Brighton city guide

Bohemian and buzzy, Brighton has unsurprisingly become one of the UK’s coolest craft beer towns. Grab a portion of fish and chips, a couple of tins of fresh local beer and splash about in the surf this summer.

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PUBS AND BARS

Bison Beer - North Laine

103 North Rd, BN1 1YW


Bison Beer, the third of the group’s establishments, is a three-storey bar, bottleshop, and brewery, which prides itself on its extensive range of world and local beers. They also have a kitchen upstairs operated by Humble Plates, with some tasty-sounding options and weekly deals such as Taco Tuesdays and Burger Wednesdays. You can’t miss this awesome hangout - the outside is covered in vibrant blue and green-painted bisons and foliage!

The Craft Beer Co

22-23 Upper N St, BN1 3FG

With an impressive 22 keg lines, five cask pumps, and a collection of hundreds of bottles and cans, it’s no wonder that the Brighton subsidiary of The Craft Beer Co company is a favourite amongst locals. Simple decor, great beer and a classic burger menu to sate your appetite, this bar also has a great reputation in terms of staff, who are said to be incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. What more could you want?

Brighton Bierhaus

161 Edward St, BN2 0JB

This is technically a brewery taproom, but shh, I wanted to include it! Rated Brighton and South Down’s CAMRA’s pub of the year, they have over 20 lines of keg and cask (both their own stuff brewed a short walk away at Brighton Bier, and guest beers from all over the world), as well as a few ciders on draught. Although occupying a listed building, the interior is clean and modern, and offers a comfortable setting in which to while away an evening with friends. Also check out sister pubs Haus on The Hill and Freehaus.

Evening Star

55-56 Surrey St, BN1 3PB

You can’t make a list of pubs around Brighton without including this classic, now independently owned after being Dark Star’s flagship pub before the brewery’s sale to Fuller’s. With seven cask beers, eight keg lines, and three ciders, this traditional, old-school, cosy boozer is a must-visit. Conveniently located by the train station, there’s no excuse not to pop in if you’re in town!

BREWERIES

Burning Sky

Place Barn, The St, Firle BN8 6LP

Pretty sure this powerhouse of a brewery doesn’t need an introduction, but let me tell you about it anyway. Burning Sky is based just outside of Brighton on refurbished farmland (so they don’t offer brewery tours but do have an online shop), and employs both traditional methods of brewing, and unique ways of ageing and blending beer such as oak foeder barrels and a coolship container. Probably most recognisable for their epic saisons and gorgeous branding, the brewery has been going from strength to strength over the last six years, winning a bunch of awards along the way.

Bedlam Brewery

St Helena Farm, St Helena Ln BN7 3DH

Another brewery located outside the city centre on a farm, Bedlam is an environmentally conscious brewery which puts an admirable amount of onus on sustainability and the provenance of the beer’s ingredients. The brewery is powered by solar panels, they grow their own hops, and the spent grain and hops are used to feed the farm’s cattle. Not to mention it also produces pretty awesome (SIBA-award-winning) beer, and its cask offerings are remarkably popular locally!

Brighton Bier

10, Bell Tower Industrial Estate, Roedean Rd, BN2 5RU

One of the area’s very first craft breweries, the multi-award-winning Brighton Bier is firmly focused on cask and keg ales for the local market, so is a must-try if you’re looking for something distinctively Brighton. You’ll find mostly traditional British styles here, often brewed with ingredients and attitude reminiscent of German, Belgian and US techniques.

Holler Brewery

19-23 Elder Pl, BN1 4GF

Quirky colourful designs, an honourable ethos of giving back to the community in the way of charitable donations and support for events, and apparently “the coolest toilets in town” at the brewery’s taproom - what more could you ask for? This relatively new brewery moved to the centre of Brighton less than a year ago and is by all means thriving in the city’s fantastic beer scene, thanks to its quaffable traditional beers and limited edition experimental brews.

Loud Shirt Brewing Co

Unit 5, Bell Tower Industrial Estate, Roedean Rd, BN2 5RU

Yep, you guessed it, the proprietors of this three year old brewery, who have been friends and experimental home brewers for decades, are fans of ‘loud shirts’. Picture a colour-packed Hawaiian shirt, or the kind your dad would wear to a retro 70s party, and you’re pretty much there - this is what the brewery’s pump clips and delivery van are inspired by too! Purveyors of some mighty fine beer, mostly cask but sometimes keg, Loud Shirt have regular taproom open days and gigs at their brewery, and you can also hire their mobile bar for private events.

FOOD

Trollburger

Trafalgar St, BN1 3DP


Widely considered the best burgers in Brighton, Trollburger pride themselves on serving up a tasty ever-changing menu of greasy messy burgers, in an unpretentious setting - street food style - with locally sourced organic meat and unique sauces which are all made by owner Paul. If you think you know burgers, just give this place a try. A quick look at their offerings on social media and you’ll be drooling onto your screen wishing you could teleport to Brighton.

Metrodeco

38 Upper St James’s St, BN2 1JN

A Parisian vintage-lover’s paradise, Metrodeco is the go-to place for Afternoon Tea and loose-leaf teas. Their cakes are divine, their list of cocktails is short but impressive (hello, tea cocktails!), the decor is eclectic, and it’s a sure bet you’ll spot someone in vintage attire. A fantastic alternative to pubs and bars if you’re looking for a delightful lunch or are hanging out with non-beery folks. Plus, they’re dog-friendly, and even host puppy parties (apparently that’s a thing) and stock gourmet dog treats!

Street Diner

Brighthelm Gardens, Queens Rd, BN1 3XG

What are you doing on Tuesday or Friday between 11am-3pm? Nope, incorrect. Reschedule your plans and go to Street Diner, Brighton’s famous street food market, for some of the greatest food in the south coast - especially if the sun is shining bright-on the day (I’m so sorry). Think: bao buns, African curries, vegan junk food, Middle Eastern meze, paella, BBQ, and more, enjoyed in Brighthelm Garden with your pals. The absolute dream.

The Salt Room

106 Kings Rd, BN1 2FU


Don’t be deceived by The Salt Room’s location, on the ground floor of the building that serves as a Hilton hotel. This coastside seafood restaurant boasts panoramic views of the seafront and the West Pier, beautiful contemporary/industrial chic decor, and a sizeable outdoor terrace for al-fresco dining. The freshest seafood from their a la carte menu and their daily specials board is served alongside drinks from an expertly-chosen wine list or bespoke cocktail menu, and this classy restaurant is one of the most highly-regarded in the region. Perfect for special occasions, or just an extravagant date night.

WHAT TO DO IN BRIGHTON

Brighton’s piers


Doh! As well as the famous Brighton Pier, there’s also the remains of the cargo stop Chain Pier, which can be seen jutting out of the shore, and the skeletal remains of the West Pier, which was an entertainment hub up until the 1970s. Also on the beach front are the Beach Flint Grotto (the super-cool creations of a creative fisherman made out of pebbles, flint and shells), and the Madeira Lift (a creaky rickety Victorian lift which transports people up and down the cliff) and obviously some lovely beach walks.

The Royal Pavilion

This impressive palace in the centre of the city was built in the early 1800s as a pleasure palace (snarf) for King George IV, and took over 20 years to complete. It is a fascinating look into the lavish styles influenced by the reach of the British Empire, ranging from Indian Taj Mahal-esque domes and spires, to Chinese porcelain and luxurious chandeliers. For a small fee you can take a walk around the Pavilion, which is open to the public every day.

Brighton Festival

One of Europe’s largest multidisciplinary festivals, the city comes together for three weeks in May to celebrate all things arts, culture, theatre, literature, dance, music and comedy. With events happening all over Brighton, in all kinds of venues, there’s something for everyone - think the Edinburgh Festival but less manic and more easily navigable!

British Airways i360

If you’re not a fan of heights, this one’s not for you. Designed by the same dudes responsible for the London Eye, this eyesore/beachside landmark is an award-winning innovative observation tower which offers the most impressive views over the South Coast. Just imagine Seattle’s Space Needle, but the dome at the top moves up and down. The i360’s ‘pod’ carries you up 450ft while you sip a glass of champagne or beer (yes, the pod has a bar) and at the top you get to enjoy - you guessed it - 360 degree views over the coastline and the South Downs.


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