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IHBC South East Branch has put together this guide to Brighton’s pubs for your enjoyment during your visit to Brighton for the IHBC’s Annual School.
For regular Annual School attendees, you will be aware that Brighton 2020 is the last chance to have a good pint with some of your fellow IHBC members for a while as next year we will be heading to whisky country (sorry Aberdeen!). So, in order to make the most of your experience, why not visit some of these excellent pubs?
Aside from the ever present Doombar, the most regular ale in Brighton is Harvey’s which is based in Lewes. Rarer across the rest of the country, but definitely worth trying, is the Dark Star Brewery which was until recently based in Sussex and started in the Evening Star pub.
The is only a rough guide based on David Muggleton’s Brighton Pubs and should not be seen as a definitive list. Should you find any others that hit the spot do let us know!
Image:’Mrs Pitt, wife of the landlord, pours a pint of beer for a naval officer in the saloon bar of ‘The Cricketers’ pub in Brighton during 1944′ – Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer [Public domain]
1. The Grand Central, 29-30 Surrey Street, BN1 3PA (Locally Listed)
Located directly outside the station, this rather interestingbuilding was rebuilt by Tamplins Brewery in 1925. The currentpub was likely designed by Arthur Packam, whose name issynonymous with many Brighton pubs. Evidence of the formerinternal divisions in the building can be seen from the outside.The pub is owned by Fullers so the beer is pretty reliable.
Image: Grand Central, Brighton – Hassocks5489 [CC0]
2. Prince Albert, 48 Trafalgar Street, BN1 4ED (Grade II)
One of Brighton’s most infamous pubs, the Prince Albert has featured a number of musical performances over time and also a ‘Trickster Dog’ made famous in the 1930s for being able to lay a table for lunch and call last orders. On the west elevation is a replica of the Banksy piece ‘Kissing Coppers’, the original of which was sold in 2014.
3. Lord Nelson Inn, 36 Trafalgar Street, BN1 4ED (Unlisted) – Recommended!
Probably the best pub for Harvey’s Brewery if you are on the lookout for Sussex beers. Dating from 1848, the pub has been altered a fair bit but still has some rather nice features.Definitely worth a visit.
Image: Nigel Cox / Brighton: Lord Nelson Inn
4. Evening Star, 55-56 Surrey Street, BN1 3PB (Unlisted) – Also Recommended!
If you like beer, go to this pub. A micro-brewery was installed here in 1994 and the Dark Star Brewery was born. The pub always has an excellent selection of beers on tap. A pub is first recorded in this location in 1854 and was joined to number 55 by 1868.
5. The Basketmakers Arms, 12 Gloucester Road, BN1 4AD (Unlisted)
Probably the best pub for Harvey’s Brewery if you are on the lookout for Sussex beers. Dating from 1848, the pub has been altered a fair bit but still has some rather nice features.Definitely worth a visit.While it may appear another Fuller’s on the outside, the Basketmakers Arms is something of a Brighton institution. No big television screens here or loud music, but what is essentially a decent pub that also does good food.
6. The Heart and Hand, 75 North Road, BN1 1YD (Locally Listed)
Remodelled in 1934 by Stavers Hessell Tiltman, the Heart in Hand has a wonderful early 20th century appearance with gorgeous green tiling and glazed windows. A rather unusual jukebox in the corner is definitely worth a look.
Image: Heart and Hand, Brighton – Hassocks5489 [CC0]
7. Ye Olde King and Queen, 13-17 Marlborough Place, BN1 1UB (Grade II) – Recommended (for the architecture)
This is a sports bar and may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, the architecture is worth a visit as it one of a small number of pubs in Sussex recognised by CAMRA as being of national importance. Built in an extravagant neo-vernacular style by local firm Clayton and Black, work began in 1931 and includes a barrel-vaulted ceiling in an upstairs suite.
Image: Hassocks5489 [Public domain]
8. Craft Beer Co, 22-23 Upper North Street, BN1 3FG (Unlisted) – Recommended (for beer and cider)
Not every pub in Brighton is a traditional boozer, which is the case with the Craft Beer Co. With 22 keg lines, 5 cask pumps and hundreds of bottled beers, the Craft Beer Co is worth a visit if you want a break from looking at historic buildings (if such a thing is possible). Also serves rather good food.
9. Brighton Beer Dispensary, 38 Dean Street, BN1 3EG (Unlisted) – Recommended (for beer and cider)
Formerly the Prince Arthur pub, the Brighton Beer Dispensary is probably the biggest rival for the Craft Beer Co.If you’re not sure which one to go to,fortunately they’re a three minute walk from one another!
10. Quadrant 12-13 North Street, BN1 3GJ (Grade II)
Erected in 1851, the Quadrant has a number of Victorian heritage features including the ‘Tom Bovey, Wine & Spirit Importer’ sign which dates from when Bovey became the landlord in 1899. The building makes the most of an unusual sloping corner site and the counter, ceiling and bar back are all notable features. The pub is recognised as being of regional importance by CAMRA.
Image: The Quadrant Brighton – Hassocks5489 [CC0]
11. Colonnade Bar, 10 New Road, BN1 1UF (Grade II*)
Forming part of the Theatre Royal, the Colonnade Bar is an unusual public house which now specialises in gin. The frontage was designed by Charles Clayton (of Clayton and Black) in 1894 and is very much of its period. Try and spot ‘Willie’, the automated mannequin who sits in the front window and is dressed for the theatre. The bar back is particularly impressive.
12. Royal Sovereign, 66 Preston Street BN1 2HE (Grade II)
Beginning life as a private residence, the Royal Sovereign became a pub in 1823.Evidence of the former subdivision can be seen in the art nouveau ‘Saloon Lounge’ and ‘Hotel Bar’ windows outside.The single storey extension to the south was added in 1886 and has an etched window describing it as the ‘Hotel Shades’, meaning it was at one point a separate self-contained drinking bar apportioned to a hotel.
13.The Victory, 6 Duke Street, BN1 1AH(Grade II)
Recently refurbished, the present Victory building dates from the early 19th century with a ground floor of attractive glazed tiles dating from a refurbishment of 1911 by Tamplins Brewery. The main bar area retains an original bar back and counter.
14. Seven Stars, 27 Ship Street, BN1 1AD (Grade II)
The current Seven Starts dates from 1897 after it was sold by the West Street Brewery who had owned the establishment since at least 1785. The building was designed by Clayton Botham and was originally intended to have 8 griffins symmetrically arranged around the top floor. The pub has an impressive ceiling which dates from the 1897 refurbishment, although the interior has been altered.
15. Lion and Lobster, 24 Sillwood Street, BN1 2PS (Unlisted)
Originally opened as the Olive Branch in 1839, the Lion and Lobster is an unusual pub described by its owners as a ‘rabbit warren of nooks and crannies’ crammed with an eclectic mix of fascinating curios. The pub does a range of rather good food, so if you are staying an extra couple of nights it may be worth visiting for dinner/lunch.
16. Regency Tavern, 32-34 Russell Square, BN1 2EF(Grade II)
This Shepherd Neame entity is an early 19th century building,possibly built as a house originally. It is supposed to have been called Gate because it operated as a toll for the Regency Colonnade, although this is a bit dubious. Arthur Packham remodelled the interior in 1938, although little of this now survives.
Image: The Voice of Hassocks derivative work: SilkTork [Public domain]
17. Druids Head, 9 Brighton Place, BN1 1HJ (Grade II)
Supposedly named after a ring of stones excavated from the Old Steine – part of a Druids’ Circle (we’ll leave CIfA to debate that one), the building most likely dates from the late 18th century and was previously a private dwelling. Popular rumours are that two blocked up cellar passages lead to the beach and the Royal Pavilion to aid smuggling and that the flagstones originate from a local monastery; although I’d be hesitant to put either in a Heritage Statement.
Image: The Voice of Hassocks – Own work, Public Domain
18.The Cricketers, Black Lion Street, BN1 1ND (Grade II)– Recommended!
Excellent ale and architecture. What more could you want? Rumoured to be the oldest licensed premises in the city, the building is said to date to the late seventeenth century. The adjacent stone and flint building forms part of the former stables and is used as a drinking area. The pub contains a rather fantastic bar back of 1886.
Image: The Voice of Hassocks – Own work, Public Domain
19. Hop Poles, 13 Middle Street, BN1 1AL (Unlisted)
One of the closest pubs to the Metropole, this is a nice little pub that does good food. A pub has been on this site since 1799 and was originally known as the Spotted Dog.
20. Queensbury Arms, Queensbury Mews, BN1 2FE
Previously known as The Hole in the Wall – which may derive from off licences ales served through a hatch, literally a hole in the wall – this is Brighton’s smallest pub and is closest to the Brighton Metropole.