Sussex; A Tryanuary Snapshot Part 2

On January 1st I kicked things off for the Tryanuary campaign by taking over the social media channels and shouting loud about my local scene for the Tryanuary Sussex beer day. As part of this I published a blog post, a well received snapshot of some of the good folk operating within the Sussex beer scene who were kind enough to answer a few questions. As we near the half way point of this year’s Tryanuary  we’re beginning to see just how much potential influence the campaign has had. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the official Tryanuary site have all generated plenty of content by Local Champions but we’ve also seen lots of interaction with the campaign and it’s hashtag #Tryanuary being used by lots of people getting on board be they punters, brewers, publicans or retailers. The Twitter reach alone in the first week was an impressive 9 million. It’s safe to say that the momentum is still going strong, and with that momentum rolling I want to keep an eye firmly fixed on Sussex and give it another push, so following in the same vein as that first snapshot, here’s Part 2 of my Sussex Tryanuary Q&A’s:

1. Please introduce yourself and your business

Sally O’Connor – Communications Manager for Bedlam Brewery

2. How did you get into the world of beer?

My misspent youth in the company of a man obsessed with beer, who I now call ‘husband’ !

3. What’s your desert island beer?

I’d have to say local Brewery, Burning Sky with either their Gaston Pale Ale to see me through the evening sunsets and then Arise of course for the sunrise!   Outside of Sussex I’m a big fan of Tiny Rebel – I wouldn’t say no to one of their casks being washed ashore (Cwtch being my current favourite, but then on a desert island it’d have to be their Tropical Golden Ale wouldn’t it!)  And if I was to choose a London favourite it’s Meantime Yakima Red all the way!

4. How would you describe the Sussex beer scene right now?

Sussex is the centre of excellence for beers in my humble opinion!  It’s vibrant and exciting thanks to the beer giants of Dark Star and Harveys plus new, sexy breweries of Burning Sky and Gun.   Sussex has an eclectic mix of pubs and bars too, such as The Crown in Hastings, where I could easily spend an hour or five!  Who wouldn’t want to while away the hours on Brighton beach with a can or two from Gun Brewery or take a long pub walk via the South Downs with a cold bottle of Dark Star Hophead in your rucksack – or am I harbouring back to my misspent youth!

Bedlam has just released a brand new beer this month, Three Threads, a limited edition Oak Aged Rye version of the ever popular Porter. 

Keep up to date with Bedlam on Twitter and find out more about the beers on the brewery website:

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1. Please introduce yourself and your business 

My name: Craig Wilson, The business: The Kiln Brewery

2. How did you get into the world of beer?

Me and Andy started home brewing back in 2013, with the aim of making the kinds of beers we loved to drink, uncomplicated, easy drinking and above all full of flavour. After many attempts and a lot of advice from some great brewers the beers started to be enjoyed by friends and family alike. In November 2014, we bought a 1BBL (163 litre) brewing kit and started to brew commercially; The Kiln Brewery was born.

Word quickly spread and demand increased, we soon started to outgrow our little 1BBL kit. It was time to look for a new home, when looking we knew we wanted to stay in Sussex, be close to Burgess Hill, be able to use state of the art kit that would allow us to produce the best possible beers we could, that could be naturally carbonated, vegan friendly (no nasty finnings) and the ability to can our beers (canning = fresher beer), then we found Missing Link Brewing and it offered everything we wanted and much more

3. What’syour desert island beer? 

Apassionada by Edge Brewing Barcelona

4. How would you describe the Sussex beer scene right now?

Very healthy with some great breweries producing cutting edge exciting beers as good as any of the highly acclaimed national and international breweries

Kiln will be taking part in the series of Meet the Maker events at Brooksteed Alehouse with a Tap Takeover on Wednesday 17th January. The new Black IPA will be available. 

Keep up to date with Kiln Brewery on Twitter 


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1. Please introduce yourself and your business 

Hello! We’re Steve and Andrew and we make up Franklins Brewing Co. We’re based in Ringmer, having moved here in October 2016 from Bexhill where we were based for 4 years. We brew vegan friendly cask ales with the emphasis on quality and drinkability! We will be venturing into the world of keg and can before the spring and we now have a fully functioning taproom available for events

2. How did you get into the world of beer? 

(Steve) – I was following a dream! After having work in pubs and bars for years, including running the Jerusalem Tavern for St Peter’s Brewery, I decided that I would pack it all in to go to brew school and learn how to make my own beer! After learning my trade working for Dark Star I got the opportunity to take over Franklins and the rest is history.

3. What’s your desert island beer?  

(Andrew) – Rodenbach Grand Cru

4. How would you describe the Sussex beer scene right now?

Vibrant! It just keeps growing and growing and the number of bars and breweries has probably doubled even in our time. Each new brewery is bringing fresh ideas and keeping us “old timers” on our toes, it’s great to be part of. The rise of the micro pub has increased the market place and the people running these are all doing their own thing and promoting great beer. Even pubs that weren’t previously too bothered about beer are upping their game. It’s a great time to be part of it.

Franklins have two new beers available this month; Revelation, a 4% kegged oatmeal pale & a new American Brown at 4.5% in cask. 

Keep up with Franklins on Twitter and via the brewery website:

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1. Please introduce yourself and your business

Chris & Julia are the owners of Cellar Head with Dave (Chief Brewer) responsible for making our great range of beer.  We strive to create versatile and drinkable beers with the focus on English grown hops. Our Single Hop Pale Range showcases these hops perfectly. Dave likes to put those lesser known or rare hops on the pedestal they deserve for the world to experience!  All our beers are unfined and therefore vegan-friendly.  We held our first Open Day just before Christmas which was an amazing success and so we’re planning on experimenting with a monthly tap room in 2018 – keep your eyes peeled for more info!

2.How did you get into the world of beer?

The desire to do something directly for ourselves. Having spent 25+ years on the oil and gas treadmill, a Sussex brewery ceased to trade. The assets became available to buy and sensing the Gods were aligning the stars and now was the time, we took a deep breath, dived in head first, hired a brewer and set up Cellar Head Brewing Co – the rest as they say is history.

3.What’s your desert island beer?

Gun’s ZamZama with a fresh fruit breakfast. Brew Dog’s Elvis Juice for an elevens-o’clock with a salmon bento box and Windswept Brewing’s WOLF barrel aged dark ale with a bar of Dairy Milk, whilst keeping an eye out for a passing ship!

4.How would you describe the Sussex beer scene right now?

Spoilt for choice! The range, style and diversity of beers being produced and available across all package ranges are incredible. The increase in the micropub and brewery tap rooms is supporting this demand in getting all these amazing beers to the masses and beyond.

Cellar Head has a new Single Hop Pale “JESTER” coming out at the end of January in cask and bottle and a new low ABV 2.7% beer, SUB THREE is out now. 

You can find Cellar Head on Twitter and find out more on the brewery website:

1. Please introduce yourself and your business

North & South Leisure Ltd – a brand new company made up of 3 business partners. Peter, Ken and myself, Richard Grady. We’ve just taken on the King’s Arms on the Bishopric in Horsham, unfortunately we can’t offer customers any Tryanuary options this year as we are closed for refurbishment but can’t wait to Welcome people back soon with a Great British freehold pub. We have just taken another freehold in Sittingbourne and we have a couple of leaseholds in the pipeline. Ken and Peter already have Pubs between them, I’ve joined to help develop this new business and hopefully grow as we go. I can’t speak on behalf of my partners but happy to share my thoughts here.

2. How did you get into the world of beer?

My introduction to the world of beer started in Hotel management but it’s been honed for the last 12 years whilst working for Heineken, a corporate beast of course but with 250 brands globally there’s some great beers in their stable and I’ve been spoilt with Brewery tours galore and beers from all over the world

3. What’s your desert island beer?

Desert Island beer – so difficult to choose and easy to overthink this too. I like some of the modern Pale Ales that have entered the market in recent years. But if I could have only one beer then I’m going for a beer that reminds me of Home, born and raised in East Lancashire it’s Pride of Pendle from Moorhouses Brewery (Sorry Sussex people)

4. How would you describe the Sussex beers scene right now?

Sussex beer scene right now; I’ve followed people like the Laines Pub Co from Brighton for a few years now. I think they are a shining beacon for how to run great pubs for today’s consumer market and they’re a few years into brewing now too. The brewing history and heritage of Sussex is fantastic and with new brewers entering the scene I can’t wait to relaunch the King’s Arms as a true freehold. We plan to have at least one keg and one cask on rotation from Sussex at any one time. Pop by and try one or two.

Find out more about the King’s Arms on the pub’s website:


The King’s Arms is a perfect example of why we should get out and explore the pubs of our towns and cities; places change. I for one am eager to see how this former Hall & Woodhouse pub is going to differ once the refurb is complete, and not just for the decor, i’m keen because once it’s reborn as a freehouse there is the promise of support for local breweries with at least one cask and one keg in rotation for locally produced beers and that support for local, that’s the true essence of Tryanuary.

5 thoughts on “Sussex; A Tryanuary Snapshot Part 2

  1. Keen to see what The reopened Kings Arms will be like. Slightly underwhelmed, though, by the promise of “at least” one Sussex ale, considering you’ve gone to the trouble of showing us just what the 2 counties have to offer the beer drinker.

    1. I think it’s a positive step in the right direction considering it was always a tied pub. The fact that Horsham is gaining another freehouse shouldn’t be underwhelming considering the hold H&W has had over the years.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Paul. It’s a fair challenge and we will review it, one of our challenges is that the pub isn’t that big so throughtputs will determine the quality and if we aren’t selling beer how the brewer meant for it to be then we are doing you and them a disservice. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you visit. Thanks, Richard

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