Martin Cooper focuses on Sussex to see how pubs and brewers are diversifying so we’re not short of cider and beer
In the first article in this series I focused on Hampshire and Surrey, looking at ways pubs and brewers in those counties are diversifying operations as the traditional routes to market are blocked by the lock-down.
This time I’ll look at God’s own county, Sussex, with apologies to Yorkshire! The craft brewing scene has exploded in Sussex, strongly led from the early days by Dark Star, which began in the basement of The Evening Star in Brighton. Here are just a few of the brewers making sure people in their area can still enjoy a beer despite the pubs being shut.
Bedlam Brewery was founded in 2011 and raised £500,000 on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube in 2016, which enabled the company to build a brewery at the foot of the South Downs, in Plumpton Green. The site is solar-powered, while spent grain and hops feed local farm animals.
The company is offering free home delivery across Sussex for a minimum order of 48 cans or bottles. As long as you order beer, you can add gin and tonic and wine to your order.
Bedlam states on its website: “We are helping our community where we can and, if you require any urgent provisions, let us know and we’ll endeavour to help out.”
Bison Beer is a bar, bottle shop and brewery brand based in Brighton and Hove that stocks a huge range of craft beer from around the world with a keen interest in the Sussex beer scene.
The independent company, founded by Jack Cregan and Nick Vardy, opened its debut bottle shop in Brighton in 2015 before expanding to Hove with a bar/bottle shop hybrid. The company was back across the border in 2018 to open a bar, kitchen and hideout in Brighton’s North Laine.
The company offers a beer delivery service in Brighton and Hove through Deliveroo as well as a free same-day courier service in the city. A nationwide delivery service is also available, which is free for orders of £60 and above.
Andy Hepworth operates his eponymous brewery in Pulborough and was once the youngest head brewer in England.
The company has launched a ‘beer drive-thru’ during the lock-down. Customers can call the brewery to order and drive to the site to collect. You open the boot and brewery staff will fill it with your beer – or local cider, wine, gin, jam or chutney.
You’ll need to give them your car registration to ensure no-one blags your beery swag. Cask ale can be supplied in two and four-pint containers, while Hepworth also offers mini-kegs.
The company is also offering free delivery within a ten-mile radius of the brewery, with a minimum order of two cases or 18 pints of draught beer. Between a ten and 20-mile radius, there’s a £5 delivery charge.
Obviously, this is a mere microcosm of what’s on offer in Sussex. Why not carry out an online beer hunt in your area?
Get it before it’s gone!
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