Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Kings Head, Billingshurst

It was thanks to a tip-off from Gary Lucas of Kissingate Brewery that I found myself alighting from Billingshurst station on a sunny summer Saturday afternoon. It was my first visit to this large, lower Wealden village since it was the focus of The Quaffer, No. 16, December 2007, but (some) things have changed since then.

It took me ten minutes to reach my destination, the Kings Head, at the top of the High Street, a 17th century coaching inn, marked by its overhanging ornate ironwork sign. The interior layout looked much the same to how I dimly remembered it from several years earlier, except that all was now spick and span and an enticing bank of eight hand pumps was mounted on the bar. I asked for half a Hop Back World Hop Medley. This 4.2% golden ale collaboration with Greene King was at perfect temperature and exactly what was needed on this hot July day.

Having asked for whereabouts of the landlord - for I had emailed him in advance to say that I was dropping by - I was told that he was mending a fence in the back garden and that it would be difficult to miss him. Quite so. Genial Irishman Colin Ganley is a larger than life figure, 6 foot 3 inch tall, well-built and in his late-40s. Originally hailing from County Meath, he has been a licensee for thirty years, having previously run pubs in Brixton and Herne Hill. His parents own Ganley's Irish Bar in Morden. Colin is marred to Oonagh and they have been at the Kings Head for a year, having purchased the freehold from previous owners Enterprise Inns.

Colin has put in planning permission to convert the interior into two bars to include a steakhouse restaurant, function room and tea room conservatory, also to install a new kitchen and to have sixteen en suite letting rooms. As Colin oversees strategic operations, his managers Stuart and Kirsty look after the bar and the beers. Hogs Back TEA is a permanent; Kissingate beers always feature, as do the more interesting offerings from Greene King. Other breweries that may appear include Dark Star, Firebird, Top Notch and Triple fff.

There is also a real cider, which on my visit was Black Pig (6.0%). If Belgian bottled beers are your tipple then some delightfully strong examples can be found in the fridge. After chatting to Colin, I finish my visit with a Greene King Magna Carta, a 5.0% amber ale infused with Juniper, and a Hogs Back Hopping IPA, which at 5.4% turns out - surprisingly - to be ruby and vinous. Both beers are beautifully kept.

The Kings Head, 40 High Street, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9NY, 01403 782012

Monday, 24 August 2015

Live@Langhams coming up on Saturday 29th August!

Mini beer fest with 13 Langham Ales available plus a couple of surprises! Local cider and other liquid lubrication. Excellent local BBQ from Richline Farm Shop at Cocking…eat the steak burger, plus yummy lamb roast, jumbo sausages, veggie option and homemade cakes with tea and coffee!

Music and comedy and dancing! Incredible line up including some top UK acts: Fred's House, Cardboard Caravan, Jonas and Jane, Mantic Muddlers, Ed Goodale and Lucy Budge, Brighton Funny Woman from the Komedia! Plus the marvellous Martlet Morris dancers, interactive Morris Dancing :) Plus loads more acts to be announced.

Start 1 pm. Finish 11.00 pm Camping will be available. Free entry. Child and dog friendly. Contributions to be given to Snowdrop Trust (home care for terminally ill in Sussex) and one other local charity to be decided on FB


  • at 13:00–23:00
    5 days from now
  • The Granary, Langham Lane, Lodsworth, West Sussex, GU28 9BU 
Plans underway for our next Live@Langhams this summer! Our usual relaxed style; a full day of festival fun, full of frolics and fine food, here at the brewery!! 

Music management is in the capable hands of Midhurst's Heard and Seen, arranging great music with a diverse programme showcasing local musical talent, Morris Dancing and comedy!

Line-Up includes.....

Cardboard Carousel
Ed Goodale - Singer/Songwriter
Fonsleberry and the Wolseys
Fred's House
Joe Dunsford
Jonas and Jane

Lucy Budge - Comedian
Martlet Sword & Morris Men - MORRIS DANCING
The Mantic Muddlers
Tom Baird Music 


Friday, 21 August 2015

The Great Jenny Lind Beer Run

Inspired by the Beaujolais Runs of the 1980s, Linda Challis & KC decided it would be great to offer their customers at the Jenny Lind, Hastings Old Town, a selection of 2015 Champion Beer of Britain Category Winning Beers over this August Bank Holiday weekend. Having attended the Great British Beer Festival on 11th August, when the winning beers were announced, they immediately sampled each beer (for audit purposes, of course) before returning home. They then made contact with each winning brewery to organise collection of three firkins of each beer (if available) the following week.

The following few days were spent calculating the most economic way to travel around the UK visiting each brewery, commencing 17th August. Their journey took them to:

East Markham, Nottinghamshire, Gold Award Bitter Category, Pheasantry Best Bitter;

Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, Scotland, Gold Award Golden Ale Category and overall Silver Supreme Champion, Kelburn Jaguar;

Partridge Green, West Sussex, Gold Award Strong Bitter Category, Dark Star Revelation;

Burslem, Staffordshire, Gold Award Speciality Beer Category, Titanic Plum Porter;

Lower Beeding, West Sussex, Silver Award Speciality Beer Category, Kissingate Black Cherry Mild;

Keighley, West Yorkshire, Joint Bronze Award Bitter Category, Timothy Taylor Boltmaker;

Porthmadog, Gwynedd, North Wales, Joint Bronze Award Bitter Category, Purple Moose Madog’s Ale;

Unfortunately two well deserved winners, Cwtch from Tiny Rebel of Newport, Gwent (Gold Award Best Bitter Category and overall Supreme Champion) and Black by Williams Bros of Kelliebank, Alloa, Scotland (Gold Award Mild Category) were out of stock, but it is hoped bring you these later in the year if possible. Follow the pub’s Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/jennylindhastings?fref=ts

But they did add the Sussex Microbrewery Winner of the 2014 CAMRA Eastbourne Beer Festival: Long Man Brewery Long Blonde, from Litlington, East Sussex, always featured at the Jenny Lind.

The beers were returned to the Jenny Lind for storage in the new purposely-built cold room to prepare them for sale commencing the evening of Friday 28th August, the start of the Bank Holiday weekend, when the pub will be promoting this showcase of eight beers from eight great breweries with a great, live musical act every day of the four-day event.

The cost of the sponsorship of this event will be borne by Keith & Linda Challis and will no-way be reflected in the normal retail pricing policy of The Jenny Lind operated by The KC Pub Co Ltd. For more information on the Jenny Lind, please visit http://www.jennylindhastings.co.uk/

Friday, 14 August 2015

Save the Rose Hill Tavern, Brighton

The Rose Hill Tavern Action Group has less than two months to save the Rose Hill Tavern, Brighton. Their campaign has already won recognition of the Tavern as an Asset of Community Value, but ACV status only provides protection from development for a year before another planning application can be made. The pub was purchased from Enterprise Inns by Evenden Estates who put it back onto the market after their proposal to turn it into flats was rejected by Brighton and Hove City Council.

The only way to guarantee that the pub will not once again be bought by property developers is for the locals to buy it themselves. But they have only until Friday 2 October to raise the money to make a purchase and secure it as a community facility. Can you help?

Please visit the web site www.therosehilltaverncommunitypub.co.uk. From there you can do any of the following:

• Pledge to buy shares: these will be launched in August but you can pledge now on Crowdfunder.

• Share your professional skills: people are urgently needed with finance, legal or property expertise.

• Donate to the fighting fund: money needs to be raised right away for a structural survey.

• Show the level of community support: add a goodwill message to the Supporters Wall.

• Say what you want from the Rose Hill Tavern as a community asset: it can be whatever we decide it to be!

The Rose Hill Tavern is one of the few remaining traditional neighbourhood pubs left in the rapidly changing London Road area. There has been a pub on the site since the 1870s. The present building, with its distinctive green tiled exterior and leaded stained glass windows, dates from a 1934 improvement by architect Stavers Hessell Tiltman for the now-defunct Portsmouth and Brighton United Breweries. There have been changes to the interior since then: most notably the removal of the Bottle & Jug in 1950 and the later bringing into use of a large room at the rear-left. Nonetheless, at the time of its closure, the pub retained a two-bar layout and was a potential candidate for the CAMRA South East Regional Inventory of Heritage Pubs.

The Rose Hill Tavern has always welcomed everyone in the community, young and old. The action group want to see the space put to good use and are asking local people what they would like from their community pub. Suggestions so far include a microbrewery, space for business meetings, training for people learning the pub and catering trades, and a venue for pop-ups. Please send through your ideas and suggestions.

Email: contact@therosehilltaverncommunitypub.co.uk

Web: www.therosehilltaverncommunitypub.co.uk

Facebook: Save The Rose Hill Tavern Brighton (please ‘Like’ us)

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Champion Beer of Britain 2015 Results

Three Sussex breweries win category awards at this year's Champion Beer of Britain Competition

Champion Beer of Britain 2015
CAMRA are pleased to announce this year's Champion Beers of Britain as follows: 
Supreme Champions
Supreme Champion Rosette - Gold
Tiny Rebel - Cwtch
Kelburn - Jaguar
Dancing Duck - Dark Drake
Mild Rosette - Gold
Williams Brother- Black 
Rudgate - Ruby Mild 
Great Orme - Welsh Black
Best Bitter
Best Bitter Rosette - Gold
Tiny Rebel - Cwtch
Highland - Scapa Special 
Joint Bronze:
Barngates - Tag Lag
Salopian - Darwin's Origin
Speciality Rosette - Gold
Titantic - Plum Porter 
Joint Silver 
Kissingate - Black Cherry Mild 
Saltaire - Triple Chocolate 
Hanlons - Port Stout
Bitter Rosette - Gold
Pheasantry - Best Bitter

Acorn - Barnsley Bitter

Joint Bronze
Purple Moose - Madog's Ale
Timothy Taylors - Boltmaker
Golden Ale Rosette - Gold
Kelburn - Jaguar
Adnams - Explorer 
Blue Monkey - Infinity
Strong Bitter
Strong Bitter Gold
Dark Star - Revelation
Salopian - Golden Thread
Grain - India Pale Ale
Champion Bottle-Conditioned Beer
Bottled Beer Rosette - Gold
Harveys - Imperial Extra Double Stout
Fyne Ales - Superior IPA
Mordue - India Pale Ale

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Brighton Pubs Book - Can You Help?

I have a contract with Amberley Publishing of Stroud, Gloucestershire, https://www.amberley-books.com/ to publish a historical book, Brighton Pubs, with a chronology covering the two centuries from the 1800s to the 1990s. It will tell a tale of mystery, murder, intrigue, tragedy, conviviality, disrepute and respectability and will bring to life some of Brighton’s famous licensee families, such as the Edlins, the Pitts and the Boveys.

I will be writing most of the book in August and September with a view to delivering the manuscript in November and that is where you come in. If you have any old photographs of Brighton pubs or know of ancestors that worked in or ran pubs in the city, or have interesting tales to relate about past events in Brighton pub history, then I would love to very soon hear from you. Any material that cannot be sent by email will be personally collected and returned; great care will be taken of it and credit given for its use. I will be covering about fifty-five pubs, probably to include the following, although the list is neither complete nor exclusive and I am still very interested in pubs not mentioned below, and even those that have been long closed or demolished:

Admiral Napier (subsequently Cornerstone, now the Admiral), Aquarium (now the Plotting Parlour), Bevendean Hotel (now the Bevy), Basketmakers Arms, Brighton Tavern, Bristol, Colonnade Bar, Cricketers, Crown, Crown & Anchor, Dorset, Druids Head, Dyke Road Hotel, Evening Star, Franklin Tavern, Good Companions, Green Dragon (now the Office), Greyhound (now the Fishbowl), Hand in Hand, Hare & Hounds, Heart & Hand, King & Queen, Ladies Mile, Marlborough Hotel, Marquess of Exeter (now the Chimney House), Norfolk Arms (subsequently Blind Tiger Club), Northern Hotel (now the Hobgoblin), Prestonville Arms, Prince Albert, Prince Arthur (now Brighton Beer Dispensary), Pump House, Quadrant, Queens Arms, Queens Head (now Broadway Bar), Queens Park Tavern (now the Hanover), Regency Tavern, Rose Hill Tavern, Seven Stars, Victory.

The initial print run will be restricted to 750 copies. Anyone who would like to be informed when the book is published is welcome to provide me with his or her email address. For all enquires and offers of assistance with material, you can contact me, David Muggleton, at thequaffer@yahoo.co.uk, or d.muggleton@chi.ac.uk, or phone me on 01243 863694. Thank you very much for your time.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Miles Jenner, Master of the Brewers’ Company 2015/16

Miles Jenner, Head Brewer and Joint Managing Director of Harveys, Lewes, has been installed as Master of the Brewers’ Company in London. The London company received its first Royal Charter in 1438: it is now fourteenth in order of precedence among the City’s one hundred and ten Livery Companies. Miles Jenner said, “It is a tremendous honour to have been elected Master. I am immensely proud of the brewing industry and will represent it to the best of my ability in the year ahead.” He succeeds James Arkell, Chairman of Arkell’s Brewery in Wiltshire.

Livery companies, or Guilds as they are often known, have been part of the social and commercial fabric of Europe since medieval times. Originally founded to protect the interests of various trades, they now flourish as charitable patrons, promoters of industry and guardians of heritage and tradition. The Brewers’ Company remains close to its trade, actively supporting the brewing industry and education in brewing. It has a major philanthropic role as trustee to substantial charitable trust funds supporting two schools, multiple other educational initiatives and a number of almshouses.

In a tradition dating back many years, it is customary for the Master to supply beer to Brewers’ Hall during his year of office. It was Harvey’s 1957 Ford Thames delivery truck - painstakingly restored in Harveys’ colours of the time - that duly travelled through the City and delivered the first casks.

Thank you to Miles Jenner for the photographs.

Below is the Incoming Master and Mistress of the Brewers’ Company (Miles and Sally Jenner) with outgoing Master and Mistress (James and Cally Arkell).

Harveys beer is delivered to Brewers' Hall (Miles Jenner and Les Wooton).