Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
Jan 21, 2010 12:50 PM

Cider in London pubs?

Any suggestions on where to go to get good cider in a London pub? I'm not fond of beer, and I thought cider might be a good alternative . Is draught cider typically better than bottled cider? Do pubs usually have draught cider? If good draught cider is hard to find, do you have any recommendations for good bottled cider? Thanks for your help.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The Green Man stocks some good draught cider, and it's normally better then bottled. It can be a bit hectic over the weekends (which you may like or not), but is great on a summers day when you can stand outside.

    1 Reply
    1. re: spli

      good call.. exactly what i would have suggested.

    2. Almost all pubs will have bottled cider, and not many will lack draught. The standard draughts for non-specialist places will probably be Dry Blackthorn or Strongbow. These would not excite dedicated cider fans, buy they're pretty much ok. About nine pints normally works well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robin Joy

        Robin is right, all pubs will sell cider, nearly all pubs will have cider on tap. Unfortuantly much of what is on offer is mass produced and isn't that good, it is generally fizzy and sweet designed to be drank in large quantities. In these pubs you may find better ciders in bottles rather than the nasty stuff on draught, although one of the biggest mass produced brands is Magners which is pretty average. .

        If you can find it real cider is a far better proposition, The Green Man looks good, but it is a pity it doesn't sell "Thatchers Chedder Valley" which is a wonderful bright orange opaque cider (Thathers has a great range). I googled Thatchers in London and got this link that may be useful: and they cover al areas and is quite a broad guide.

        In a good cider house the draught is better than bottled, really good ones will have a variety, some pulled like beer, other from plastic barrels on the bar. Often real cider is quite dry, and the different varieties have very different tastes, often cloudy is better than clear and sparkling. Beware good artisan cider is very drinkable but often has an alcohol strength of 6° to 8°......3 or 4 pints and you are in toy-town...!

      2. Look out for Aspall's which is made in Suffolk and sold on draught in some London pubs - they have it at The Carpenter's Arms in Whitfield St (not far from The Green Man). Aspalls is made with fresh apple juice rather than concentrate, which for me means it has less of the sickly stewed apple flavour of lots of the mass brands. Some places have it in bottles but it's not as good. The Coach and Horses in Soho usually has a wide selection including potent Old Rosie on tap.

        3 Replies
        1. re: juneavrile

          Thank you all for your help. I'll only be in London for a week in the early Spring, so I won't get to try the Green Man's outdoor area - (I live in Chicago). All this information was very helpful, as I had not the slightest idea what to look for, but I will see if I can locate all of your suggestions re types of cider/places to go.

          1. re: juneavrile

            Aspalls is indeed sold at the Green Man and it's one of my favourites. THye also have a whole manner of Scrumpys which I believe change quite regularly

            1. re: foreignmuck

              Got my knuckles rapped by the moderators for promoting my cider website, fair enough, I understand the policy. Also I misunderstood that you were only visiting, and have found a few outlets in London selling some really good ciders from both Tom Oliver (who I think does actually distribute some of his cider in the States) and Once Upon A Tree. Of those I have only tried Tom's (it is excellent), but Once Upon A Tree did very well in the cider competitions last year.

              See the map here of outlets for real cider: - the site supports a mailing list where cider makers meet to discuss their craft and is strictly non-commercial. I have nothing to do with the organisation apart from being on their mailing list.

              Enjoy your tipple


          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Are you planning to visit Borough Market? Since you haven't got long in London, you may like to kill two birds and pop into a pub there called The Rake. They have an a very good range of drinks and I think they have a few interesting ciders available in bottles, but it would be worth ringing ahead to double check. At any rate, I've found the bar staff to be very knowledgeable and quite interested in what they do, so you should be able to tell them what you do/don't like and they'll find something nice for you.

              By the way, they may even be able to find you a beer you like! Not sure if you've experienced European beers much, but they are very different to American ones and I've so far always managed to find a beer here that my beer-hating friends actually like. :-)

              2 Replies
              1. re: deansa

                Martin - thanks, I will enjoy my tipple, and sorry to be confusing about the fact that I will only be a visitor to London. Deansa - Borough Market is most definitely on my list, and I will check out the Rake. Hard to imagine that I could find myself liking beer, but maybe I will give it a try.

                1. re: RCF

                  Not sure where you're staying but on the off chance you find yourself down in south London, the Crown and Greyhound is an old coaching inn in (the very pretty) Dulwich Village. Nearest stations are North Dulwich or West Dulwich, and there's the Dulwich Picture Gallery on the way which is the UK's oldest purpose built gallery, if that's your thang...

                  They do Aspall's of course, but various other ciders on tap and some interesting guest brews.