Brighton & South Downs

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Branch News

  • Committee Minutes July 2021 Friday 15 October 2021

    Attendees Jason Phillips, Roger Coton, Paul Free, Miriam Harper, Jamie Hooper, Jackie Johnson, John Kirkland, Michael Schouten, Adrian Towler, Ursula Lockyer.

    Apologies Jeremy Brinkworth, Graham Eaton, Adrian Heft. Jonathan Skinner.

    GBBF in the Pub There was not a single affirmative reply to the email that was sent out regarding this. It was suggested that when a committee member visits a pub that they ask whether or a not a pub would be willing to take part and advise them to contact CAMRA HQ website to register their interest . CAMRA’s 50th Anniversary Michael Schouten has liaised with the Battle of Trafalgar, Brighton. A budget of £250 for food is available. The event will be held on Saturday 7th August from 12 noon. We will be using the bar area to right of pub and will have access to the garden. Real Cider will be available as will a selection of Real Ales. Roger Coton asked whether the pub will be taking the newer CAMRA vouchers, Jason said that that he would find out. The food will consist of hot food dishes plus buffet style items; the hot food will be 1 vegetarian option, 1 non-spicy item and a beef chilli, catering for 30 – 50 people and will be replenished throughout the event which will end at 7pm. The Invitation has been placed on the branch website.

    Bluebell Railway Beer Festival Jamie Hooper spoke about the publication of the advertising flyer, also the article placed in CAMRA’s London Drinker magazine, Adrian Towler offered to produce the flyer. The bus and coach transport to and from the festival will be sorted. John Kirkland asked whether a “Covid Passport” will be required to obtain entry. This was thought unlikely under the current guidelines, although the festival will as Covid safe as possible. An additional stillage will be supplied by 360 Degree brewery. Staffing forms to be returning by the first week in August to obtain the required number of T-shirts.

    Vacant Brewery Liaison Officers Chairman Jason Phillips said that he would into the vacancies and see if they can be filled. Pubs which have not re-opened after Lockdown Montpelier, Brighton has a planning application for “change of use”, there appears no local community support to save the pub. The Schooner, Southwick the owners have lodged a planning application which apparently contains incorrect information and may invalidate the application. Seafield, Hove has permanently closed.

    Future Meetings Jason said that the intention was that the next branch meeting should in held in person rather than online. There was a suggestion that a meeting could be held at Harvey’s brewery, Jason said that he would contact Miles Jenner to see if a meeting could be held around the end of August.

    Social Media A query has been raised about some postings on our social media platforms, which it was felt were frankly quite boring and of little use in promoting the branch and its activities. Jason said that he would approach the induvial and asking him to desist from further postings of this type.

    Items in Storage Adrian Towler raised the issue of the badge-making machine, suggesting that it was of limited use to us and perhaps we should try and sell it, giving the Bluebell first refusal. If they are not interested possibly sell it on eBay. There is an excess of Beer Festival glasses in the store can they be given away? As most of them are from the Sussex Branches Beer & Cider Festivals, Paul Sanders, the Surrey & Sussex Regional Director will have to give his approval to this.

    Cider & Perry Roger Coton noted that Westons and Lilleys ciders are no longer considered to be real cider by CAMRA.

    The date and time and possible venue of the next committee meeting is to be confirmed.

    Meeting closed at 8:20 pm.

    July Committee Minutes added to Members Area
  • Minutes of September Branch Meeting Friday 15 October 2021

    Attendees Jason Phillips, (Chair), Paul Free (Minutes Secretary), John Kirkland (Treasurer), Adrian Towler (Social Secretary & Webmaster), Miriam Harper (Ale Trail Co-Ordinator), Michael Schouten (Pub Heritage), Roland Howe, Graham Talbot, and Pete Coppard (Hon. President)

    Apologies for Absence Jeremy Brinkworth, Roger Coton, Graham Eaton, Steve Floor, Adrian Heft, Jamie Hooper, Jackie Johnson, Ursula Lockyer, and Jonathan Skinner. Minutes of Previous Meeting Taken as correct.

    Chairman Jason opened the meeting by saying that although a several members of the committee were on holiday, he felt it was important to re-establish the holding of face-to-face in person meetings. He did however acknowledge that some members might still be wary of such meetings. Update from Committee Membership drive in the Universities: The original plan was to increase membership by attending the Universities’ Freshers Week, however there is a commercial “fire-wall” surrounding this event; the only way you can have a presence is by paying a fee, and only Freshers can otherwise attend. Bearing this in mind, and following consultations with CAMRA’s Regional Young Members Rep, CAMRA membership forms will be placed in the Student Union bars, stressing that CAMRA promotes good beer in various forms. 50th Anniversary gathering: The event was held at the Battle of Trafalgar, Brighton with a selection of real ales and real cider in a box available. The event was attended by twenty-seven people, and the branch took the opportunity to publicize the Bluebell Railway Beer Festival. The branch wanted to support this particular pub and felt its location being close to Brighton Railway Station was an advantage. The pub provided a good welcome, and they were very pleased to host the event. Beer of the Festival, Bluebell Railway: The Best Dark Beer and Overall Winner – Heathen Imperial Stout; Best Bitter – 360 Degree Bluebell Best; Best Pale/Golden Ale – Bedlam Elderflower Smash. More about the festival to follow. Presentation of CAMRA’s 50th Anniversary Gold Award to Harvey’s Brewery, Jason said that he would be liaising with Miles Jenner over this, and he would advise members accordingly. The 2022 members’ weekend and AGM will be held in Eastbourne, 8th – 10th April, apart from the business aspect, there will trips arranged to breweries and to a cider maker, these trips include minibus transport, food, and drink all for £15 per person. There will be training for beer tasting and on the membership system alongside other “workshops”, plus there will be a members’ bar. Jason urged members to sign up via the email that had been sent out. The branch is hoping to re-launch the Ale Trail for 2022, with Miriam Harper taking the lead on this with somewhat of an update. Ursula Lockyer is happy to take on the mantle of organiser for the South Downs Beer & Cider Festival.

    Pubs under threat Michael Schouten said that the good news was that very few pubs appeared not to be re-opening following the lockdowns. The Schooner, Southwick; the owners have lodged a planning application which apparently contains incorrect information and may invalidate the application, but it is unlikely to re-open as a pub. The timetable for a local authority planning decision is early November. The Montreal Arms, Brighton; Stonegate want to re-open the pub, but remove the historic United Brewery green tiles from the outside, completely changing the appearance. The Montpelier, Brighton has closed permanently, as there was no local community support for keeping the pub open, the branch felt that it was difficult to campaign against the closure, as the impetus for such action should come from the local community. CAMRA are now unable as a body to apply for Asset of Community Value (ACV) listing for pubs, an individual CAMRA member may still do so. The Islingword, Brighton appears to be closed at this time. Miriam Harper reported that the BRZN (pronounced Brazen) brewery, Beaconsfield Road, had opened a pop-up bar, underneath the railway viaduct. With plans to open more often. Bluebell Railway Beer Festival With this being a first-time event at this venue, there were a number of things that needed to be ironed out. The Bluebell over-estimated the expected attendance with them projecting 2,500 visitors, far more than actually attended. Only 58% of the available beer was consumed. On the plus side there was lots of good feedback on the beer selection and a lot of people attended who either new to the Bluebell Railway or had not been to CAMRA beer festival before and were enthused to attend the Railway or a CAMRA beer festival in the future. Things to improve: The flow of visitors around the site, a better selection of food with a limited retail selection of food concessions (catering should open throughout the festival), also better food options for the volunteers, with a hot meal available. The date for the 2022 festival is 23rd -25th September.

    Treasurer’s Report John Kirkland reported the following balances: the HSBC (Branch a/c) £60.91, the Barclays (Beer Festival a/c) £4,079.,98. HSBC has imposed bank charges that is why money has been transferred to the Barclays account. After speaking with Anita Gibson at CAMRA HQ, the HSBC account will be closed and Barclays account will become the branch account, John will have to contact Steve Pardoe as he is a signatory to be able to close the account. The Ale Trail has a sum of £2,430 ring fenced; the Schooner was only 2019 Ale Trail pub to request a refund.

    Social Programme October 14th: Hole in the Wall, Brighton. October 21st: Watermill (World's End/ Wivelsfield station) Burgess Hill. October 28th: Stanley Arms, Portslade. November 4th: Anchor, Ringmer. November 11th: Duke of Wellington, Shoreham-by-Sea. November 18th: Bier Haus, Brighton. November 25th*: Brewers Arms, Lewes. December 2nd: Watchmakers Arms, Hove. December 9th: Bevy (Bevendean Hotel) Brighton. December 16th: John Harvey Tavern, Lewes. December 23: Haus on the Hill, Brighton. December 30th*: Evening Star, Brighton. January 6th: Independent, Brighton.

    The date of branch Annual General Meeting is to be confirmed, up to date information of meetings will placed on the branch website

    The details regarding the presentation of CAMRA’s 50th Anniversary Gold award to Harvey’s brewery are to be confirmed by the Chairman.

    Date, of next meeting:

    The next meeting will be a committee meeting held via Zoom in October; the AGM will be held in November.

    Meeting closed at 9.05 pm

    Minutes of September 2021 Branch Meeting held at the Haus on the Hill, Brighton added.
  • Sussex Drinker out now Wednesday 6 October 2021

    The WINTER 2021 Sussex Drinker can be downloaded to view here Sussex Drinker 105.

  • Branch Meeting minutes uploaded to Member's Area Monday 20 September 2021
  • Chairman's Newsletter Sept 2021 Monday 20 September 2021

    Chairman’s Newsletter September 2021

    Bluebell Beer Festival The first beer festival in partnership between Sussex CAMRA Branches and the Bluebell Railway was held 10 – 12 September. I hope you enjoyed it if you attended or volunteered. The beer of the festival votes have been counted and the results are as follows: Bluebell Railway Beer of the Festival 2021 is Heathen Brewers – Imperial Stout Bluebell Railway Dark Beer of the Festival 2021 is Heathen Brewers – Imperial Stout Bluebell Railway Pale Ale /Golden Ale of the Festival 2021 is Bedlam – Elderflower SMaSH Bluebell Railway Best Bitter of the Festival 2021 is 360 Degree Brewing – Bluebell Best The beer selection and quality was excellent and my thanks go to Paul Free for his expert choices and to Steve Leyfield for his cellarmanship during the set-up and festival. The opportunity to learn lessons from this first event are being taken by the railway and ourselves; we have a debrief session scheduled for next week and we will be addressing issues that arose regarding transport, catering and the dispersed locations of the festival beers. I want to thank all of the volunteers who make a festival of this size happen and in particular Ursula Lockyer who planned the festival, Jamie Hooper who worked on the complicated transport arrangements, Steve Leyfield who led the stillaging and cooling of 120 beers and ciders. My thanks also to Arun and Adur’s Malcolm Foster for erecting the stillage at Sheffield Park station.

    CAMRA’s 50th Anniversary Award Back in March of this year we nominated Miles Jenner of Harvey’s Brewery for an award as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations. It is great to learn this week that they are being recognised with a CAMRA Golden Award. A presentation ceremony is being organised and it is hoped branch members will be able to attend an event in Lewes in October 2021.

    Other Campaign Activity The branch has been monitoring planning applications affecting pubs in our area and have made submissions in relation to the Schooner at Southwick and the Montreal Arms in Brighton. We publicise this on our social media, please support us by signing any petitions we highlight or comment on the council planning portal. A membership drive in places of further education is our priority for the next month now that students are back on campus.

    Locations for future branch meetings The committee would like to consider new venues for our bi-monthly branch meetings. We need a space or room in a pub/club to hold the meeting that can accommodate up to 25 people and not be part of a through route within the venue (e.g. not on the way to the smoking area or toiles etc). Does your local sound suitable? Please email me at ku.gro.armac.nothgirb@riahc with any suggestions for venues.


    Jason Phillips Chairman Brighton & South Downs CAMRA