The Full Pour
A strong case for the title of "beer bar with the most character" could definitely be made for The Rake. The elbow room may be a wee bit tight, but this place is oozing with big time personality and has an excellent outdoor patio to accommodate the overflow of its adoring fans. Situated right on the periphery of Borough Market, in the shadow of The Shard, this reinvented structure (used to be a divey cafe) now hosts one of London's most unique places to grab a quality pint of beer. They've shown strong appreciation for the craft brewing industry since 2006, procuring unique offerings that set them apart from the mainstream early on. They even allow brewers to autograph their interior walls, proclaiming them as heroes.
Why is this on THL?
There is something alluring about The Rake, and it is hard to put into words. It could be the location, tucked away on that side street by the famed Borough Market, or perhaps it's just the absolute enthusiasm and gratitude they seem to have for the craft beer industry in general. In addition, it's somewhat difficult to categorize this place in any definitive way. It was a hole in the wall cafe, now it's a purveyor of high quality beer that should be explored (it's a short tour). But however you attempt to define the magic formula, just know that it's quite a personable little place to experience. It can conveniently be combined with an outing to Borough Market, or any of the fantastic options around the Bermondsey Beer Mile and Maltby Street. If you do go to Borough Market, be sure to check out their bottle shop known as The Cage.