A pizza menu and cartoon decoration is Preston Brewery Tap's way of standing out in Preston Village
Preston Brewery Tap Brighton
Pizza and pints on the corner of Preston Park
Preston Brewery Tap found itself a new owners and went through a radical makeover in 2019, which transformed it from a pretty drab and dreary sports-pub to a bright and colourful community focussed pub. Tragically this was just before a COVID shut their doors for a year so the pub has been hugely stifled in it’s revival.
As you enter from the front door a long bar is along the wall on your left with booth seating to your right and some tables and chairs in front of you. The pub is decorated outside with some jazzy multicoloured artwork and that continues inside, both behind the bar and on a large pizza board on the back wall.
While the wackiness injects some colour and fun to the space, it’s a bit random as a statement and quite unsympathetic to the pubs history. Preston Brewery Tap has links to a brewing past, the large Preston Brewery used to be located on South Road to the rear of the pub at least until the 1870s, but no attempt has been made to revive a history connected to the pubs moniker, and for me zany cartoons just seem a callow way give an old pub character.
We chose to relax on a couple of nice sofas, though there are a few tables and chairs scattered around, all big enough for 4 people but no larger groups unless you join some up. There are 3-4 booths as well but these look a bit too much like cafe-diner seating for my liking, which is fine if you’re popping in for a quick pizza I guess. The pub seems to lack cosy corners or soft welcoming furnishings, and so with no other punters around the space did feel a bit cold.
There’s a back yarden which is quite pleasant. Nice bright colours and a tree elevate this from a simple smoking area and this would be a nice place to sit for a while in the summer. However tables are little round ones which again makes it difficult for groups to gather. There are a couple of benches out front as well, unfortunately the corner location on a busy road with constant heavy traffic doesn’t make this a relaxed spot, though I’m sure it was a good vantage in decades past.
Beer options are Heineken tied with a wide but very standard selection, with Camden Hells and Beavertown Pales about as exciting as it gets for craft fans. There are 2 cask pumps but both were empty on this visit.
The pub boasts 8 pizza options as well, and when a couple of pizzas came out for some fellow punters later on they looked really appetising and I’d certainly order one if here for the evening.
On the entertainment front, there’s a darts board in a dark and sparse little side room, and we spotted a really impressive board game selection stacked by the bar. Also I’ve been here during the popular speed quiz nights when the pub is heaving with people, and the atmosphere one those nights is totally lifted when you have a few tables full of punters.
The outdoor seating options are arguably bested by nearby pubs, one of which is only 10 seconds away, and so with USPs of pizza, board-games and a pretty ‘out-there’ cartoon style, you’d think the owners would be targeting new young punters. Yet at time of writing, the Facebook page hasn’t had any activity for 10 months, the website is incredibly basic and the Instagram page is sporadic at best, so I worry potential new punters doing their research are are unlikely to take a chance on what is a pretty pleasant pub.