Thursday, 17 July 2014

18th Worthing Beer Festival

Friday 17 and Saturday 18 October sees the return of the Worthing Beer Festival to the St Paul’s centre, Chapel Road, a walk of just a few minutes from the town’s central railway station. Under the stewardship of Roy and the late Bruce and Pete, the festival has steadily grown in stature, outgrowing the Richmond Rooms in 2011 and requiring a move to the wonderful St Paul’s. In 2003 there were forty-four beers and two ciders available. This year, the new organisers, Debbi, Ray and Jim, hope to increase the numbers to over seventy-five beers and sixteen ciders and perries, the latter which for the first time will have their own dedicated bar. As the number of breweries in the county has grown, the Sussex bar will be located in the main hall to allow an increased range to be made available. The two other bars will feature the best beers from micro breweries around the country and beyond.

Saturday entertainment will feature jazz from Andy Woon’s Vintage Hot Five from 2.30-5pm, while from 7.30pm, the record-breaking international singer-songwriter Tensheds and his band will perform ( Session times: Friday 11am-3.30pm (£3.50) & 5.30-11pm (£5); Saturday 11am-4pm (£4) with £3.00 entry from 4-11pm or until the beer runs out. Tickets will be available from mid-August, at the venue, St Paul’s, and from the Selden Arms, Worthing; the Gardeners Arms, Sompting; Henty Arms, Ferring; New Sussex Hotel, Lancing; Duke of Wellington, Shoreham-by-Sea; and the Evening Star, Brighton. Tickets are subject to availability on the door. Postal applications can be made to: The Treasurer, The Boathouse, Shopsdam Road, Lancing, BN15 8ES; please make cheques payable to “Arun & Adur CAMRA”. Friday evening and Saturday sell out very quickly, so advance booking is advised.

For more details visit

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Ship Sunk by Enterprise.

Despite the best efforts of a group of local residents who formed The Friends of the Ship Inn, Aldwick, this once popular pub is due to meet the same fate as so many others in recent times and be converted into a supermarket convenience store. The pub had been struggling in recent times, often closed for periods between the arrival and departure of a succession of tenants, but it does not help when the owners, Enterprise Inns, sell beer to those tenants at a much higher price than free traders could obtain it, and charge rents that make it difficult to run a profitable pub. All credit then to The Friends, who wanted to keep the Ship open and eventually have it registered by the council as an Asset of Community Value. It is interesting that, at a meeting with The Friends, Enterprise Inns had claimed their current plan was to find a new long-term tenant, then invest in further refurbishment and so keep the pub as a viable business. No further comment is necessary.

The origin of the Ship as an alehouse predates the 1841 census, its earliest recorded reference. It was owned by the South Street Brewery of George Gatehouse, Chichester from some point until 1889 when it was sold to George Henty & Son (later Henty & Constable) of that same city. It was acquired in 1955 by Tamplin & Sons, Brighton, who subsequently sold out to Watneys. The premises of the pub were supposedly once connected to the beach by a smugglers’ tunnel that tended to flood in bad weather. No trace of this passage now remains. There are scores of pubs that have had this tale told of them. A more believable story is that the Ship was used in the Edwardian era as a base by pioneering film maker Cecil Hepworth. The pub was modernised in the 1930s. A small beer garden was in those days secluded behind a row of wooden lock-up garages on what is now the car park. The inn sign of the late 1940s (below) was painted by Arundel artist Ralph Ellis.
The Inn’s distance from Bognor Regis allowed it to retain a village pub atmosphere. The blocked up doorways in the porch entrance show that the left side saloon would have once been divided up into separate sections, probably including a Jug & Bottle. The Ship retained a separate right side bar, used as a games room. The interior was otherwise completely modernised and of no heritage interest. A list of licensees runs thus: Mary Cobden, 1841; John Mant, 1842; Richard Hayden, 1852; George Cooper, 1861; Fredrick Holkham, 1871; Samuel Frost; Caroline Frost; Albert Booker, 1885; Thomas Morris, 1889; Edwin Chas Millar, 1903; Louisa M. Millar, 1927; Ernest E, Millar, 1937; Frederick J. Smith, 1941; Dorothy Smith, 1944; Christian Oberst, 1944; Leonard O. Burgess, 1951; Thomas Eric Bailey, 1954; Alexander Morrison, 1971. The Morrison family, who had the pub for at least ten years from 1970, stocked over 250 brands of Scotch whisky behind the bar.

It is a bitter twist that the pub is to be converted into a branch of … Morrisons.


Butler, Charles (1997) Inns, Taverns and Hotels, Past and Present of BOGNOR REGIS including Pagham & Felpham, Bognor Regis Local History Society.

Gowler, Margaret (2004), ‘Ralph Ellis: Designer and Painter of Inn Signs’, Bognor Regis Local History Society Newsletter, No. 50 (March), pp. 16-22.

The Observer (1980), ‘Spirits of Smugglers no longer Illicit at Ship’, Friday 15th August.



Thursday, 22 May 2014

Kissingate Brewery Spring Fest and Nooksack APA

The Kissingate Brewery and Twickenham Fine Ales collaboration brew, Nooksack APA, won Beer of the Festival at this year’s Sussex Beer & Cider Festival. The idea for the collaboration, beer style and recipe came from Twickenham’s Head Brewer Stuart Medcalf and Kissingate’s Gary Lucas. The team at Twickenham, including Steve Brown (Managing Director) and Ben Norman (Marketing Director), felt the time was right for the two breweries to share their creativity and produce an authentic American Pale Ale that had a fresh and prominent hoppy character with a subtle residual sweetness. The hops used in the brew were all from Washington State, USA. The name ‘Nooksack’ was given to the beer after the Native Americans who live in the area. All 100 casks of the beer brewed were sold out just three weeks after its official launch at the festival.
Although both breweries have won many awards for their beers, neither one could have anticipated such success. The Nooksack will be brewed again in late July. Orders have already been taken! Also, due to a demand in Sussex for the beers of Twickenham Fine Ales, especially during the rugby, the team is looking into working with a partner to supply their beer into the county.

Pictured from left to right: Stuart Medcalf (Twickenham Head Brewer & Director), Dave Hall (Twickenham Second Brewer) and Gary Lucas (Kissingate Brewery)

For Twickenham Fine Ales:

It is also the Kissingate Brewery Spring Fest this Saturday 24th May:

Monday, 19 May 2014

Langham Saison

Brewed using special European yeast and German malts, this refreshing Saison-style farmhouse ale from Langham Brewery of Lodsworth, West Sussex, has a subtle aroma of banana and clove, with a beautiful citrus hopping and delicious dry finish. At 3.9% it is a truly tasty and quaffable beer for the summer. Enjoy!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

A Special Night of Music at Langham Brewery

Langham Brewery is the place to be this Saturday 17th May when US singer-songwriter Rick Bailey will be playing a special gig as part of his UK tour. The gig will commence at 7.30pm and is free entry to the public. Florida-based Rick visits the UK each year to catch up with old buddies, progress his music projects and to play to his UK-based fans. Rick is over for the month of May and is playing a number of venues throughout the UK.

“We are delighted to be able to welcome Rick to the heart of the South Downs National Park as part of his UK tour”, said Simon Goodale of Heard and Seen. “Rick has a busy schedule and to book him for a Saturday night is a lucky coup”. Rick commented that “when Simon called me and suggested a gig at a brewery I jumped at the chance. I love the UK and your audiences’ respect for music. To play my songs and meet new people in an unusual environment is an opportunity not to be missed – I am really looking forward to the gig”.
For directions to the brewery go to
Rick is an all-round entertainer mixing up each performance with classic versions of covers and a selection of his own material topped off with his magical, versatile guitar playing. An evening of fine music and fun is assured.


Simon Goodale,, 07580 105571.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Sussex Cheese & Ale Tasting


Sussex Cheese & Ale Tasting - Saturday 26th April, 7pm, Langham Brewery, Langham Lane, Lodsworth, West Sussex, GU28 9BU. 

Sussex has a rich heritage of both cheese making and artisan brewing and this evening will combine the two in a unique cheese and ale tasting. Carefully selected cheeses from around Sussex will be paired with complementing ales from Langham’s own brewery and will be accompanied with bread, chutney and fruit. This wonderful evening will be lead by Louisa Mason of Flavour Tastings and David Muggleton (The Quaffer) from the Sussex Drinker who will expertly guide you through six amazing cheeses ranging from soft Ash goats’ cheese, to tangy Brighton Blue and pair them with wonderful Langham ales including Flor-ale and  Best Bitter. A truly unique evening not to be missed!

Entrance by advanced tickets online. Buy online at:

Friday, 28 March 2014

Beer lovers appeal for help in researching Crawley's boozy past


On Wednesday 5th March, I gave an informal talk, on old Crawley breweries, in the town's Wetherspoon outlet, the Jubilee Oak. The talk was in conjunction with a 'Meet the Brewer' evening at the pub with Gary Lucas of Kissingate Brewery, Lower Beeding, showcasing a number of his excellent ales.

Local newspaper reporter Luke Warren picked up on the feedback from the event and penned this very helpful piece for Crawley News.

As Luke says, if anyone has any information on the Victorian breweries of Crawley, please let me know on

A link to the website version of Luke's article is