5 Best Alcoholic British Pub Drinks To Try in The UK

Fancy trying some best British pub drinks? Are you wondering what are the most popular alcoholic beverages in the UK? We got you covered!

In British and Irish cultures the pub has long been held in special regard. It’s a place where friends meet and friends are made.  Samuel Pepys described the pub as the “heart of England”. The pub is often the centre of the local community.  

Read More: List of Traditional and Most Popular British Foods to Try in the UK

The name “Pub” is simply a shortened term for Public House. A Public House was someone’s house that was open to the public. In today’s world, though someone can not simply turn their house into a pub. There’s current UK legislation in place and an alcohol license is required to sell alcohol.

The traditional pub industry in the UK has been on a decline over the past few years. According to industry figures, 18 pubs close in a week in Britain.  However, the Micro pub industry has been bucking the trend. To put it simply, a Micro pub is a single room which mainly serves cask ales and has no form of electronic entertainment.  The idea is to promote conversation. 

Read More: British Culture: List of the Great Traditions and Celebrations in the UK

List of the popular alcoholic British pub drinks 


One of the favourite British pub drinks is Bitter. Bitter is a style of pale ale. The colour of it can vary from gold to dark amber. One of the most popular bitters is the Indian Pale Ale, more commonly known as IPA. 

The origins of IPA goes back to 1827. IPA’s were brewed to survive the long voyage by sea to India for the British expats, and this is where the name comes from. 

Bitter IPA British pub drinks

Popular bitters in the UK

Sharp’s Doom Bar

Sharp is brewed in Cornwall. Doom Bar is dark amber with a ruby brown tint bitter. Its has a fruity aroma and a caramelly malty taste. Doombar is a 4.0% ABV 

Greene King IPA

Greene King has been brewing cask ale in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk for more than 200 years.  Greene King IPA is amber in colour. It has a malty herbal aroma. The taste has hints of caramel, toffee, citrus and honey.  Green King IPA is 3.6% ABV.

Fuller’s London Pride

Fuller, Smith & Turner is a brewery based in Chiswick and was founded in 1845. London Pride is tawny coloured. It has a raisin, biscuit and dried fruits aroma. It has a malty biscuity taste and is 4.1% ABV.


Stouts are a dark, top-fermented beer. The first documented mention of Stout goes back to 1677. The most famous Stout is Guinness, which originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness in Dublin in 1759.  

Guinness Stout British Pub drink

 Popular Stouts in the UK


Guinness is an Irish stout brewed in Dublin. It is a deep dark red colour verging on black. It has a sweet-smelling aroma with a coffee and malty nose. It has a coffee and dark wheat taste and is 4.2% ABV. 

St. Austell Mena DHU

St. Austell is a cornish brewery that was founded in 1851. It has a jet black colour, subtle smoked oak aroma with liquorice and dark chocolate taste. Mena DHU is 4.5% ABV.

Young’s London Stout

Young was founded in 1831 and is located in Wandsworth, LondonLondon Stout has a Cappucino aroma, dark chocolate and burnt toast aroma. It has a coffee and roasted malt taste and is 4.3% ABV.

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Gin has enjoyed something of a renaissance over the last few years. Last year alone 54 new distilleries opened in the UK and worldwide there are some good gins produced. 

Although Gin originated in Holland it has become inextricably linked to the UK due to the gin popularity in the royal navy. It quickly spread around the globe.

Gin is basically a neutral spirit that has flavoured botanicals, predominantly juniper.

The classic Gin & Tonic that is so widely loved today has its origins in the 19th century. Due to the anti-malaria properties of quinine in the tonic, the British soldiers would drink tonic. However, the tonic was extremely bitter and unpleasant to drink. The soldiers added Gin and sugar to make it more palatable. 

Bombay Sapphire Gin British Pub Drink

Popular Gins in the UK

Bombay Sapphire

Bombay Sapphire was launched in 1987. It has a citrus and juniper aroma and taste.


Beefeater was introduced in 1876. It has a spicy and fruity aroma with orange and coriander coming through the taste.

Whiskey / Whisky

Apart from the spelling, what is the difference between Scotch Whisky and Irish Whiskey

Scotch whisky is distilled twice using peat-smoked, wholly malted barley, whereas Irish whiskey is triple distilled using kiln-dried raw & malted barley.

There are exceptions to this rule, in real terms what all of that means is that Scotch is often more smokey and peaty in taste. Whereas Irish whiskey is often smoother, which is why many prefer to use it as a mixer for many drinks.  

The only point that Scotch Whisky and Irish whiskey agree on is that the minimum age for both should be 3 years. 

There are 2 types of whisky – Single malt and Blended malt

The single malt whisky is produced and bottled in a single distillery.

The blended whisky is a blend of 2 or more malt and grain whiskies. Blending whiskey does not require the same amount of age and as a result, it can be produced faster. 

Scotch Whisky British Pub Drinks

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Popular Whiskey/Whisky in the UK

The Famous Grouse

Famous Grouse has been the highest-selling whisky brand in Scotland since 1980 and was first produced in 1986. It is a blended Scotch whisky. The aroma is toffee and malted barley. The taste has a slight sweetness with barley and a hint of spice.

Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey

Bushmills is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world. It was granted a license to distil in 1608. Bushmills Original has a fruity, spicy aroma with hints of vanilla. The taste has a slight touch of honey sweetness.


Cider is particularly popular in the UK and Ireland during the summer months. The UK is the major producer of cider in the EU and the UK also consumes the most cider in the world.  

The west country is famous for its cider amongst its most popular is Scrumpy, which is a cloudy unfiltered cider. Cider comes in sweet, medium and dry varieties. The most traditional cider is apple cider and another popular one is pear cider which is more commonly known as Perry.

Cider British Pub Drinks

Popular Ciders in the UK

Thatchers Gold

Thatchers is crafted in Somerset and was founded in 1904. It has an aroma of sweetish apples with a medium-dry taste. It has 4.8% ABV.

Magners Original

Magners was founded in County Tipperary, Ireland in 1937. It has an aroma of rich with apples and a crisp dry taste.

I hope that this guide on British pub drinks will help you to decide on what to get on your next British pub crawl in the UK. 

Let me know which one is your favourite drink!
Share it in the comment box below. 

The Best Alcoholic British Pub Drinks to try in the UK


Ryazan Tristram EverythingZany Author Bio

Ryazan Tristram

Travel Writer & Photographer

Ryazan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She also has more than 10 years of work experience gained from working in the hotel and travel sectors in Asia and Europe. Her work has been featured and published on Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Discovery Channel, World Travel Guide, MSN, CNBC, GMA, Daily Mail UK, Lonely Planet and many more. She is currently living in the UK as a dual citizen (British – Filipina). Join her in travelling around the UK and beyond with a mission to promote sustainable tourism and share travel guides, travel tips, foodies, history and culture.

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