One of Brighton's backstreet gems offering a cheerful and relaxed vibe
Under new management since late 2022, The Foundry is re-finding it’s groove, but never stopped being one of Brighton’s word-of-mouth, back-street gems.
As you enter, the bar is striding distance from the door to your right across the dark wooden floor and there’s plenty of chairs at the bar, suggesting this feel like a pub that likes to keep it’s regular drinkers close for a bit of conversation.
The space has low seating in the room to the left of the entrance and the rear of the pub. Small simple tables and chairs nestle close to each other in the low-ceilinged space. For a small space there are plenty of options for small groups, though you might struggle to fit in groups of more than 4.
Old-school Brightonians like me might hark back to the pub’s glory-days, with thread-bare sofas, candles lighting the darker corners and mildew-grey walls for decoration.
You might argue the pub has lost some of it’s classic, throw-back charm. However I would say, that given how many Brighton pubs have been re-furbed out-of recognition in the past 10 years, The Foundry Brighton has done very well to hold onto some of it’s dark and dingy comfort while offering punters a more contemporary offering.
The bar offers a fairly standard selection, unfortunately tied and therefore limited to mass market brands such as Madri, Neck Oil and Red Stripe.
I was pleased to see both Staropramen and Leffe Blonde on the taps which offers some alternatives, but disappointingly I didn’t spot a local brewer on the taps or in the fridge. There was an Erdinger accompanied by various sweet ciders and Hooch.
There are 2 cask options on the bar offering some nice pale ales on this visit and I really enjoyed the Timmy Taylor’s Landlord. In fact, every beer I drank on last visit was perfect.
Whilst it’s not my tipple, I did notice a pretty good wine list written across the ceiling as I entered.
Tuesdays are board game night with various games are provided. And there’s a fortnightly Pub Quiz on Wednesdays hosted by a local drag-Queen Charles The Princess.
I also hear that live DJs sometimes set up on weekends.
Every time I’ve visited recently, usually mid-afternoon, the playlist has been leaking out a fantastic selection of blues, rock and americana spanning the 60s to 80s. For friendliness and a sense of comfort I rate this pub highly. The furniture might be a bit hard, but the atmosphere isn’t. In fact I remember one visit a debate between the barmaid and a local about their favourite soul artists which I overheard and found myself entering into.
I would put The Foundry in the same genre as The Great Eastern nearby. Although as it’s probably less well known outside of local circles, it’s more of a community pub, which keeps the numbers down a little. And sometimes that’s just what you need.
Conspicuous by it’s absence perhaps, the Foundry is currently not serving any food.