Viva Lewes - The Hills are Alive

As I sit here I have the aftertaste of a lunchtime pint of Harveys Best in my mouth. I drank it in the Lewes Arms. The two things, in my mind, are inextricably linked. Not that I haven’t drunk Harvey’s elsewhere. I’ve drunk it in the Swan, in the Crown, in the John Harvey Tavern, in the Gardeners, in the Brewers, in the Snowdrop and in the Kings Head. I used to drink Harveys regularly in the Black Horse, and in the Royal Oak, too, back in the days when they had Western-style swing doors, and we nicknamed it the Yee-hah bar. I’ve drunk Harveys in the Pakenham in Clerkenwell in London, and in a bar I stumbled across in the early hours of the morning in Copenhagen I wish I could remember the name of. But I’ve never tasted a pint of Harvey’s quite like the one they serve in the Lewes Arms, where they’ve always served a great pint. Sadly, it seems the days of drinking pints of Harveys in Lewes’ most laid-back pub are numbered, as Greene King, the brewery which owns the place, have decided they would take it off the menu, according to a reliable source, before Christmas. They are trying to replace it with a bitter brewed in their headquarters in Suffolk, they call Lewes Arms Own bitter. The only aftertaste this leaves is one of exasperation. Greene King’s actions are a symptom of the way the world is going: they have become the Tesco of the Real Ale world, gobbling up competitors and putting out inferior products. It’s hard to know what to do about this, apart from sign the petition which is going around: any ideas would be gratefully received. More on this on page 29. In the meantime a better bit of news. Lewes Open Houses have decided to run, for the first ever time, a winter Artwave open house trail in December. Anyone interested should contact Rob Shepherd at Enjoy the week.

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Where is it?
Cover: Emilia, by Hugh Longhurst, at the Thebes
Above: Nice ‘S’. But where is it?
Last week: Star Gallery wall, Castle Ditch Lane

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