Friday, 25 November 2011
Comrades! Join the Sussex Drinker revolution. Follow us into Surrey, London, Kent and Hampshire as the cover of our autumn issue implores. In fact, follow us from anywhere in the globe if you are registered for a Facebook account. Just enter Sussex Drinker into the search box at the top of your Facebook page, bring up the magazine’s page and ‘Like’ us. This will enable you to receive news feeds from us and, conversely, allow you to feed us with news items – particularly useful if you are a pub holding a beer festival, a brewery promoting new products, or a customer wanting to update us with positive new developments on the Sussex real ale and pub scene.
As for regular features in the Sussex Drinker, the ‘Sussex Pub Scratchings’ news pages has contributions from our readers; the latest ‘Bus to the Pub’ around Sussex programme is organised by Arun & Adur branch member, Stuart Elms. ‘Beer Festivals and Other Delights’ are our diary dates (for which inclusion is free).
‘History and Heritage’ is a celebration by yours truly of a CAMRA National or Regional Inventory pub in Sussex or some other aspect of local pub and brewery history. Web sites on the history of pubs in Worthing and in Hastings and St. Leonards have featured in recent issues.
Monday, 14 November 2011
The flat buzzer sounded and there at the door was the postman with a parcel for me. I wasn’t expecting a delivery so peered at the box label while I signed for the item. It was from those nice people at the St Peter’s Brewery in Suffolk. Inside were two of their iconic oval 500mm beer bottles - one The Saints Whisky Beer, the other Suffolk Smokey - with an accompanying press release. A delightful present such as this deserves some reciprocal publicity on the Blog, so here we go.
The Saints Whisky Beer is produced by St Peter’s Brewery with the same peated malt used at St George’s Distillery in their whisky production. Following fermentation, English Whisky Co.’s Chapter 9 peated / smokey single malt whisky is added, before bottling, to produce a superbly balanced 4.8% beer, rich in flavour with smokey overtones from the peated malt.
The Saints Whisky Beer will be launched exclusively in the UK in 150 selected Waitrose stores and will also be offered by the UK’s leading on-line grocer, Ocado from early October. The beer will also be available from the St Peter’s on-line shop http://www.stpetersbrewery.co.uk/ and will be sold at St George’s on-site shop and on their webshop http://www.englishwhisky.co.uk/.
Monday, 24 October 2011
The Ball Tree was of too late a date to be listed in a book of the early 1930s, “Houses” of Repute in Sussex, commissioned by the Kemp Town Brewery (henceforth, KTB), Brighton, but the building is so obviously hallmarked as their work. It is instructive to see the design of the Duke of Wellington, Shoreham-by-Sea, another KTB house just a few miles east along the coast, as a kind of inversion of the Ball Tree’s central front elevation.
I have to thank Jimmy Hastell and his excellent Worthing Pubs web site for confirmation of the Ball Tree being KTB-built. In a black and white photo of the pub posted on the site, KEMP TOWN appears above the left door of the central elevation in white sans serif modernist letting. The Marquis of Granby, just up the road and another mid-1930s rebuild, was owned by the Portsmouth and Brighton United Breweries (it retains a fine set of United Ales leaded windows), while the Gardeners Arms in the village was at that time the local Tamplins outlet.
Built at an oblique angle to the left of the pub, a gabled construction with dormer windows was advertised as a Gardens Restaurant and Children’s Room. It is likely that this was originally a wine office for take-away home use, a regular feature of ‘improved’ KTB pubs.
I was intending at some vague and ill-defined point in time to revisit the Ball Tree, trace the remaining architectural clues in more detail and take high-quality digital images, but will have to be content with these 35mm film snaps, taken for the purpose of supplementing my written notes for the 2006 review. They are, at least, a visual record of a now lost KTB house.
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Just over a month ago I was invited by the press office of the supermarket giant Sainsbury’s to attend the grand final of their Great British Beer Hunt, to be held on the last day of September at “the Brewery”, Chiswell Street, London, EC1. The objective was to select two bottled beers to be stocked in Sainsbury’s stores throughout the UK for a minimum of six months. Sainsbury’s had invited entries for all UK brewers in February, then had held four regional judging heats in May – at Edinburgh, Watford, Bristol and Uttoxeter. Beer experts and selected Sainsbury’s customers helped to choose four beers from each region as winners from the 106 entrants. These sixteen beers then appeared at Sainsbury’s stores during September and the two top-sellers from each region formed the eight beers to be judged at the grand final.
Friday 30th was a day of radiant heat. After a stuffy stop-start tube journey on the circle line from Victoria, I changed at Bank for the northern line, emerged at Moorgate into the blinding lunchtime light and strode my way past wavering sheets of shimmering glass to the conference venue that in its former life was Whitbread’s Brewery. http://www.thebrewery.co.uk/
Olly was right. It had been a close-run thing; but the two winners, finally announced, had been among my own top-three tips of the day. The runner-up was my first beer sampled, Caesar Augustus. The winner was the beer I’d been drinking most of since that point, Bad King John, by Ridgeway Brewing, a powerful 6.0% black brew with dark chocolate and fruit notes. Look out for these two at Sainsbury’s stores throughout the UK.
The other five beers? Harviestoun Wild Hop IPA; Ridgeway Ivanhoe; Wye Valley Wye Not?; Holts Two Hoots; and Sadler’s Worcester Sorcerer.
Sunday, 18 September 2011
Because this new venture had risen from the ashes of the old, albeit at a different place five miles to the east, the site at Albion Street and Waterloo Street site was called the Phoenix Brewery. It was to become not only Brighton’s biggest brewery but the largest in Sussex with an estate of some 600 pubs, stretching into Hampshire, Kent and Surrey. The biggest concentration, about a third, was in the Brighton area, which meant that by the early 1950s two out of every three pubs in and around the town were owned by Tamplins.
Monday, 12 September 2011
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Of course, despite this movement towards scientific efficiency that was 'improving' our methods of beer dispense, we could be assured that other traditional attitudes of that time were impervious to change. For an even less palatable flavour of post-war Britain, here's a link to an article about an incident that took place in that very same bar eight years previously http://archive.tribunemagazine.co.uk/article/15th-january-1954/1/no-drink-for-mr-murumbi
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Anchor Springs: a range of quality premium beers to suit different palates for the discerning drinker. http://www.thecrownlittlehampton.co.uk/