Open Meeting - Greene King

So, as reported last week, brewers Greene King are planning to stop serving Harveys Best in the Lewes Arms. It’s an interesting issue, seemingly so trivial on the global scale of things, yet so important in principle. Greene King now own 2,680 pubs in the UK, and are continuing to buy up smaller breweries and, often as not, close them down afterwards. Their policy of stopping selling Harveys - the 2005 and 2006 Champion Best Bitter in the UK according to CAMRA - is a classic case of a large national corporation pushing its weight around at the expense of a smaller local business. The fact that this is happening in the most emblematic local pub in Lewes, and concerns the town’s best-loved flagship industry, adds an emotive edge to the issue which has provoked a strong response in the local community.

A petition against the move has now got over 500 signatures on it. An open meeting has been called - in the Lewes Arms itself - to discuss what the local community can do about Green King’s actions. The meeting will be attended, we’re informed, by Norman Baker MP and Mayor Merlin Milner. Meanwhile, as reported in The Generalist the Town Council is threatening to sue Greene King for using the town’s ‘armourial bearings’ to badge the new bitter they are selling to replace Harveys. The bitter is called ‘Lewes Arms Own’ even though it is brewed in Suffolk; the armourial bearings were granted to the Borough Council of Lewes in 1634, and the right to bear those arms has been inherited by the Town Council. It is both arrogant and illegal of Greene King to have hijacked Lewes’ symbol as a brand for a bitter they are trying to pass off as being local.

Up in Arms: Lewesians won’t take Greene King’s corporate
tactics lying down

The Lewes Arms
When? 7.30pm
How Much? Free