Our Beers

We at Hurst Brewery are passionate about brewing and the beers we make. Each of our brews is the culmination of intense dedication, application, and enthusiasm. In addition to ensuring our customers' favourite ales are always available, we are also able to offer seasonal beers to complement the changes of the year. From time-to-time we brew small batch, 'special-edition' ales, and we welcome enquiries about customised or commemorative brews.

Each of our beers has a unique backstory which links the brew to our traditional values and local heritage, and we carefully select each pump clip design to reflect this.

The full range is available in 9 gal (41 L / 72 pt.) Firkins and 4.5 gal (20.5 L / 36 pt.) Pins. Our Best Bitter is available in 500ml bottles and we have plans to start bottling the rest of our range very soon. We can also provide 18 gal (82 L / 144 pt.) Kilderkins, and 4.5 gal polypins (bag-in-a-box), to order.
We have made it our mission to supply exceptional ales, for any occassion, at competitive prices.

Year Round Availability

Founder's Best Bitter (4.2% abv)

Founder's Best Bitter is our award-winning signature ale and the backbone of our brewery. Named in honour of the founder of the original Hurst Brewery, George Thomas Saltmarsh, this ale links the past, present, and future eras of brewing in Hurstpierpoint. Founder's Best Bitter is a rich, dark amber hue, with a rounded malty palate. It is suffused with subtle caramel and orange flavours.

We are extremely proud of our Best Bitter - an unpretentious brew which speaks for itself.

Keeper's Gold (4.4% abv)

Keeper's Gold is a smooth, burnished golden ale with a buoyant aroma of grapefruit, citrus, and spice. Its unmistakeable hoppy notes are finely balanced with a simple, yet effective, malt profile, and a subtle infusion of South Downs honey.

We brew our gold ale in celebration of the long history of apiculture (bee-keeping) along the foot of the South Downs. Local beekeeper, Phillip O'Connell, provides the honey that is delicately folded into each brew. It is he who appears on the Keeper's Gold pump clip, tending to one of his hives.

1862 Premium Bitter (4.8% abv)

1862 is our strong ESB (extra special bitter) - a full-flavoured, yet smooth, dark ale. Flaunting a deep-ruby hue, this premium bitter yields spicy, nutty, and resinous characteristics, with hints of dark fruits. Each brew undergoes a special fermentation with rum-infused, toasted oak chips, to impart lavish notes of vanilla and molasses.

1862 was conceived and named as a salute to the establishment of the original Hurst Brewery. A group photo of the brewery's hard workers, taken around that time, is proudly displayed on our pump clip.

Oldland Sussex Pale Ale (3.7% abv)

Oldland, a coppery pale ale, is an all-year round session beer which doesn't compromise on flavour or integrity. It is born from a complex malt recipe, imbuing a nutty and biscuity depth, over which floats an understated, earthy and spicy hop aroma. It is a balanced brew whose flavours complement each other harmoniously, resulting in a highly-drinkable, classic English ale.

The name refers to the 18th Century working windmill in Keymer, West Sussex, whose volunteers received the English Heritage Angel Award in 2014 for their tireless efforts in restoring this magnificent landmark - a process which took nearly 30 years! Our Sussex Pale Ale is brewed as our own homage to them, for revitalising this historic marvel of local engineering.

Watchtower (5.5% abv)

Starting life as a seasonal ale, called Winter Watchtower, our Black London Porter is now available all year round. It is a strong, dark beer with a distinctive, earthy bitterness, created by intensely-roasted malted barleys and generous helpings of traditional English hops. These flavours are complemented by a warming late-hop profile, characterised by winter spice and resinous wood, all topped-off with a rich, coffee-coloured head.

Our Watchtower celebrates a well known Hurstpierpoint landmark - the imposing flint folly known locally as Tower House - and it is this historic circular tower, built in 1826 (and boasting English Heritage Grade 2 status), that features on the pump clip.

Seasonal Availability

Summer 700 (3.9% abv)

Summer 700 is a classic, hoppy, blonde ale - the perfect session beer, boasting light floral, citrus, and herbal notes, and a satisfying mouthfeel. A definite thirst-quencher on a hot summer's day!

This is the ale with which we launched our brewery back in 2012. It was initially brewed to mark the 700th anniversary of Edward II granting a charter for the village's annual St Lawrence Fair, one of the longest established village fairs in the country.

Old Acquaintance (6.5% abv)

Old Acquaintance is our take on the classic old ales which provide warmth and vitality through the cold months. It is a full-bodied beer, exploding with myriad flavours of dark fruits, currants, sherry, spicy marmalade, toffee, and more besides! This old ale pulls no punches and is the perfect companion through the long, dark Winter nights.

Our Old Ale is a seasonal brew, made in small batches as a luxury addition to the core Hurst Brewery range. As well as its limited-edition availability in cask, we have laid down a batch of Old Acquaintance in an ex-red wine barrel, to undergo a year's maturation before tapping and serving next Winter.

The brewing process

Our beers are made from the finest English barley, malted to our specifications by the highly-regarded Warminster Maltings, who have provided traditional floor malt to brewers since 1855.

First, the malt is thoroughly mashed - soaked in hot liquor (an old brewing term for water) in the mash tun - to extract its natural sugars, producing a sweet liquid, called 'wort' (pronounced "wert"). In the copper, this wort is brought to a rolling boil, and is infused with the flowers of meticulously-selected hop varieties, added at various stages throughout the boil. 'Alpha acids' in the hops provide the characteristic bitterness ale is known for, whilst delicate hop oils yield the distinctive flavours and aromas of each individual beer.

For most of our ales, we use an old British bottom-cropping yeast culture. This not only gives our ales a distinctive flavour but also serves to directly connect us to the brewing tradition of centuries past.

After fermentation has finished, the beer is chilled down and racked off into hand-welded, stainless-steel casks, then left to mature in our cold-room, developing more complex and refined flavours and aromas as it ages, before being shipped out to our many customers.

In continuing traditional brewing methods, Hurst Brewery adheres to our core values: attention to detail, hard work, and commitment to progress, in order to provide distinctive real ales which are brought to you in perfect condition.

If you would like to learn more about the ancient craft of brewing, just drop by the brewhouse, and one of our team will be happy to show you around and answer your questions!