Harveys – Sussex Best Bitter

IMAG0221 What they say: A superbly balanced bitter with a prominent hop character. Our most famous and popular brand – it makes up over 90% of our total brewing capacity.

It was only whilst writing up the last beer – Otter Ale – that I realised that I had not yet featured the consistently excellent Harveys Sussex Best. So, it’s fitting that this great local beer is the 100th beer to be featured this year. A cracking bitter, and as a permanent feature in our local watering hole The Rottingdean Club, it sets the standard for any guest beers that may feature. 4.0% A.B.V.


Otter – Otter Ale

WP_20141129_002 What they say: “…..

Otter Ale is a very well balanced beer that
delivers the flavours of quality floor malted barley and finishes with a combination of fruit and some bitterness. Its nose is a
balance of malt and fruit

The latest guest in our local The Rottingdean Club and my 99th new beer this year. The malt seemed to edge it taste wise and the strength of the beer was clear from the taste. Enjoyable but  a couple was enough, although the occasion dictated that I had three! 4.3% A.B.V.

The club always has Harveys Sussex Bitter on and it is always excellent so litmus test for any guest beer at the club is whether I would stick with the  guest or go back to the Harvey’s. This time around the Harvey’s wins – but not by much.

Hydes – Bitter

WP_20141120_002 What they say: A truly classic highly popular English session ale made with Best Pale Ale and medium colour Crystal malts.  Bitterness is well balanced using English Fuggle and Wye Challenger hops to give a fruity and spicy palate.  Like all Hydes classic ales, Original is still dry hopped to the cask at racking with Fuggles to add further aroma and depth.

Not sure about the fruity spicy bit but nevertheless I really enjoyed this. Bitter but not to hoppy, this was guesting at what is becoming our regular Thursday night haunt, The Spanish Lady. Again, just a little too cold but otherwise excellent and reasonably priced too – for the south-east anyway! 3.8% A.B.V so a great session beer.

Redemption – Hopspur


What they say: Amber Ale with some citrus fruit aromas, chewy biscuity malt flavours, slight sticky sweetness and grapefruit piney hop flavours. Well balanced with hop flavours to the fore and an easy bitter finish

On offer at the lovely The Bank micro pub in Willingham from this North London brewery and as with the Solus Simcoe, poured straight from the cask. A little too fruity for me but The Portly Partner enjoyed it. 4.5% A.B.V

The Star Brewery – Solus Simcoe

WP_20141024_004What they say? Well, nothing that I could find as at the time of typing they don’t have their own website however the good folk at www.perfectpint.co.uk reckon this:

Next in Star’s Solus series, Simcoe is something
of a cult hop amongst American Craft
Brewers. It is closely associated with IPA
styles and is highly aromatic, often described
as both fruity and having an herbal, earthy,
pine fragrance

The last few days of our Autumn half-term break saw us in Cambridgeshire to catch up with family and friends and staying on a site near the village of Willingham – although sadly not within walking distance.

An unexpected – and sadly rather late – find was The Bank micro pub offering half a dozen ales poured direct from the cask. Sadly we only got to try one each but a return visit for Christmas – along with the services of a local taxi – promises more ‘research’ opportunities.

As you may have guessed from perfect pint’s description, this golden ale from this young (2012)Lincolnshire based brewery was not really to my taste but I look forward to trying some of their other brews when the chance arises.