Forget the days of a cheap Carlsberg 12 pack down the beach. Craft beer exploded on the scene and seduced our taste buds with its heavenly citrus hops, punchy American IPA’s, caramel infused stouts and Icelandic wheat beers. There’s no going back now.
In Brighton we’re lucky enough to have over 60 legit breweries right on our doorstep, from Bedlam and Brighton Bier to the award winning Long Man and Darkstar. So whether you’re a big and beardy seasoned ale drinker, or craftie novice there’s something here to suit every taste.
We took one for the team and drank our way around Brighton to uncover the city’s best craft beer pubs. Our livers aren't happy, but you should be.
When Brighton Bier decided to launch Bierhaus, we couldn’t of been hoppier. They even saved a 200 year old Kemptown pub in their quest to bring their award-winning beers to the mouths of us lucky Brightonians. The brewery is a mere mile away meaning you get to sup on not only the tastiest of ales, but the freshest too. Guest beers from the likes of Brewdog and Hand Brew Co make regular appearances, as well as a heap of tasty international brews and ciders. And if you should happen to feel a little peckish while you’re there, they also serve up some darn delish pizzas courtesy of Pizzaface! Sundays are our faves in da Haus - £3.20 Cask Pints, Free Sunday papers, board games and pizza. Lush!
161 Edward St, BN2 0JB
Run by London based Southey Brewing Co. The Brighton Beer Dispensary are dishing out some of the most exciting beers in town. The interior is unassuming, exposed brick walls, wooden saloon style bar and red velvet stools. Bang tidy. The real star of the show is how it should be, the belting beers. Purveyors of breweries large and small, you can find a tasty selection from lesser known breweries such as Burnt Mill and Vocation to hop legends such as Wild Beer and Northern Monk. 9 Kegs, 6 Casks and 3 Cider Taps, asking for recommendations is encouraged so go on, don’t be shy. The pub grub here is to die for so come hungry, and fill up on some Dizzy Gull goodness.
38 Dean St, BN1 3EG
In the cellar depths of this locally revered pub, a beautiful thing called Dark Star Brewing Co. came to be. Back in ‘94 the brewery was created to quench the thirst of beer deprived punters upstairs, but as word spread of these tasty new ales the supply was quickly drunk dry. Thus the brewery had to be relocated to a larger holding, but the same fresh, tasty browns remained. 7 cask pulls, 8 keg lines and a worldie range of craft bottles and cans. Our Dark Star favourite has to be the Creme Brulee, dubbed a dessert in a glass with it’s vanilla and caramel undertones. This off the beaten track pub may be simple in decor, but it serves breathtakingly good brews.
55-56 Surrey St, BN1 3PB
The Craft Beer Co. boast 18 keg lines, 9 cask pumps and over 200 bottles and cans. Hello, I’m drunk. The uber knowledgeable bar staff eagerly wait to help you discover which heady delight to opt for. Family run, spiffingly decorated and banging Sunday Roasts are just another few reasons to visit. Whilst some of the guest kegs can be steep at £3.60 for a half, these are high calibre, speciality beers that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Tiny Rebel’s Orange Mocha Frapp Stout is currently making an appearance along with Magic Rock’s Grapefruit Pale Ale. If you need to keep an eye on the pennies, opt for a cask Clerkenwell Pale for only £3.40 or a Dark Star Revelation for £4.50.
22-23 Upper N St, BN1 3FG
The guys behind Bison Beer truly believe there's a beer for every occasion, and you’re sure to find it at this quality crafthouse in Hove. Stocking beers from all around the globe and their own fresh brews too, you’re sure to find the perfect one for you. If you don’t know your stouts from your IPA’s then fear not, they’re a really friendly bunch and will point you in the right direction. You can even use the store iPad to match your dinner to one of their beers. They’re also the first shop to bring draught ‘growlers’ to Brighton (approx. 1.9 litre amber glass bottles). With a state-of-the-art counter-pressure filling system, you’re able to fill up your reusable growler with any of the drafts beers in store, staying fresh for up to six weeks without any loss of carbonation.
57 Church Rd, BN3 2BD
An independent Brighton brewery of vast proportions. This former nightclub has been decked out with decor reminiscent of a Bavarian Beer Hall with a modern, quirky Brighton twist. Industrial size lamps dangle from the bar, with The Laine Brewery’s big ol’ steel tanks looming in the backdrop and large wooden sculptures adorn the walls. 8 kegs to choose from and all brewed on-site, our personal fave is the Revelator, a 5.9% IPA packed with flavours of peach, melon and citrus. Yum. Any true beer lover will be chuffed with their selection of local ales and exciting craft bottles and cans.
27 Gloucester Pl, BN1 4AA
This Kemptown institution has been serving up hits of the good stuff for over 150 years, and brewing up it’s own for the last 30. Numbers like that are no mean feat and with age, comes wisdom. Wisdom of the boozy kind. This old school taproom is clad with adorably ramshackle decor, hilarious staff and a killer beer selection. The most recent additions to the Hand in Hand brews are their first ever keg beer, Shaka, and German Pilsner, Hans. Hans it to me please. The largest Cider maker in sussex, Seacider, have a resident pump here and we highly recommend giving the Mango one a go. In the fridges you’ll find a quaint selection of old faithfuls such as Einstock and Brooklyn. Pop down for a jazz night and sip on the very moreish DAP pale ale.
33 Upper St James's St, BN2 1JN
A locals boozer for hardened ale drinkers. This old skool tavern may be quaint in size but it's vast in its beery offerings. Old tobacco tins filled with punters messages line the walls, tankards hang from the bar and you’ll usually find a pooch or two among red velvet topped wooden stools. This Fuller’s owned pub have more than eight taps with a few staple Fuller’s brews as you’d expect and moreish seasonal changers. Butcombe, George Gale & Co, Little Beer Corporation and Longman Brewery (voted best beer in the world 2017) have all made guest appearances here. Basketmakers really do stock some of the best quality beers in Brighton and also boast over 100 whiskies. They were voted best Brighton’s best pub from 2014-2016 and entertain some damn fine pub grub.
12 Gloucester Rd, BN1 4AD
Smack bang in the centre of Brighton is one of the trendiest pubs in town. After a lick of paint and a bit of a spruce, the newly refurbed pub is a bustling hotspot for the genteel types of Sussex. Renowned for their homemade infused gins, this blinder of a boozer also stock a ravishing range of craft beers. From tasty beer staples such as Beavertown and Tiny Rebel to exciting newer brewers such as Holler Boys and Crate Brewery. With 20 keg taps, 2 cask pumps and a glorious array of bottled and canned goodies, you and your gang will have a mighty fine time tasting you way through this lot. To soak up all the booze we’d recommend grabbing some stellar pub grub from the boys at Croustillant D.
27 Ship St, BN1 1AD
Built in 1848 this makes The Lord Nelson one of ye oldest pubs in sunny Brighton. A short totter from the main station and you’ll find yourself in this cosy, saloon style boozer with adjoining conservatory area and lovely wee garden. This Harvey’s run pub serve up Lewes’ best with the likes of Georgian Dragon, Sussex Best and their delish IPA. Keep an eye out for their seasonal changers like the recent Sussex Wild Hop, earthy background flavours with sharp citrus notes cutting through. Renowned for their live music nights, there’s a Folk Night every first Monday of the month and their food menu is also worth a pretty penny.
36 Trafalgar Street, BN1 4ED
This champion wee boozer on the bottom of Trafalgar Street was taken over by Indigo pubs in 2010 and was transformed into a veggie eating, ale drinkers paradise. With six cask ales to choose from there’s something for everyone. Pale, amber and copper ales as well as vegan and gluten free options. The pumps change seasonally and host the likes of Firebird, Drygate, Tiny Rebel and Greyhound. If all that beer chat has you feeling peckish, grab some delightfully delirious veggie food. The Ginger Beer Battered Halloumi is life.
5 Trafalgar St, BN1 4EQ
Known for its mega selection of devilishly good cocktails, The Black Dove are also vested beer connoisseurs. The interior is a ramshackle of vintage artwork, wax covered bottles, velvet drapery, quirky ornaments and characterful pieces of antique furniture. The eccentricities of the decor are reflected in its behind bar offering. Six keg lines, 11 Sheppy’s ciders, Brooklyn Lager, International Pale Ales, Belgian Beers and over 60 bottled ales. They also flaunt a 100% organic wine list. The staff's knowledge of the tipples on offer is unparalleled so give ‘em a chance to talk you through the latest exciting browns on offer and settle in for the night in one of the hidden away nooks or crannies. A flamboyant bar of Kemptown proportions.
74 St James's St, BN2 1PA
One of the oldest pubs in Kemptown, the Barley Mow has long been famed for its fantastic selection of real ales and generous servings of quality grub. Six ales always on tap with a regular rotation. Currently donning the pumps is Longman’s American Pale Ale, Purity’s Pure UBU, Upham’s Punter, Arundel’s Pickled Mouse, Butcombe’s original and Westons’ Rosie Pig. A toasty fire in winter months, and a quaint beer garden out back for summer. What more could you ask for?!
92 St George's Rd, BN2 1EE