Friday, 25 November 2011

For People Who Like Real Ale In Sussex – And Beyond

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.

“Sussex inns are as numberless and glorious as stars in the galaxy”, wrote Denzil Batchelor, journalist, bon vivant and author of The English Inn (London: Batsford, 1963). Why not come and visit Sussex and explore the glorious inns and pubs of our real ale scene for yourself? Or heed the clarion call on the cover of our winter issue. With an inspirational nod to the Russian artist Alexander Rodchenko you are urged to attend any or all of our six CAMRA Beer Festivals in All Areas of Sussex. The next one is the big one, the Sussex CAMRA Branches Beer & Cider Festival at Hove, from 8-10 March 2012. For details of opening times and ticket prices see the advert (left).

Over the past two years the Sussex Drinker has become bigger (up from 32-40 pages), better (one of the outstanding CAMRA magazines in the UK) and more popular than ever before (an increased print run from 5000-12000 copies).

This would not have been possible without the superb design skills of Daniel Speed (Tamoko Design). To meet unprecedented demand we now regularly deliver outside of our county boundaries, as shown by the front page photos of the autumn issue: reading clockwise from top left, Bricklayer’s Arms, Putney; Hole in the Wall, Southsea; Grove Tavern, Tunbridge Wells; White Horse, Parsons Green. If you would like to advertise your pub, brewery or business to this wider readership in the Sussex Drinker, please contact Neil Richards MBE of Matelot Marketing, responsible for the production side of the magazine. Neil can be contacted on Tel: 01536 358670 / Mob: 07710 281381 / Email:

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.

‘Cider House Notes’ is by our Regional Cider Coordinator, Jackie Johnson; ‘Star Behind the Bar’ is an informal introduction to one of our pub licensees; and there are ‘LocAle updates’ on our pubs that stock locally-sourced real ales from breweries within a designated radius.

‘Bru News’ consists of up-to-date reports by CAMRA Brewery Liaison Officers on all of the breweries in our county, while ‘Spotlight on Breweries', as seen below, is for more specific, in-depth news items.

If you are unable to pick up a hard copy of the Sussex Drinker in our usual numerous outlets, a PDF version is accessible at the following CAMRA branch web sites:

Monday, 14 November 2011

A Holy Alliance

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.

Suffolk brewer St Peter’s has crossed the county border into Norfolk to team up with the English Whisky Co., England’s first registered whisky distilling company for over a century. Their production facility, St George’s Distillery, is based in the historic Breckland area of Norfolk, just thirty miles from St. Peter’s. The above photograph, taken at St George’s Distillery, shows David Fitt, Head Distiller at St George’s, and Mark Slater, Head Brewer at St Peter’s Brewery.

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.

Commenting on the new product, Andrew Nelstrop, Managing Director of the English Whisky Co. said “we are delighted to be working with St Peter’s Brewery to develop this excellent new and differentiated product. With St Peter’s penetration in worldwide markets, we hope that this new produce with also introduce customers to the English Whisky Co. and our range of whisky products." Colin Cordy, Managing Director of St Peter’s added that “in our consumer trials we have had a very positive reaction to The Saints Whisky Beer. Moreover, distributors in our thirty-two export markets are very excited about this addition to the St Peter’s award-winning range of beers.”

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 and will be sold at St George’s on-site shop and on their webshop

Here endeth the press release; back to my own voice. I’m fond of single malt whisky and found very pleasantly enjoyable the delicate balance of St Peter’s beer and St George’s whisky in The Saints Whisky Beer. I can appreciate that the point of the press release is to promote this particular St Peter’s product and, hence, the holy alliance with St George’s, but I thought that Suffolk Smokey deserved more than its two lines, almost as an afterthought at the end of the release. Strong flavours, such as the smoked bacon prominence of Suffolk Smokey, really appeal to me. For further information on the beers please contact:

St Peter’s Brewery: Colin Cordy
Tel: 01986 782322

English Whisky Company: Andrew Nelstrop
Tel: 01953 717939