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Previous News (2013 Festival)

The 29th Festival will be held on Fri 22nd - Sat 23rd March 2019 once again at Brighton Racecourse.

12 April 2013: Beers & Cider of the Festival

The winner of Beer of the Festival at the recently held Sussex Beer and Cider Festival is Tiny Rebel Urban IPA based in Newport, Gwent. Described as “carefully crafted from an intercontinental blend of hops”.

Cider of the festival was Oakwood Organic form East Sussex and Perry of the festival was Barbourne Medium from Worcestershire.

The Bev Robbins Shield for the best Sussex Beer was won by Harvey’s Prince of Denmark.

Thanks to the generosity of the 4300 festival goers the festival charity, Dolphin House collected £295 in cash. Unused beer tokens amounted to £1478.40 and a barrel of beer donated by the Kissingate Brewery raised £180.

Next year the festival will be open from 6 – 8 March 2014.

Peter Mitchell
Publicity Officer for the Sussex Beer & Cider Festival

12 April 2013: All good things come with 23

Our outgoing festival organiser, Ingrid Sharp, has penned a closing report for the Sussex Drinker magazine that you can read first here.

2 March 2013, 10pm: "Time at the bar..."

Many thanks for all who came to enjoy the 23rd Sussex CAMRA Branches Beer & Cider Festival this year, and special thanks to the organisers, cellarmen, bar staff and all other volunteers who put so much time and effort in for free (well, maybe the odd beer here and there...). And not to forget the caterers, stall-holders and the Hove Town Hall stewards and other staff.

We will be back in a couple of weeks with announcements for Beer of the Festival and the Bev Robbins Trophy for the best Sussex beer, and of course we'll see you again next year...

2 March 2013, 7.30pm: Nearing the end...

Saturday night sold out on the door by 6.30pm, earlier than Friday (which had considerably fewer tickets available for walk-up sales), and our beer list continues to dwindle. This is a good thing from a budgetary perspective, but we do understand how frustrating it can be to miss out on your preferred beers. For this reason, we've pioneered live web updates (per the links below) to try and keep everyone posted as to what's going on where.

We've also kept a blog on the go over the weekend to try and give a flavour of what goes on behind the scenes - you can see it at the foot of this page.

1 March 2013, 11.40am: Updates a-plenty...

Two more ciders from Bakttle are on the list, our Beer Changes page (it's not pretty, but it's designed to work with smartphones) is tracking what's on, what's not and what's already sold out, and our Live Beer List tells you what's where.

And please don't forget our Facebook page, our Twitter feed and - new for this year - our Blogger feed (at the foot of this page), where the webmaster is giving a wee bit more of an insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

Finally, there are still tickets available for every session, however these are strictly first-come, first-served - good luck for anyone who is trying for one of the remaining 100 for tonight (doors open at 5pm)!

28 February 2013: Cider list added

Our cider and perry list is now online, a whole 90 minutes before the start of the festival...

23 February 2013: Final beer list changes and tickets reminder

A few more tweaks brings the final count to 18 replacements. We've updated both our Beer List and our Tasting Notes (pdf, opens in new window), with the changes summarised at the foot of each. The final count (for now) stands at 222 beers. Of course, things can and will still change right up until the doors are opened on Thursday (and beyond)...

Although ticket sales from the outlets are winding down in the week leading up to the Festival, we have kept back 100 tickets for each session to be sold on a strictly first-come, first-served basis.

Finally, an apology (of sorts) to anyone who has tried to communicate with us by Twitter. The website is maintained as a labour of love by someone who no longer even lives in Sussex - he also works very long hours in his 'real job', so has only been using Facebook and Twitter to post messages, not receive them. Whilst we will be manning the social media properly during the Festival itself, if you do have enquiries in the meantime, please use the Contact Details on this website if you do need a reply.

18 February 2013: General updates

We've had a few late amendments to our beer list (the tasting notes should be updated at the weekend), and tickets are selling well: Friday night is sold out at all outlets, with other sessions proving popular at some pubs and less so at others.

Any un-sold tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis on the door at each session, and we've also kept a minimum of 100 tickets (which is 10% of the capacity) for walk-up sales at each session (yes, even Friday night!).

7 February 2013: NEW Sussex brewery plus updated bottle list

The latest Sussex brewery, Goldmark Craft Beers from Rustington will have their beers on sale at the Festival. There are now 35 breweries in Sussex and most of them will have their beers on sale at the LocAle Bar at the festival, where over 60 different ales will be on offer. About 10 new breweries have started brewing in the county in the last year giving the discerning drinker even more choice of quality real ales.

We've also updated the bottled beer list, plus added tasting notes for the bottled selection to our Downloads page as well.

1 February 2013: Tasting Notes added, Beer Styles updated

Tasting notes, including beer style, have now been added to our Downloads page. The Beer Styles page has also been updated in line with what will appear in the Festival programme. Let the serious planning of beer strategies begin...


27 January 2013: Six new beers added

We've added six more beers from three breweries to the beer list, as well as updated one beer that's had a name change. All details are on the updated beer list page.

24 January 2013: Provisional beer list online (and change of band)

The big news is that 215 of the beers we have provisionally lined up for the festival are now listed here. We still hope to add another half-dozen beers but - as always - this list will be subject to revisions right up to and beyond the start of the festival. We've also got details of our provisional bottled beer list.

After our original band had to pull out due to one of the members being unwell, Last of the Wild have kindly stepped in at short notice - you can read about them on our Music page.

16 January 2013: Staffing Form available, plus charity info

The Staffing Form is now available from our Volunteer page, where you can also find some details of what the various jobs involve. Please try and get the form posted to arrive with our Staffing Officer by 14 February.

We've also added some more information about this year's Festival charity, Dolphin House.

13 January 2013: Tickets on sale from TOMORROW

Check our Tickets page for full details. Remember that Friday night usually sells out before the end of January. Why not pick up your ticket in person from one of our hand-picked ticket outlets, and sample a beer at the same time?

5 January 2013: Official press release

As the demand for real ale shows no sign of slowing down there will be a record number of beers, nearly 240, on sale at the 23rd Sussex Beer and Cider Festival which will be open from the 28th February – 2nd March at Hove Town Hall. An excellent selection of ciders, perries, country wines and bottled beers from Britain and abroad will be available. The downstairs LocAle bar will only be selling beers from Sussex breweries.

The festival sessions with ticket prices are:

  • Thursday evening 5pm – 11pm £5
  • Friday lunchtime 11am – 3pm £4
  • Friday evening 5pm – 11pm £8
  • Saturday lunchtime 11am – 3pm £5
  • Saturday evening 5pm – 10pm £6 (£3 concessions)

Tickets will be on sale from the 14th January until 22nd February from the Brighton Centre (booking fee applies for online or telephone orders), Evening Star, Sir Charles Napier Brighton; Beer Essentials, Horsham; Bell, Hove; Gardeners Arms, Lewes; Buckingham Arms, Shoreham; Selden Arms, Worthing. To apply by post send a 9 x 4 SAE to SCBCF 16 Connell Drive, Woodingdean Brighton BN2 6RT stating which session tickets are for and make cheques payable to CAMRA Sussex Beer Festival.

Tickets for the festival always sell very quickly so to avoid disappointment on the day it is advisable to buy tickets for all the sessions. The ticket price includes a festival programme, commemorative glass and for CAMRA members £2 worth of beer tokens on production of their membership card at the membership stand. On Saturday night half price admission will be available to students buying tickets on the door on production of a Students Union card. If you look under 25 please bring ID.

The entertainment on Saturday night will be provided by Last of the Wild (who have stepped in to replace the Sex Pirates).

This year the festival charity is Dolphin House based in Brighton.

The Hove Centre has full disabled facilities and is well served by public transport.

Ingrid Sharp
Festival Organiser

8 October 2012: Editorial from Sussex Drinker Winter 2012

Hey! Ho! Let’s Go! Another great festival coming!

We will start with 200+ carefully selected Real Ales together with more than 40 ciders and perries, (hopefully) lots of Real Ales in a Bottle and speciality beers from all over the world. Please bear in mind that at Real Ale festivals beer runs out. It is impossible to rack up new beer, as it must settle for a couple of days or more before it can be served. The earlier you get to the festival the greater the choice. To compensate for the more limited choice on Saturday evening, we offer entertainment by the absolutely excellent Sex Pirates. They are a London based band who play foot stomping dance tunes and toe-tapping original songs which create an energetic party atmosphere and have the punters putting on their drinking heads and dancing boots! Just as we like it.

The wine bar will be run by Lurgashall Winery and will offer a selection of English Wines, Honey Meads, Fruit Liqueurs & Country Wines from producers across the South as well as a selection of Spanish Wines & Cavas.

There will also be a variety of food, including vegetarian & vegan options. Smart T’s also will be back with some cool new T-shirts, and Kaz and Camilla from Ace Faces will be painting faces and temporary tattoos. Local painter Richard Stone designed again the eye catching festival logo.

To keep it an enjoyable, as well as busy event for all, we always can do with more volunteers to help us with the festival, particularly for set-up and take down. Staffing forms will be available from our website or by post from January onwards. We also need more help with organising the festival, which gets bigger each year. We could do with helpers interested in compiling the bottled beer order, dealing with enquiries, organising 2-3 meetings a year and taking minutes, evaluating feedback forms and other aspects of organising the festival. This does not all have to be one person. It certainly peps up your CV. Please get in touch to find out more.

For those who wish to remain punters, tickets will be available from 14th January to 22nd February at all the usual outlets: Evening Star and the Sir Charles Napier in Brighton, the Gardeners Arms in Lewes, the Buckingham Arms in Shoreham, the Selden Arms in Worthing and the Beer Essentials in Horsham. Brighton Centre Box Office is also selling tickets again, but please remember that there is a booking fee, when buying tickets through their website or phone line. No tickets are sold at Hove Town Hall, other than at the door during the festival itself. Instead, tickets can be bought at The Bell in Hove.

Finally, tickets can be ordered via mail order from SCBCF Ticket Sales, 16 Connell Drive, Woodingdean, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 6RT. Please state which session(s) you require and enclose a 9x4 SAE with your payment. Cheques or postal orders should be made payable to ‘Sussex CAMRA Beer Festival'. For the first time we will keep 100 tickets for each session, including Friday evening, for sale at the door.

All bars operate a token system, where one token has the value of 10p. Token refunds can be given only for whole £s and before time is called at the bar. Surplus tokens as well as other donations go to this year’s festival charity, Dolphin House based in Brighton, which is a natural health charity providing a range of therapies for babies, children and young people irrespective of their family's ability to pay.

For opening times and ticket prices please have a look at the Tickets page. The ticket price includes a free souvenir glass and a programme. Card carrying CAMRA members will receive beer tokens worth £2 from the CAMRA membership stand. Holders of a valid NUS card get Saturday evening tickets at half price, when purchasing tickets in person at the Brighton Box Office or at the door. If you look as if you could be under 25, please bring a photo ID to prove your age! Sorry, but there will be no admission for under 18’s at the evening sessions and, at any other time, there will be no access for under 18’s to any of the bar areas. Bags may be inspected at all times.

There will be also be a Trade Session on Thursday 3-5 pm, where there will be the opportunity to sample up to 10 different products and speak to producers and purveyors. Traders, who have not received a ticket by 14th February 2013 and wish to attend, are asked to request one.

Ingrid Sharp
Festival Organiser



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