Thursday, 11 September 2014

Western Sussex Good Beer Guide Pubs 2015

The Good Beer Guide is officially launched today and although I have had my copy for a week or more now I can finally talk about which pubs are in this year.  So to celebrate the fact here are the 22 pubs chosen by my CAMRA branch this year.

Hatters Inn, Bognor Regis - A new entry this year for this Wetherspoons pub.  The only place in sunny Bognor Regis where you can get a decent pint and the first entry for this seaside town in quite a few years.
Bell Inn, Chichester - I am yet to visit this Enterprise Inn owned pub so it is not one I voted for.  I am looking forward to visiting soon though to see if it can attract my vote next year.

Bull, Chichester - Popular town centre pub with six ever changing beers.  Home to our branch meetings every two months.  The famous O'Hagans sausages are always available to enjoy.

Chichester Inn, Chichester - This Punch Tavern is a popular music venue and always has a couple of guest beers from local micros.   

Eastgate, Chichester - This former Gales pub, now owned by Fullers, is a classic town centre pub.  A regular beer festival is held in the summer.

Coach & Horses, Compton - This lovely pub in the pretty downland village of Compton is privately owned and offers locally sourced food and up to five real ales from local micros.

George, Eartham - A well deserved new entry for this former Gales pub which is now a thriving free house serving the best of Sussex in both food and drink.  There is an annual beer festival held in the summer making use of their large sunny garden.

Horse & Groom, East Ashling - This village free house has been an inn for over 200 years and is located just outside Chichester.  It sells a great range of beers at some of the cheapest prices in the area with Burning Sky and Dark Star beers sold regularly.

Shore, East Wittering - This large, friendly pub down on the coastal peninsula is popular with locals as well as the many summer tourists.  Always a pleasure to visit when the Dark Star American Pale is available.      

Wilkes Head, Eastergate - This Punch Tavern is yet again the pub of the year for the branch area and is thoroughly deserved.  Set in the heart of the old village away from the main A29 the pub is Grade-II listed.  It has up to five well chosen guest beers and there are also regular beer festivals

Three Horseshoes, Elsted - Village pubs do not come more rustic than this and the view from the garden across to the South Downs is stunning.  The pub is divided up into small rooms and the beers are served by gravity from a stillage.    

Fox & Hounds, Funtington - This new entry is another pub I am yet to visit.  It is now free of tie and concentrating on local and regional microbreweries.  Beer festivals are also held.

Foresters Arms, Graffham - The third pub in our list that I have not visited.  This Grade-II listed pub was built in 1609 and is located in a quite isolated downland village.  Guest beers are sourced from local independent breweries.  

Duke of Cumberland, Henley - This amazing 15th century pub in the tiny hamlet of Henley in the Surrey Hills was recently voted into the Waitrose national top 50 food pubs for 2015.  Beer is locally sourced too and the pub is nestled on the hillside in over three acres of grounds.  It is probably now my favourite pub in our area.    

Ship, Itchenor - Situated in the village of Itchenor close to the Chichester Harbour shoreline this pub is popular with the local boating fraternity as well as the many visitors.  All real ales are from local microbrewers.      

Black Fox, Milland - This pub is very close to the border with Surrey and quite a hike for us lot living near the coast.  As with most of these pubs the guest beers come from local micros.

Inglenook, Nyetimber - It is a new entry for this Grade-II listed 16th century hotel which was my local before I moved house a couple of months ago.  The guest beers come from some of the best micro brewers in the country and they all tend to be over 5.0% ABV.  Thornbridge, Magic Rock, Roosters, Summer Wine, Ilkley, Sadlers, Wild Beer, Harbour and RedWillow have all appeared and at prices which are hard to beat for such quality.  The pub has been owned by the same family for over 30 years and the cosy bar areas are particularly welcoming in the winter months.  In the summer there are gardens front and back to enjoy.           

Gribble, Oving - This brewpub has been devastated by a fire in recent months so is currently closed although the brewery is still operational and a bar area is to be opened up in the unaffected skittle alley shortly.  This pub did not get my vote but it is a pub loved by many of our members.      

Seal, Selsey - Another pub which I am yet to visit.  Selsey is a seaside village famous for being the home of Sir Patrick Moore.  This pub is a community hub family-run for over 40 years and it has a good selection of beer from local micros.      

Hare & Hounds, Stoughton - This pub is located deep in the South Downs and well away from any main roads.  It is a former Gales pub which is now free of tie with a good range of local and regional real ales.

Stags Head, Westbourne - Westbourne is a bustling village close to the border with Hampshire and not far frm Chichester Harbour.  This pub is at the centre of the village and offers a good range of local beers and there is an annual beer festival.

Maypole, Yapton - My new local and a ten minute walk from my front door this pub is the home of our branch meetings every two months.  The pub is on the outskirts of the village down a lane that leads nowhere.  There are always up to six beers of which a couple are regulars including Dark Star Hophead.         

So that's your lot for this year.  Although a few of these pubs did not get my vote I can say that of the ones I have visited they are all worthy entrants.  The four I am yet to walk through the doors will be visited in time for the vote next year.  Am I disappointed for any pubs that I did vote for not making it?  Yes there is one that I feel should definitely have been included.  This particular pub has improved further this year so I will be pushing for it strongly for the next guide.  

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