Brighton, the vibrant city nestled along the southern coast of England, is renowned for its eclectic culture, stunning seaside, and bustling nightlife. Over the past decade, Brighton has also become a haven for craft beer enthusiasts. 

The rise of microbreweries in this coastal gem has introduced a new wave of flavours and brewing techniques that captivate both locals and visitors alike. This guide is your comprehensive resource for navigating the diverse and exciting world of Brighton’s microbreweries

Microbrewery Listings

Brighton Bier

History: Established in 2012, Brighton Bier has quickly become a staple in the local craft beer scene. With a mission to produce high-quality, flavorful beers, Brighton Bier has garnered a loyal following. The brewery emphasises traditional brewing methods while incorporating innovative techniques to create unique brews that stand out in the crowded market.

Location: 31 Kings Road Arches, Brighton BN1 2LN

Signature Beers: Try the Brighton Bier Pale, a refreshing and hoppy ale, or the South Coast IPA, known for its bold and citrusy notes. Brighton Bier also offers a variety of seasonal and limited-edition brews, ensuring there’s always something new to try.

Tours and Tastings: Brighton Bier offers brewery tours every Saturday, where visitors can learn about the brewing process and enjoy a guided tasting of their core range. These tours provide an in-depth look at the brewery’s operations and the chance to meet the passionate team behind the beers.

Ambience and Atmosphere: Located along the seafront, the brewery has a relaxed and welcoming vibe. It’s perfect for enjoying a pint with friends while watching the waves crash. The spacious taproom and outdoor seating area make it ideal for sunny afternoons.

UnBarred Brewery

History: Founded in 2014, UnBarred Brewery started as a passion project in a kitchen and has since evolved into a renowned brewery known for its innovative brews. The founder’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of traditional beer styles has resulted in a diverse and eclectic range of beers.

Location: 19-23 Elder Place, Brighton BN1 4GF

Signature Beers: The Joosy, a New England IPA, is a crowd favourite, along with their Stoutzilla, a robust and rich stout. UnBarred Brewery is also known for its experimental brews, such as fruit-infused IPAs and barrel-aged stouts.

Tours and Tastings: UnBarred hosts monthly open days, allowing visitors to tour the brewery, meet the brewers, and sample their latest creations. These events often include live music and food trucks, creating a festive atmosphere.

Ambience and Atmosphere: The brewery’s industrial-chic setting provides a unique backdrop for beer lovers to enjoy experimental and seasonal brews. The taproom’s open-plan layout encourages social interaction and community engagement.

Bison Beer

History: Established in 2015, Bison Beer has made a name for itself with its commitment to community and collaboration. Its beers are brewed with a focus on sustainability and creativity. Bison Beer has partnered with local businesses and artists to create a truly community-centric brand.

Location: 103 North Road, Brighton BN1 1YW

Signature Beers: The Bison APA (American Pale Ale) and the Bison Beer Wave Machine, a juicy and tropical IPA, are must-tries. Bison Beer also offers a range of limited-edition and collaboration brews that highlight their innovative approach to brewing.

Tours and Tastings: Bison Beer offers intimate tasting sessions, during which guests can sample various beers and learn about the inspiration behind each brew. These sessions often include food pairings from local eateries, enhancing the tasting experience.

Ambience and Atmosphere: With a cosy and friendly atmosphere, Bison Beer’s taproom is a great spot for enjoying a pint and meeting fellow beer enthusiasts. The taproom’s décor features local artwork, creating a vibrant and welcoming environment.

Hand Brew Co.

History: Hand Brew Co. emerged in 2019, focusing on producing high-quality, small-batch beers that push the boundaries of traditional brewing. The brewery’s dedication to craftsmanship and attention to detail are evident in every pint they produce.

Location: 27 Upper North Street, Brighton BN1 3FG

Signature Beers: Their Hazy Pale and Dark Mild are highly acclaimed, showcasing the brewery’s versatility and attention to detail. Hand Brew Co. also experiments with different styles, offering everything from crisp lagers to complex barrel-aged ales.

Tours and Tastings: Monthly brewery tours offer an in-depth look at Hand Brew Co.’s brewing process, followed by a tasting of their latest releases. These tours provide an opportunity to learn about the brewery’s philosophy and approach to brewing.

Ambience and Atmosphere: The taproom’s warm and inviting atmosphere makes it a perfect place to unwind and explore new flavours. The rustic décor and comfortable seating create a homely feel, making visitors feel welcome.

Brewing Process Insights

Craft beer is an art form, and understanding the brewing process can enhance your appreciation of each pint. Brighton’s microbreweries use various traditional and innovative techniques to create unique beers. Here’s a brief overview of the key steps involved:

  • Mashing: The process begins with mashing, where malted barley is mixed with hot water to extract fermentable sugars. This mixture, known as mash, is held at specific temperatures to convert the starches into sugars.
  • Boiling: The liquid, known as wort, is boiled, and hops are added to provide bitterness and aroma. The boiling process also sterilises the wort, ensuring a clean fermentation.
  • Fermentation: After boiling, the wort is cooled, and yeast is added to ferment the sugars into alcohol. Depending on the beer style, fermentation can take several days to weeks.
  • Conditioning: The beer is conditioned to develop its flavours before being packaged and served. Conditioning can occur in tanks, barrels, or bottles, allowing the beer to mature and achieve its final character.

Local Beer Culture

Brighton’s craft beer culture is vibrant and inclusive, with numerous festivals, events, and clubs dedicated to celebrating beer. Highlights include:

  • Brighton Beer Week: An annual celebration featuring tastings, brewery tours, and beer-pairing dinners. This event brings together breweries, pubs, and restaurants to showcase the best of Brighton’s craft beer scene.
  • Sussex Beer Festival: This event, which showcases the best of Sussex breweries, is a must-visit for beer lovers. It features a wide range of beers, ciders, perries, live music, and food stalls.
  • Brighton Home Brew Club: A community of homebrewers who share their creations, exchange tips, and foster a love for craft beer. The club organises regular meetups, competitions, and collaborative brewing projects.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Pairing beer with food can elevate both the drink and the dish. Here are some local food pairing suggestions for Brighton’s craft beers:

  • Brighton Bier Pale: Pair with fresh seafood like mussels or fish and chips to complement its hoppy and citrusy profile. The beer’s crisp finish enhances the delicate flavours of seafood.
  • UnBarred Joosy: Enjoy spicy dishes like Thai curry to balance the beer’s fruity and tropical notes. The beer’s sweetness and bitterness counteract the heat and spice, creating a harmonious pairing.
  • Bison APA: Match with a classic burger or BBQ ribs to enhance the beer’s malt backbone and hoppy finish. The beer’s robust flavours complement the smoky and savoury elements of grilled meats.
  • Hand Brew Co. Dark Mild: Pair with rich desserts like chocolate cake or tiramisu to complement its roasted and caramel flavours. The beer’s sweetness and bitterness provide a delightful contrast to the dessert’s richness.

Visitor Tips

Exploring Brighton’s microbreweries is a delightful adventure. Here are some practical tips to enhance your experience:

  • Plan Your Route: Map out your brewery visits to maximise your time and minimise travel. Consider starting at one end of the city and working your way to the other.
  • Best Times to Visit: Weekday afternoons are often quieter, allowing for a more relaxed experience. Weekend evenings can be busier, so plan accordingly.
  • Transportation: Brighton is a walkable city, but consider using public transport or bike rentals for longer distances. Many breweries are within easy reach of bus and train stations.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink water between tastings to stay hydrated and enjoy each beer fully. Bringing along a water bottle can help you stay refreshed throughout the day.
  • Bring Snacks: While some breweries offer food, it’s a good idea to bring some snacks to keep your energy levels up. Nuts, pretzels, and cheese are great options that pair well with beer.

Wrapping Up

Brighton’s craft beer scene is a testament to the city’s creativity and passion for quality. Each microbrewery offers a unique experience, from Brighton Bier’s rich history to UnBarred’s innovative brews and Bison Beer’s community spirit. Whether you’re a seasoned beer aficionado or new to craft beer, Brighton’s microbreweries provide a welcoming and exciting journey into the art of brewing. Cheers to discovering new flavours and supporting local breweries!

Happy tasting, and may your adventures in Brighton’s craft beer scene be as delightful and diverse as the beers you’ll discover.