There are around thirty of the very best pubs, bars, bottle shops and restaurants taking part in Brighton & Hove Beer Week. These are the places where you can find the very best of what Brighton & Hove has to offer in terms of contemporary beer drinking. Each venue is coordinating exciting events to showcase the city’s vibrant beer and brewing culture.
The venues are spread right across Brighton – some a short stumble from the two main stations, others a little further afield. You’ve got ten days – so why not visit them all?
Brighton & Hove has a rich history of brewing. Around the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries there was a proliferation of breweries right across the city, including Tamplins, which was for a while the city’s largest, and was based at the Phoenix Brewery behind Richmond Terrace. As it did in many other cities, independent brewing declined with the rise of the ‘Big Six’ breweries. Tamplins itself was bought by Watneys and eventually disappeared altogether. But, this being Brighton & Hove, the independent brewing spirit never completely died and, even in the 1980s and 1990s, new breweries – like Kemp Town brewery (based at the Hand in Hand) and Dark Star (founded in the cellar of the Evening Star) – continued to open up.
The contemporary brewing scene within Brighton & Hove – like the city itself – is small but also diverse, innovative and award-winning. As with many other things, the city punches well above its weight in terms of the quality and choice of beer produced here.
Make sure you check out all the city’s breweries during Brighton & Hove Beer Week – that’s where you’ll find some of the freshest and tastiest beer in town! And look out for those Sussex breweries too – there will be some very big names in town for Beer Week!
Just click on the brewery’s name or scroll down to find more information:
When a community comes together to do good, sometimes really great things happen. The Bevy (The Bevendean Community Pub) is Brighton’s only cooperative pub, and the very first community-owned pub on a housing estate in the United Kingdom. This award-winning community resource is the result of years of commitment and hard work from a number of local people, and is beautifully captured in this short film.
As their tag-line says, The Bevy is so much ‘More than a Pub’. Amongst other things, it’s a resource for families and older people, an inspiration for all, and a place to get a great pint. Last year, The Bevy even partnered with local brewery, Holler, to brew an extra special beer – The Beast of Bevendean – a red rye IPA, which celebrated the eponymous creature rumoured to roam these parts.
In August 2017, Warren Carter, Chair of The Bevy Committee, spoke to the Fermentation Beer & Brewing Show on Radio Reverb about the history of The Bevy and what kind of welcome people can expect to find when they visit. Here’s some a clip:
“If you went in there on a Friday night, the place would be covered in dust from all the workies. And you could go round the pub and get a house built. You’ve got a sparky, you’ve got a plumber, you’ve got a gas fitter, you’ve got everything in that one boozer. And that’s what pubs are missing now. There’s nothing like it.”
That was how Brighton Beer Dispensary’s Cody reminisced about the pubs of his youth on a recent episode of Fermentation Beer & Brewing Radio. And this short phrase tells you a lot about his and fellow manager Jim’s approach towards running Brighton Beer Dispensary. It’s a rare but simple formula: all are welcomed, many by their first name, and warmth, good humour and affability replace that soulless anonymity that can often be found in city centre pubs.
Of course, beer takes centre stage, with nine keg lines and six well-kept casks providing a constantly changing selection. The tap-list, written somewhat appropriately using old-school chalk and board is an absolute joy, displaying clear descriptions and suggested serves along with very reasonable prices. Alongside that is another board featuring an impressive list of the big name tap takeovers planned for the coming year. And, as well as the beer, the Dispensary’s Sunday roasts – provided by Dizzy Gull – recently won the Best Sunday Lunch in Brighton for the second year running. It’s not surprising that the hashtag on their tweets is #wegotthis. They really have got this.
Hear more of that interview with Brighton Beer Dispensary’s Cody here:
Brighton Bier is the city’s biggest brewery, and Brighton Bierhaus – just a mile down the road from their fermentation tanks – is its tap room. With beer so fresh they can keg it and have it pouring within the hour, and staff always willing to talk you though the taps, this place has become a main fixture on the Brighton & Hove Beer scene barely a year since it opened. And, if you want to choose your pint before you arrive – or simply torment yourself with what you’re missing – you can check out ‘what’s pouring now’ from the comfort of your sofa.
Brighton Bier is truly rooted in its community. Earlier this year, they launched Mabiera, a 4% pale ale brewed specifically to raise funds for the ‘Save Madeira Terrace’ campaign. And, just before Christmas, Brighton Bierhaus held a ‘Day for the Greys’ during which they pledged 20% of their takings towards helping out a group who were crowdfunding to open a community pub.
They’re not afraid to do things differently because this is Brighton, this is Brighton Bier, and this is Brighton Bierhaus.
Sometimes, sitting on the pebbles with a tepid can of beer that’s been shaken about in the bottom of your bag just won’t do: you need to get off the beach and into a beer garden. The Brunswick, just a few metres from Hove seafront has a hidden gem of a sun-trapped garden, large enough to feel you’re still a part of the sunny day, but a world away from the dropped ice creams and smoking barbeques on the shingle.
The Brunswick is a free house, boasting nine rotating keg and four rotating cask lines. There’s a lot more than beer going on here – The Brunswick is also a music venue and presents regular comedy and theatre events – but beer plays a leading role. The pub holds two popular cask ale festivals every year, and has recently played host to recent tap takeovers from big hitters such as Little Earth Project and Tiny Rebel.
And if you like to think whilst you drink, The Brunswick is also home to an escape room – but, with all this going on, why would you ever want to escape?
You’re having a curry so you wash it down with a pint of macro lager, right? Wrong!
When she visited for Fermentation Beer & Brewing Radio, drinks writer and beer sommelier, Jane Peyton, described the Curry Leaf Café beer list as one of the most extensive she had seen in any restaurant, anywhere in the world. Divided into sections like a regular wine list, it covers wheat beers, porters, stouts, and sour beers in addition to the arguably more predictable IPAs and pilsners, The beers are chosen with care, and staff will help you match them perfectly to your food.
Curry Leaf Café has three sites in the city: the original café in the Lanes; a kiosk at Brighton Station, and Kemptown Kitchen in the east of the city. A good range of beer is available from all.
You can hear Rachida and Stewart from Curry Leaf Café talking to Emma Inch and Jane Peyton on Fermentation Beer & Brewing Radio right here: