Brighton & South Downs

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Branch News

  • SDBF 2022 Slideshow Thursday 23 June 2022

    Leslie Butterfield, one of our volunteer Stewards, has produced a Slideshow compilation of this year's South Downs Beer Festival held on the 17th and 18th of June.

    Download here SDBF 2022 Slideshow

  • SDBF 2022 Beer & Cider List Monday 13 June 2022

    The current Beer & Cider List is now available here:
    SDBF 2022 Current Beer & Cider List

  • SDBF 2022 Tickets Update Tuesday 7 June 2022

    Additional On-Line Tickets now available for all sessions here SDBF 2022 Online Tickets

    Physical tickets are also still available from Mail Order; Harvey's Shop, Lewes; Brewers Arms, Lewes and Gardener's Arms, Lewes

  • Minutes of Branch Meeting 25 May 2022 Thursday 26 May 2022

    Minutes of Branch Meeting 25 May 2022

    Held at Keymer & Hassocks Social Club 7pm – 7.50pm

    In attendance: Jason Phillips, John Kirkland, Simon Winnard, Jamie Hooper.

    Apologies – Steve Pardoe; Miriam Harper; Adrian Heft; Graham Eaton; Jeremy Brinkworth; Mark Tester; Steve Leyfield. Marilyn Ashworth.

    Chairman’s Report

    Jason provided a short update on activity which has been focussed on the Lewes Beer festival organisation and the Ale Trail organisation (see below). The Pub of the Year committee members will be scoring the other Sussex branches’ POTY this Saturday 28th May.

    Secretaries Report

    The branch Club of the Year presentation was made on 2 May tour hosts for today and a picture will be sent for publication in the Autumn Sussex Drinker. Invitation to bid for the National Winter Beer Festival has been circulated and will be discussed at our next committee meeting.

    Facebook members now 171

    Treasurer’s Report

    Current balance £9,070. Payments still to be made are the outgoings for Lewes Beer festival. Receipts for online ticket sales for the events have been received.

    Membership Secretary

    The current total branch membership stands at 1217 members.

    Looking at membership figures YTD, there were 31 new members joining BSD and 39 lapsing, so a net loss of 8. This compares favourably with the same period last year (1/1/21 - 25/5/21) with 4 new members and a loss of 41 (net loss 37), although this isn't surprising given the impact of Covid in 2021, as pubs didn't reopen until 12 April.

    Comparing the same time periods (YTD 21 v 22), there are only 18 members in our branch under the age of 30. So this gives us plenty of scope in terms of our ambition to target some younger members, particularly at the universities. Jason and Graham have some plans to progress this. We will be writing to all new members who have joined recently to welcome them to the branch.

    Pubs Officer

    Montreal Arms

    Charlie Southall owner of the pub hacked the distinctive green tiles of this former Union Brewery pub off. An enforcement notice was served requiring re-instatement within 12 months.

    Just to update you, today we received notification there has been an appeal submitted against the enforcement notice served. The appeal has been received and is valid but has not been assigned an Inspector yet. As soon as we receive a start letter I will let you know and you can submit your comments on the planning inspectors portal, this may be months yet though.

    Ale Trail 2022

    The theme is Summer of the Pub. It is our contribution to the National CAMRA Campaign. I am pleased to say we have all the slots filled up for this year’s Ale Trail. The pubs participating are available on the website and posters.

    The packs of passports, posters and stamps are on their way to the pubs.

    The launch is next Thursday, 2nd June, between 12:30 and 4:30 (ish) at the Prince Albert at the top of Trafalgar Street in Brighton, It is a drop in style event so have your lunch before you attend. So pop along say hi and enjoy the Ale Trail.

    Lewes Beer Festival

    Arrangements are on track. The initial allocation of tickets for online sales have been sold. The excess from postal sales and then pub sales will be offered online again shortly. Catering in place and beer orders progressing nicely.

    Dementia Awareness

    The following information sheet was discussed and considered a valuable asset for pubs. Our network of Pub Buddies have been sent the following link and encouraged to discuss and share with their pubs. The Keymer & Hassocks Club had actual experience of some of their regulars suffering from dementia.

    Other Dates for the Diary

    • Henfield Club open day 12-4 on 4 June. Downlands ale • The Crown, Newick beer festival 3 June from 4pm; 4 & 5th from midday • Kissingate Brewery Jubilee celebration 11 – 8pm on 4 June • Bluebell Railway Beer Festival 23 – 25 September 2022 • Next Formal branch social – Thursday 27 October at Southwick Beer Engine.

    My thanks to all those who attended and Committee members for their submitted reports.

    Next meeting tba.

  • Minutes of Branch Meeting 19 March 2022 Wednesday 25 May 2022

    Minutes of the BSD Branch meeting held on Saturday 19 March at the Evening Star, Brighton

    Committee Present: Jason (Chair), Miriam, John K, Graham.

    Apologies: Jeremy B, Adrian H, Paul F, Steve F, Marilyn

    In attendance: Badger, Sean Burke, Chris Humphries, Mark Hazell, Steve Leyfield, Barry Oldfield, Rob Stephenson, Mark Tester.

    Meeting Administration and minutes of the last branch meeting

    Copies of the minutes of the last branch meeting held on 22 Jan 2022 were available and were accepted.

    Jason began by thanking Mark Hazell for offering the Evening Star as the venue for the meeting.

    It was noted that at the AGM, it was agreed that the next few branch meetings would be held on different days (weekdays/weekends and at varying times) as a way to gauging what works best, and then a decision would be made, and adhered to.

    Chairman’s Report

    Jason welcomed the new members to the meeting. He proposed a toast to the sad passing of Adrian Towler – Adrian had been a long-standing and active member of the committee for many years. His last role was Social Secretary, but he had made an excellent contribution to the website and was also a Pub Buddy. Details of his funeral would be posted on FB and the website (to be held on Tuesday 22 March).

    Jason reminded members of the forthcoming members’ weekend in Eastbourne (commencing April 15th) and of some of the activities taking place, including brewery visits and a mini-beer festival. He suggested that members book these sooner rather than later. CAMRA were also relaunching a bottle conditioned beer for the event.

    Secretary’s Report

    The Secretary, Jeremy Brinkworth, had given his apologies, but had advised Jason in advance that there were no items to report at the branch meeting.

    Treasurer’s Report

    John Kirkland gave a brief update on the financial position of the branch, noting that there was approximately £5.5k in the bank account; there had been very little expenditure recently except for some small items. He advised that there was sufficient in the account for usual branch activities and we will, as a branch, receive income from the Lewes Beer Festival (LBF), and that the budget for the LBF had been approved.

    Membership Secretary

    Graham Eaton advised that there was currently a glitch with accessing the membership database and thus, unfortunately was unable to provide a branch membership update. He advised that this issue was in hand as it has been raised with CAMRA HQ and he would provide membership reports would be provided at future branch meetings.

    It was noted that membership leaflets had been dispatched to Pub Buddies and these would be placed in pubs which receive Sussex Drinker, with the aim of boosting membership opportunities.

    Jason added that he was working with Graham to see how best to tap into the large student population, given that Brighton has two universities.

    Pubs Officer

    No report was received, but Jason noted that in our branch area, we had been very fortunate not to have lost pubs due to Covid closures/debts etc.

    It was noted that the situation regarding the Schooner and the Montreal Arms (comments about the exterior) were being monitored by the committee. Jason stated that we will activate the membership when we need to campaign against a pub closure, but noted that it was important to be selective about this, insofar that as a branch, we focus on preserving/supporting pubs where we feel that we can influence to support the local community to save pubs.

    Social Secretary & Webmaster

    Jason suggested that it would be good for the branch to adopt a ‘forward looking’ agenda for social events, noting that there had been discussion about attendance at branch socials. He would be working with the committee with a view to reinvigorating these, and a CAMRA social should include a campaigning element. He advised of the next few social events, notably the presentations for the 2022 PoTY. These would commence on Tues 22 March with the Hole in the Wall, Brighton, receiving the award for PoTY, followed by the Watchmaker’s Arms in Hove on Friday 25 March (Runner-up and Cider PoTY). The final award would be to the Brewers Arms, Lewes (PoTY Runner-up) in mid-April (delayed due to illness). These events would be publicised via our social media feeds, and Graham would write an article for the Summer edition of Sussex Drinker.

    John K suggested that it would be good if such publicity was included in ‘Discourse’ – GE to follow up.

    Ale Trail 2022

    Miriam reported that the last Ale Trail had been held in 2019 and planning had commenced in 2020, only to be halted by Covid. Approximately 31 pubs had been signed up and/or paid, most of which had been rolled over to the 2022 Ale Trail. It was likely that there would be in the region of 41 pubs taking part, although there had been some minor misunderstanding regarding a small number of pubs who thought that they had paid (when in fact they hadn’t).

    Jason highlighted the CAMRA ‘Summer of Pub’ campaign and advised that arrangements were in place for the Ale Trail launch event, to be held on Thursday 2 June at the Prince Albert, in Brighton.

    It was noted that it was intended that Pub Buddies distribute the passports to the respective pubs (taking part in the trail). Note: for logistical reasons, these will now be sent directly to the relevant pubs.

    John K was thanked for his work on designing the passport and Miriam for all her work organising the Ale Trail. It was unlikely that there would be an organised bus trip to the Ale trail pubs which are further afield.

    Lewes Beer Festival

    Jason advised that he had been attempting to contact Ursula regarding arrangements, but good progress was being made for this event (the beer has been ordered by Paul Free), and other key logistical arrangements have been made. Jason reminded members that a staffing form was available, and it would be appreciated if members could volunteer to staff the event. The dates were confirmed as Fri – Sat 18th June. There would be advance online ticket sales, and also tickets available from venues in Lewes (Harvey’s Brewery Shop and the Gardener’s Arms) as well as by mail.

    Other business/AOB

    There was a query regarding the dates of the next Susses branches/Bluebell Railway joint festival. Jason confirmed that this would be held on 23-25 September 2022, and enhancements this year would include a much greater number of food outlets being available.

    Jason asked if members could record visits to pubs/beers on WhatPub. There was feedback that WhatPub on an app would be useful.

    There was a brief discussion (raised by Badger) regarding the criteria for awarding Club of the Year, in relation to the Roots bar at Lewes Football Club.

    Steve Leyfield reported briefly on the forthcoming London Branches Cider Festival (2 April, London South Bank).

    The next branch meeting would take place on Weds 25 May in the evening.

    Meeting closed.

  • Branch Meeting Friday 29 April 2022

    The next Branch Meeting will be in Keymer & Hassocks Sports & Social Club - Details below

    Branch Meeting - May

    May Branch Meeting
  • Pub of the Year winners announced Monday 21 February 2022

    We are delighted to announce that our Pub of the Year winner is The Hole in the Wall, Brighton. We have also recognised two runners - up: The Brewer's Arms, Lewes and The Watchmaker's Arms, Hove.

    In our cider category - another success for The Watchmaker's who were voted best Real Cider pub.

    Thank you to all who nominated, surveyed and of course the pubs for serving great ale and cider.

    https://1drv.ms/u/s!Anr_bscHS6fE0HWDVZcW7CiWKVcL?e=pqwJCQ

    Also our cider POTY
  • Minutes of Committee Meeting 12 February 2022 Sunday 13 February 2022

    Present: Jason, Miriam, Adrian H, Adrian T, John K, Graham. Apologies: Jeremy Brinkworth

    We reviewed progress of GBG surveys. Process of emails to John K copied to Adrian H working ok. Deadline for submissions extended to 1 April. Before then John K will review outstanding survey info and I will chase those as necessary.

    POTY winners to be announced on Monday 21st February. Details to be posted on website and Comms Tool email to members. The winning pubs will be notified by their Pub Buddies before that date bbut asked to keep secret until the 21st. Jason to email the pub buddies with direction on this. Digital versions of the award certificates to be sent to the winning pubs by 21st.

    Presentations to be arranged by pub buddies by 10th April to meet Sussex Drinker publication deadline. A press release will be sent including photos of presentations to media outlets by Graham to cover this.

    Ale Trail preparations ongoing and on-track for 40/41 pubs.

    Jason to contact Ursula regarding a first Lewes Beer Festival committee meeting.

    Jason will consult Pub buddies on holding a debrief Zoom for feedback and learning in a couple of weeks time.