The Brighton Beer Dispensary
As a big fan of beer, I like a pub that takes beer seriously, and the Brighton Beer Dispensary is unquestionably one such pub. Given its name that’s probably not entirely surprising but it’s still reassuring to find a pub that trades on the strength of its beer offering. In fact this is becoming a more and more common occurrence as the explosion in brewing real ales and craft beer has seen a rise in the number of pubs pitching themselves at the ever growing number of folk who consider themselves beer connoisseurs.
Formerly the Prince Arthur, this cosy Dean Street boozer has been taken over by South London’s Late Knights Brewery in collaboration with popular local brew kids on the block the Brighton Bier Co. And it has to be said they’ve done a fine job with it. Admittedly I wasn’t very familiar with the Prince Arthur but by all accounts the changes to the venue have been fairly rudimentary, with more effort going into fitting it out to store and dispense a serious beer collection than into cosmetic fluffing. Not that the place is in any way scruffy, in fact it’s actually rather smart and chic looking with its bare brick walls and stripped wood furnishings. It gives off a feeling of unpretentious simplicity which aids its positioning as a pub that, as I’ve previously mentioned, really is ALL about the beer.
So how about them beers then? Well on my opening night visit they were offering seven different beers on draught along with a choice of four separate on tap ciders. This generous selection was complimented by a collection of bottled ales that can’t have many rivals in the city for its diversity. All in all that’s an impressive range to be peddling, especially for a relatively small venue slightly off the beaten track (although hardly far from city centre civilisation). A particularly interesting twist was that two of the beers on tap were simply labelled “Dark ?” and “Light ?” with the idea being that punters took their chances with each as the bar staff tallied the pints poured. As I understand it the more popular of the two will then return. A bit of a gimmick perhaps, but one that I am heartily behind.
Although primarily a pub for the beer fanatic the Brighton Beer Dispensary do also boast a limited food offering and this must be one of the few pubs in town where the number of items on the food menu is completely eclipsed by that of the beer menu, which is by no means a bad thing. There were four burgers to choose from on my visit (three meaty and one vegetarian option) and I see no reason to branch out from this. Why risk spreading your talents too thin? The burger I enjoyed was of a generous size, with succulent beef and a shiny brioche bun. The perfect fodder to fill one’s beer hungry belly.
All in all I’d say this was a most promising debut from Late Knights, who only boast one other pub in their current portfolio, in London’s Gipsy Hill. It’s great to see somebody else shake things up among the pubcos who dominate our fine city and I will certainly be returning to the BBD to further sample what they promise will be a continually changing menu of delectable ales. When you’re all about the beer, it’s good to get the beer right.
At a glance
|Food?||Yes, limited selection of burgers|
|Drinks promos?||No, but very reasonably priced beer|