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Brighton Beer Blog Visit The Brunswick, Brighton

A descriptive, beer-by-beer account of our visit…

Date: Friday 29th April

Beer: 360 Brewing Tap Takeover: Laugh The Day Away, Czech Mate, Fastback (keg), West Coast DIPA

 

My last visit to The Brunswick in Hove was in April, a friend of mine at 360 Brewing was organising their tap takeover there and I felt like living dangerously and putting my liver through a few rounds.

Now, I don’t live particularly close to the Brunswick so it’s never been a regular for me, but the pub is somewhere that, over the years, for one reason or another, has stored up some really fond memories for me.

Back when Latest TV first kicked off I fancied myself a music show presenter. We talked the kind owner into generously loaning us the upstairs rooms as a studio on Sunday mornings. For a year or so we’d regularly pull in local bands and musicians for performances and interviews, then afterwards the crew and musicians would have a well earned pint or 3 downstairs. Needless to say MTV never spotted my onscreen talents.

Apart from that, I’ve seen a fantastic variety of excellent performers in the venue, particularly at the jazz nights, and even shot a couple of music videos in there. And, last but not least, my sister had a raucous 30th party in the venue downstairs. Her’s is not the only party I’ve been to here, as the basement venue, with it’s own little bar, lends itself so well to medium sized events.

Needless to say, The Brunswick Hove is the kind of pub I wish I could be a regular at.

 

Layout

Entering the Brunswick it’s sometimes easy to miss the unique features of the 2 curved turrets that flank the entrance. The pub was remodelled and rebuilt by Tamplins Brewery on the site of an old stables in the early 1930s. It has been in used as a pub ever since and much of the original decor, such as the period windows, are intact.

The main bar is the best of all worlds. Through the big main doors the bar hails to you across the room, the main space is open and wide with a scattering of tables, but to the left and right it offers more intimate booth-like sections that still don’t cut you off from the spaciousness or clamour of the room.

To the left there’s loads more space on the raised area that sort of feels like it would have once been a sectioned off dining area.

On your right the doors lead to the Venue, now managed by one of Brighton’s most hard working and less-famous-than-he-should-be artists, Jacko Hooper. The bookings there are top rate and eclectic, and anyone living nearby is incredibly lucky to have such a great variety of music to watch in their local pub. Looking at the listings, there is literally something every day of the week. I feel like it’s up there with pubs like The Prince Albert and Hope and Ruin for sheer density of musical entertainment.

 

Beyond the venue doors a full-to-the-brim beer fridge signals that this pub means business on the beer front, something which is echoed on the 10+ keg taps and a few cask pumps. These offer fantastic variety all the time, not just when 360 Brewing have occupied the vast majority.

The basement space, as mentioned, lends itself well to parties or more niche gigs that wouldn’t fill the main venue. It’s pretty basic looking down there but nothing that some redecoration and a lighting upgrade wouldn’t pimp up one day. It serves a purpose and isn’t overly expensive to hire, so I seem to remember, and so is well used.

Whilst I didn’t get time to venture upstairs, according the website, the first floor has a fresher look and is advertised as a conference space that’s also available for fitness classes and baby parties. It’s great to see that The Brunswick still aims to be widely available to the community.

The large paved yarden is yet another win for The Brunswick. It might lack some foliage or decoration, but it provides more than enough seating options for enjoying the sunshine, plus some undercover spaces.

With so many rooms scattered across the pub; main bar, venue, cellar bar, huge garden and private rooms upstairs, it’s easy to forget what a huge floorspace there is and thus take for granted just how much this pub has on offer.

 

Beer

As mentioned, 360 Brewing were here in force on this visit and 9 keg taps and a cask pump were occupied by pretty much their full range, from Sours to Best Bitters.

Alongside that I noticed a Budvar Budweiser dedicated tap. For those that don’t know, this is the original and best Budweiser, despite what AB Inbev believe. It’s been brewed in the Czech republic since 1895 and is a damn fine option to have as the pub’s dedicated lager, and it makes a welcome change to all the Birra Morretti and Madri you see about.

As an aside, I also spotted a sign saying glasses of Prosecco for £3.50; now I’m not a wine drinker, but that sounds like great value for money.

 

So, whilst I started my visit with a clean and crisp Budweiser Budvar with by burger, I was here for 360 and here’s a list of what I tried:

 

Laugh The Day Away is an East meets West coast APA at 4.9%. Thick and juicy. Flavours of orange juice and slight grapefruitiness. Wonderful mouthfeel and balance to the beer. Really liked this and very sessionable at the ABV.

 

Czech mate, is 360’s 5% dry hopped Czech style lager. I was surprised by the sweetness at first, but once my palate reorientated it’s a really enjoyable lager with a slightly tangy fruitiness. Incredibly moreish.

 

Fastback is a West Coast pale served on cask and keg, but I stuck to the keg version at 5.2%. There’s a powerful toffee and salted caramel malt sweetness at first which transitions seamlessly into a distinct hop bitterness that lingers nicely. Its a lovely amber colour, taste’s great. An all round winner for me. This was my pick of the bunch today.

 

Finally we ended on a few rare cans of the West coast DIPA which one of the Directors magicked up from somewhere. This beer has no name but at 8% you’ll forget it the next day anyway! It’s inspired by Pliny the Younger, a world famous triple IPA brewed once a year by Russian River Brewing Company just north of San Francisco. It’s pretty clear, crisp and understated, yet incredibly addictive in the way it coats the tongue with the malt and hop balance. The density of mouthfill of this beer comes from sheer depth of flavour. This beer has danger written all over it as it just slips down. No one warned me and my head did not thank me the next day.

 

Food

There’s a menu run by the legendary food and beer pairing kitchen, Humble Plates. It centres around 6 different burger options each about £10, posh sounding small plates and fries and sides that range from £4-£8. Pie nights are Monday and Tuesday, Fridays you can get fish and chips for a tenner, and there is a Sunday roast offered as well.

The chicken burger I ordered tasted excellent, if a little dinky and topped with only a sliver of lettuce and a single pickle, both of which were drowning in sauce. I’m a messy burger eater at the best of times but this one didn’t give my beard a chance. Accompanying that was a pretty mini bowl of chips.

Now I’m going to digress at this point… I don’t know why I keep expecting large burgers and generous portions of fries in Brighton. It seems that pub-food fashion in Brighton is a focus on a special sauce or nice looking buns, rather than really trying to fill someone up. Rarely is a chicken burger really stacked with plenty of salad, nor is the chicken really meaty an filling, which at £10 should be a given, right? Why can’t I have a burger as tall or well garnished as the ones on the Instagram account? Am I just asking too much to receive a meal that’s a little bit generous, or simply whelming?

I had a chicken burger in Eastbourne recently for about £8 that would eat this burger for breakfast, and my wife and I between us only just finished the big bowl of chips that came with it for an extra couple of quid.

Also, the chips at The Brunswick were really very standard, no seasoning, no celebration. Some special sounding sauce came with it, but I barely touched it as I like my chips with good ol’ mayo.
For a kitchen that launched its name on beer and food parings I’m quite surprised that the age old beer accompaniment, the fried potato, hasn’t been elevated to something more memorable by Humble Plates, especially at £4. For £6 they come with truffle oil, or for £7.5 they will come with chilli beef, but do I really need to buy into the up-sell to simply get chips and a burger that feels special or will fill me up?

Sorry if my rant seems focussed on Humble Kitchen, they are definitely not the only pub kitchen charging close to £10 for a small burger and around £5 for mini bowls of chips. I also understand that a portion of this cost goes towards staff costs and kitchen rent which must be spiralling currently, but I can’t help but feel many pubs are under-delivering on portion sizes these days and we are just accepting it. I hope it doesn’t backfire and put people off eating out in town, personally I am really thinking twice before ordering burgers or chips in pubs at the moment.

I’m genuinely interested if I’m on my own here or anyone else is noticing this about our pubs and if there are other underwhelming chip offenders? Oh and no prize to the first comment to mention I have a chip on my shoulder about this 😅

 

Overall

I won’t let this review be overshadowed by my need for chips, because The Brunswick Hove deserves far more praise before I finish.

The Brunswick is a pub that offers incredible variety, whether it be the beer selection, seating options, rooms for hire, burgers to eat, or music to watch. I’ve always known it to be warm, vibrant and inviting here, from the staff to the punters it’s a lively place, and despite how busy it can be with groups out for a good time, it always feels like there’s room for more to squeeze in somewhere.

And, I haven’t even mentioned that it’s just metres from the seafront, so on sunny days strolling along the beach, it’s the perfect location to aim for and refresh with a pint.

I’m full of praise for this pub and long may it stay the awesome beery centre of this community it seems to be. The only issue I have with The Brunswick Hove, is that it’s in Hove and not nearer to me.

2 Comments

  1. Jack

    Hi, how do I subscribe to your blogs? Not sure if I’m being blind but I can’t seem to see a subscription box

    Reply
    • Dave (BBB Founder)

      Hi Jack, thanks for the comment. You are welcome to Subscribe via the contact page. https://brightonbeerblog.com/home/contact/
      That said I haven’t really been sending out the subscriber emails as I’ve had to take my foot off the gas with articles in recent months.
      You could always simply bookmark the page and check back every couple of weeks, or follow the socials for updates on new articles and reviews.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Date: Friday 29th April

Beer: 360 Brewing Tap Takeover: Laugh The Day Away, Czech Mate, Fastback (keg), West Coast DIPA

 

My last visit to The Brunswick in Hove was in April, a friend of mine at 360 Brewing was organising their tap takeover there and I felt like living dangerously and putting my liver through a few rounds.

Now, I don’t live particularly close to the Brunswick so it’s never been a regular for me, but the pub is somewhere that, over the years, for one reason or another, has stored up some really fond memories for me.

Back when Latest TV first kicked off I fancied myself a music show presenter. We talked the kind owner into generously loaning us the upstairs rooms as a studio on Sunday mornings. For a year or so we’d regularly pull in local bands and musicians for performances and interviews, then afterwards the crew and musicians would have a well earned pint or 3 downstairs. Needless to say MTV never spotted my onscreen talents.

Apart from that, I’ve seen a fantastic variety of excellent performers in the venue, particularly at the jazz nights, and even shot a couple of music videos in there. And, last but not least, my sister had a raucous 30th party in the venue downstairs. Her’s is not the only party I’ve been to here, as the basement venue, with it’s own little bar, lends itself so well to medium sized events.

Needless to say, The Brunswick Hove is the kind of pub I wish I could be a regular at.

 

Layout

Entering the Brunswick it’s sometimes easy to miss the unique features of the 2 curved turrets that flank the entrance. The pub was remodelled and rebuilt by Tamplins Brewery on the site of an old stables in the early 1930s. It has been in used as a pub ever since and much of the original decor, such as the period windows, are intact.

The main bar is the best of all worlds. Through the big main doors the bar hails to you across the room, the main space is open and wide with a scattering of tables, but to the left and right it offers more intimate booth-like sections that still don’t cut you off from the spaciousness or clamour of the room.

To the left there’s loads more space on the raised area that sort of feels like it would have once been a sectioned off dining area.

On your right the doors lead to the Venue, now managed by one of Brighton’s most hard working and less-famous-than-he-should-be artists, Jacko Hooper. The bookings there are top rate and eclectic, and anyone living nearby is incredibly lucky to have such a great variety of music to watch in their local pub. Looking at the listings, there is literally something every day of the week. I feel like it’s up there with pubs like The Prince Albert and Hope and Ruin for sheer density of musical entertainment.

 

Beyond the venue doors a full-to-the-brim beer fridge signals that this pub means business on the beer front, something which is echoed on the 10+ keg taps and a few cask pumps. These offer fantastic variety all the time, not just when 360 Brewing have occupied the vast majority.

The basement space, as mentioned, lends itself well to parties or more niche gigs that wouldn’t fill the main venue. It’s pretty basic looking down there but nothing that some redecoration and a lighting upgrade wouldn’t pimp up one day. It serves a purpose and isn’t overly expensive to hire, so I seem to remember, and so is well used.

Whilst I didn’t get time to venture upstairs, according the website, the first floor has a fresher look and is advertised as a conference space that’s also available for fitness classes and baby parties. It’s great to see that The Brunswick still aims to be widely available to the community.

The large paved yarden is yet another win for The Brunswick. It might lack some foliage or decoration, but it provides more than enough seating options for enjoying the sunshine, plus some undercover spaces.

With so many rooms scattered across the pub; main bar, venue, cellar bar, huge garden and private rooms upstairs, it’s easy to forget what a huge floorspace there is and thus take for granted just how much this pub has on offer.

 

Beer

As mentioned, 360 Brewing were here in force on this visit and 9 keg taps and a cask pump were occupied by pretty much their full range, from Sours to Best Bitters.

Alongside that I noticed a Budvar Budweiser dedicated tap. For those that don’t know, this is the original and best Budweiser, despite what AB Inbev believe. It’s been brewed in the Czech republic since 1895 and is a damn fine option to have as the pub’s dedicated lager, and it makes a welcome change to all the Birra Morretti and Madri you see about.

As an aside, I also spotted a sign saying glasses of Prosecco for £3.50; now I’m not a wine drinker, but that sounds like great value for money.

 

So, whilst I started my visit with a clean and crisp Budweiser Budvar with by burger, I was here for 360 and here’s a list of what I tried:

 

Laugh The Day Away is an East meets West coast APA at 4.9%. Thick and juicy. Flavours of orange juice and slight grapefruitiness. Wonderful mouthfeel and balance to the beer. Really liked this and very sessionable at the ABV.

 

Czech mate, is 360’s 5% dry hopped Czech style lager. I was surprised by the sweetness at first, but once my palate reorientated it’s a really enjoyable lager with a slightly tangy fruitiness. Incredibly moreish.

 

Fastback is a West Coast pale served on cask and keg, but I stuck to the keg version at 5.2%. There’s a powerful toffee and salted caramel malt sweetness at first which transitions seamlessly into a distinct hop bitterness that lingers nicely. Its a lovely amber colour, taste’s great. An all round winner for me. This was my pick of the bunch today.

 

Finally we ended on a few rare cans of the West coast DIPA which one of the Directors magicked up from somewhere. This beer has no name but at 8% you’ll forget it the next day anyway! It’s inspired by Pliny the Younger, a world famous triple IPA brewed once a year by Russian River Brewing Company just north of San Francisco. It’s pretty clear, crisp and understated, yet incredibly addictive in the way it coats the tongue with the malt and hop balance. The density of mouthfill of this beer comes from sheer depth of flavour. This beer has danger written all over it as it just slips down. No one warned me and my head did not thank me the next day.

 

Food

There’s a menu run by the legendary food and beer pairing kitchen, Humble Plates. It centres around 6 different burger options each about £10, posh sounding small plates and fries and sides that range from £4-£8. Pie nights are Monday and Tuesday, Fridays you can get fish and chips for a tenner, and there is a Sunday roast offered as well.

The chicken burger I ordered tasted excellent, if a little dinky and topped with only a sliver of lettuce and a single pickle, both of which were drowning in sauce. I’m a messy burger eater at the best of times but this one didn’t give my beard a chance. Accompanying that was a pretty mini bowl of chips.

Now I’m going to digress at this point… I don’t know why I keep expecting large burgers and generous portions of fries in Brighton. It seems that pub-food fashion in Brighton is a focus on a special sauce or nice looking buns, rather than really trying to fill someone up. Rarely is a chicken burger really stacked with plenty of salad, nor is the chicken really meaty an filling, which at £10 should be a given, right? Why can’t I have a burger as tall or well garnished as the ones on the Instagram account? Am I just asking too much to receive a meal that’s a little bit generous, or simply whelming?

I had a chicken burger in Eastbourne recently for about £8 that would eat this burger for breakfast, and my wife and I between us only just finished the big bowl of chips that came with it for an extra couple of quid.

Also, the chips at The Brunswick were really very standard, no seasoning, no celebration. Some special sounding sauce came with it, but I barely touched it as I like my chips with good ol’ mayo.
For a kitchen that launched its name on beer and food parings I’m quite surprised that the age old beer accompaniment, the fried potato, hasn’t been elevated to something more memorable by Humble Plates, especially at £4. For £6 they come with truffle oil, or for £7.5 they will come with chilli beef, but do I really need to buy into the up-sell to simply get chips and a burger that feels special or will fill me up?

Sorry if my rant seems focussed on Humble Kitchen, they are definitely not the only pub kitchen charging close to £10 for a small burger and around £5 for mini bowls of chips. I also understand that a portion of this cost goes towards staff costs and kitchen rent which must be spiralling currently, but I can’t help but feel many pubs are under-delivering on portion sizes these days and we are just accepting it. I hope it doesn’t backfire and put people off eating out in town, personally I am really thinking twice before ordering burgers or chips in pubs at the moment.

I’m genuinely interested if I’m on my own here or anyone else is noticing this about our pubs and if there are other underwhelming chip offenders? Oh and no prize to the first comment to mention I have a chip on my shoulder about this 😅

 

Overall

I won’t let this review be overshadowed by my need for chips, because The Brunswick Hove deserves far more praise before I finish.

The Brunswick is a pub that offers incredible variety, whether it be the beer selection, seating options, rooms for hire, burgers to eat, or music to watch. I’ve always known it to be warm, vibrant and inviting here, from the staff to the punters it’s a lively place, and despite how busy it can be with groups out for a good time, it always feels like there’s room for more to squeeze in somewhere.

And, I haven’t even mentioned that it’s just metres from the seafront, so on sunny days strolling along the beach, it’s the perfect location to aim for and refresh with a pint.

I’m full of praise for this pub and long may it stay the awesome beery centre of this community it seems to be. The only issue I have with The Brunswick Hove, is that it’s in Hove and not nearer to me.

2 Comments

  1. Jack

    Hi, how do I subscribe to your blogs? Not sure if I’m being blind but I can’t seem to see a subscription box

    Reply
    • Dave (BBB Founder)

      Hi Jack, thanks for the comment. You are welcome to Subscribe via the contact page. https://brightonbeerblog.com/home/contact/
      That said I haven’t really been sending out the subscriber emails as I’ve had to take my foot off the gas with articles in recent months.
      You could always simply bookmark the page and check back every couple of weeks, or follow the socials for updates on new articles and reviews.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.