The sign on the wall opposite me states 'Cask: leading the craft beer revolution since 2009'. The Cask has a dizzying range of beers and ales. On tap, the choices range from a beer that smells (and tastes like Chipotle and Chocolate) and beers are imported and sold that include Mikkeller, Evil Twin, De Molen, Revelation Cat, Southern Tier, Cigar City and many more. Their credentials sell the place alone. In 2011 they won the Publican Magazine best pub of the year, and they have been voted CAMRA's best West London watering hole.
The pub has recently started serving burgers which, my companion states is 'the best burger I have ever eaten'. This particular friend is about to get married to a girl from Kentucky, so he knows a thing or two about fast-food. The chips I ordered are pretty good to, with an appropriate ratio of crunchy to fluffy. They arrived with 'real' tomato ketchup and another Bloody Mary variety. Horseradish and a good quality mayo are also on hand in case I tire of one flavour: it's an absolute mound of chips and I can feel calories creeping on to me as I chow down. But these are so good, that I don't care. Bring it on.
The Cask is situated in a relatively affluent street in Pimlico, yet is nestled underneath a block of social housing. There is a real mix of clients, from evidently obsessive ale drinkers all the way to people just popping in for a pint after work. The choice is pretty exciting for a beer nut, and the staff know their stuff. There are a lot of people looking horrendously lost in front of the bar baffled by the sheer variety-I was one of them- and the staff do their best to put you at ease when confronted with the incredible choice of beverages. There is a beautiful array of pictures on the pumps at the front of the bar and alcohol percentages are chalked up on a little board just in case you're only having a quick one at lunchtime and you need to be careful not to accidentally have the 9% pint.
That said, I wholly recommend coming back to sample as many different ales as you can. And if you're not a huge beer drinker, there are some bottled ciders. I sampled Bee Sting Pear cider, which, at 7.5% was certainly not the sort of tipple you'd select for a lunchtime sup.
Despite the outside appearance of the pub, inside it feels like a perfectly well-revamped 1960s bar, with sleek pine tables and a selection of stools, comfortable benches and padded banquettes. It's the perfect place for whiling away a cloudy Saturday afternoon, or a slow evening. And, if you get peckish and fancy something other than burgers, one of the best Thai restaurants in central London is literally across the road.