Tucked away in a quiet corner of Borough Market – adjacent to the parking lots and the loos – is an absolutely stellar little pub called the Rake. You’ve probably walked right by it without really taking notice – we did exactly that, several times, before a craft-beer-loving work colleague suggested paying it a visit.
It doesn’t look like much on the inside or the outside – and there’s not much of it on the inside either (did we mention it was tiny?) – but this place punches well above its weight.
It is owned by Utobeer, a beer shop located just a few meters away in Borough Market itself, and they keep the pub stocked with an ever-changing variety of world beers, in bottles and on draft/cask. They even have some quality varieties of our beloved Belgian lambics – Boon oude kriek in particular (once they even had a Girardin kriek on tap, which would even be astonishing in the heart of Brussels, let alone London – that was a happy week/end of visits!). They rotate the taps constantly too – and foreign beers feature prominently (alongside some more adventurous UK brews).
There’s not much space here, with only 3-4 tables inside and a smattering of seating in the small courtyard outside. But people often take their beers into the nearby parking lot and hang about, munching on food from the market for fuel.
We find it best to visit on an early weekend afternoon (they’re open on Sundays too) or after-work hours early in the week, as it can get quite crowded as the weekend approaches. One of us works nearby and passes by en route home, and sometimes simply can’t avoid the gravitational pull of hops and grain on a Tuesday night, when it is usually quiet enough to chat with the knowledgable bartenders and perhaps discover something new.
This is a great example of a newer breed of pubs in London catering to craft beer fans, like a few we’ve mentioned elsewhere. Highly recommended!