic London pubs this place rises above with an actual selection!
As a beer geek and homebrewer, I always feel right at home at The Rake.
It's a small bar with an extensive beer selection that includes Belgian, UK and US microbrews, both bottled, canned and on tap. If the task of picking out beer seems too daunting, fear not, for the bartenders can make great recommendations that will satisfy even the most discerning tastes.
I would definitely suggested sitting in the small patio out back as it's a bit quieter and much more comfortable.
(the scene: Bill T. standing on the prow of a ship, his arms outstretched, a bottle of beer in each hand, singing loudly over the roar of the wind)
Near, far, wherever you are,
I believe that my beer does go on.
You're here*, there's nothing I fear
And I know that my beer will go on.
We'll stay forever this way
You are safe in my heart
And my beer will go on and on
Why I am I referencing "Titanic"? Not because they are releasing it in 3-D shortly, but because I truly felt like I was king of the world once I found The Rake. Also because I got busy with Kate Winslet in the back of a vintage car shortly before I came across this establishment.
I'll be honest, I drank a considerable amount of so-so beer while in London, just to be polite, you know. While wandering through Borough Market, I stumbled across Utobeer. Talking to the beer expert there, he told me some places to go for very good beer and he said that The Rake was mere steps from where we were standing.
I ran right over (walking right by it twice because I was looking the wrong way) and soon found myself with a buttery smooth Belgian in my hand. A Belgian beer that is. It was a treat to see so many wonderful beers, especially the American ones (USA! USA!). The bartenders are somewhat friendly and very knowledgeable.
Also, I met other nice beer drinkers there. If you like beer, try the Rake. You might not feel like the king of the world, but there's a good chance you might see Kate Winslet without any clothes on.
* I think I'm supposed to thump my chest at that part
Where do I begin with this place.
If you're an ale lover, going to The Rake is like going to Lapland at Christmas time. Especially if you like imported beers.
(If you don't like beer, you just simply shouldn't go. I think they have wine, but that's like going to GBK and ordering a salad.)
As I'm a big fan of Californian beers such as Sierra Nevada and Anchor Steam, every time I go to The Rake, I feel like I'm going home. (Because I am from California. I'm not just being dramatic.)
They have a large (covered) outside seating area with heaters and a fairly small inside area, but even though it can get pretty busy, the atmosphere is fantastic, as it seems that all the ale drinkers are just excited to be in a place with so much variety!
I recently attended a private ale tasting event with the good lads and lasses from the Ale 2.0 meet-up group, and it was hosted by the coolest Scottish beer writer EVER named Tom. Tom is awesome and knows so much about cask ales is FRIGHTENING. It was basically one of the coolest nights ever, and I learned so much about ale (mainly which ones I liked) that I almost exploded with joy. And drunkness.
This place is an ale drinker's paradise. Go there! You will not be disappointed.
You can follow The Rake on Twitter as @rakebar
The Rake was not our original plan. Our original plan was the Jubilee Market, followed by some cider bar in the market. Turns out we didn't know what time anything was going on, and arrived right as everything was closing (cider bar included, darn it!). So, friends and I adjusted and tucked into The Rake, which was so charming that I actually took a picture from my seat as I enjoyed a lambic and soaked in the conviviality around.
The Rake, I imagine, gets a bit chilly in the winter, being primarily an outdoor bar, but was wonderful for this time of year. They have an AMAZING selection of ales, including, quite right, some American beer! The taste of home was a welcome break from the overwhelming variety of other drinks and foods I had thusfar partaken of, and while the price was a bit higher than usual, that was worth it for knowing I could get beer bottled not far from where I live.
All in all, I'd gladly visit The Rake again, I'd bring friends there, I'd write on the walls, I'd try the local and the imports... I'd just do it all over and over. Brilliant.
A small and cozy little gem here, toilets are shared and most discusting, but I don't go out to see toilets!
The ales and ciders are great and there is a warm happy atmosphere, reasonalbly priced too
Having only heard about this pub from waaaaay up north in the days when I lived in Aberdeen, I was quite excited about bringing some fellow beer enthusiasts here too. I've walked past once when I was with a non alcohol tolerant friend, so this was my first opportunity to sample the wares of this fine establishment!
First pint from the taps- excellent Thornbridge followed by a trot through the very extensive selection of bottle beers in the fridges at the back of the bar. The much sought after Kernel beers, some very smooth Flying Dog, and a sexy Brooklyn beer to round off. [NB this wasn't just my beer-I was with company honest guv!!]
This pub is tiny! We managed to swipe a table at the side of the pub to take advantage of the fantastic summer evening and enjoy the beers outside, but you need to be crafty if you want a seat. My only complaint (promise) was the rather pungent aroma coming from the male toilets which were by the outdoor area. This is a little off putting when you're trying to enjoy your pint. But I took the age old advice-Man Up - and suggest that in similar situation you all do the same!
This is a cracking wee pub and when I'm next down in the big smoke I shall return, with high expectations!
Teeny tiny delicious knowledgeable veried bottled draught imported Local spendy searching well-kept friendly adventurous hidden craft.
All of these adjectives you'll find at the Rake.
All but one of these you'll want.
But aren't you willing to pay a bit for the rest?
Claims to be the smallest pub in London and while it wasn't as small as I expected it to be based on that boast, it probably is the smallest I've been to, so maybe it's true. The outside area greatly increases the space of course and most of it is sheltered from the rain too (unfortunately not the bench around the edges, so be careful out there on a rainy day).
Apparantly they serve an awful lot of beers in a fridge behind the bar but my eyes were drawn to something on tap called 'Quench' which captured succinctly just what I was looking for and blinkered me somewhat to the other treats on offer. I liked this place plenty though and so will most likely be back before long to look into the other options!
A small pub with an beer loaded bite. Anyone daunted by a large selection should probably avoid this place because it's astounding how many great beers they have both on tap and in bottles. I'll have the Brooklyn Lager please.
Being so close to Borough Market it can get packed, but get served up quick and stand outside. There isn't much choice - more than 2 people inside and it feels packed.
Definitely a stop if you're looking for good foreign beers or a pint on between sampling the goods in the market.
A client brought me here AND a friend recommended it (independently.) Given how many pubs there are in London, that is quite a feat.
If you enjoy exploring the many marvels of beer, you should seek this place out. It has a rotating draught line up of awesome experiences from many corners of the earth. There are things served here that I know I may never see again in my life. Always a pleasure to stop by.
The Rake is fast becoming a recommended choice. I like the squashed intimacy and large range of beers. Apparently it's the smallest pub in London.
To be honest I'm not a huge beer fan and only started drinking it about 2 years ago so I tend to go for the more exotic and international spicier ones. The Rake (sometimes) stock my favourite Herold Black Beer but if not I can usually find something suitably dark and chocolatey.
The food doesn't really appeal to me as it's a bit too pub-like. Well, they can be forgiven, it is a pub after all.
Aesthetically speaking there is very little to say about The Rake. The exterior is clad in plain blue paint with a fairly non-descript sign that wouldn't look out of place on a patisserie whilst inside you will find one of the teeniest pubs in existence with very little in the way of identity or style. However, beauty, as we should always be aware, is only skin deep and behind the rather drab make-up lies one of the most extensive and exotic range of lagers you are ever likely to find.
Beer connosieurs are probably already familiar with The Rake who source and stock some of the most delicious beer known to man. With tipples to suit any pallette and preference the bar staff, as you might expect, certainly know their stuff and will always be able to recommend the right brew.
This is an odd place. It's a very small bar (it claims to be the smallest pub in London), just to the west of Borough Market and within sight of Southwark Cathedral, with an outside seating area larger than the bar area.
The main draw is an extraordinarily impressive selection of bottled beers from around the world - apparently over 120 - with some exotic lagers on tap and a couple of very unusual real ales too (about which more later).
The bar area, painted plain white, is decorated with attractive enamel beer signs of the type common on the Continent, and has a few high tables and stools, but otherwise is standing room only (40 people and it's jam-packed). It gets very busy in the early evenings with an after work crowd, many of whom make a bee-line for the heated outdoor area to smoke.
Now, this place has won all sorts of awards and plaudits and should warrant four or five stars with ease, but for me it doesn't. First off are the prices: most people seem to buy their beer in halves, and at £2.50 a half that's £5 a pint. (You can pay up to £7 a pint). Even if it's not a run of the mill brew, that's still a lot in my view for lager, however unusual. They will also serve thirds of pints on request.
Second gripe was the service: perfectly efficient, but the very opposite of 'service with a smile': the person who served us had the sourest expression I've seen for a long time, and failed to return any pleasantries or smiles. (One of the other staff was more cheery). In between service, the staff tucked themselves away in the corner of the bar to talk to each other, so had to be called over by the customers.
And rather than talk, they should have kept an eye on the toilets: neither the ladies/disabled loo or the gents had any loo paper. And, while the disabled loo, which is off the bar, is OK, the gents' toilet accessed outside is possibly the worst I've seen for twenty years. Filthy dirty, with broken toilet seats, empty toilet roll dispensers (in every one of the three cubicles) and encrusted urinals you get the picture. It was like something from British Rail circa 1973. Not what you expect after paying £5 a pint.
Finally, the exotic ales: one was a smoked ale, with an ABV of around 10%, so strong stuff. But it was the most unpleasant ale I've ever had that wasn't actually off: the nose was distinctly no, overpoweringly antiseptic. The heavily smoked palate was interesting and not entirely objectionable, but I could not get past the flavour of antiseptic (think 'TCP'). Apparently some people like the stuff, and I was told it's an acquired taste. At £5 a pint, though, it's not one I'm looking to acquire.
So, great if you like bottled beer and have a deep wallet, and try a small glass before you opt for a pint of something too exotic.
Absolutely mind-boggling array of bottled beers in the fridge, plus they have Anchor Steam on tap, which is clearly awesome.
This place is not so much about the interior bar (which others have commented on, since it is tiny), but it has a lovely deck with heaters, and it's tucked away behind Borough market so it's quiet, even on a Saturday night.
The only downer is they close the deck at about 10.30pm, and everyone has to cram inside or move on. Great place to start the night with a small group of friends and get hammered on exotic brews from around the world.
Finally! I've been meaning to come here for.... ooooooh, eleventy billion years. And I like it. Yes I do.
I think it's a bit of a Marmite pub. Either you like beer, and you want to try new ones, or you don't and you'll moan about the prices. It is expensive here. It's right by Borough Market, it sells specialty beers from all over the world, what did you expect?
It's a great pub. I had fun when I came here. Despite the wobbly table meaning that I threw very strong and very expensive beer all over the pub. And everyone else who was standing anywhere near our table. It's small in here, so it gets busy. That said, they've got a little conservatory bit so you might be lucky enough to nab a seat. Last time I was here I had Redemption pale ale on tap (the beer that we sampled at our ale event earlier in the year).
I like what The Rake does. We don't think twice about spending a lot of money on a decent glass of wine. To me, this is the same thing. There's some great beers out there, and I think they're worth trying. If you agree, and you want to spend a little more than you would in a pub in Borough (and none of them are particularly cheap), then you should head here. Otherwise, appreciate the pub for what it is, and move on.
Fab lunchtime beer.
This bar is run by the people who run the 'Utobeer' stall in Borough Market - hence the amazing selection of bottled beer. If that's your thing, it's as good as it gets in terms of a beer selection, but the two handpumps had some rather eclectic beer on - a smoked and a fruit beer, both about 10%, and both £5 a pint, and both something of an acquired taste.
As others have said, it is expensive, and the gents' toilets really are in need of some serious tlc. Odd that they didn't do this when they did out the rest of the bar, which is very small but decently decorated.
It was strangely empty when we visited the other evening: three bar staff, and just two customers when we got there.
The Rake offers a ton of good beers and often changes what is on tap. If you are like me and tired of the tasteless lagers with weak alcohol content in London, then this will be a good change. They stock great beers from all over Europe and the United States.
Being that they are one of the few pubs with good beer in London, they charge a premium. But sometimes you have to ask yourself: "Do I want to continue drinking a terrible Young's, Greene's, or (insert your shitty English ale here)?" The answer is a definite no.
Save up, go out, and enjoy yourself.
I have the great good fortune to walk along the Thames from Westminster to London Bridge to catch my train home pretty much every working day of the year. This gives me plenty of opportunity to drop into The Rake at Borough Market for a cheeky beer and I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, because if you like a cold refreshment then you will probably like The Rake with its eclectic selection of fine beer from around the world, knowledgeable staff and interesting clientele.
It's a tiny place situated on the corner of Winchester Walk, opposite the newly opened Le Pain Quotidien. Inside you have a small room with four tall round tables, which are fairly wobbly so be careful with your pint, a bit of standing space and a small bar with the legend "no crap on tap" above it. There is also a ladies/disabled toilet and that's about it. Decoration is provided by an interesting selection of beer signage and a variety of handwritten eulogies to The Rake and beer in general which currently covers one wall and is looking like it could well expand to all the available space. This place is obviously much loved by both the brewing community but probably more importantly by its punters who pack the place out every evening. Don't let the crowd put you off there is always room so squeeze yourself through the door and there is always a bit of space with your name on it.
Outside you have a slightly larger heated drinking deck with a bit more seating than is available inside. Beyond is Jubilee Market where you can take your drink and have a smoke if you feel the need, and maybe even grab a tasty snack - there is usually a good crowd out here when the weather is good and it's a nice spot to watch the world go by when the market is on.
Men's toilets are also found out back, are shared with the market and many find them minging. But hey you're here for the beer not the quality of the khazi.
Always available is an ever-changing selection of three cask ales which are usually £3.20 a pint, although you will pay a little more if it's a very strong brew. Expertly sourced, well-kept and lovingly poured, I think this a fair price to pay for a decent pint and compares very favourably with other central London boozers where you can pay a lot more for a bog standard pint of rubbish - obviously others will feel diffentely so I guess it's horses for courses. Be warned though, they get through a cask pretty quick here so if you find something you particularly like I would have a couple because it's not likely to around for long as a very topical example I was looking forward to making my acquaintance again today with the Dark Star Green Hopped IPA only to be met with a sympathetic shrug of the shoulders and a it only lasted five hours. You'd think I would have learnt by now!
If memory serves me well there are also six or seven choices on tap which always seem to include a larger and a cider, but be careful because although the beer choice is usually pretty tasty it can get a little expensive. However, this is when the opportunity to buy a third of a pint comes into its own, particularly when you are looking at a brew which can be anything up to £10 or more by the pint. On my visit today I had a half of the wonderful Espresso Oak Aged Yeti which was just divine, went beautifully with a brownie, and was retailing at £4.20. Trust me there is no better way to kick off the weekend.
There are also two large fridges containing an amazing array of bottled beers, ciders, perry, a bit of fruit juice and the odd bottle of white and rose wine. I rarely get drawn into the bottled beer selection but my proper beer head pals all nod approvingly at the extensive range. Other than that there is not much more on offer - you can get a glass of red wine and there is a limited spirit selection; you may well get a malt but I would not bet on it.
The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, so tell them what kind of beer you like and they will come up with something good to suit both your palate and wallet.
Snackage is available from behind the bar in the form of Yorkshire crisps, pretzels and pork pie but this is not a foodie pub. Bringing in a bit of tucker from the market does not seem to be a problem if kept to sensible proportions and I have seen a fella sitting at the bar devouring a mighty fine selection of cheese on a fairly regular basis.
The punters are in the main are very decent crowd with pretty much all the modern beer loving tribes being well represented, as well as the old Camra stalwarts. It's always a good place for a chat if you are in the mood but is also somewhere you can lose yourself in the ale and your thoughts if you are after a bit of quiet contemplation of an afternoon.
This is a top notch little boozer and well worth making a trip across town to visit. Although the year is still far from over I get the feeling this will be my favourite pub of 2010.
Undecided on this place. Good location, great choice of speciality beers but the night I went staff were grumpy, there was nowhere to sit in the patio area (even though I'd brought a group down by arrangement) and it was suggested we stand in the car park by the stinking bins.
This was worsened by the broken toilets and for some reason one of my party heading off to buy ice for the bar (I still don't understand why).
Willing to try it again but wouldn't recommend anyone head there with high expectations. There are other places in Borough
This is definitely a niche pub frankly, there's no point coming if you don't like beer or cider. As the sign above the bar says No cr@p on tap ( only it's not mis-spelt..). I have to say, the array of brews is astounding; for the unsure, the knowledgeable staff will be happy to guide you. The clientele is a mix of tourists, market traders, and general Borough hangers-on- given it's such a small space ( NB there's no smoking on the decked area), this creates a real buzz.
You should also bear in mind that exotic, strong beer doesn't come cheap it's quite easy to be paying GBP9 a pint for something quite exotic. On the flip side, it's likely to be strong enough that you won't be sinking lots of them ( unless you want to forget your name and have the relationship between brain and legs irrevocably break down), and there are of course more reasonably priced options on offer. Definitely worth a visit; brings to mind a rolling beer festival .
The Rake is a bit up its own arse. They have a amazing selection of beers and they do so much with a small space, and it really is a joy to come here, rain or shine, and sample stuff you wouldn't get anywhere else. But they lose points for two massive flaws: the jacks smell like the wrong end of a three-day race meet in darkest Northumberland and the staff are so, so arch. Lighten up, sweetheart: I'm buying a beer, not a Ferrari.
I am going for a 5 here--and it was a hard choice between a 4 and a 5. I get what my fellow Yelpers are saying, it is lacking in personality in the decor department. But what I like about it is that it isn't trying to be a "pub" in a sense. Hmmm....how do I describe what I am trying to say. It's almost to be designated as a "pub" in England it needs to be a bit dark, have an older-feeling to it, have lots of wood, smell a bit of beer.....and this place has none of those characteristics. It is modern, clean lines, bright and just wonderful. Amazing micro-brews (hurray!). We sat at a table inside in the afternoon and were pleased. The courtyard is great. Could see how it would suck both indoors and outdoors if it were crowded.
Something about it I just dig--I think it is the I am not going to build it so it looks like every other pub thing is the selling point along with the yummy, unique beer. Cheers!
Teeny tiny pub with a great selection of beers. Best to go on non-market days when you can get a seat and room to breathe as this little place is actually in the market so to speak.
Cute lil pub to take a pitstop... :)
What can one say apart from brilliant. A vast range of beers in a great little pub a hop, skip and jump away from the heart of Borough Market. Super selection of Belgian beers but also quirky ones from independent brewers in the UK, Ireland, Mainland Europe and USA. The staff are knowledgeable but wear it lightly - you're encouraged to ask questions and not made to feel like a moron for asking. It's just lovely.
The toilets here aren't very nice but I don't really care, I have never heard of any of the beers they sell either on draught or in bottles, which is brilliant. I had one which tasted of liquorice allsorts on the recommendation of the barman. I don't think this would be a good place to bring women to, there's no wine and its all a bit beardy, but that's not necessarily a bad thing
Amazing selection of beer. Try the Framboise Boon.
Another great place to try out a very well stocked range of unusual beers. It's pricey, but then it is right next door to Borough market It's got a tiny indoor space (no more than a handful of tables) but a larger outside area (heated and under canvas). Maybe it's one for summer, though it's difficult to imagine having enough space to hang out in it for long.
Peculiarly situated place (stuffed in the corner of a car park in Borough Market) but makes a nice change all the same. The fridge is packed to the brim with an impressive selection of beers. If unsure, the bar staff will recommend a tipple to suit you. Great alternative if pubs are getting a bit tiresome.
You'll always get some interesting beers here, but you'll rarely get a table to sit at to enjoy them. The pub is tiny and only really barable in summer when the little outdoor area can be used too. They get their beers from Uto beer on Borough Market and I can never remember what I've had to drink there the night before, but it's always interesting!
Great range of beer (and cider, and all sorts), mostly bottled but some interesting stuff on tap too. It is indeed pretty small but we managed to get seats for 5 of us somehow after wandering in at about 8 on a Thursday, so don't give up hope. Friendly, helpful bar staff who were very willing to give recommendations for new things to try. Obviously you'll pay a bit more for drinks you can't get in many places, but it averaged out at just over £4 per drink we had, for a variety of speciality choices, so not too bad really especially considering the location.
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