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, thewatchmakersarms@gmail.com / www.facebook.com/thewatchmakersarms

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

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