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“Ruddles County used to be a world class beer,” says Peter Coppard, of CAMRA, “since Greene King destroyed it I wouldn’t cross the road to buy a pint.” “Greene King are rapidly becoming a national concern,” he continues, “which should be of national concern.” Harveys may be losing sales through Greene King’s aggressive marketing tactics, but Coppard stresses that the company is unlikely to be an immediate takeover target. “But a lot of other breweries are a bit shaky,” he says, suggesting a further increase in the Greene Kingdom in the near future. “This is of great concern to CAMRA. All these mergers constitute a reduction in choice for the consumer and a reduction of jobs in the beer industry.”

So is this something we should be getting het up about at a time when our country is involved in two wars and the global economy is starving half the third world to death? Well, yes, actually. Harveys in the Lewes Arms (and the pub has always kept an excellent pint) is one of Lewes’ institutions. And if Greene King stop serving it there, the nature of the pub is likely to change for good. And thus the nature of the town. “You can’t really blame the company for not wanting to serve one of its rival’s beers, to the detriment of its own,” says Coppard. “But the sad thing is that we’ve seen other pubs in Lewes suffer from Harveys being taken away, and it’s a shame for the Lewes Arms, which is likely to see the same thing happen. Harveys drinkers are likely to vote with their feet, and move to other pubs, where they do serve the local bitter. I suggest that Harveys and Greene King do a pub swap, so that the locals can stay in the place which is so suited to their needs.” Sounds like a good idea to us. But which pub?


No pinting: Harveys will be off the Lewes Arms menu by Christmas

The Lewes Arms will be holding their annual pea-throwing competition
outside the pub in Castle Ditch Lane on Sunday lunchtime.
As we write Harvey’s is still in their cellars, plus Greene King’s
recently-concocted Harveys-like brew ‘Lewes Arms Own’.