The Brighton Guide to Craft Beer & Ales

Venues serving craft beer, progressive beers and ales. A beer drinkers guide to Brighton’s best watering holes.

The Independent

Another pub that is outside of the city centre, Queens Park’s The Independent is exactly that. Free from any brewery ties they can pick and choose their beers and they sure know how to pick ‘em. Often featuring some of the top craft brewers in the country the guys certainly know their beer. The Independent is a sleek and stylish local with a vinyl selection to die for making it well worth checking out.

Bar and dining area of the Independent Pub, Hanover

The Basketmakers Arms

If you are looking for a central Brighton pub with all the charm and character of a village Inn then The Basketmakers Arms is the pub for you. With a long and distinguished history in the city The Basketmakers has been one of Brighton’s top pubs for some time. The Fullers backed pub serves the best pint of ESB in the city and the cellar is regarded as one of the best kept in Brighton. With superb food and an atmosphere that is both cosy and lively at the same time, this Brighton boozer is one to watch the hours melt by in the company of good friends .

The Hare and Hounds

This vast pub on the corner of Preston Circus has gone through quite a transformation in recent years. The Hare and Hounds is a lively and vibrant venue for those seeking a good night out. With a wide range of craft beer, ales and ciders and excellent Mexican food courtesy of La Choza there is a lot going for this place. As part of the Indigo pub group the beer selection is varied and The Hare and Hounds take particular pride in their Meantime lager. This is pub that caters to the needs of the many combining great food, beer and even an upstairs music venue.

Hare and Hounds, Pub, Brighton's Best Beer Pubs

The Evening Star

This is a pub which could have a strong case for its own blue plaque given that it is the birth place of Sussex brewing legends Dark Star. Now that the brewing process has moved to slightly more spacious surroundings, The Evening Star is back to being a great pub with a solid selection of Dark Star beers and a strong supporting cast of UK craft brewers. Ideally situated close to Brighton station, the pub has a strong community of real beer fans who appreciate the well kept ales and ever changing line up.

The Evening Star, Pub, Brighton's Best Beer Pubs

The Bull Inn

Located just north of Henfield, this traditional style pub welcomes the whole family (including the dog!). With plenty of space and a delicious menu specialising in freshly baked pizza we think this is a venue that will please the kids and adults alike! The Bull is popular for it’s freshly made to order pizzas that are stone baked in a traditional oven. With over 20 different toppings to choose from, you can mix and match to your heart’s content! If pizza isn’t your thing then you could go for a pasta dish or one of their burgers with homemade coleslaw… or maybe skip straight to dessert! The spacious beer garden is an ideal space to dine al fresco during the summer months or just to relax & enjoy a drink.

Caxton Arms

The Caxton Arms opened in 1928 as a community pub to support the now closed dairy on North Gardens. The pub is named after William Caxton an English merchant, diplomat, writer and printer. It’s one of Brighton’s best kept secrets, tucked away in the heart of the city centre, just a short hop from Brighton station. It’s traditional pub inspired menu focuses on tasty authentic food, made by their passionate chefs. There’s plenty of delicious drinks including an array of ales & beers to choose from and enjoy in their two-level split garden!

Caxton Arms, Food Pub, Brighton

Brighton Beer Dispensary

This pub is the perfect example of a modern yet traditional British boozer. Walk inside and the rugged and honest interior and well stocked bar make it feel like the sort of local pub you would want to have on your doorstep. Look a little closer and you will find an exceptional selection of real ales, ciders and an ever changing range of kegged craft beers. This is down to the fact it is a fantastic pub run by proper beer lovers. With regular tap takeovers and top notch food the Brighton Beer Dispensary is a pub that shows that you can be modern in terms of your cellar, but still retain the character that makes British pubs the envy of the world.

Brighton Beer Dispensary, Brighton's Best Beer Pubs

The Black Lion

One of Brighton’s well known pubs, The Black Lion, is situated in the heart of The Lanes just near the seafront on Black Lion Street. Not only does The Black Lion have a good reputation for a music filled night out, it’s amazing food is also the attraction to many people. The Black Lion serve a great selection of beer & cocktails, including specialist craft beers and regularly changing local ales. If you’re hungry too, the food has go to be tried, including delicious Sunday roasts and traditional pub classics with a modern twist!

The Black Lion, Food, Pub

The Watchmakers Arms

If you are looking for a friendly atmosphere, great ales and no unwelcome distractions then The Watchmakers Arms is the place for you. East Sussex’s only micropub and Hove’s best kept secret, The Watchmakers Arms serves an ever changing menu of five cask ales, five ciders and Sussex wines. Never heard of a micropub before? Then all you need to know are the four main rules; no Music, no TV’s, no electronic devices and no lager. Micropubs are all about conversation, community and atmosphere; and The Watchmakers Arms has all three in abundance.

Watchmakers Arms, Hove, Pub, Brighton's Best Beer Pubs

The Shepherd and Dog

Tucked away at the foot of the picturesque Devils Dyke this country pub is packed with all the picture postcard charm that you could ask for. Situated in a rustic cottage style building there is a little more than meets the eye thanks to a bar stocked with a modern selection of ales and craft beers. Their annual craft beer festival has given The Shepherd and Dog the reputation as the best country craft beer pub in Sussex. Popular with locals, dog walkers and pretty much anyone who has stumbled across it, The Shepherd and Dog is a fantastic country pub that is just on Brighton’s doorstep.

The Shepherd & Dog, Country Pub, Fulking, Henfield, West Sussex

The Hand in Hand

If you are looking for a pub steeped in Brighton history then The Hand in Hand in Kemptown is right up there. This small and quirky pub has housed a microbrewery since 1989, and it is believed there has been a pub on this site for the last 150 years. This was the home of Brighton Bier for some time as well as the Kemptown Brewery which has recently been reborn as the Hand Brew Co. This is an excellent little pub which has a great selection of ales, craft beers and ciders that complement the superb atmosphere and décor.

Hand in Hand, Pub, Brighton's Best Beer Pubs

The North Laine

This large Brighton pub is the home of the Laine Brew Co who have recently built a new brewery on the outskirts of the city. What this means for the punter is a huge selection of ales and craft beers at you beck and call and plenty of room for you and mates to enjoy them. The pub hosts regular events and club nights making for a real party atmosphere with excellent beers to keep the party going.

North Laine Pub, Brighton's Best Beer Pubs

The Southover

Take a walk up Southover Street and you will be rewarded at the top by the sight of The Southover pub, and what a welcome sight it will be after that hill. Formerly The Pub with no Name this once rustic local boozer has been revamped and given a new lease of life as a modern craft beer pub. Another of the Indigo group, this is arguably the best of their line up thanks to a knowledgeable landlord who cares about how his beers are kept. A great line up of drinks and a proper local atmosphere make for the sort of pub you would be pleased to have as your local.

The Southover, Pub, Brighton's Best Beer Pubs

Craft Beer Co.

No prizes for guessing where these guys focus their attention. With 27 pumps serving up a raucous range of kegged and cask ales this is a serious haven for been lovers. With a clear pricing structure that, in some cases, reaches eye watering levels there is a lot to learn about beer at the Craft Beer Co. Given the variety of beers available we can even forgive them for being a London chain, just.

Craft Beer Co, Brighton,Pub, Brighton's Best Beer Pubs

The Black Dove

This super cool Kemptown bar has been serving up craft beers since they first hit our shores. This is the sort of bar that attracts the more interesting members of our community. With its dark wood, deep coloured fabrics, heavy curtains and sumptuous downstairs snug you can easily lose a few hours in here. With an enviable selection of beers, spirits and cocktails, The Black Dove, is a venue to kick back with mates and enjoy some great drinks and tunes to match.

The Black Dove pub in Kemptown, Brighton

Brewdog Brighton

Love them or loathe them, there is one thing that is undeniable; Brewdog make fantastic beer. The UK craft beer pioneers now have 42 pubs worldwide and one of those happens to be in our fair city. Offering up an awesome range of Brewdog beers alongside hand picked guest brewers, Brewdog pubs are packed with hoppy greatness. With their focus on quality and excellence, you will not get a fresher pint of the iconic Punk IPA anywhere else. The large interior makes this is the perfect pub for a get together with like minded craft loving friends.

Xavier D. Buendia, Food Photography, Restaurants Brighton Interview

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