All posts tagged: sussex

Last weekend was the 20th Sussex CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival

A 4 day event held at Hove town hall. A sell out every session, even with 1000 person capacity. Tickets for the Friday evening session sold out with a week on going on sale!

Thirsty drinkers were queueing up eager to taste local ciders and perries, and ones further afield from Herefordshire, Wales and the West country.

I was fortunate enough to be volunteering on the cider and perry stall so it was a treat to get up and close with the ciders, as well as meet the drinkers who enjoyed the different varieties.

Most seemed to know what they wanted, and others we chose for them – there were some great ‘entry’ ciders, like Gwynt Y Ddraig’s Haymaker – a medium at 4.8%, extremely drinkable!

Jackie Johnson who has been the regional cider co-ordinator for Brighton & South Downs CAMRA for the last 6 years did a great job of sourcing a fine selection of perries and ciders from around the country for the festival.

There were 29 ciders and 12 perries on, compared to just 6 barrels of cider 6 years ago. Proof that demand and appreciation of traditional ciders have increased.

My top 3 ciders of the festival

  • Oakwood Cider, East Sussex – Medium 6.4%- Organic, culinary and desert apples. Extra, extra dry with a bit like a cold shower.
  • Montgomery ‘Old Monty’ Cider, Powys – Dry 4.8% – Cider apple varieties. Full of traditional character
  • Gwatkins Stoke Red Cider, Herefordshire – Sweet 7.5% – Single varietal, sumptuous, succulent, full bodied.

If you haven’t been to a cider festival or want to know when the next one is check out our events page.

Enjoy the finest real cider at East Sussex’s best pubs!

This post is based on the 2009 Ale Trail and Cider Rider passport that is given to people who want to participate in the South Downs beer and cider festival every June in Lewes, Sussex.

This information is available so tourists, visitors and even people who live in Sussex can use for their pub outings any time of the year!

The  people who would have used this information would have navigated their way around a series of pubs with character in towns and villages of Sussex. The tour comes with a book that gets stamped like a passport to prove they drank at them all, and the reward? A t-shirt or mug, oh and rosy cheeks! Cheers.


  • Evening Star, 55-56 Surrey Street
  • Greys, 105 Southover Street – Closed October 2012
  • Lord Nelson Inn, 26 Trafalgar Street
  • Sir Charles Napier, 50 Southover Street
  • The Station, 1 Hampstead Road
  • Waggon and Horses, 10 Church Street


  • Ram Inn, The street


  • Brewers Arms, 91 High Street
  • Dorset, 22 Malling Street
  • Elephant and Castle, White Hill
  • Gardeners Arms, 46 Cliffe High Street


  • Stand up inn, 47 high street


  • Jolly Boatman, 133-5 Lewes Road


  • Stanley Arms, 47 Wolseley Road


  • Cock Inn


  • Buckingham Arms, 35-7 Brunswick Road
  • Duke of Wellington, 368 Brighton Road
  • Red Lion, Old Shoreham Road