The next leg of our coastal tour took us to Worthing in Sussex. Like a 1970’s Radio One Roadshow schedule with Peter Powell and er, one of the others since convicted of sexual offences, we had gone from Great Yarmouth to Folkestone and now to Worthing.
Instead of Radio One goodie bags we handed out photocopies of the prototype Good Beer Guide.
These were eagerly grabbed by flag waving children and the stone throwing grannies that lined our heavily publicised route. We made good progress, pausing only to give a lengthy, and at times frankly turgid PowerPoint presentation to explain why it included 16 pubs in Henley-on-Thames but none in Scotland.
The day started with a mandatory brewery tap. Three Legs is run by three friends from a barn in Brede. I don’t mean the friends are from a barn though they might be. They all studied something called Viticulture at university and were nicknamed “the three legs of evil” by a tutor. Viticulture seemed to be learning about, but mostly drinking, wine. They had a good time then.
The 2.8% Table Pale, a tank beer, was most suitable for the designated driver. The 3.7% Pale was also a fresh, clean tasting start to the day. We diverted to Angmering Seniors 6 Brighton Electricity 1. Amongst the 44 crowd was groundhopping pal Ian, on his way to see Bad Manners at a caravan park in Selsey, where we were also heading, though not to the caravan park as it had no cask beer.
Our destination was the steamy Crab Pot micropub.
Sadly, there was no sign of Buster Bloodvessel in the Crab Pot. Buster Fact: His stage name comes from the bus conductor played by Ivor Culter in the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour.
Wantsum is a Kent brewery and their 4.3% Dynamo was a golden ale in good condition though as the pub was so crowded we didn’t linger. Our bonus micropub was the Hornet on a road called The Hornet, in Chichester.
As Chichester is a cathedral city with a Festival Theatre in expensive West Sussex, I had once imagined it to be exclusively upmarket. In fact it is much more mixed. A few years ago, at a Good Beer Guide in the town, a bloke at the adjoining table to us leaned over, vomited on the floor between us, and calmly resumed drinking his pint.
The Hornet was nothing like that, in fact it was buzzing (sorry). We enjoyed a tip top half of Fyne Ales Everyone Loves Centennial, a 3.8% single hop pale that I had never seen before despite it being a relatively local brewery for me.
Finally, our overnight stop was in Worthing, a micropub hotspot and the Georgi Fin was a good one, also steamy. Must be a Sussex thing.
The pub is named after the owner’s children and the staff were showing signs of wear and tear after collecting an award the night before. So were some of the customers. One, barely coherent, was politely refused service. He returned incognito a few minutes later (ie wearing a hat) and was bewildered when this met with the same result. Beer quality here was amongst the best of the trip.
We actually only had one duff half pint in Sussex and one in Kent. The rest were of good quality or better. Job done by those Camra types.