Brighton & South Downs

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Branch News

  • Branch Meeting 10th April 2021 Saturday 10 April 2021

    Branch Meeting 10 April 10:30 to 12:00

    Meeting Details:

    Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 830 6753 8100 Passcode: Q0JVxb


    • Attendees & Apologies

    • Minutes of Last Meeting

    o Including results of GBG Selection discussions

    • Chairman’s Update

    o Campaign Activity

    o Other decisions from The Committee inc consideration of survey responses

    • Treasurer’s report

    • Pubs Protection update

    • Social Secretary

    • Pub's re-opening

    • Guest Speakers – Philip Rees (Queen Vic Rottingdean) • Contribution also from Mark Hazel (Evening Star)

    • Any other Business • Next Meeting

  • Minutes of February Branch Meeting Friday 9 April 2021

    CAMRA – Brighton & South Downs Branch

    Minutes of Branch Meeting held on 27th February 2021 held via Zoom.


    Jason Phillips, (Chair), Paul Free (Minutes Secretary), John Kirkland (Treasurer), Jon Skinner (Deputy Treasurer), Jamie Hooper (Membership Secretary & Branch Contact), Adrian Towler (Social Secretary & Webmaster), Roger Coton (WhatPub Coordinator), Adrian Heft (Pubs Officer), Miriam Harper (Ale Trail Co-Ordinator), Graham Eaton (Media Contact), Michael Schouten (Pub Heritage), Tim Kirkup, Mark Lawday, Mark Hazell, (licensee of Evening Star), Bill Harpley, Jackie Johnson, Graham "Spud" Tate, Steve Floor, Sean Burke, Billy Tipping, Simon Winnard, Julie O'Hara.

    Apologies for Absence

    Steve Pardoe, Philip Rees, Paul Rickard.

    Minutes of Previous Meeting

    The minutes of the previous meeting (the AGM) were available on the branch website.


    Jason Phillips explained that the main business of the meeting was to start the process of Good Beer Guide 2022 submissions. He welcomed members that he not previously met. The minutes of the AGM are on the website, whilst the Chairman’s Newsletter covered the key points with minor changes to the constitution, re-defined committee roles and the branch becoming more collective in our campaigning activity. The Ale Trail sub-committee have decided to hold over Ale Trail for one more year, they will contact the landlords to offer refunds where required. The branch is still looking at the possibility of holding a beer festival, with a joint venture with the Bluebell Railway in September.

    Treasurer’s Report

    John Kirkland said the accounts remain as stated at the AGM.

    Good Beer Guide 2022 Selections

    Adrian Heft explained that the basis of selection will consist of the 2021 selections along with NBSS scoring data. There is flexibility to add or delete entries later in the year if for example a pub fails to reopen. The branch was reminded of the need for confidentiality regarding the entries, prior to the guide being published.

    Nomination of Lock-Down Heroes

    The following pubs pub were nominated; Bevy, Brighton (Jamie Hooper); Hand-in-Hand, Brighton (Sean Burke); Independent, Brighton (Miriam Harper); Foghorn, Hove (Roger Coton/Jackie Johnson); Anchor, Ringmer (Jason Phillips); Queen Victoria, Rottingdean (Phillip Rees);
    The following breweries were also nominated; Harvey’s (Adrian Heft) and Hurst (Simon Winnard).

    Golden 50 Award

    CAMRA is to honour 50 people, groups of people or business, marking 50 years of CAMRA, recognizing those who have made a significant contribution to CAMRA’s aims. Suggestions from the meeting included Miles Jenner, the founders of Dark Star Brewing and Tim Martin.

    Pubs Matter Campaign

    Over the next few days CAMRA nationwide will be taking part in the #PubsMatter campaign, ahead of the budget. If you love pubs (and social clubs), the people work in them or supply them, and the communities around them, you can join in by sharing why #PubsMatter to you on social media.

    BLO Positions

    Several breweries have BLO positions available, Simon Winnard has expressed an interest in becoming Top Notch BLO.


    Michael Schouten said that an Excel spreadsheet which details pubs in the branch with beer gardens will be circulated. Adrian Towler asked if there was any news about the CAMRA store situation. John Kirkland said that it has been resolved with Paul Sanders (Regional Director). Roger Coton suggested that other people take responsibility for updating WhatPub in their local areas.

    Date of Next Meeting

    The next branch meeting will be held in about 2 weeks’ time, (later confirmed for Saturday 10th April).

  • Chairman's Newsletter April 2021 Sunday 4 April 2021

    Dear Brighton and South Downs Branch CAMRA member,

    An important week approaches as from 12 April pubs can recommence serving ale to customers albeit only in out door spaces. To support pubs we have produced a list of all the pubs in our branch area that have outside space and are planning open and this will be put on our website this coming week.

    In response to member’s feedback we have created two new social media accounts:

    Facebook Group -

    Twitter - @DownsCamra

    We will use these accounts to publicise our campaigning activity – such as by sharing a link to the pubs list on the website mentioned above. It is important to remember that these social media accounts are open to everyone – not just members – and are an opportunity to attract more members.

    The Lockdown Hero awards the branch made last month were very well received by the recipients, with many using the award to promote themselves on social media. We are issuing a press release to create further publicity for the pubs and breweries. Thank you to all of the members who nominated at our last branch meeting.

    Our next meeting is on Saturday 10 April at 10:30am using Zoom. To join click on this link at the start time:

    Or if you have Zoom you can use the Meeting ID: 830 6753 8100 and passcode: Q0JVxb

    The main attraction for this meeting is that we have two of our members who will be speaking about the difficulties faced by publicans in the present circumstances and how it has affected their businesses. I hope you can join us for this.

    Yours sincerely and cheers!

    Jason Phillips

    BSD Branch Chairman

  • Lockdown Hero Awards Monday 29 March 2021

    The branch was delighted to award the following pubs and breweries Lockdown Hero awards:


    The Anchor, Ringmer

    The Independent, Brighton

    The Hand in Hand, Kemptown

    The Queen Vic, Rottingdean

    The Duke of Wellington, Shoreham-by-Sea

    The Foghorn, Portslade


    360 Degree Brewing, Sheffield Park

    Harveys, Lewes

    Hurst Brewery, Hurstpierpoint

    Thank you to all members who nominated these businesses.

  • Chairman’s Newsletter - February 2021 Thursday 18 February 2021

    Chairman’s Newsletter - February 2021.

    A message to Brighton and South Downs Branch CAMRA members from Jason Phillips, the new Branch Chairman...

    After a very difficult year we held our delayed AGM on 23rd January using the ZOOM online meeting tool. The opportunity to refresh your branch’s Committee was taken and after nominations and voting we arrived with a good blend of experience and first-time members.

    So, what’s new you may ask? Firstly, our Committee wants to focus activity on campaigning; an area that we have been too passive previously. We held a productive Committee session on campaigning earlier this month and have produced the following priority areas:

    Pubs. We will react to threats of closure to pubs where there is community support by participating in campaign activity and utilising the CAMRA online Save Our Pub resources. We will also help promote pub beer festivals; Organise our Ale Trail, maintain up to date What Pub information and the Pub Scratchings entries in Sussex Drinker. We will also continue to organise branch socials in pubs, but with more consideration to supporting those pubs in need of support. Using Pub of the Year and other mechanisms, award our branch pubs with a range of certificates including Community Hero awards for service during COVID19.

    Breweries. Provide more advice and support, particularly to new micro-breweries, through our Brewery Liaison Officers. Showcase Sussex breweries at our beer festival(s), encouraging them to brew ‘festival’ beers and present more awards to eligible Sussex brewers. We will also facilitate visits to breweries which will be open to as many members as practical.

    Membership. All of the above campaigning activity is under-pinned by our membership. We are developing a plan to increase our membership drawing from a wider demographic from our very diverse branch population. We also want to encourage existing members to become more involved in our campaigning activity and I hope you will respond positively to our increased collective focus on campaigning and engagement with you.

    You will also see a change in our meeting structures. Much more of the administration of the branch will be conducted in Committee meetings. Branch Meetings will be more engaging with a focus on single issues (e.g. Good Beer Guide selection) and / or opportunities to socialise and discuss real ale and cider.

    Plans are underway to have guest speakers at future Branch Meetings and possibly collaboration with breweries for beer tasting events. We also want to make it easier for you to hear from us on what we are or could be doing and for us to listen to you. We have recently improved our website infrastructure but we want to introduce social media to increase engagement and respond more quickly to campaigning opportunities.

    Volunteering should be enjoyable and there are lots of ways you can help your branch without committing more than a few hours a month. We are always in need of help with staffing our beer festival(s) and we have several opportunities for volunteers to act as a liaison point for breweries in our branch area. Please get in touch with me or any of the Committee members to get involved.

    Finally take a look at the National CAMRA website, it has so much useful information for members interested in volunteering. It also makes it easy to support National Campaigns by signing petitions and lobbying MPs by just clicking a link.

    Yours sincerely and cheers!

    Jason Phillips

    BSD Branch Chairman

  • Sussex Drinker out now Tuesday 9 February 2021

    The Spring 2021 edition can be viewed here Sussex Drinker Spring 2021

  • Brighton Bier Offer Wednesday 9 December 2020

    Brighton Bier offer CAMRA Members a 10% Discount on cases of Brighton Bier – all you need to do is use the code CAMRA at checkout. Brighton Bier

  • Low Cost Beer website if you're interested! Wednesday 9 December 2020

    One of our Members had drawn attention to this 'mail-order'/internet service, where short-dated or indeed out-of-date cans and bottles may be purchased at advantageous prices. As there are beers from some popular local breweries (I noticed a Burning Sky on there the other day) you might like to try them out:

  • What the Branch does... Thursday 12 November 2020

    Over 2,600 CAMRA members live in our Branch area, which is Brighton & Hove, Lewes, Newhaven, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Shoreham-by-Sea and the area in between. So what do we do – apart from drink beer and run this website?

    1. Organise the annual South Downs Beer Festival in Lewes at The Old Town Hall & Corn Exchange, next one possibly June 2022.

    2 THE GOOD BEER GUIDE: We select about 30 pubs from our area for inclusion in CAMRA's annual Good Beer Guide. CAMRA Members who wish to help in this process, for future editions of the Guide, need to use CAMRA's National Beer Scoring System (called NBSS) either on the CAMRA main website, on this sheet Beer Scoring Sheet or in small booklets of 10 slips, available at Branch Meetings.

    3. Choose one as our "Pub of The Year".

    4. Organise weekly socials, usually on a Thursday night at 7.30pm, currently suspended until Summer 2021, we hope.

    5. Assist in organising a Sussex Branches Beer & Cider Festival (not currently happening), which was often held in our Branch area. For updates see Sussex Branches Beer Festival.

    6. Help with the distribution of Sussex Drinker, a quarterly colour magazine about the local real ale scene, available free in lots of Sussex pubs. Due to the pandemic, there is now only an online version; link here Sussex Drinker 103.

    7. Represent CAMRA and campaign on CAMRA issues – only under 'normal' conditions: minibus trips to breweries and to pubs taking literature, manning stalls at festivals, etc.

    8. Liaise with and report on the Breweries on our patch to CAMRA headquarters, and put their news in Sussex Drinker.

    9. Normally, run a Summer Ale Trail (not happening due to coronavirus) around our area, with prizes for visiting 20, 30 or 40 pubs.

    10. Monitor a database of local pubs... to feed into CAMRA's WHAT PUB? website. For particular recommendations please look in CAMRA's current Good Beer Guide.