Thursday, 17 December 2015

Brighton Pubs Book: Preorder Your Copy Now!

I have been silent on here for the past two months because I've been focused on finishing this book. The expected publication date is not until mid-March 2016 but feel free to browse the publishers web site in the meantime and even preorder a copy!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Havant Brewery for Sale: No Time Wasters, No Time to Lose

Have just received this and am passing it on verbatim:

Thursday 22nd October 2015

*****Important Announcement****

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we have to announce that due to Mike’s recent surgery we are no longer able to continue to run the Brewery.

We have tried to secure the future of the Brewery but unfortunately we have only attracted time wasters and dreamers, the most recent has just pulled out at the eleventh hour.

So we are in the process of selling our existing stock and when that is gone we will close.

We both would like to thank you for your unwavering support over the past 6 ½ years. It’s been a great ride and we have met interesting and fantastic people over that time.

Anyone interested in purchasing the brewery please contact us.

That’s all for now folks
Mike & Caroline
Caroline Charlton
The Havant Brewery
02392 476067

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Rowfant House Winter Beer Festival, 14th and 15th November

Enjoy a weekend of beer at the beautiful Rowfant House, Crawley. With its own adjoining chapel, the historic house has been trading as a function and wedding venue since the 1960s. Although often described as an Elizabethan manor house, it is, in fact, a mixture of 15th, 16th,18th and 19th century architecture, so skilfully and harmoniously blended that it is thought of as wholly Elizabethan. 

Rowfant House, Wallage Lane, Rowfant, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 4NG,

The event is sponsored by Kissingate Brewery,

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Kissingate Brewery Octoberfest, Saturday 24th October

The Kissingate brewery annual Octoberfest is on Saturday 24th October starting at 11.00 am and finishing at 8.00 pm - ish. It is just a celebration of all things we love about winter! There will be live acoustic music from 'One for the Road'. Bluegrass singer and banjo man Alex Bondonno will create the sounds of mountain music. The Black Border Morris dancers will be entertaining us, too. We'll have birds of prey with a demonstration and talk during the afternoon.

The barbecue starts at 1.00 pm and ends service at 5.00 pm. Of course, there will be plenty of snacks available until late. The beer list is yet to be decided. However, we plan to have twelve casks on stillage including two Kissingate surprises! As usual we'll have a wide choice of other drinks to enjoy including cider, perry, wine and soft drinks.

For more information please call 01403 891335 or mail us:

Kissingate Brewery
Pole Barn
Church Lane Farm Estate
Church Lane
Lower Beeding
West Sussex
RH13 6LU

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The North Laine Brewhouse launches #BrewedInBrighton

The North Laine Brewhouse, spiritual home of Brighton brewing and a thriving home-grown beer culture, is proud to announce the launch of #BrewedInBrighton. #BrewedInBrighton is a programme of events, promotions and happenings aimed at sharing their love and knowledge of both craft brewing and Brighton itself. It will run from August 2015 well into 2016 celebrating all aspects of Brighton life and have an integral social media campaign and competitions with a host of prizes.

#BrewedInBrighton starts in August with a series of Meet the Brewer evenings, beginning on the 14th of September, where beer aficionados, home brewers and anyone who wants to know how good beer is made can come along to hear about the process, tour the North Laine Brewhouse microbrewery and sample the wares while receiving a masterclass in brewing from the North Laine’s head brewers.

In September The North Laine will host the #BrewedInBrighton Oktoberfest. With a range of specially brewed North Laine beers alongside old favourites and specially commissioned brews from a host of other local brewers, the weekend of the 25th and 26th of September will be a celebration of all that is good in Brighton brewing with a German beer hall twist: foaming steins, fancy dress, oompah music and more.

November will see the #BrewedInBrighton Pop Up Record Shop starting on the 7th of November, bringing the finest in vintage and contemporary vinyl to The North Laine and a chance to try new seasonal beers from their Brewmasters.

In January The North Laine is extremely excited to announce the #BrewedInBrighton Music Weekender, three days of live music from established artists, up-and-comers and all flavours of Brighton sound curated by local record labels. Special offers, special brews and competitions will make this one not to miss.

With plenty more events to announce and a whole load more besides, #BrewedInBrighton will showcase and celebrate all that’s great about

About The North Laine Brewhouse:

The North Laine Brewhouse is a pub and microbrewery in the heart of Brighton’s North Laines. It serves a wide array of quality beers brewed on site, other local brews and craft beers from around the world. Since opening it has become a hub not just for beer lovers but those seeking out its quality home-cooked food, regular quiz nights, live music and lively atmosphere. The North Laine is on Facebook: Twitter @NorthLainePub and its website is

About Laine’s:

Since opening its first pub – Brighton’s influential Mash Tun in 1996 – The Laine Pub Company has expanded to 47 creative, individual pubs, 39 of which are in Brighton, making it the dominant operator in the city.

For press enquiries and further information on The North Laine Brewhouse please contact Mark Teale at Me:Mo Interactive; Tel: +44 (0) 20 3651 5000

Friday, 11 September 2015

2015 Isle of Wight Classic Buses, Beer and Walks Weekend, 17th-18th October

Following the great success of the inaugural 2014 event, the IW branch of CAMRA and the IW Bus Museum are joining forces again to present the 2015 Isle of Wight Classic Buses, Beer and Walks Weekend, on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th October 2015.

Since the 2014 event, the IW Bus Museum has moved premises to the old Southern Vectis bus depot in Park Road, Ryde. However, whilst the new building has a superb new display hall, side displays, and its own café and toilets, external space is at a premium. This means the event operations will be split between the museum at Ryde and the car park on Newport Quay, with a shuttle service running regularly between the two locations.

In addition to the shuttle service linking Ryde and Newport, a revised network of seven Beer and Buses routes has been prepared and IW CAMRA representatives have been busy signing up pubs for this year’s event. New for 2015 is an enhanced service to the West Wight area, with pubs in Yarmouth, Shalfleet and Calbourne added to the map, and we have also managed to add a route serving pubs in Sandown and Shanklin Esplanade, too.

Information updates for the event can be found either on our website,, or on Facebook by typing “Isle of Wight Beer and Buses Weekend 2015”. Programmes including timetables will be sold via the website from August onwards.

Please come along and support the event!

Back Story

In 2013 Paul and Sheila Sheldon moved from Sheffield to the Isle of Wight and joined the local branch of CAMRA. They invited branch membership secretary, Tim Marshall to visit them to show him Paul's collection of pub memorabilia. Tim was intrigued by a photo of a vintage bus. Paul explained that periodically the bus would travel round Sheffield stopping off at a selected group of pubs, each of which would put on something special. Coincidentally, only two weeks previously his friend (and fellow bass guitarist) Ben had shown him a photograph of a vintage bus that he had just bought. Tim phoned Ben and suggested that they stage something similar on the Isle of Wight. Ben contacted some fellow bus enthusiasts and the idea grew and grew. What started as an idea for one bus and a handful of pubs ended up with over 50 buses and 30 pubs. Over 2,000 passengers took part; this year we expect even more.

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:

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

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 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.



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, 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, or, 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).

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Woking Beer Festival, 6th-7th September 2015

I’ve been asked by friends from the Surrey/Hants Borders Branch of CAMRA to promote their 22nd Woking Beer Festival, to be held in Woking Leisure Centre on 6th-7th November 2015. Tickets priced at £10 (includes programme and festival glass) go on sale on Monday 24th August from the Leisure Centre, tel 01483 771122. CAMRA members get a free pint (up to 5.0% ABV) on presenting their current membership card at the membership stand. Over three sessions, Friday evening, Saturday Lunchtime and Saturday evening, the festival will feature over 70 beers with all being available at all sessions (quality permitting).

A wide range of ciders and perries will be available along with our Foreign Beer Bar. There is also the opportunity to see Len Rawle at the Wurlitzer organ - you can even sing along to favourites such as Jerusalem, Rule Britannia, etc! Further details and staffing forms on website

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Portsmouth CAMRA Beerex, 4th-5th September 2015

For the second year in a row the Portsmouth and South East Hants branch of CAMRA will be holding their Portsmouth Beerex at the University of Portsmouth Student Union building, Cambridge Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2EF. There will be an extensive drinks list including over 100 different drinks available; LocAle, ale from small UK breweries, traditional cider and perry, international bottled beers and perhaps a few surprises or two.

The event is being held on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th September 2015.

Session times are:

Friday 4th September
Midday to 4.30pm £5, this is a quiet session with no live music
6.30pm to 11pm £8

Saturday 5th September
11.30am to 4.30pm £8
6.30pm to 11pm £6

The ticket price includes entry, festival guide and commemorative glass.
CAMRA members can claim free drinks tokens from the CAMRA membership stand at the festival.

For more information including tickets purchase please visit the festival website:

Friday, 19 June 2015

Friends of the Froth Blowers at the Watermill Vat

In my role as a professional lecturer I speak most of the time to a captive rather than captivated audience. When I address a freely-invited group who, afterwards, in some small way, show their appreciation, it is most flattering. But in my view the best accolade that any speaker can receive is when someone is stimulated enough by the material to do something constructive in consequence. In October 2013, as part of the Lewes October Feast, I gave a talk at the John Harvey Tavern about Ye Ancient Order of Froth Blowers (AOFB), a beer-drinking, charitable, voluntary organisation of the interwar period. A couple of people did confess to me afterwards that, for at least the first ten minutes, they had thought the subject-matter to have been a spoof; but the story of the AOFB did entertain a certain Mr. Bob Oliver (pictured standing in the final photograph of this post) enough for him to go out and form his own Friends of the Froth Blowers branch on the basis of it.

The Friends of the Froth Blowers at the Watermill Vat held their inaugural meeting in November 2013 at the Watermill, Leylands Road, Worlds End, Burgess Hill (pictured below). They now have full and associate members who are keen to keep alive the memory of the AOFB, founded in 1924 by ex-serviceman Mr Bert Temple, in conjunction with eminent surgeon Sir Alfred Fripp as a way of raising funds for the latter’s “Wee Waifs” charities for deprived and invalid children. Branch meetings took place in pubs, clubs and hotels, humorously referred to as “Vats”, where beer was drunk in jovial accordance with rites, rituals and regalia of a spoof Fraternity Organisation or Masonic Lodge. By the time of the AOFB’s demise, in 1931, an astounding £100,000 had been secured for charity. 

The Watermill Vat were pleased to attend the annual plaque wetting of the AOFB on 10th May 2014 at what was the premier Vat No. 0, Swan Inn, Fittleworth, West Sussex. The £60 raised was donated to their locally supported charity, The St Peter & St James Hospice. Since forming they have been able to obtain the following original AOFB artifacts and merchandise: Member’s Booklet No. 345957, with an address in Hampstead; Blaster and Tornado badges plus a couple of branded playing cards; all full members have AOFB cuff links, while a female associate member is the proud owner of a Fairy Belle wristlet. They all have a copy of David Woodhead and Ian Brown’s (2012) The Zestful Gallopers, a full history of the AOFB.

For detail of their future meetings, both in and out of the Watermill, check the following Facebook pages:

Froth Blowers at the Watermill Vat Burgess Hill.!/frothblowerswatermillvat?fref=ts.

Froth Blowers at Sussex Vats

Information on the history of the AOFB is available at


Thursday, 28 May 2015

19th South Downs Real Ale & Cider Festival, 19th-20th June

Organised and run by the Brighton & South Downs Branch of CAMRA, the 19th South Downs Real Ale & Cider Festival will take place at the usual venue, Lewes Town Hall, on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th June 2015. There will be around 90 cask beers for you to sample, along with a range of bottled beers, ciders and perry. Non alcoholic drinks will also be available, along with a range of hot food and snacks, including vegetarian options supplied by local firm Circa Events. The festival will as usual be music free.

All sessions will be admission by ticket only. Tickets will be on sale from 1 May at the Gardener’s Arms, Harveys Brewery Shop and the Brewers Arms, Lewes, and the Evening Star, Brighton. 

Alternatively, please apply by post to: South Downs Beer Festival Tickets, 139 Elm Grove, Brighton, BN2 3ES, stating session required and enclosing a SAE and cheque, payable to “South Downs Beer & Cider Festival”.

The ticket prices are:

Friday 19th June 11.00 - 15.00 £4.00

Friday 19th June 17.00 - 22.30 £6.50

Saturday 20th June 11.00 - 18.00* £5.00

*or until the beer runs out.

Customers will receive a free festival glass very kindly sponsored by Harveys Brewery, and a programme with tasting notes. The festival always receives a great deal of support from Harveys Brewery. This year they are celebrating their 225th anniversary and this will be reflected on the glass and by a special brew! In addition, CAMRA members will receive £2.00 in beer tokens per session on production of their membership card. We have plans for one-off brews and ‘first available’ beers at this event.

This year’s charity is SERV Sussex (Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers), who provide nighttime transportation of blood, blood products and other urgent medical items for NHS hospitals across Sussex. Please give generously.

The venue - Lewes Town Hall, Fisher Street entrance, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2Q5 - is easy to find. From the railway station turn right, climb the hill to the traffic lights, cross over and it is on the right. The town boasts a number of excellent pubs that are well worth seeking out if you have the time, or indeed the capacity.

The local CAMRA branch website is

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Science of Beer, The Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux, 20th June

This Blog would like to draw your attention to a unique place in Sussex to enjoy some real ale and a homemade curry on a lovely summer’s evening - The Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux, Saturday 20th June from 7.30pm-midnight.

In 1990 The Royal Greenwich Observatory closed its doors at Herstmonceux and moved to Cambridge, leaving the historic telescopes behind. Five years later the Equatorial Group came back to life as The Observatory Science Centre, under the aegis of Science Projects. An extensive programme of repair and upgrading of the buildings and telescopes was completed in 2004 with the aid of a substantial grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. It is now a Grade II* listed monument. Along side the historic telescopes there are over 100 interactive hands-on exhibits and exhibitions all available on our Science of Beer evening.

This Science of Beer evening is for adults only and will combine a fascinating talk with some fabulous fun demonstrations all about the process of brewing beer with the chance to sample some local brew! All this plus a curry AND a voucher to sample a free beer of your choice (soft drinks and wine are also available). Vegetarian options are available but we are unable to offer alternatives to the curry.

If the weather is good then there will also be an opportunity to look through the Centre's fantastic historic telescopes at some fascinating night sky objects including VENUS, JUPITER and even SATURN! There will be an opportunity to buy other beers from the brewers but please bring cash with you as credit card transactions will not be available.

Numbers are limited to 80, so book early to secure your place. NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN

The Observatory Science Centre
Wartling Road
East Sussex
BN27 1RN
Location Co-ordinates: 50.868585, 0.348961
Tel: 01323 832731
Fax: 01323 832741

Friday, 15 May 2015

Crawley Beer & Cider Festival, 5th-7th June

Crawley Beer & Cider Festival

5th - 7th June

Crawley Civic Hall

Fri  05 June 5.00 pm - 11.00 pm £6 entry
Sat 06 June 11.00 am - 11.00 pm £7 entry
Sun 07 June 11.00 am - 3.00 pm Free entry

Tickets will be available on the door
Sorry no under 18s can be admitted, proof of age / I.D may be required

40+ beers , 10 ciders and perries plus more!

£1 entry discount for CAMRA members

Beers from just £3.00 per pint!

Dear CAMRA friends

Please tell your branch members about this year's Crawley Beer Festival in our exciting new venue with a discount for CAMRA members! Perks for volunteer staff are even better with free beer and food on offer! We aim to have tokens instead of cash. Most beers will be from local microbreweries and cider farms and will be available free to workers.

I have some exciting news! We are moving from Three Bridges FC to Crawley Civic Hall, The Boulevard, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 1UZ, next to the Town Hall and easily reached by train (Crawley station) and bus. We will have an outside marquee and hot food. We will not have music in the evening but hope that Brighton Road and their friends can play for us again on Saturday afternoon.

Gary Lucas is busy running events at his Kissingate Brewery so I will be joined this year by Phil Shoebridge, landlord at the Crown Inn, Turners Hill. Rest assured that we will have the excellent Kissingate beers on sale as well as all the eight local brewery beers and many favourites as well as ciders and perries.

We will again be advertising in Sussex Drinker and offering a discount on entry to CAMRA members. £2 off entry vouchers will also be available at the Crown, Turners Hill and Beer Essentials, Horsham. Both of these are worth stopping at to enjoy a pint or two!

The opening times will be:

Thu 04 June 17.00 – 20.00 (-ish for set up only)
Fri 05   June 17.00 – 23.00 (open to all)
Sat 06  June 11.00 – 17.00 and 17.00 – 23.00 (All one session as per last year but staff choose afternoon or eve)
Sun 07 June 11.00 – 15.00 (free entry)

Once again, we would be glad to welcome you and would very much appreciate any help and assistance whether it be setting up, serving at the bar or front desk or taking down, either from yourselves or friends. We would welcome any suggestions as to how we can improve on last year, especially with regard to staffing. In return for your valued help, we will offer free beer to drink (so long as you can stand up!) and take away with you and also free hot food to staff. We will have a staff room for breaks.

Please let us know if you may be able to kindly help again this year or know of anyone who might like to help and, if not, we hope to see you on the other side of the bar! This is going to be the best ever Crawley Beer & Cider festival!

Best regards

Nigel Bullen (North Sussex CAMRA member, mobile: 07791 872289, email: and Phil Shoebridge.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Watchmaker's Arms, Hove

I avoid making a habit of hanging around outside pubs waiting for them to open, but I had taken an early train and arrived at my destination, the Watchmaker’s Arms, well ahead of schedule. Still, it leaves me with time enough to take a photo or two and salivate at the sight of the chalk board on display advertising the day’s ales. And I suppose it is some kind of accolade to be Brighton and Hove’s first micro pub’s first ever lunchtime customer.

The two couples behind the venture, Dave and Ali White and Rick and Ruth Evans, had originally planned to open a micro pub in Richardson Road, Hove, at the former York House Wines off-licence. That those plans did not come to fruition can now be seen as a blessing in disguise because the Watchmaker’s Arms is situated in a much more convenient location, a busy commercial parade just a hundred yards south of Hove railway station. 

I check my watch – just past 12noon – and hear the turn of the lock behind me. I enter a light and airy interior to receive a warm and friendly greeting. Five beers are on gravity dispense from a cool room behind the bar, prices from £3.60-£4.00 depending on strength. I begin with Top Notch Hop Festival followed by Naked Streaker, both in excellent condition. Still to come over the next days are offerings from Hurst, Brighton Bier, Downlands, Kissingate, Ilkley, Bristol Beer Factory and, all the way from Salford, a cask from First Chop Brewing Arm. 

For those who like real cider, there are three from Wobblegate. Buy a Growler for £2.50 and take some beer and cider home with you. Wine is also available. The pub is dog-friendly - the pooch-in-residence is called Muffin. And the pub gets its own name from the fact that it occupies premises that, a very, very long time ago, was a watchmaker’s.

The Watchmaker’s Arms, 84 Goldstone Villas, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 3RU, 01273 776307, /

Opening hours: Tue-Thur 12noon-2pm, 5-9pm; Fri 12noon-2pm, 5-11pm; Sat 12noon-11pm; Sun 12noon-3pm