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Lewes Arms, Lewes

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user reviews of Lewes Arms, Lewes

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

We managed to squeeze into the tiny front bar of this Fuller's hostelry, which certainly possesses a bit of character. Our main intention was to see what ales were on. As everywhere else (seemingly) in Lewes, they had Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter on. There was also Fuller's London Pride & HSB & Seafarers from Gale's. Guests were Dark Star Hophead, Everard's Original & Adnams Ghost Ship. I thought that was a decent selection for a Fuller's pub. Nice place.
blue_scrumpy - 31 Dec 2018 18:43
Not the most friendly barman. Rather dead atmosphere at 6pm on a weekday evening. Populated by some rather morose looking people. Ale rather poor condition - unusual, as most Fullers pubs tend to keep their beer well.
alebarry - 20 Jul 2018 13:58
Good beer. Respectfully and well run by Fullers. Great location. Went twice in November 2017.
terenced - 13 Feb 2018 08:57
Strange one. If I was on my own, would have loved the front bar. But I was with the missus and son, so didn't. Uncomfortable & slightly smelly in one of the back rooms. Decent pint though
Wilson_MacDonald - 11 Feb 2018 19:40
Fabulous Front Bar.
Terrible beer selection unless you enjoy Fullers or Harveys.
Very much an all day food pub.
Fabulous landlady, moody bar staff and friendly bar staff.
Old locals have moved on and drink elsewhere nowadays.
SeaDeeJay - 7 Apr 2016 10:57
Great beer, great food, always lively, and I love the old layout of the bars. My Australian mate from Melbourne wanted to take it back with him to show Aussies what a real pub should be like.
OldandBitter - 12 Feb 2016 23:14
An interesting and popular pub with an intriguing mobile-phone defying layout (not a bad thing) (but then, so is most of Lewes). Not the best selection of beers - especially if Harvey's isn't to your fancy - and a disconcerting bar lady who insisted in speaking French.

Torqueback - 27 Jan 2016 13:07
B&B owner recommended this as the place to eat.

Old school pubs where they do food if you can find a table. I did. The Chef brings it to you, shouting out what the meal is. Seems an odd system :-)

Food was good value.

Beer - Harvey's Best was in top condition.

Worth a visit.
Mappiman - 13 Apr 2015 18:32
After a couple of pints in the “Ellie” we arrived here at 5pm and it was nicely busy.

This Fullers pub was 4th on the list and the 6th pub of the day….it was also the only Fullers pub we visited.

It’s a proper ale house, the like you don’t see very often in London. The front bar was pretty full so we moved to the side bar.

6 ales with all but 1 of the ales from Fullers. Interesting to see the bar maid serving the side bar from a hatch.

The food looked good especially the scampi and chips, maybe next time.

A very busy & friendly pub and a great tick.
lezford - 5 Jan 2015 14:20
Good pub situated in a charming location around the back of Lewes castle. It has a traditional, cosy interior and is off the tourist trail. It is owned by Fullers but don't let that put you off. The place seemed to be run pretty much independently of the brewery: there was a good range of guest ales (apparently chosen from a list prescribed by Fullers). Much less corporate than the normal Fullers experience. The landlady was knowledgeable on ale-related matters and friendly. Worth seeking out.
JonRambo - 21 Sep 2014 22:52
Now run very well by Fullers serving their excellent beer plus a Harveys (of which there is no shortage in the town).

A fine pub with much character and charm. Pleasant bar staff sympathetic to 2 geezers sitting outside on stools listening to an ipod waving their beers around.
To be cherised.
terenced - 1 Jul 2014 13:33
Excellent little pub with loads of character. Superb range of ales and the food was good (I had the whitebait) but food service was a bit slow.
Highly recommended in my view! - 31 Mar 2014 16:07
The third pub on our Lewes pub crawl was pretty busy for a Monday lunchtime. A quirky old pub, with lots of small, higgledy-piggledy rooms. One room contained a life-size papier-mache Pope. An excellent range of real ales, and the home-made chicken and vegetable pie with neeps and tatties was filling and tasty. The clientele was slightly bohemian, and none the worse for that. Definitely worth a visit if you're in Lewes.
Number11 - 11 Feb 2014 20:25
Classic little pub which I think was Beard's brewery tap (the old brewery is across the road). It went to Greene King for a while but is now owned by Fullers who had the decency to retain Harveys Best Bitter and one guest ale (Butcombe on our visit) as well as their own ales. Tiny little fron room and a slightly bigger one at the back of the bar servery plus a side snug as well. Very little unchanged and a super atmosphere with locals and visitors mixing well. Beer was very good and their lamb burgers were brilliant (in fact all the food looked really good but it not a restaurant - simply a great pub with pub grub!!!) Just the place to have a beer and a chat in an historic setting. A "must-visit" pub in this part of the country.
mcroyal - 11 Jan 2014 11:32
A lovely old pub with most of its original layout intact, so retains a real sense of history. Service is friendly and the beer is well kept. It's mostly Harveys, but then this is Lewes so you'd expect that.

Only slight issue I have is that a significant proportion of the locals look like they have stepped off the set of a Harry Potter film, although that's not really the issue, the issue is how bloody rude some of them are! Still, that's not the pubs fault...Welcome to Lewes.
Maltster - 23 Dec 2013 14:44
Great pub in the centre of Lewes. We often come here on our Saturday afternoon exploring the pubs and shops in this great town.

The Lewes Arms is a lovely, very friendly bar, where Elizabeth and Sam made us very welcome yesterday. Definitely recommended.

Choice of Real Ale was great, have eaten here before, just not yesterday.
Neal_hove - 27 Oct 2013 20:15
Great back-street boozer. Beer lovely (5-6 different), staff friendly and food good.
Richardhuddleston - 4 Jun 2013 15:51
Visited for food early evening on a Friday. Lucky to get a table by the fire as cold outside, was a scramble by others to grab it when we left. Very busy.people standing with drinks in hallway.
Food fare traditional( pies,chips,peas) one of us had the burger and appreciated the beef or lamb choice. Lamb burger with feta was a success.All food good.
Harveys excellent. First time experience. Then had Fullers London Pride which was a very different taste to the Harveys clearly will stick to one or other next time. Others posters capture pub well on size and staff, can't comment on spirits prices.
milsonman - 7 Apr 2013 22:23
For me this is one of the best pubs in Lewes - very old and quirky. Small bars. They serve excellent Fuller's, Gales', Harvey's and guest ales!
malo66 - 12 Dec 2012 16:52
Quaint little place with friendly staff - but as brewmason says, spirits are vastly overpriced.
tradervic - 16 Sep 2012 12:01
Dropped in for lunch, Harvey's was fine , Sunday roast HUGE ! 8.95 for roast belly of pork and endless veg ! Slab of pork, roast potatoes , carrots, squash, beetroot, swede mash, curly kale, yorkshires, stuffing , apple sauce , gravy, heart attack.
mark1208 - 20 Aug 2012 12:19
Harveys is fine. But try a large vodka (50ml) and a dash here; its well over 6!
Down the road, its about half that...
brewmason - 3 Jul 2012 23:28
Yes,a wonderful pub this is.
Lovely pints of harvey had here.
Friendly customers,great service.
Will be back,love lewes.
rainbowian - 16 May 2012 14:21
Excellent news that the kitchen is open for extended hours. Here, there is a great welcome and introduction to a fascinating town which I'm glad to call 'home'. A selection of properly-served beers (Harvey's included of course) and ciders show that the pub's vision is both within and outside Lewes.
Lewes_Man - 8 Feb 2012 13:05
It's a great pub although in my opinion just not quite up to what it was in the pre-Greene King days, the main issue for me being that it was perhaps a little bright for such an unspoilt pub. Considering it is now owned by Fuller's, it had a decent range of beers available with Butcombe as well as the sacrosanct Harvey's Best Bitter. Well woth an hour or two of anybody's time.
Campanologist - 17 Oct 2011 17:29
Under the current management the Lewes Arms is hugely improved. The beer is spot on - even the Harveys - and there is a good selection. The food is unpretentious and fantastic value. Staff are hard-working and very friendly. The place is a bit of a rabbit warren so it does get very crowded around the tiny bar - but that's the price of an historic and unspoiled building. They have extended the hours when the kitchen is open, transformed the toilets and are trying really hard. A must when you visit Lewes.
ghostofcaptain - 18 Aug 2011 11:14
Oh! did i mention....
The Lewes Arms serves excellent meals.
But NOT at 5.00pm on a Sunday afternoon though!!
(The kitchen closes at 5pm on The Lords Day)...
Bother & blast!
TeeJay - 15 Aug 2011 23:22
Was recommended the Lewes Arms by a rather arty-farty type!
And we had a simply splendid evening there recently, refreshing after a hot, balmy day in the sun! (Not often you can say that in the UK...!) Interesting folk gather here for repartee, discourse, good food, and liquid refreshment.
Did i mention the excellent food..?!! I had one of THE best meals i can remember in a public bar. It was fantastic! (The chick-pea curry was absolutely splendifferous!!) :o)
Love the pub, love the food, love the staff, love the people!
I'm not sure you can recommend higher than that..!!
I would love this pub to be my local - saddly, i live an hour and a half's mad drive away in W.London. Boo-hoo! :o( TJ
TeeJay - 15 Aug 2011 23:17
Much improved since I was there a couple of years ago, The beer Harveys Best was in superb condition and there were more than happy to prepare food for our large party even though the kitchen was about to close.
simontheeditor - 29 Jul 2011 17:51
Now a Fullers pub. Despite the pleasant exterior and quirky layout, I suspect that much of the original character of this pub has sadly diminished. The small bar area was dominated by the 8 or so regulars who needed a bit of gentle encouragement even to move aside to enable us to examine the drinking options and order, which was somewhat irritating and I'm sure would deter a fair few other potential customers. Got the impression that the pub was being run for the the hardcore local devotees as opposed to the wider public, which can of course bring difficulties in these testing times. We felt relaxed if not exactly welcome. Beer fine, if somewhat forgettable. On the whole slightly disappointing.
LondonWolf - 5 Aug 2010 17:11
Very nice pub, although quite expensive. No piped music at all during the day so feels like everyone can hear your conversation which I don't really like. Good food, although the Basketmakers in Brighton do the same menu better
steve_on_tour - 28 Apr 2010 16:33
The perfect pub for a quiet afternoon pint - a number of rooms branching left and right off the central hallway, with a sun terrace and further room (with small stage) up the creaky stairs. We chose to sit in the large room with dartboard opposite the bar, and were able to have a conversation unmarred by music whilst others read books. I'm sure this scenario changes as the evening progresses but for what we wanted at the time it was just right!
simonjolty - 12 Apr 2010 10:22
Good selection of ales, the staff are nice and the bar food is brilliant.

The thing that lets this place down are the regulars, who are often rude, borish and loud. Not much atmosphere.

kingofstleonards - 11 Apr 2010 15:26
I agree, somehow it just misses the spot.

And its prices dont impress either.
nonnick1 - 5 Mar 2010 13:31
I keep going back to the Lewes Arms hoping it's got good again after the Greene King saga and sadly it just hasn't. From being one of the best pubs in Lewes it's now mediocre. Maybe in isolation, if you didn't know how good it used to be, it's ok, but no more than ok which is a shame.

There are much much better pubs in Lewes in every respect - ales on offer, atmosphere, regulars, food etc etc. The Lewes Arms needs to find it's identity so it can start competing again and people can find a reason to go back.
happychap - 10 Feb 2010 07:16
Lovely town centre Pub now run by a very hard-working and enthusiastic couple. Tiny rooms have loads of character so it does get very busy . However service is excellent and food very good value. No gastro nonsense but perfect for soaking up gallons of very well kept beer.
Loads of madcap events organised by barking - but very pleasant - locals. A treasure.
ghostofcaptain - 3 Dec 2009 10:14
My first visit since the Greene King/Harvey's saga. The place seemed mcuh the same as I remembered it in "the good old days", if less busy. Clientele consisted mostly of groups of middle aged folk who all seemed very convivial and to be having a good time. Several people exchanged pleasantries with a passing Londoner and I found no evidence of the cliquiness encountered by some reviewers.

A slection of pump clips around the walls suggested a healty gues ale policy, although on my visit all the handpumps were dispensing various Fuller's/Gale's beers plus the ubiquitous Harvey's, my pint of which was very acceptable.
Delirious_Nomad - 24 Nov 2009 13:12
I laughed when I read the previous review as when I walked in with my wife I heard a bearded old guy sitting at the bar whisper tourists to the barmaid as if it is obscene to travel out of your own locale to enjoy a nice beer. His appearance and comment lead me to believe that he had been sitting on the same bar stool for the past sixty years. Its not the biggest pub and the front and back bar areas were taken up with locals so after our initial welcome we decided to find a table in the side room that also houses a dartboard and toad-in-the-hole table.

Harveys Best and a range of Fullers beers were available alongside Staropramen, Amstel and nicely kept Guinness.

This place is ok, but there are plenty of great pubs in Lewes and in my opinion this one doesnt really stand out from the crowd.
Strongers - 3 Nov 2009 23:56
Beer and food are fine, staff are friendly, and it's a pleasant looking traditional little pub. Unlike a lot of good Lewes pubs (Brewer's Arms, Gardener's Arms) however, the regulars, particularly in the front bar, can spoil this place. More of a clique than a community and too many oddballs as opposed to characters. Luckily Lewes has plenty of friendly pubs and people to offer as alternatives.
pipsby - 1 Sep 2009 10:30
Nice little patio garden out the back and Sussex Best in excellent condition.
bangdaifu - 9 Aug 2009 21:58
Fullers pub with four fullers/Gales beers and two Harveys Best in stunning condition. Scaffolding outside doesn't diminish the charm inside. Three rooms - small front bar and two other rooms with tables. Veggie food. Good prices - around 5 - 6. Charming. Good feel to the place. Famous for the stand against then owners Greene King who wanted to (horrors!) remove Harveys Best from the pub!!!
SilkTork - 16 Jul 2009 16:59
Was a bit concerned that it might be closed when I went past early and saw all the scaffolding but came back later and it was thankfully opened. Id saved by first pint of Sussex Best on this trip for the Lewes Arms in homage to their battle with GK and wasnt disappointed with the quality. Definitely still a place to visit with its interesting multi-room layout.

Millay - 13 Jun 2009 22:49
Currently surrounded by scaffolding whilst the outside is being done up,
But do not let this put you off entering this lovely traditional side street pub.
Comprising of a small front bar,A rear bar with tables for dining,And a dining/games room to the side where there are more tables,This room contains a dartboard,And located underneath the dartboard is a toad in the hole game,Which is a traditional Sussex pastime.
There are five handpumps which when we visited were serving Harvey's Sussex Best on two pumps,Fuller's London Pride,Fuller's/Gales HSB,And Fuller's Seafarers Ale on the other three pumps,
The beer's that we tried were all excellent.
bignevski - 7 Jun 2009 10:08
pity the food seems to be overtaking the beer!
nonnick1 - 4 Jun 2009 13:35
It's hard not to like the Lewes Arms. It does charm you and the beer is good and people are friendly.

Seafarers Ale was very decent. Harveys is back. Although the Bristol Cream was already available (just my little joke).

terenced - 27 May 2009 13:41
Went in with the full intention of having a pint of the thankfully restored Harveys Best, but my eye was caught by the London Porter instead (from a good selection from the Fullers/Gales range). The place was packed, with a fairly young crowd giving it a friendly buzz. Much more bright and modern inside than I remember it, but the traditional exterior retains a sense of history.
rpadam - 19 Apr 2009 19:24
Back to it's best by all accounts - couldn't even get in over the Easter weekend due to its popularity. A favourite haunt of many locals and now notorious for its successful GK battle - well done Lewes!
nickjstamp - 16 Apr 2009 16:52
Surely Fullers are a better evil than GK. At least the second Battle of Lewes was won, to a certain extent. Sussex Best remains and was the choice of three of our party yesterday.
The central bar splits two areas, front and back plus another side room. Pics of old Lewes,lots of beer mats and pump clips. The local Toad in the Hole game is available in the side room, as is a dart board. Nice old pub, up the hill behind the castle. The current low rating I suspect is the legacy of the GK era, its a reasonable 7 for me.
Maldenman - 5 Apr 2009 16:02
Remains my favourite Lewes pub although (admittedly) it has declined over the years due to interference from Greene King and (to a lesser extent) the current Fullers.
Conversation good.
Locals friendly.
Beer expensive though.
Original and refreshingly different events continue (organised by many loyal locals)
Lewes.Spinster - 28 Mar 2009 21:17
GK cannot be considered good for the modern brewing trade. A business they may be, makers of good beer? I dont think so.
Buy a brewery close it down and think they can replicate the beer using neutral water.
Tis a pity they still have houses in Lewes.
nonnick1 - 12 Mar 2009 13:29
Ha Ha Ha Ha
You got your wish and got rid of greene king and now look, you are all complaining about the new owners. Maybe now you will realise how good GK was for you.
paulE - 11 Mar 2009 02:25
Gone right downhill since my last visit in the summer.
Beer selection is still good but nowhere near as good 6-8 months ago.
Pride, Sussex Best, ESB, Woodfords Wherry and Harverys Mild.
3 for a pint of Woodfords Wherry is Crazy, Barstaff have no conversation and the Atmosphere seems to have been lost from this once great pub
superseagulls - 8 Feb 2009 15:49
but then again,
when the old crows weren't about, we gave it another chance and actually had a really nice time.
there was life around the 3 rooms, the fire was roaring and there was a really upbeat atmosphere.
okay, two pints for 6.60 isn't exactly the cheapest around the town, but going back on my last review, give this pub a chance, let it escape the bad name its been given.
a mile better than the commercialized elephant & castle down the road, but hey, theyre for completely different occassions i suppose.
chuckitdown - 6 Feb 2009 00:04
Popped in the Lewes Arms and it seems even polite conversation is strictly frowned upon which being honest, I think that contradicts the whole purpose of a pub. I cant fault the landlord's manners and personality and hold the pubs aging locals responsible for Lewes Arms' downfall as they clearly oppose any movement into the 21st Century.
chuckitdown - 31 Jan 2009 00:36
The last time I was in the LA it would seem that use of mobiles is now tolerated!
There is now music in the games room, albeit not loud.
Folk club now use the Elephant and Castle.
The iconic status went a long time back.
I do not believe the LA will ever get back to its former iconic status.
That time has gone and things must move on, as I have done and the Harveys is just as good as it used to be at the LA.
nonnick1 - 15 Jan 2009 13:48
My drinking den of choice when in Lewes. The GK hiatus has dragged down its score I think. A great boozer, wherein conversation is rife, quirkiness rejoices, and the answering of a mobile 'phone within the premises is punished severely! Also no loud 'music', very few children and hearty food (Michelin star unlikely, but great portions and value!)
Now Harvey's is back it should begin to return to its iconic status of old.
crossman - 21 Dec 2008 18:40
beer beer beer , this is what you want and what you get , great pub.
9ooner - 20 Dec 2008 21:40
Fullers takeover has done some good, and glad to see they honoured the Harveys. Looks pretty busy most nights, has been nicely redecorated and the food is delicious, allbeit in rather small portions that may leave you feeling slightly shortchanged. Good pints of HSB are to be had, plus a very nicely decorated place with decked terrace at the back. Good port of call if you're visiting the town.
siam - 11 Dec 2008 20:57
Back to its best now that GK have departed. Great pints of OSB, HSB and Harvey's - busy, lively and cosy.
arnoldlaine - 6 Dec 2008 13:28
Arrived early evening last Saturday and found a welcoming host who gave us a sample of the guest ale, although can't remember what it was now but I chose HSB anyway (having drunk plenty of Harveys during the day)
We were wanting some food but it wasn't being served in the evening. The landlord suggested various local establishments including the chippy in South St (not the local one)
Would definitely return
lout_from_the_lane - 3 Oct 2008 16:14
Certainly better than when I went a year ago when the place was nearly deserted and the beer poor. Very cliquey and I thought the Best not at its best. I expect a period of TLC might restore the pub to what it used to be.
simontheeditor - 14 Sep 2008 08:38
Yes, from 27th August. The people from the Basketmakers in Brighton are running it. Harvey's Best has been retained but the draught Black Rat cider has not. Weston's Organic cider is available in bottles. Chiswick, Pride, ESB and HSB seem to be the regulars alongside the Harvey's. We wait to see whether they will have the Harvey's Old when it becomes available in October. Many regulars will hope they do.
southdown12jack - 3 Sep 2008 15:15
Now a Fullers house I understand?
Bye Bye GK! Hurrah!
nonnick - 19 Aug 2008 12:02
Yes, the other two would almost certainly have been GK IPA and Abbot. Harvey's Tom Paine has been available during July and Harvey's Mild is on more often than not. The pub now has some very good staff and most of the former regulars have returned. The rating is gradualy rising and hopefully will continue to do so.
southdown12jack - 29 Jul 2008 15:14
sorry, six handpumps, the ones I don't recall were presumably gk.
trainman - 1 Jul 2008 12:09
I appreciate that locals & regulars may still feel that the pubs heart is not, & may never be, the same since the famed battle of Lewes but we certainly celebrated that warming people-power victory over greedy king and, I have to say, the pub seemed no different on Sat than our 1st (pre-battle) visit in 06. The small front bar was busy & chatty, the room to the left had space to sit at pine tables/benches or play toad-in-the-hole or darts (although both would have been dangerous to the trio who had picked the adjacent table) and I noticed a 3rd room behind the bar which I hadnt realised was there. Nice feeling to the pub, no sign of temporary undesirables mentioned in protest period reviews, Id like to see the pub regaining a more accurate BITE rating and that will require some, who legitimately marked it down, to return and reassess the place. Four handpumps, 3 diff Harveys beers plus Black Rat cider.
trainman - 1 Jul 2008 12:07
Visited this pub as I had to pop into the police station around the corner to get my tag removed and there was a very angry man with a hearing aid and on crutches. Had a pint of black rat and found a few hairs in it and a long tail! maybe the rumours of rodents on the property is true!
nignog - 20 Jun 2008 14:20
My mate frank had an excellent pint of Black Rat and i had some hoppy beer that kept hopping around the table!
superseagulls - 20 Jun 2008 14:02
The Lewes Arms Dramatic Society (LADS) is presenting its annual adult pantomime from 3rd to 8th March. Back at the pub after being "on tour" last year, this production of Cinderella has the usual mix of men dressed as women, women dressed as men (no animals this year), innuendo, not very well-disguised double entendres and rude jokes. This show is definitely not for children, the faint-hearted or the politically correct. Come and support our charity, have a good laugh and enjoy some good beer.
southdown12jack - 28 Feb 2008 09:18
Not as good as it used to be but still go there from time to time. Hoping it'll pick up soon.
happychap - 25 Jan 2008 14:27
After another visit I have to say this pub is very far behind of what it used to be.
nonnick - 4 Jan 2008 14:59
Suffering from too much publicity and seemds to be drawing in the dregs a bit, Last visit when back in Lewes - was not what it was - Better place sin Lewes now - Green King have killed it, not completely but it will never be the same. Shame - big big shame.
zamora250 - 26 Aug 2007 10:50
nice little boozer. tribute on last time I was in, and in excellent condition.
baggers29 - 14 Aug 2007 17:54
Fantastic old pub with character. Good beer, pleasant bar staff, nice little outside seating area....what more could you ask for?
TheBeerMonkey - 14 Aug 2007 16:35
The pub is recovering well from the boycott, but is still not as good as it was before. It has attracted new clientele, not all of whom are particularly desirable and, for this or other reasons, many of the former regulars have either not returned or don't visit as often as they did. On the plus side, the range of beer is interesting with at least one guest beer (in addition to the Harvey's) at most times. I haven't seen a GK IPA pump on for some time, though Abbot remains! The rating will gradually increase as people revisit, but these things don't happen overnight.
southdown12jack - 16 Jul 2007 11:32
A gem.
JohnnyCrow - 2 Jul 2007 13:14
Come on, folks, this classic alehouse deserves better than a 4.3 rating! It's a great pub. Greene King were defeated and it's back in the hands of the people, and we should be proud and enjoy it. It remains a gorgeous, quintessential English tavern and deserves to be supported.
ricard67 - 30 Jun 2007 18:17
Come on, folks, this classic alehouse deserves better than a 4.5 rating! It's a great pub. Greene King were defeated and it's back in the hands of the people, and we should be proud and enjoy it. It remains a gorgeous, quintessential English tavern and deserves to be supported.
ricard67 - 30 Jun 2007 18:16
Well done to all those who campaigned. You should be proud. It proves people power CAN still work.
Planner_21 - 16 May 2007 00:39
Well, the rehabilitation of this pub has started, but it will take time. Last night, the first with Harvey's back on sale, was lively but there were a lot of people there who I didn't know and a lot of people I know as regulars were not there, if you catch my drift.
southdown12jack - 27 Apr 2007 13:48
And they will be allowed to sell seasonal Harvey's beers as well as the Best Bitter. Quite a change of heart from GK.
southdown12jack - 23 Apr 2007 12:58
Not so fast, boy! They say the Harveys should be ready by Thursday...
anonymous - 20 Apr 2007 14:55
Greene King announced today that they have decided to bring back the Harveys from next week -- it should be ready to drink by Tuesday.

Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

Power to the people!!!
mildmanneredchap - 20 Apr 2007 13:24
To echo the comments posted below, I am yet again disappointed by GK's corporate greed. Interesting choice for a consumer relations exercise, not the most sensible selection I must say. I certainly wont be going in there again on one of my many (hopefully) future visits to a fine beer town.
melton69 - 29 Mar 2007 09:11
Harveys is the best pint in the country, and the Lewes Arms is the where you drink it. The world has been turned upside down.
Bill Phillips
Pompeu1 - 25 Mar 2007 22:44
Its nothing like it used to be folks

Well done Greene King what a splendid example of how to completley ruin one of Englands finest drinking houses.
nonnick - 21 Mar 2007 13:28
Correction... that's MORE than 90% down...
anonymous - 7 Mar 2007 15:21
A mole in the Greedy King's accounts dept reveals that the takings at the Lewes Arms one recent Friday were 65 -- used to be 700 on a typical Fri. That's nearly 90% down. Well done, you BSE-brains!
anonymous - 7 Mar 2007 15:17

A pub with no customers (or just the dregs of the town if the post below is to be believed), which GK won't be able to sell off for flats. Why are they bothering?

Sell it (and the Black Horse) back to Harveys and clear off.
Hancock - 1 Mar 2007 16:17
Another month down, the boycott is holding as firm as ever. An increasing sign of desperation from GK is that they have been caught bussing employees in from other pubs to pose as customers, trying to pretend the pub isn't desolate. Thank you GK for the encouragement - everything the sad marketing suits come up with in Bury strengthens the boycott. Choose your date of defeat.
Get_me_some_Old_Tom - 1 Mar 2007 13:36
I remember in Suffolk when Greene King was a small "local" brewery. Similar things happened in the mid 80's when Ind Coope came in and bought up pubs and sold "corporate" beers.

Ah how your memory is short Greene King. If Ind Coope did this to you 25 years ago, why are you just repeating their mistakes?

I am new to Lewes, but will not go into this pub...yet! Hopefully things will change!
bonxie - 8 Feb 2007 17:45
I recall many a pleasant trip to Lewes to quaff Harvers in the Lewes Arms. Myself and a good friend of many a year used to always visit Lewes in October to celebrate the arrival of Harveys Old and would start at this friendly local. Last winter on hearing about Greene King's bizarre decision to drop Harveys, we made the long trek to see for ourselves. Indeed it was true, on asking for a pint of the old stuff we were politely informed that Harveys was not on sale, and we left... thirsty... but not before signing the petition. Wheras i previously scored this pub an 8 rating, it's now nearer zero if only to drive home the message to Greene King that without customers, they are nothing.
anonymous - 4 Feb 2007 16:50
Even if I wanted to drink Greene King beer, which I don't, there's no point in going in this pub anymore because you'd be on your own talking to the furniture. Well done all the suits in Bury St. Edminds - you really know how to kill a pub off. Why don't you all pack your bags and sell this pub to somebody who knows, and will take notice of, what the customers want?
southdown12jack - 2 Jan 2007 16:12
Just to let all those interested that the boycott of the pub is going very well - it is virtually empty all of the time and the amount of money Greene King must have lost over Christmas due to their corporate fascism must be huge. I wonder if the CEO Rooney Anand will begin to see sense now that the only thing he cares about, revenue, is plummeting?
Get_me_some_Old_Tom - 28 Dec 2006 14:22
I love the Lewes Arms. I am a foreigner by birth, and for me it encompasses the best of British pubs: no piped music. Passionate local following, no piped music, never been 'done up', nicoteen-stained ceilings, small seperate bars, open fire, historic location, and of course local beer - up till now, when Greene King ruined it. I went in today, not knowing that Harvey's brew had been stopped: it was EMPTY! Only five customers apart from me. As I was meeting a friend, I decided to stay and have a glass of wine - beer felt too much of a betrayal! Please, please, please, allow us to have our local beer here and save the pub. The Lewes Arms has always been 'my pub', and I will be very sad not to be able to go there, but I will now boycott it because I want to save it.
marionbrandis - 28 Dec 2006 01:22
Hey, I'm as pissed off as everbody else and normally would say the quality of the beer makes the pub this case the landlady, staff and customers make the pub. Look on the bright side eventually Greene King (like Whitbreads, Bass, Trumans and so on) will go the way of all flesh and Harveys will rule the world.!!
AndySk - 22 Dec 2006 22:49
I'd just like to add Hardy and Hansons to 'Old Toms' list as Greene King swallowed this fine Nottingham brewer up earlier in the year.
johnkn7 - 14 Dec 2006 21:41
Shame. A wonderful pub ruined for corparate greed.
JohnnyCrow - 13 Dec 2006 12:43
I would just like to add that anyone reading this page who cares about real ale should pass on the details of Greene King's actions to everyone they know who also cares about real ale. I would encourage all of you to boycott this pub, all Greene King pubs and all Greene King products on sale in other pubs and off-licences. The products to boycott are Abbot Ale, Greene King IPA and other Greene King occasional beers, Old Speckled Hen, Ruddles, Strong Suffolk Vintage, Hen's Tooth and old Ridley's beers. The branded pubs to boycott are Old English Inns, Hungry Horse pubs and Belhaven Pubs in Scotland. Greene King's demolition of local brewing tradition and historic breweries cannot go unchecked.
Get_me_some_Old_Tom - 13 Dec 2006 12:14
The Harvey's has definitely gone now and so, it would seem, have most of the regulars.
southdown12jack - 13 Dec 2006 10:37
At 12h00 today, the landlady told me she still had another five barrells of Harveys in the cellar, so it might just a day or so longer?
anonymous - 8 Dec 2006 20:36
Today is a sad day indeed. It is the final day for Harveys champion Sussex ale.

How Greene King can make such a decision from so far away is astounding. they do not give a damn for the likes of the traditional public house, despite what they advertise. Bigotted business men in suits only interested in their own opinion. The corporation will have its way irrespective and at all costs.

Well, they have interfered with my social life too much on this occasion, as well as others too.

To all you people who have occasionally travelled some distance to visit this once fantastic hostelry please give it some deep consideration before you do so again. It may not be worth it!
nonnick - 8 Dec 2006 09:54
There has been a temporary reprieve, but the last day of Harvey's is now Friday 8th December, unless there is a miraculous last-minute about-turn by Greene King. Can't see that happening somehow.
southdown12jack - 4 Dec 2006 14:11
Please be prepared to take this pub off your lists after Monday 20th November: from then, Harveys Best will apparently no longer be available, and - I hope - most of the locals will boycott this pub, any other Greene King pub, and any Greene King beer. They'll take the unique atmosphere with them. Greene King can't have it both ways: cask ale heroes or destroyers of well-supported local pubs? To paraphrase MacDonalds:"I'm hating it".
SouthSt - 15 Nov 2006 22:41

It does seem that the Argus were wrong, as Southdown Jack points out, and drastically wrong at that.

Greedy King have now told the landlady that the Harveys is out from the 20th of November.

Hancock - 13 Nov 2006 15:44
What on earth is happening with the user ratings on this site? The score for the Lewes Arms has been fluctuating between 8+ and 6.7 without any supposed change in the number of people rating it.

I always look at the individual comments rather than the average score, but it's annoying all the same.
Rich66 - 9 Nov 2006 21:45
The battle is not yet won. The Argus interpretation of what they said is, alas, not correct. All GK have said is that they have not ruled out having Harvey's as an occasional guest beer.
southdown12jack - 8 Nov 2006 14:06
MESSAGE TO THE HARVEYS CAMPAIGNERS - I've never been in your pub, but hopefully will someday. I have been following your campaign with interest - good luck. I have visited several Greene King pubs while in Oxford recently - they had Rev James from Brains in Cardiff on as a guest beer, so I don't see why they don't want your pub to have a guest such as Harveys. Best wishes
JohnBonser - 8 Nov 2006 12:59

The Argus is reporting that Greedy King has back down and will continue to serve Harveys.

Well done everyone involved.
Hancock - 7 Nov 2006 00:37
This is a nightmare. Greene King should get stuffed. An even better idea would be to sell the pub to the landlady (obviously at a knock down price due to the trauma caused) who has created a truly memorable pub from whichever perspective you take. I can say hand on heart this is the only Greene King pub I go in as I don't have to drink products from the arch wrecker of local heritage. Problem is on my rare visits I'll have to carry on going in as in this instance the pub is far more deserving the the brewery.
AndySk - 26 Oct 2006 02:00
An excellent, honest and organic corner local, without being at all down at heel or unkempt. Always serves superbly kept Harvey's. Rarely bother with the GK beer but the few times I tried it it was equally fine.
A real thronging atmosphere pervades the place when busy, and in nice weather it's great to be able to overspill onto the street.
I am disquieted to hear this nonsense about GK and it's frankly typical of their autocratic and insensitive, inflexible way of operating. There are very few pubs in which it permits other's beer to be stocked so the Lewes Arms is one of the lucky few; I dearly hope that they are forced to see sense on this, but I won't hold my breath. Come on locals, get campaigning!
TWG - 18 Oct 2006 17:59

It looks like Greene King are trying to get rid of the Harveys. There was a meeting about it last night.

The mayor of Lewes is also trying to stop Greene King using the town crescent on its own beer (Lewes Arms Ale) and passing it off as local.

Hancock - 14 Oct 2006 03:31
Was there for the Pea Throwing on Sunday 8th. Excellent day out.
Wonderful Pub.
A Pub as it should be.
Drank far too much.
I'll be back.
JohnnyCrow - 12 Oct 2006 13:48
I sincerely hope the Harvey's stays. I haven't been to the Lewes Arms for a while as I live in London, but it's a must visit on my occasional trips to the town. I won't drink Grim King beers as I just don't like them. That brewery's attitude to other brewers is simply appalling. They're a national menace.
Rich66 - 7 Oct 2006 10:21
Beware!! It is strongly rumoured down here in Lewes that Greene King are trying to remove Harvey's from the six remaining former Beard's pubs which they own. This, the Wellington in Seaford and the Red Lion in Bromley are three of them - I don't know which the other three are. There has been a petition going in the Lewes Arms. If one of these pubs is your local and you want Harvey's to remain, you may wish to do the same.

southdown12jack - 25 Sep 2006 11:30
The "own brew beer" is almost certainly a beer from the Greene King portfolio rebadged for this pub, but I do not know which one. It is rumoured that the Harvey's in this pub (and other former Beard's pubs) is under threat again. Greene King should realise that if they can't get Harvey's here, many people will go elsewhere to get it. Not only is it damn good beer, local people are fiercely loyal to their home-town brewery.
southdown12jack - 21 Sep 2006 11:43
This pub was recommended to me by the Lewes tourist office when I was down for a day trip. What a fantastic boozer - great beer (try their own brew Lewes Arms Ale) - friendly staff - good food and a fine old building.
emcg - 18 Aug 2006 20:19
This is the sort of pub you dream about having as your local. After many years of dreaming, it now is. Despite being a Greene King tied house, it still serves Harvey's Best although this winter there is, alas, no Old. Nice atmosphere (even in the front bar, aph - we don't bite, you know!). Come on a Sunday afternoon and you may well get press-ganged into one of the crazy competitions they occasionally hold, such as pea-throwing or paper aeroplanes. In July you can witness the ancient game of Dwyle Flunking. A real community pub.
southdown12jack - 16 Nov 2005 11:36
The website seems to have lost the review I posted a week ago, so I'll try again.

This is a fabulous pub. It is everything a pub should be - very friendly punters, good beer, a relaxing place to be. It has three separate rooms, including an intimate front bar. A great place to play chess as well! Although it is a Greene King pub, Harvey's is still served from its days as a Beards house because the regulars prefer it!

I thoroughly recommend this pub for the great beer and people.
Get_me_some_Old_Tom - 19 Oct 2005 13:57
I always make a point of paying a visit whenever I go to watch football at Lewes. A superb pub with real character. On my most recent visit a few weeks back the Harvey's Best was fantastic; I was surprised to notice it's a Greene King house, and I sincerely hope the policy of stocking Harvey's beers continues as I don't like Greene King.

I can understand the comment about the (very small) front bar feeling unwelcoming, but there are two other bars to choose from. The only downside is that the place sometimes becomes incredibly crowded at times when you wouldn't expect it to.
Rich66 - 30 May 2005 12:51
The Lewes Arms is regarded by many locals as the flagship Lewes pub. Full of the charms of what a traditional British pub should be. It has taken a few knocks since Greene King took over the Beards estate in 1998. However, due to the dedication of a brilliant landlady it still has the 'Lewes Arms magic' and hosts some rather unusual games; including the now world famous pea throwing competition.

The Lewes Arms to my knowledge the only ex-Beards pub that still sells Harvey's Best due to the unwavering loyalty the regulars have for their local brewery (and quite rightly so).
D3clan - 27 May 2005 15:52
It's Ok and they sell Harveys but the front bar can be un-welcoming if you're not a local.
aph - 8 Mar 2005 13:21

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