I have made two visits to the Wilkes Head in two days which has to be something of a record for me. Yesterday evening I met a friend to have a good chat about micropubs whilst enjoying the most awesome pint of Long Man American Pale Ale (4.8% ABV). This beer was so good I had to visit again this lunchtime and use my 'Free Pint' voucher that all CAMRA members are eligible for to celebrate Cask Ale Week.
Tomorrow the Wilkes Head will be presented with the CAMRA Sussex Pub of the Year award and the place is sure to be packed. There are five CAMRA areas in Sussex and each region names their pub of the year and members from all the five regions will then visit the winners of each and vote for an overall winner. I understand that The Wilkes Head was a clear winner this year.
The Wilkes Head is located close to Fontwell Racecourse and the A27 between Chichester and Arundel. For those passing through to Bognor Regis down the A29 from the A27 at Fontwell you will pass through Eastergate but you will bypass the old village centre to a large extent. At the old war memorial the main road goes off to the right through Westergate and Woodgate with no rural gap in between. If you turn off the main road though and sort of continue straight on you will enter the old village with the Wilkes Head nestled in a corner next to the village school.
There are two bars in both directions when you enter the front door and both have a lovely village local feel to them. Further off to the right is a bit of a function room also used for dining and a large garden which has a covered area too. On the few occasions I have been in this pub the staff have always been very friendly and welcoming and last night we were presented with a few sandwiches and a plate of chips to enjoy alongside our pints. It really is a perfect local and judging by how busy it always seems to be lots of people have the same thought.
Although the Wilkes Head is owned by Punch Taverns, the beer selection is always first class. At a recent branch social I enjoyed a superb pint of Oakleaf Hole Hearted (4.7% ABV) there and last night there was again an Oakleaf beer (Nuptu'ale 4.2%ABV) alongside Bowman's Swift One (3.8% ABV) in addition to the amazing American Pale Ale from the fairly new East Sussex brewer Long Man. I cannot remember what the fourth beer was but Adnams fine beers are often featured. The guest ales are constantly changing though and judging by the beers due soon you will rarely be disappointed by what's on offer.
Unfortunately I cannot be at the presentation of the Sussex Pub of the Year at the Wilkes Head tomorrow but I will be making my way to this fine pub as often as I can and for anyone in the area I recommend you do the same. It really is a splendid pub.