You'll find loads of character and characters in this throwback of a pub

176 Ditchling Road

07404 583447

There has been a pub on this corner since 1848 to cater for travellers arriving into Brighton. By the 1870s it was run by Tamplin’s Brewery and their signature glazed tiles still adorn the outside wall.



The dome above the entrance to The Jolly Brewer Brighton makes the building very recognisable on the Ditchling Road, and through the old original looking door and windows the traditional touches continue. 

The first room is very wood clad and there’s not much in the way of soft furnishings. Mainly wooden chairs and stools and a couple of long church pews against the wall. There is loads of seating and no problem getting large groups in here.
At the right time of day sunlight streams through the windows bathing the room beautifully, but otherwise there’s little lustre to this simple room.

The back bar through the doorway has bundles more character. I don’t know if the wooden beams running along the ceiling are original or not, but the low ceiling, black beams, worn out carpet and fireplace all combine to create a real sense of history. It’s a real throwback of a pub space and the booths in the nooks offer some cosiness.

It’s fair to say the aesthetic throughout is tired and outdated, but theres a genuine charm because you just don’t find an unrefurbished pub complete with these bedded in touches very often in this town.

The staff behind the bar are just lovely and the Jolly Brewer Brighton is the kind of pub where they seem to genuinely want to chat and make a connection.

The pub attracts some characters and locals who use this pub as their social outlet. It’s a bit old school in that regard compared to lots of pubs in Brighton where a certain demographic of people have been priced out and would probably now look and maybe feel out of place.



The Jolly Brewer Brighton are big advocates of local breweries and get in loads of options on cask and tap from names like Hand Brew Co, Abyss, Loud Shirt, Burning Sky and Only with Love.

There are 3 pumps which offers some great variety on cask, plus 5 keg taps. Alongside that you have boxes of Seacider, Sussex Craft Cider.

There’s a good variety for lager as well with Estrella, Staropramen and Pravha, plus Guinness and a fizzy cider on tap. I was here St. Patricks Day 2024 and I have to say the Jolly Brewer Brighton pours a really noteworthy pint of Guinness. It’s telling how much they care about affordability for locals as on that visit the manager was lamenting about how they might have to put the price up soon after months of holding off.



While there’s no kitchen at The Jolly Brewer, there is food, but randomly it’s only once a month on a Thursday. If you time it right – the second Thursday of the month – you’ll be treated to a varied seasonal vegan dish from a local chef and DJ Ky Mossman. Creations have ranged from Asian to Italian, they look delicious and only cost £8.



There’s plenty happening weekly at the Jolly Brewer Brighton although you wouldn’t know it to look at their social media. There are a few posters about in the pub mentioning events, but I had to grill the barman to get the full picture.

The pub quiz is held every Thursday night and the cash prize rolls over each week if not won. There’s pretty regular live Irish folk on Wednesday nights, and a rotation of live DJs offer different genres fo tunes every Friday evening. Apparently other live music events can happen sporadically as well.



The Jolly Brewery Brighton is confident in it’s identity as one of the few old-school pubs left around Brighton and Hove that hasn’t been gobbled up by a pub company and modernised.

The furniture might be basic and the carpet worn down to nothing in places, but these are the classic pub touches we’ve forgotten we miss, made all the more charming by their scarcity in a town where the pubs clamour to be trendy.

The Jolly Brewer’s Brighton’s welcoming acceptance of everyone makes it a very pleasant place to be, and when you combine this with friendly staff and  ‘salt-of-the-earth’ punters you have the recipe for a great locals pub.