Craft Beer in Sussex: A Guide to the Best Brews in the County
Craft beer has taken the world by storm, and Sussex is no exception to the craft brewery revolution. With its rich history and stunning landscapes, Sussex is home to some of the most respected and innovative craft breweries in the country. Join us on a journey through the top craft breweries in Sussex, their unique offerings, and the stories behind their success.
Beak Brewery: where tradition meets innovation
Nestled under the towering chalk cliffs of Lewes, Beak Brewery is a true gem in the craft beer scene. Founded by passionate brewers, Beak Brewery has gained a reputation for producing some of the finest craft beer in the country. Their laid-back taproom offers a unique experience, where beer enthusiasts can enjoy their brews amidst giant foudres and stainless-steel tanks. Beak Brewery is also known for hosting regular events, including live music and Toads tournaments, a beloved Sussex tradition.
Abyss Brewing: from cellar to taproom
Located on the other side of Lewes, Abyss Brewing started its journey in the cellar of the Pelham Arms, Lewes before opening its own Taproom. This brewery is known for its aesthetically striking space, where visitors can enjoy their beer at the heart of the brewing process. The large yard with a stretch canopy provides the perfect spot to relax and savour their exceptional beers.
Gun Brewery: Where Scandinavian minimalism meets Tuscan summers
Gun Brewery, situated in Heathfield, recently moved to a larger, bespoke brewery and taproom. With its blend of Scandinavian minimalism and Tuscan summers, Gun Brewery offers a stunning spot to enjoy their well-loved cask ale classics, kegged versions, and small batch brews. The wood-panelled interiors and patio overlooking a rolling valley create a picturesque setting for beer enthusiasts to indulge in the flavours of Sussex.
Lakedown Brewing: tranquillity and beer by the fishing lake
A short drive north from Gun Brewery, near Burwash, you’ll find Lakedown Brewing Co. Trout Fishery and brewery taproom. Tucked away next to the family-run fishing lake, this humble and cozy fishing lodge serves Lakedown’s own beers on cask and keg. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a beer in one of their deckchairs on a sunny day. The tranquil surroundings make it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful beer-drinking experience.
Unbarred Brewery: From shed to seaside city
Established in 2014 from the shed of their founder and Head Brewer Jordan Mower. Born of a passion to brew uncompromising and exciting beer, their flagship IPA won the Bev Robbins Award for Best Sussex Beer in its first year of production. They soon outgrew the shed and moved onto gypsy brewing, to grow production and hone their craft, working with other breweries. UnBarred work with local artists, independent businesses and fellow-creatives to showcase the best of the vibrant culture and boundless innovation of the city they call home – Brighton.
360 Degree Brewing Company: where craft beer meets steam trains
If you’re a fan of craft beer and steam trains, 360 Degree Brewing Company is the perfect place for you. Located near the Bluebell Railway, this brewery taproom offers a wide range of beer options, from Czech-style pilsners to Hoppy IPAs. In addition to their own beers, they also stock a variety of guest beers in cans and bottles, making it a one-stop destination for beer enthusiasts. Whether you’re enjoying a pint on-site or taking some bottles home, 360 Degree Brewing Company has you covered.
Hand Brew Co and Cloak and Dagger: Worthing’s craft beer scene
Worthing has developed a thriving craft beer scene, thanks to breweries like Hand Brew Co and Cloak + Dagger. Hand Brew Co, which relocated from Brighton to Worthing, and Cloak and Dagger offer a welcoming and inclusive space for beer lovers. Their taproom serves a range of beers from both breweries, as well as an excellent selection of natural wine and cider. With their proximity to West Worthing train station, leaving the car behind and enjoying their fantastic beers is a no-brainer.
Longman Brewery: Craft Beer in the heart of the National Park
Longman’s award-winning beers are crafted in a converted flint barn in the heart of the South Downs National Park, and environmental sustainability is at the core of everything they do. They believe that by looking after the environment around them and sourcing everything possible locally, they produce the very Finest Sussex Ales as well as give back to the land and community relied upon to sustain the business. Book your Tour & Tasting
Laine Brew Co: Born in Brighton
Born out of the creative and inspirational beer scene of Brighton, Laine Brew Co beers are an art form in themselves – each one a playful composition of flavour, inventiveness, and good times. They’re unfiltered, unpasteurised, uncompromising, and unique. Their core range is focused on consistent, sessionable beers and supported with some awesome, locally inspired designs. They also brew short run, specials and collaboration beers at North Laine Brewhouse. These are limited edition wild, weird, and wonderful beers that are all a little bit different but brewed just as lovingly as the Core Range!
Burning Sky Artisan Brewers & Blenders: A fusion of tradition and innovation
Located in the picturesque village of Firle, Burning Sky is one of the most respected craft breweries in East Sussex. Founded by Andy Parker and Justin Hawke, who met while working at Brewdog Brewery, Burning Sky Brewery aims to create high-quality, handcrafted beers that blend English-style Pale Ale traditions with Belgium-inspired flavours. Their range includes popular brews like Burning Sky Aurora, Plateau, and Saison, as well as seasonal and limited-edition beers. Embracing the traditional brewing process, Burning Sky beers are slowly fermented over weeks or even months, resulting in rich and characterful flavours.
Sussex – a haven for craft beer lovers
Sussex is a haven for craft beer enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of breweries with unique flavours and stories. From the laid-back atmosphere of Beak Brewery to the picturesque settings of Gun Brewery and Lakedown Brewing, there’s a craft brewery to suit every taste and preference. Whether you’re exploring Lewes, Arundel, Worthing, or the stunning landscapes of Sussex, be sure to visit these breweries and experience the best of Sussex craft beer.
Cheers to the thriving craft beer scene in Sussex!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on research and industry trends. The author does not endorse any specific breweries, products, or technologies mentioned in this article.