The County of East Sussex was created in 1974 with the division of the historic county of Sussex. The name is construed from old English meaning South Saxons but has been invaded on many occasions, principally by Romans, Danes and Normans. 1066 and The Norman Conquests is a date imprinted in most British school-children’s memories, the Battle of Hastings being a most important event in British history. The county has had several Industries in the past including Fishing, iron making and wool but these are largely gone now. Tourism is probably the main industry now being a coastal county and with the chalk hills of the Weald and South Downs culminating at Beachy head. The main city is Brighton & Hove, and there are large settlements of Lewes and Hastings.
There are currently 38 Active and 15 Closed Breweries on Ratebeer, totalling 53, there are 7 Client / Commissioner Breweries amongst these.
The oldest Brewery by far in East Sussex is Harvey’s Brewery, established in 1790 in the town of Lewes. In 1880 the classic brewery tower was added to the previous Georgian building making it one of the most recognisable and beautiful breweries in the country. Much of the original Georgian building still remains. The brewery manages to keep up to date by remaining independent. It runs 45 tied pubs, mostly across Sussex but also 3 in London.
The Brewery with the largest range in East Sussex is the relatively new Burning Sky Beer with 111 beers on Ratebeer.
Burning Sky were also named as Best Brewery in 2019 for East Sussex and their Burning Sky Saison du Peche as Best Beer. Not a bad achievement for a brewery established in 2013.
The Top 10 Beers are –
- Harvey’s Bicentenary Stout (Bottle) R
- Burning Sky / Ascension Cider Apple Saison
- Burning Sky / Oliver’s / Mills / Kernel Four Friends – The Blend
- Burning Sky Cuvee (2018) R
- Burning Sky Cuvee Reserve R
- Burning Sky / Fork Les Amis Du Brassage
- Burning Sky Recusant
- Burning Sky Coolship Release No. 1
- Burning Sky Cuvee (2017) R
- Harvey’s Prince of Denmark
The Top 5 Places are –
- Evening Star (Dark Star), Brighton - 92
- Craft Beer Co, Brighton - 90
- Middle Farm Cider Centre, Firle - 90
- Brighton Bierhaus, Brighton - 83
- Bison Beer, Brighton – 81
The Top 5 Raters of beers from East Sussex are –
To get onto the Top 50 list for East Sussex Beers you will require 57 Ratings
The person from East Sussex with most ratings on Ratebeer is:
@thejackpacker – Currently active.
Thanks for another great county write up. I’ll post my stats later (need to complete my commute up to my homeworking office before the heavy traffic on the stairs kicks in!).
Incidentally, are you doing the counties in any particular order, or is it just random?
Many thanks for your kind remarks. It is absolutely random, thankfully we have been given a nice spread around the country so far, hopefully that continues. I run the random sort on a Monday and put the write up together, which is gaining bits and pieces as we go along. Have a good trip to work and I look forward to seeing everyone’s replies.
Fortunately I have managed to visit this area on quite a few occasions, staying in Brighton, Battle and Hastings from time to time, which pushes up my ratings and reviews. I used to dislike Brighton but a lot of European money has been invested and it is a very different place to when I used to get there after what now seems like monumental (or just mental) journeys on my Lambretta 125 wearing my Crombie and Two Tones. Trips to the old Goldstone Ground were also interesting at the time, but these were well before Ratebeer.
I have a total of 170 ratings for East Sussex, way off the @harrisoni total of 351 though, putting me at 9th position on the top 50, making it my 35th highest County at a reasonable average of 3.24, I am however equal top in the number of Breweries tried with a total of 35 (25 open, 10 now closed).
My most productive Breweries are: Harvey’s – 28 beers, Burning Sky – 13 and 360 Degrees – 11, all still going gladly.
I have just 3 beers rated 4 or over, they are:
- Rother Valley Cocoa Hops – 4.2
- Hastings Handmade 9: Citra Pale Ale – 4.1
- Harveys Sussex XXXX Old Ale – 4.0
The beer with the highest average I have had from East Sussex is Harvey’s Bicentenary Stout which averages 3.92 but I only gave it 3.6. It also looks like I haven’t had the full Burning Sky experience yet.
The breweries that I have my highest average rating are (5 or greater ratings);
- Burning Sky, Ave 3.562
- Hastings Brewery, Ave 3.538 (Now Closed)
- Rother Valley Brewing Co., Ave 3.433
I have reviewed a reasonable 30 places in East Sussex, mostly in Brighton but across the region too, particularly Lewes and Hastings. My top 3 are:
- Evening Star (Dark Star), Brighton
- Brighton Beer Dispensary (Southey), Brighton
- Snowdrop Inn (Lewes)
East Sussex is one of those counties that has really low stats for me. Perhaps it’s easier for London and Home Counties based raters, but I’ve always found beers from this county hard to get. At 22 rates, it’s my fifth-lowest county*, equal with Durham and below East Yorkshire and Dorset. So not great.
My top 5 beers are:
Burning Sky Aurora: 4
Beak Parade DDH IPA (Mosaic, Citra and Idaho 7): 4
Harvey’s Prince of Denmark: 3.8
Burning Sky Porter: 3.8
Harvey’s Sussex XXXX Old Ale: 3.8
The most-rated breweries for me are Burning Sky (7), Harvey’s (5) and UnBarred (2). I then have 8 breweries with 1 rate each.
East Sussex is also only one of 8 counties with no place rates. I’ve been to Brighton multiple times since I started rating, but this has always been with my kids. So many lovely memories of the city but few beer-related ones (I’ve been to the Evening Star a few times but that was before I joined RB in 2013.)
Right. I’m going to have a look at the Burning Sky online shop. If anyone has any other suggestions for E Sussex beerage then I’m all ears!
*Interestingly, 3 out of the 4 counties so far have been in my bottom 10, the exception being Wiltshire which was 13th from bottom.
41 beers at 3.45. Zero ciders, etc.
Burning Sky were the first craft brewery that I really came across (OK, excluding BrewDog). The guy who ran The Albion in Winchester used to always stock their beers. I keep thinking I should pick up more of their beers.
I only have 4 breweries with more than one tick:
Burning Sky @ 13
Harvey’s @ 11
Holler @ 6 (RIP)
Cloak + Dagger @ 2
Top Rated Beers:
Never rated a place down there. In fact I think I’ve only been East Sussex the one time when I was visiting relatives who live in West Sussex.
Fun fact: I think at least one of the East Sussex breweries is actually just selling rebadged Triple FFF beer and probably should be deleted. Edit: It’s in fact a West Sussex scamp.
East Sussex isn’t a place I have visited very often. Games against Grimsby Town in Brighton being the one and only reason I have ever been. Never bothered drinking there because I have always driven, had my hair cut there once; the barber didn’t know where the Goldstone ground was though (how is that possible), couldn’t give me directions! So no place reviews, one of nine counties for me to complete before I reach the full set in England.
Only had 39 different beers from the county @ 3.17
Highest beers being:
1648 Armistice Ale @ 4.3
Burning Sky Imp stout @ 3.9
Gun Parabellum Milk Stout @ 3.8
Brewery wise Burning Sky win with 11 hits, second comes Lost + Found, although their beers are almost all Beer52 offerings and have been brewed in Belgium I believe. Overall it’s 12 different breweries, 2 of which have closed.
No plans to push for any changes in this county to be honest, not enough interest in the towns, coastline, countryside or the breweries located there to bother going down.
105 ticks from just 5 breweries for me. 86 Burning Sky rates (3rd place behind Leighton and Scopey), with a whopping 4.7 given to Burning Sky Cuvee 2016, that I had fairly recently. They’re in my top 5 UK brewers, easily.
13 rates of Beak, putting me top rater, although that’s mostly because he started out in Leeds brewing tiny batches that were easy to get hold of locally.
Never rated a place and probably haven’t visited (at least not for beerage) whilst on RB.
42 East Sussex beers in total. My 22nd highest total for English Counties.
Burning Sky 11
Brighton Bier 5
Long Man 4
Bedlam, Cloak+Dagger, Rother Valley, UnBarred and White Brewing/Edge (out of business) 1 each
Highest score was Harveys Prince of Denmark. Only 5 are in the RB top thirty for East Sussex.
An admission. I haven’t previously participated in statistical threads here, but this County Stat Attack thread is brilliantly organised by imdownthepub, well supported by others and is rather addictive. If you are reading this but not participating, then why not join in. It is good fun and there are another 42 English Counties to go after East Sussex.
But, a concern. Is the Stat Attack the first step to me morphing into a beer geek? Would that be a bad thing to happen? Can I protect myself by drinking more tea or whisky or both? Should I drink fewer NEIPAs. Or should I just keep taking the medication? Expert advice welcome.
Ok my turn. Being a Salopian I have to turn to google maps to ascertain the exact boundaries of this county, and almost all of the town names I’ve never seen before in my life. It’s a bit shocking. I’ve heard of Hastings, of course, and I’ve been to Camber Sands for All Tomorrow’s Parties a few times (some awesome memories of that festival, seeing Tortoise, meeting Mike Watt of the Minutemen and wrestling with the vocalist of Stinking Lizaveta on the beach drunk on red wine as the sun came up!) but can’t say much about the rest of the county.
81 of my precious beer ratings originate from here. Like most, Burning Sky hog the top ratings, Rustique which I had recently comes out on top at 4.5, their vatted porter has 4.2. Have rated 31 from them.
BRZN are the next highest rated brewery for me, I do recall having that raspberry ripple IPA at Beerdock (RIP) in Crewe last year, very good. They seem to be still going, although I havent heard anything about them since.
After them it’s Beak who I’ve only just discovered… seem to be quite a promising brewery, mightily impressed with what I’ve tried.
Others include BISON BEER, LOST+FOUND (just one before they were bought by Beer52 and brewing moved to Belgium), LONG MAN, UNBARRED, 360, FRANKLINS AND THREE LEGS.
Rated one from Hastings Brewery who have since closed.
Cideries include ASCENSION, STARVECROW, SEACIDER and BIGNOSE & BEARDY.
Welcome to the stats threads John, thank you for your kind words and I’m really glad that you are enjoying taking part. No need to fear geekery, just let it envelope you in its beery comfort
Grand total of 2 rates for me, one from Gun and the other from Brighton Bier - looking at pre-RB records, it would be 16 more rates, from 6 other breweries, but they’re irrelevant of course, until I have them again. Have been to Sussex a few times (East or West, not really sure) but not for drinking purposes (although beer was imbibed) - that was supposed to change in July gone, our cricket tour (not much cricket, lots of beer) was planned for Hastings but that went up the wazoo of course. So another county I need to up my game on (could be said for pretty much all them!). Really liking this stat attack program, great to see so much involvement and it certainly encourages you to think about where that next beer might be from.
73 East Sussex rates for me, 60 of which are ciders. My top East Sussex cidery is Bignose & Beardy.
Top 5 cider and cidery raters for East Sussex are:
East Sussex Cider Ratings
East Sussex Cideries
One of the wife’s cousins lives in Brighton, so we tend to make the trek down at least once a year, although we’ve obviously not been this year. Bit surprised at only 17 rates, but then the beers don’t tend to make it to the pubs up here. I’ll need to get some more Unbarred next time I go to the offie.
Only 4 ratings for me. Looking at this I do tend to rate higher than average although I’ve always been one to see 6/10 as average rather than 5/10; not sure why. Maybe because I like beer and all beers should be given an extra point just for being beer!
75 beers putting me in 34th place in East Sussex top 50 raters
20 place ratings
Brewery rating totals
Burning Sky - 19
Harveys - 10
Fallen Angel - 9 (out of business)
Brighton Bier - 7
Rother Valley - 6
Lost & Found - 3
Hastings - 3 (out of business)
Gun - 3
White - 2 (out of business)
Laine - 2
UnBarred - 2
1648 - 2
360° - 2
Beak - 1
Franklin’s - 1
Beachy Head - 1 (out of business)
Kemptown Brewery - 1
Bison - 1
Top five beers
Harvey’s Imperial Double Extra Stout 4.4
Rother Valley Cocoa Hops 4.2
Burning Sky Aurora 4.2
Burning Sky Recusant 4.2
Burning Sky Devils Rest 4.1
This is a county that I am very fond of. We’ve been to Brighton and Hastings fairly regularly over the years, staying in the camper most times. We used to visit the Green Man/Green Jack Folk Festival in Hastings which was great, and Brighton as Glen said has just become a much nicer town over the years, the increase in quality beer venues has been fab’, but it also has some great places to shop including the excellent Resident Records. In terms of breweries I think everyone has already commented on what we know, Harvey’s are a great traditional brewery and Burning Sky one of the best breweries in the UK. It’s easy to forget the mark that Dark Star left though and whilst they are not the force they once were, I do think that they were vitally important for the craft beer scene in the UK. There are some fabulous pubs, Brighton is a great weekend destination and I can remember sitting outside The Evening Star with a pint or two with Loz, her sister (Jude) and Baz (Brother in Law) back in about 1990 we’ve visited there many times since and the four of us, revisited and sat in the same place about 4-5 years ago however we didn’t get on such a monumental pub crawl, get so drunk, wherein I lost my wallet and Baz have an accident in his trousers, those were the days…
I would recommend trying out the South Downs Way, beautiful walking with lovely views and lots of traditional pubs and villages on the way. Did this part whilst based in Brighton and thoroughly enjoyed it.
217 E Sussex ratings for me across 29 breweries with an average score given of 3.43 which puts this county a respectable joint 8th for me in England in terms of my score allocated and that’s above my overall average score given for a beer of 3.41.
As per others the excellent Burning Sky gives me a good chunk of these ratings with 71 in total averaging a whopping 3.74 which drags up this county on the score front somewhat for me.
In terms of visits … I’ve been to Brighton many times over the years, most recently in summer '17 when I recall visiting the Brewdog bar and the Brighton Beer House the latter being a highlight.
Did some of my formative beer ticking in Brighton in the early 90’s at the Evening Star, when Alex Hall for those of you who know him, used to man the cellar. Actually went back there for the first time in a while circa 2002 Xmas when Leicester were away to Brighton in the Championship. Brighton games on Saturdays (at the Withdean at this point in time) used to get moved to a Friday night as they used the Withdean car park for Xmas park and ride. Ideal … we rocked up in Brighton about half 2, straight to the Evening Star and they had a winter beer festival on … a good 40 or so on gravity. Dropped blind on this and we pretty much bagged the last table on arrival. City won 1-0 for the record … Brian Deane in the fog … no one saw the goal as you couldn’t see past the half way line, I’m surprised the game went ahead … first we knew of the goal was big Brian emerging from the fog on the half way line punching the air with his fist !
Fantastic stories about Brighton coming through this week, loving reading them all. One of my fondest memories is of a Camra trip we had to Brighton to give the Dark Star brewers an award for a Beer of the Festival award at the Evening Star. Duties done, speeches completed half a dozen of us set off to visit as many establishments we could fit in for the remaining part of our visit, which was rather more considerable than normal. After removing ourselves from our last pub, already slightly late for our coach, we made our way to where it was parked for collection. Little did we know that it was close to the Grand Hotel and that it was conference season, I think Labour were holding theirs in the hotel. We could see the coach and how to get there, but we encountered a squad of fully armed Police and barriers in our way. It must have been about 12 to 15 years after the bombing but the Police were well on edge. We explained our plight, obviously many sheets into the wind, we could also see the coach beginning to reverse out of its parking slot. We didn’t know another way round, so basically tried to push through, I think Steve Matthews ended with a gun pointing in his ear. Eventually we had an armed escort through the barriers and armed police stopping the coach, scary at the time but a great memory now. We got dogs abuse when we got onto the bus though and fined for being late.
I just remembered reading this that my CAMRA group (S Devon at the time) did the same - Hophead just blew everything else away. A trek from Newton Abbot to Brighton by minibus ensued, with a cheeky stop in Dorset on the way back. This was probably around 2004-5 so was the old farm brewery, then to the Evening Star. No Labour conference or guns pointed at anyone’s ear though