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:
Sometimes you can spend an evening in a bar, and that perfect combination of atmosphere, company, music and refreshment leaves you thinking that perhaps you’ve slipped inside a neat pocket in the velvet of time, and that you’ll never find your way back home again. The Black Dove, on a busy Kemptown crossroads, is the kind of place where evenings like that can easily happen. The rattle of the bartender’s cocktail shaker, the chatter of the crowded room, and the crackle of needle on vinyl, transport you to a modern day speakeasy that can put the rest of the world on hold.
The Black Dove is famous for its eclectic DJs and its wonderful cocktails. And with a quote from Garrett Oliver on their website, and a choice of some fine ales both on tap and in bottles, you can guarantee they know a thing or two about beer too.
Like a rich spread of Marmite across the hot buttered toast of the city’s beer scene, BrewDog Brighton opened its doors in August 2015. Love it or hate it, BrewDog has shaped the face of craft beer in ways we thought unimaginable only a decade ago, and the Brighton outpost appears to be influenced as much by the spirit of the city as it is by the head office up in Ellon. Yes, it has the urgent industrial feel of BrewDogs across the world, but it neither brashly dominates nor quietly acquiesces, and maintains an independent spirit and a diverse outlook, supporting the city’s beer scene and regularly showcasing the very best of local brewing.
In common with all BrewDog bars, the staff are amongst the most knowledgeable you’ll find and can guide you through the 30-tap menu with ease. And if you sit in a booth, you can even press a button for table service. What a time to be alive!
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.
If Harvey’s beer is your tipple of choice then The Lord Nelson – appropriately situated near the top of Trafalgar Street – is your spiritual home.
One of Harvey’s managed pubs, this is their flagship venue in the city. And, although you can pick up a pint of Harvey’s Best Bitter in a large number of pubs in Brighton & Hove, you won’t come across such a wide range of regular and seasonal brews in one place. So pull up a chair, settle yourself down, and prepare to sample beers from a brewery founded at a time when Horatio still had both his arms.
The Lord Nelson, 36, Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4ED
01273 695872 http://www.lordnelsonbrighton.co.uk
Facebook – The Lord Nelson Inn
Twitter – @LordNelsonBN1