Some more thoughts. Hadn't clocked where the Dispensary was (ie next to Mr Lawrences). An interesting comparison - the most traditional pub in the immediate area, the Brockley Jack with the wonderful theatre, sells the most dreadful beer (GK). BD has a reasonable range of proper ales yet the clientele generally goes for the more exspensive keg - hence all my comments on 'trendy and fashionable drinks'. The Jam Circus is as eclectic as all Antic places, and usually does three or four independent ales as a reasonable price.
I do object to the over dependence on over hopped American style IPAs. The Yanks generally stole European style beers, and ironically it was a Brit brewer, Peter Austin who helped start the whole micro-brewery revolution [en.wikipedia.org
]). Much of the stuff we have from the 'States is produced in beer factories rather than artisan breweries. And the beer giants want their share of the craft ale market, eg Meantime brewery (akin to Ben and Gerry's ending up owned by Unilever).
An interesting alternative is the Canopy at Herne Hill. £3 a pint and an interesting selection of continental type beers (ie lagers) with less of a focus on the pales.
Apols for rambling.