Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Lewes Con Club Beer Festival 2014

Doors open 12noon Friday 28th November.

Friday evening AC/DC tribute band 8pm - 11.30pm (£5)

As the South of England’s leading tribute to rock gods AC/DC since 1995, Bad Boy Boogie respectfully cover tracks from both eras - the late great Bon Scott and current legend Brian Johnson

Saturday Doors open 12noon. 3.00pm meet the brewer session in the bar featuring Matt from Hastings Brewery and Mark from Goldmark.
Saturday evening Kast Off Kinks 8pm - 11.30pm (£15)

A welcome return by The Kast off Kinks who were put together in 1994 by Mick Avory, the original drummer of The Kinks, and feature long term members of the legendary band. Having played on a regular basis at Kinks Fan Club Meetings and Charity Events, they decided to take the band around the country to have fun and keep the music alive.

Sunday Doors open 12noon. 3pm Moonshine band play in the bar.

Fiona our new bar manager will be providing a range of home cooked food and snacks.

Our pick of some of the best Sussex Light and Dark beers.

Something for all tastes - chunky dark beers, a smooth old, our favourite Sussex mild and a range of hoppy and traditional ales.
We are pleased to feature two brand new beers from Langham Brewery.


Ballards - Midhurst Mild
Hammerpot - Bottle Wreck Porter
Harveys - Old Ale
Hastings – Porter
Kissingate - Six Crows
Langham - Ægir


Burning Sky - Aurora
Goldmark - Liquid Gold
Harveys - Best Bitter
Hastings - Single Hop Mosaic
Langham - Season
360 Degree Pale #39


Lewes Constitutional Club
139 High Street
East Sussex
United Kingdom

E-mail: info@lewesconclub.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 01273 473076

Lewes Constitutional Club, known to all as the Con Club, is a private club open daily to members and guests. Situated in the beautiful town of Lewes, county town of East Sussex, only 8 miles out of the city of Brighton and Hove, the Con Club has a large, spacious bar area, a professional music stage, a dining section and gardens. It is also the best live entertainment venue in Lewes!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Langham Ægir

The launch of Langham Brewery’s new beer, Ægir, takes place at this weekend’s Twickenham Beer Fest. This traditional, smooth, rich, malty, sweet, smouldering smoked Baltic Porter is named after the God of the ocean and King of the sea creatures, in Norse mythology.

A delicious dark beer with a tan head, it beautifully balances hop with caramel and liquorice malt flavours.

Ægir was also known for hosting elaborate parties for the Gods where he provided ale brewed in an enormous pot or cauldron.

His assistant brewers, the “Wave Maidens”, are his nine winsome daughters! Our ale is no myth!


Thursday, 2 October 2014

Wandering Goose Craft Beer, Real Ale and Cider Festival

It’s on now and over the weekend! - Worthing’s Craft Beer, Real Ale and Cider Festival, celebrating the first anniversary of the Wandering Goose. Nathan and his team will be serving beer from breweries such as Magic Rock, Wild Beer, London Fields, Bristol Beer Factory, Tiny Rebel and more! There is live music, DJ’s and Pop Up Kitchens throughout the weekend. This is a free event and not ticketed.

The Wandering Goose, 18a Marine Parade, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 3TP, tel 01903 203851.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Are YOU Bonkers for Conkers?

The 7th Annual Langham Brewery Conker Championship takes place at Langham Brewery, Langham Lane, Lodsworth, West Sussex (Find on Map) on Sunday 12th October 2014, from 12.00noon to 6.30pm.
  • Yummy hot food plus tea and cakes.
  • Great bar with traditional ales & cider.
  • Stalls.
  • Live music from Stanislauski’s Polka Band and other local musicians.
  • Steam rides.

In aid of Chestnut Tree Children’s Hospice.
Caring for over 280 children locally.

Registration starts at 12.00noon.

Two categories:
Junior (8-13)
for Langham Brewery Junior Plate.
Adult (14+)
for Langham Brewery Cup.
Entry fee £2.50 payable on registration at the event. Rules of the World Conker Championship will apply and the Umpire's decision will be final! All participants will be required to sign a written disclaimer.

Submit a pre-registration form at http://www.langhambrewery.co.uk/conkers

Match your skills against the pros, such as this man in the hat!

Bonkers for Conkers Logo

Monday, 15 September 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different

On Saturday 4th October the Friends of Broadwater & Worthing Cemetery http://www.fbwc.co.uk/ are holding a tour that might interest Sussex Drinker readers. Conducted John Vaughan, the tour tells the story of many of Worthing's publicans, who are buried in the vast cemetery, and the pubs they ran, many of which have long since closed. Meeting at 10.45 for an 11.00am start, the tour includes some of Worthing's more interesting past publicans, outlining their life stories and detailing their eventual demise.

The tour is free of charge, there is no need to book in advance but it is advisable to arrive fifteen minutes before the start time. The tour should last about one and a half hours, refreshments will be available, as well as a tour booklet. Also present will be the lads from http://www.worthingpubs.com/, staffing a stall showing photographs of Worthing Pub History, an occasion not to be missed. For something completely different meet at the Cemetery Chapels in South Farm Road, Worthing and find out that cemeteries can be entertaining!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Fundraiser Event at Long Man Brewery

The Long Man Brewery of Litlington, East Sussex has teamed up with the Curious Beer Club of Eastbourne to raise money for Eastbourne's fire damaged pier. The Brewery bosses, who grew up in Eastbourne have pledged all profits up to £10K from the sale of their Craft Pier beer to the Benevolent Fund set up to support businesses affected by the blaze.

The beer is a variation on the brewery's flagship Long Blonde beer, adding special ingredients including Phoenix hops. A fundraiser event at the Long Man Brewery, co-organised by the Curious Beer Club, will take place on Saturday 20th September, 2-5pm. 

CraftPierReturn coach from Eastbourne
Craft Pier charity beer*
Hog Roast
Live Music
Brewery Tour
Fundraiser event at
Long Man Brewery
£20 per person

(* 2 pints included. Other drinks and cash bar available – including soft drinks)
All profits from the event to Eastbourne Pier Benevolent Fund. Tickets only
available from The Dolphin Pub, South Street Eastbourne. After reserving your
tickets you must collect within 24h or they will go back on sale. Numbers
strictly limited.

The Long Man Brewery has pledged to donate up to £10,000 from sales profits of
Craft Pier to the Eastbourne Pier Benevolent Fund. This figure is in addition to
the money raised by this event. Email curiousbeerclub@gmail.com if you have any

Saturday 20th September (2-5pm)
Reserve tickets now​​
(Strictly limited)


See also  http://www.longmanbrewery.com/

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Portsmouth CAMRA Beerex, 5th-6th September

Portsmouth & South East Hampshire CAMRA present...

Portsmouth Beerex 2014

Hosted at the University of Portsmouth, Students' Union Building, Cambridge Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2EF. (Google Map)

Ticket includes:, entry, a half pint drink, festival glass and Beerex guide.

Tickets can be purchased on line at the festival website. http://portsmouthcamrabeerex.co.uk/
There are four sessions available to purchase (choice available via 'Add to Cart' button).
Friday 5th September 11.30am - 4.30pm £5 + booking fee
Friday 5th September 6.00pm - 11.00pm £10 + booking fee
Saturday 6th September 11.30am - 4.30pm £10 + booking fee
Saturday 6th September 6.00pm - 11.00pm £7 + booking fee

The event organisers are not posting out tickets but will have your name and tickets ready for you on arrival at the Beerex. If you have any further questions please send an email to info@portsmouthcamrabeerex.co.uk and we will be happy to help.

Beerex is for over 18's only and photo ID may be required for entry.

Please note, this event is not operated by the University of Portsmouth Students' Union (UPSU). UPSU are selling on behalf of an external organisation not linked to the UPSU or the University of Portsmouth. All enquiries should be directed to Portsmouth & South East Hampshire CAMRA.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Langham Brewery Open Day - Saturday 23rd August

 Langham Brewery is hosting a fabulous Open Day on Saturday 23rd August as part of the Madhurst festivities. It starts from 1 to 2pm with a CAMRA VIP preview of the mini-beer festival featuring eleven Langham Ales … including a BIG surprise! Doors are then open to the public from 2pm for a music and Morris Dancing extravaganza. Free entry…for charity…reasonable priced food …and excellent bar!!! http://www.langhambrewery.co.uk/

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Brighton Boozers: Battle of Trafalgar

It’s been four years since I penned something as work-a-day as a simple pub review. I used to turn them out them regularly for my free real ale and pub guide, The Quaffer, a paper-based fanzine that ran from 2004-10. Each issue covered a different area in Sussex, and the whole print run of up to 2000 copies was largely self-delivered by hand, via public transport, to pubs the length and breadth of the county. You might understand why my enthusiasm for pub reviews was pretty much exhausted by that process.

But the urge to do a few more occasional reviews has, for some reason, crept up on me again. When drinking in Brighton last Saturday I found myself making notes on the pubs and beers. And now, with the technology of the Internet, I can introduce the more far-flung followers of this Blog, from China, Turkey, Norway and the Ukraine, to some choice Brighton boozers. What they’ll make of it all, I don’t know. I find the very idea bizarre. But there we go.

I’ll start with the Battle of Trafalgar.

Take a sharp right out of Brighton Rail Station concourse and the pub is a short walk up the right hand side of the hill that is Guildford Road. A beerhouse/public house since at least 1855, it was owned by Tamplin & Sons from 1882 until that local brewery’s acquisition by Watneys. I believe it is now a free house. The 2014 CAMRA Good Beer Guide calls it a “quirky locals’ pub”, a description that I can’t really improve upon. The opened-out interior spacing is most odd and was obviously a number of separate rooms in the past. When entering through the only now usable door, on the left-side, a long, narrow area ahead of you leads down past the bar to a beer garden at the rear. The roomy side of the interior to your right extends well across and beyond the bar but goes behind it only for only a few yards to where there is an old, small, serving counter. Architectural plans for alterations of late 1952/early 1953, which reside in the county record office, might afford some clue to the original layout.

It is a comfortable environment with its naturally aged dark-stained bare boards, dados and counter. There are scrubbed tales, cushioned settles and an eclectic collection of prints, photographs and paintings, some of which reflect the nautical theme of the pub name. The five hand pumps on the bar offer on my visit the two permanent ales Fuller’s London Pride and Harveys Sussex Best Bitter alongside Timothy Taylor Landlord, Jennings Cocker Hoop, and Wye Valley HPA. The Battle of Trafalgar is one of the forty participating pubs of the Brighton & South Downs CAMRA Ale Trail 21. I collect a stamp (my twentieth so far) in my Ale Trail Passport for having a pint of Harveys (which, for those far-flung followers of this Blog, is brewed in nearby Lewes). The pub is LocAle accredited for always serving at least one locally-brewed real-ale in good condition. The beer quality is, in fact, excellent.

The Battle of Trafalgar, 34 Guildford Road, Brighton, BN1 3LW, tel. 01273 327997.

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 (www.tensheds.com). 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 http://www.aaa-camra.org.uk/wbf18

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: http://twickenham-fine-ales.co.uk/

It is also the Kissingate Brewery Spring Fest this Saturday 24th May: http://www.kissingate.co.uk/Events.html

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 http://www.langhambrewery.co.uk/find
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, simongoodale@heardandseen.com, 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: http://www.flavourtastings.co.uk/events/

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 muggletondavid@yahoo.co.uk

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

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

V.A.T. ... Venues Against Taxation!

In the last four years beer duty has risen by a gruelling 42%. The publicans of South Street, Eastbourne are joining together to demonstrate to their customers what an enormous difference this relentless increase makes to the cost of a pint. They are offering pints of real ale at the duty free price, for an entire day on Tuesday 18th March 2014, the day before the annual budget.

Rachel Ainsley, landlady at the Dolphin explains that “although the scrapping of the Beer Duty Escalator and One Pence Reduction in the 2013 budget was greatly received and helped boost confidence and employment in the hospitality industry, it cannot stop there. We are calling for the government to freeze beer duty in the upcoming budget; it is essential for the future of our industry.”

After years of duty increases the UK pays the second largest amount of beer duty in Europe: a startling third of the cost of a pint of beer goes on duty. In 2012 beer drinkers in the UK paid 43% of all EU beer duty, yet we are still seeing record numbers of pub closures each week. British beer sales currently support almost one million jobs and contribute more than £22 billion a year in taxes. The five pubs involved, Bibendum, the Dolphin, Dew Drop Inn, Maxims, and the Eagle, between them employ sixty-five people and contribute to the local economy, as well as support local commerce and charities. A freeze in beer duty this year would secure an additional 2,400 jobs in the industry nationally.

The great British pub is at the heart of a community; they bring people together, provide a safe environment for supervised drinking and play a unique role in our social lives and national identity. The Publicans of South Street, Eastbourne, believe that keeping down the cost of beer and making it affordable is the best way for the Government to support our pubs.






Wednesday, 12 March 2014

CAMRA Spring Equinox Festival: Horsham Drill Hall, 22nd-23rd March

Tickets for the first CAMRA North Sussex Equinox Beer & Cider Festival are selling well. The proven excellent beer festival venue is the Drill Hall, Denne Road, Horsham, RH12 1JF, which is in the town centre about a twenty minute walk from the station. Tickets are available from Beer Essentials, the Malt Shovel and Kings Brewhouse, all in Horsham. Postal applications (cheques payable to CAMRA North Sussex) to The Treasurer, 19 Felbridge Avenue, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 7BD.

The beer list is almost finalised, with over fifty to choose from. All six of our excellent branch brewers will be featured, plus other local favourites, a number of the new breweries that have opened in the few months, and some gems from further afield. A healthy mix of winter and spring ales will be available, as you would expect on the weekend of the Spring Equinox. There will also be a great selection of local cider and perry. The more tickets we sell, the more beers we will be ordering, so if you have not bought your tickets yet, help us to get the beer order to over sixty.

Sessions are Saturday 12noon-4pm and 6-10pm, then Sunday 12noon-4pm. Tickets are £6 for the Saturday sessions, £5 for Sunday, and include a souvenir glass, plus a free pint for card-carrying CAMRA members. Hot and cold baguettes and snacks will be available at all sessions. A number of musicians are lined up to provide entertainment for the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon sessions. A £1 donation will be made by the branch to a local charity for any returned souvenir glasses, along with the value of any donated surplus tokens.

For more info, including a beer list visit http://www.northsussexcamra.org.uk/

Monday, 3 February 2014

Meet The Quaffer at Kissingate Brewery

I'm doing a talk on Crawley's 19th century brewing heritage at the Kissingate Brewery, Lower Beeding, on Saturday 15th March from 6pm.

It's a ticketed event with an opportunity to try Gary's superb beers direct from the cask at 1990s prices, a complimentary drink on arrival and a hot and cold buffet.

If you've never heard of Henry Holder, George Chantler and the Ockendens, come along and discover Crawley's little known brewing past.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Meet The Quaffer and Kissingate Brewery at the Jubilee Oak, Crawley

Meet the Brewer, Gary Lucas of Kissingate, and brewery historian David Muggleton (The Quaffer). Join us for an evening of great beer, banter, nibbles and a fascinating insight into the history of at least four 19th century breweries in Crawley. Quiz & prizes too! Wednesday 5th March from 8pm at the Jubilee Oak (JDW), 6 Grand Parade, Crawley, RH10 1BU, 01293 565335

Monday, 20 January 2014

'F' day for Firebird

'F' day for Firebird Brewing Company was 27th July 2013, when Bill King and Richard Peters started their first brew of their new venture at the Brickworks Brewery in Rudgwick, West Sussex. Originally friends from the Birmingham University School of Malting and Brewing, Bill and Richard met up again years later and the idea of Firebird soon rose from the ashes over a pint in a local pub. The name is in a nod to the continual regeneration of Bill King’s brewing heritage in the King & Barnes and, then, W.J. King breweries. Richard was originally a brewer with Courage. The new ten barrel brewery was constructed from a range of plant purchased, refurbished and assembled by Bill and Richard.

Firebird celebrates the traditions of the world’s great brewing centres. The 2013 launch beers were Heritage XX Best Bitter (4.0%), Paleface American Pale Ale (5.2%), Old Ale XXXX (4.5%) and Bohemia Pilsner Lager (4.8%). The New Year will see Richard and Bill brewing a pale beer using New Zealand single hop variety Pacific Gem, as well as a Weissbier, complete with the yeasty, zesty tones so typical of this Munich speciality. They'll follow this with plans to produce many seasonal ales and world classics including Porter, Alt Bier and Belgian Pale Ale.

Bill and Richard are already investing in new capacity with two new fermenters scheduled for delivery in January. The beers have been on sale locally at Rudgwick Social Club; The Mucky Duck, Tismans Common; The Sir Roger Tichbourne, Alford Bars; and The Chequers, Rowhook. They will also be available at the North Sussex CAMRA Spring Equinox Beer Festival, Horsham, 22nd-23rd March and, hopefully, at the Sussex CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival, Hove, 6th-8th March.

Firebird Brewing Company Ltd, Old Rudgwick Brickworks, Lynwick Street, Rudgwick, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 3DH, 01403 823180. www.firebirdbrewing.co.uk


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Ale and Hearty: Ale Tales Book and Exhibition


Project Update #9: Ale Tales book and exhibition

We haven't yet got our Ale Tales book back from the printers but we thought we would let you see the book online in the meantime to pique your interest. We really hope you like it!

You can see it here, and it is available in downloadable form too if you want to share it with friends:

You can also see some of the images from our Ale and Hearty exhibition which took place in the autumn, but which will be on display at our event next Saturday 18th January 2014.


Friday, 3 January 2014

Star Behind the Bar

Star is a doubly appropriate description of Lorna Brothers, for she is pictured behind the bar of the Dark Star Brewery Shop, Partridge Green, West Sussex.

When Lorna is not behind the bar she is most likely relaxing at home in her new log cabin. Not many people know that Laura is a keen mountain biker. She is a member of a mountain biking club that meets on Tuesdays.

Lorna never drank until she worked at Dark Star!