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Previous News (2014 Festival)

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

6 April 2014: Award winners and charity donations

The winner of Beer of the Festival at the recently held Sussex Beer and Cider Festival is Twickenham Nooksack APA. Brewed in collaboration with the Kissingate Brewery from Lower Beeding is described as an “American Pale Ale brewed with three different types of American hops”.

Cider of the festival was Dorset Nectar.

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

Kissingate and Long Man breweries both kindly sponsored two barrels of beer which together with the unused beer tokens donated by nearly 4,440 festival goers benefited the festival charities St. Peter & St. James Hospice and the Rosemary Mount Care Home by £808 each.

Plans are already underway for the 2015 festival.

Peter Mitchell
March 2014

(Apologies for the late publication on the website due to holiday!)

6-8 March March 2014: use our Mobile Site for LIVE beer and cider availability, or follow us on Twitter...

The mobile website will be updated every 1-2 hours throughout the Festival, with the full website updated on a best endeavours basis. Thank you for your understanding and enjoy the festival. For those of you who understand such witchcraft, our Twitter feed will also be tweeting live news and updates.

8 March 2014: Final day of the Festival and plenty of beers left

The good news is that there's a really good spread of styles, breweries and beers left for the start of the Saturday lunchtime session, which is evidence that our beer selection has proved successful. Having said that, several beers are likely to run out in the next hour or so (look for casks that are tilted at steeper angles for a clue), but you can keep an eye out here.

There are also tickets available on the door for both sessions today, with the Wessex Pistols providing live music this evening.

7 March 2014: First beers to sell out + bottled beer update

Thornbridge Jaipur IPA took top spot in the race to sell out first by pipping Top-Notch Hop Festival by minutes, around 12.25pm on Friday lunchtime. Congratulations!

We've also updated the Bottled Beers page, as these sold steadily at last night's session and the range is going down well with discerning festival goers.

Finally, we're all experiencing wifi problems here, so this update is brought to you courtesy of my phone being set up as a mobile hotspot. Until someone switches the router off and on again, updates will pretty much be limited to trying to keep the mobile site as up-to-date as possible.

6 March 2014: Ticket availability update

A minimum of 100 tickets have been kept back for on-the-door sales at each session. Please note that we expect some sessions to sell very quickly, with queues possibly forming in advance of of the session opening. As an indication, we have sold 120 tickets between 5-6pm on Thursday evening.

Tickets are strictly first-come, first-served and we regret that we are unable to reserve any tickets at this stage.

5 March 2014: Last-minute tweaks on Festival eve

One final change to the Beer list (a replacement for a replacement!), a late additon to the Bottled Beers (Top-Notch from just up the road in Haywards Heath) and confirmation of all changes to the Programme (at the bottom of the Beers page) have been made.

Our mobile website (available via the QR code to the left, and dotted around Hove Town Hall) also has up-to-date lists and will be updated every 1-2 hours throughout each of the five sessions. That's it for now until the live updates start tomorrow.

4 March 2014: Bottled beer and Cider/Perry lists online, and more...

After a last-minute burst of information being passed across to Web HQ, we've now got the provisional Bottled Beers list (72, including some very interesting overseas beers) and the Cider & Perry lists (37 ciders, 11 perries and 1 cider-perry) online. The Charities page has also been updated with info on this year's two selected charities, and we've even updated the Links page with some dates for your diaries.

More updates to follow in the next day or so on the last-minute amendments to the beer list, plus any extra news that comes our way.

3 March 2014: New Twitterer for 2014 Festival

We will have a new Twitter-person tweeting live updates from the XXIV Sussex Beer & Cider Festival, and she's promised she understands it far better than last year's incumbent (who is being left in peace to man the website). You can follow us properly on Twitter here, or just cast your eye over the latest tweets via the box below:


17 February 2014: Provisional beer list online, tickets selling fast

The provisional beer list is now online on our Beers page, with a total of 240 for now. We'll bring you updates, plus news of bottled beers and ciders/perries shortly when we have them (subject to the webmaster's work and travel committments, as always!).

Ticket sales are going well, with Friday already sold out of advance tickets. We do our best to keep our ticket matrix up to date, but please feel free to call ahead to the Ticket Outlets before setting out to avoid a wasted trip.

13 January 2014: Tickets on sale NOW

Ticket sales start this week, with mail order applications underway and ticket outlets to receive their tickets over the next few days.

9 December 2013: Volunteer form now online

The Festival simply wouldn't happen without the hard work and goodwill of the dozens of volunteers, but we're always looking out for more helping hands! If you fancy giving it a go, have a look at the different types of jobs and jot down your preferences on our staffing form.

24 October 2013: Sussex Branches of CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival XXIV, Hove Centre, 6-8 March 2014

There really has never been a better time to discover real ale, with over twelve hundred breweries in the United Kingdom, including nearly forty in Sussex, producing over 5,000 different beers. Unfortunately we can’t have as many beers as that on sale at the 24th Sussex Branches Beer & Cider Festival but there will be over 220 specially selected real ales to choose from. Cider and perry lovers will have more than forty ciders and perries available. There will also be an excellent selection of British Real Ales in a Bottle and of foreign beers from all over the world.

To help soak up those pints there will be a variety of food on sale, including vegetarian and vegan choices. Smart T’s will have his usual stall selling his unique brand of T shirts. Kaz and Camilla from Ace Faces will be doing face painting and temporary tattoos. Olives & Things will also have their stall selling a variety of olives, antipasti, nuts and crispy snacks. As in previous years, there will be a live band on the Saturday night and this year it will be The Wessex Pistols.

All bars will operate a token system with each token being worth 10p. Refunds will be given only for whole £s before time is called at the bar. Any surplus tokens, as well as any spare cash you have, can be donated to this year’s two festival charities: St Peter and St James Hospice, Chailey, and The Rosemary Mount Care Home, Worthing.

Please bear in mind that real ale takes at least two days to settle before it can be served, so the earlier you can get to the festival the greater the choice of beer available. Tickets will go on sale from 13 January to 28 February 2014 at the following outlets: Evening Star, Brighton; Beer Essentials, Horsham; Bell, Hove; Gardener’s Arms, Lewes; Stanley Arms, Portslade; Buckingham Arms, Shoreham by Sea; Selden Arms, Worthing.

The Brighton Centre Box Office will also be selling tickets but please note that there is a booking fee when buying tickets through their website or by phone. No tickets will be on sale at the Hove Centre other than at the door while the festival is open. A minimum of 100 tickets will be on sale at the door before each of the five sessions. For postal sales, please send a 9x4 SAE with your payment to SCBCF Tickets Sales, 16 Connell Drive, Woodingdean, Brighton BN2 6RT. Please state which session(s) you require with cheques or postal orders made payable to Sussex CAMRA Beer Festival.

The trade session will take place on the Thursday from 3-5pm when invited representatives of breweries, cider makers and licensed premises will have the chance to sample up to ten different beers, have the opportunity to speak to other landlords and for brewers and cider producers to market their products.

See the back cover of this issue for times and ticket prices, or keep an eye on this . The ticket price will include a free souvenir glass and festival programme. For card-carrying CAMRA members there will be £2 worth of beer tokens available from the CAMRA membership stand. On Saturday night holders of a valid NUS card will receive a 50% reduction on their ticket price, either at the door or at the Brighton Centre Box Office. If you look under 25, please bring a photo ID and please note that there will be no admission at any sessions for under-18s, with the exception of babies or small children in push chairs only, accompanied by their parents, during the early sessions. Bags may be inspected at all times.

Finally, for all of those who enjoyed yourselves at the 2013 festival, spare a thought for the volunteers who served you. All are unpaid workers who do the job because of their love of real ale or cider. All CAMRA festivals are run by CAMRA members who do a variety of jobs, many behind the scenes setting up, taking down and selling tokens and so the list goes on. But serving you the drinker is, I think, the most important. Who wants to wait to be served? You would much rather be looking at your programme thinking about your next drink.

So this is where you, the Sussex CAMRA member comes in. This year we didn’t have enough workers for some sessions but particularly the Saturday lunchtime session. We managed but only just! I know next year’s festival is four months away but PLEASE think now about volunteering to work at it. You will be well looked after, I can assure you. There is a chance to sample the beers or ciders, a meal, a festival T-shirt, free transport home and other goodies.

So, to all of the workers who couldn’t make it in 2013 and to all you new volunteers, I hope to see you all 6, 7 & 8 March 2014.

All enquiries: or 07450 656148;

Peter Mitchell and John Kirkland
Joint Festival Organisers



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