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
Enjoy the week.