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Brighton Beer Blog review
The Argyle Arms Brighton

Read a beer-by-beer account of our visit

Date: Saturday 19th June
Beers:
Beavertown – Neckoil
Birra Moretti

You could be forgiven for never having visited, or even heard of, The Argyle Arms. It’s previous guise was a simple, tired pub tucked away off the busy London Road, appealing to its core regulars, mainly blokes, and to those needing a cheap overnight stay in the in the rooms upstairs.

It’s the closest pub to my home as it happens, and while it never became my ‘regular’, over time I came to see past the looks and appreciate its charm as a backstreet working men’s club style throwback with its £3.80 pints of Harvey’s, friendly locals, Sky Sports and one of the sacred few pool tables in Brighton. It might have looked it to the casual passer-by, but it really wasn’t a bad place to be. However that didn’t stop me occasionally voicing my frustration to the landlord about his lack of vision and ambition for the place.

In a town like Brighton this lacklustre approach couldn’t last. We might spend a moment lamenting the loss of a charming and cheap pub – maybe blaming the tide of gentrification in the same breath – but time moves on and places change, and that change has finally touched this little corner of Brighton. So while it’s a shame to say goodbye to one of Brighton’s stubborn throw-back boozers, it’s incredibly exciting to welcome a new era for The Argyle Arms, somewhere that is more inviting and a place the local community can collectively embrace.

For those who loved The Argyle as it was, let’s just run through what’s gone: the pool table, Sky Sports, cheesy 80s music videos blasting through the TVs on Friday evenings, cheap pints of Harvey’s Best and San Miguel, a tracksuit-wearing landlord, cheap rooms upstairs.

So what’s new? Everything’s in the same place, but it’s noticeably cleaner, brighter and airier feeling. There’s a bit of fresh furniture and a touch of character thrown in, but it’s all quite subtle – after all a community pub doesn’t need a big-budget makeover on the level of pubs in town. The back yard has been cleared and painted to provide a cute little courtyard space (hands up any other locals who never knew this existed?) and the bench tables out the front have had a lick of bright paint. 
There’s a new exuberant energy from the couple in charge, their massive friendly puppy and the team of young bar people. There’s a jam open-mic night on Thursdays and a diverse playlist of pop, electro, indie and R&B playing in the background on the speakers. There are keg IPA options now and a cocktail menu, and recently some hot food options were added as well – more about these later.

Really the most remarkable change at The Argyle is in the diversity of the people now frequenting. The only time I ever saw this pub full was when they did a random Peruvian food takeover last summer, but now the locals are flooding in. First-year students and previous regulars feel equally at home; and even though the prices have increased, bringing them closer to £6 a pint, that doesn’t seem to matter. It’s a good case study for demonstrating that in Brighton people are willing to pay for a fun and vibrant atmosphere, and aren’t just looking for cheap drinks for the sake of cheap drinks. Oh, and anyone who’s concerned that sport is completely off the cards now, the many national flags flying outside during the Euros indicate that they are more than happy to show sport if it’s on terrestrial TV.

If you’re in search of local craft beer then the options are pretty limited. Harvey’s is still the cask of choice, but while there are now a couple of keg IPA options, they are the mainstream brands of Beavertown (Heineken) Neck Oil and Laganitas IPA. Birra Moretti, Heineken and Amstel provide the lager choices, and there are cider and Guinness taps as well. The landlords’ hands are tied when it comes to what can be sold on the bar, but we understand they have bought out of the wine tie and are planning to revolutionise the wine options; this should complement nicely their foodie ambitions and really highlights the full about-turn this pub has made over the past year. Table service is being run here currently, and it’s working well with the young bar staff being genuinely attentive, chatty and enthusiastic.

Food options are simple for now, but impressive, including nachos and loaded fries with toppings that sound incredible. My wife and I recently had some fantastic cheesy chips here, and she was particularly impressed that the cheese is layered (cheesy chip lovers out there will know exactly what we mean). We mentioned this in passing and the landlady talked passionately about how it should be pretty much illegal to not layer the cheese on chips and nachos. The attention to detail is making even the simplest snack food menu stand out.

What you’ll find at The Argyle Arms is a welcoming, independently run backstreet pub offering genuinely lovely hospitality and little touches of class. It’s great that it has recently found a new lease of life and energy without seemingly needing to do much more than recognise and appeal to the community as a whole, and it’s even better to see that local community are embracing it so supportively – to the extent that we have found ourselves needing to book tables in advance some evenings. 
So far it seems the blood and sweat that the new landlords have personally poured into refreshing the Argyle has been rewarded, and we hope that it continues.

3 Comments

    • Dave (BBB Founder)

      Yeah it was the only cask option when we visited Robert.

      Reply
  1. Juliette

    Thank you so much for the lovely review!

    Reply

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Date: Saturday 19th June
Beers:
Beavertown – Neckoil
Birra Moretti

You could be forgiven for never having visited, or even heard of, The Argyle Arms. It’s previous guise was a simple, tired pub tucked away off the busy London Road, appealing to its core regulars, mainly blokes, and to those needing a cheap overnight stay in the in the rooms upstairs.

It’s the closest pub to my home as it happens, and while it never became my ‘regular’, over time I came to see past the looks and appreciate its charm as a backstreet working men’s club style throwback with its £3.80 pints of Harvey’s, friendly locals, Sky Sports and one of the sacred few pool tables in Brighton. It might have looked it to the casual passer-by, but it really wasn’t a bad place to be. However that didn’t stop me occasionally voicing my frustration to the landlord about his lack of vision and ambition for the place.

In a town like Brighton this lacklustre approach couldn’t last. We might spend a moment lamenting the loss of a charming and cheap pub – maybe blaming the tide of gentrification in the same breath – but time moves on and places change, and that change has finally touched this little corner of Brighton. So while it’s a shame to say goodbye to one of Brighton’s stubborn throw-back boozers, it’s incredibly exciting to welcome a new era for The Argyle Arms, somewhere that is more inviting and a place the local community can collectively embrace.

For those who loved The Argyle as it was, let’s just run through what’s gone: the pool table, Sky Sports, cheesy 80s music videos blasting through the TVs on Friday evenings, cheap pints of Harvey’s Best and San Miguel, a tracksuit-wearing landlord, cheap rooms upstairs.

So what’s new? Everything’s in the same place, but it’s noticeably cleaner, brighter and airier feeling. There’s a bit of fresh furniture and a touch of character thrown in, but it’s all quite subtle – after all a community pub doesn’t need a big-budget makeover on the level of pubs in town. The back yard has been cleared and painted to provide a cute little courtyard space (hands up any other locals who never knew this existed?) and the bench tables out the front have had a lick of bright paint. 
There’s a new exuberant energy from the couple in charge, their massive friendly puppy and the team of young bar people. There’s a jam open-mic night on Thursdays and a diverse playlist of pop, electro, indie and R&B playing in the background on the speakers. There are keg IPA options now and a cocktail menu, and recently some hot food options were added as well – more about these later.

Really the most remarkable change at The Argyle is in the diversity of the people now frequenting. The only time I ever saw this pub full was when they did a random Peruvian food takeover last summer, but now the locals are flooding in. First-year students and previous regulars feel equally at home; and even though the prices have increased, bringing them closer to £6 a pint, that doesn’t seem to matter. It’s a good case study for demonstrating that in Brighton people are willing to pay for a fun and vibrant atmosphere, and aren’t just looking for cheap drinks for the sake of cheap drinks. Oh, and anyone who’s concerned that sport is completely off the cards now, the many national flags flying outside during the Euros indicate that they are more than happy to show sport if it’s on terrestrial TV.

If you’re in search of local craft beer then the options are pretty limited. Harvey’s is still the cask of choice, but while there are now a couple of keg IPA options, they are the mainstream brands of Beavertown (Heineken) Neck Oil and Laganitas IPA. Birra Moretti, Heineken and Amstel provide the lager choices, and there are cider and Guinness taps as well. The landlords’ hands are tied when it comes to what can be sold on the bar, but we understand they have bought out of the wine tie and are planning to revolutionise the wine options; this should complement nicely their foodie ambitions. Table service is being run here currently, and it’s working well with the young bar staff being genuinely attentive, chatty and enthusiastic.

Food options are simple for now, but impressive, including nachos and loaded fries with toppings that sound incredible. My wife and I recently had some fantastic cheesy chips here, and she was particularly impressed that the cheese is layered (cheesy chip lovers out there will know exactly what we mean). We mentioned this in passing and the landlady talked passionately about how it should be pretty much illegal to not layer the cheese on chips and nachos. The attention to detail is making even the simplest snack food menu stand out.

What you’ll find at The Argyle Arms is a welcoming, independently run backstreet pub offering genuinely lovely hospitality. It’s great that it has recently found a new lease of life and energy without seemingly needing to do much more than recognise and appeal to the community as a whole, and it’s even better to see that local community are embracing it so supportively – to the extent that we have found ourselves needing to book tables in advance some evenings. 
So far it seems the blood and sweat that the new landlords have personally poured into refreshing the Argyle has been rewarded, and we hope that it continues.

3 Comments

    • Dave (BBB Founder)

      Yeah it was the only cask option when we visited Robert.

      Reply
  1. Juliette

    Thank you so much for the lovely review!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *