Harveys beer is now available at the Brickmakers Arms in New Road, Uckfield. The pub has been freed of tie and can choose its own beers, lagers and wines and set its own prices.
Landlady Helen Bromwich is delighted about the change. Customers were vocal about wanting Harveys, especially with the brewery just down the road at Lewes, and she has been working for two years to come to an agreement with pub owners Hall and Woodhouse.
Helen said: “This is a big thing for the Brickies which has not been able to sell Harveys for 12 years. We are still tenants of Hall and Woodhouse but free of tie.”
She was looking forward to having guest beers and lagers, including ales from local micro-breweries, and to being more competitively priced.
She took over the pub nearly five years ago when it was on the brink of closure and has made a success of it as a friendly local with two pool teams and a darts team and with a reputation of fund-raising for local causes.
The pub garden is much admired and has just won in the Uckfield in Bloom competition for the fourth year running. That is thanks to the work of Helen’s partner James Dell, through his building and landscaping company J D Services.
Helen has also taken on a new challenge as landlady of the Foresters Arms at Fairwarp.
She will continue to live at the Brickies – “This is definitely home,” she said – while also looking after the Foresters, a completely different style of pub in that it is food-led.
Tania Swancott who has worked part-time at the Brickies for four years has taken on the role of full-time bar manager at the Foresters and is working alongside chef Lorna McLannahan who has been there four years. Before that Lorna was at what was previously the Fireman’s Arms at Five Ash Down but is now the Pig and Butcher.
The Foresters has been redecorated, the kitchen deep-cleaned, the gents toilets have been refurbished and the ladies toilets are currently being worked on.
Helen says there’s a lot more to be done including sorting out the furniture but she is pleased with the way the pub is looking now and she said it was “very, very busy”.
She added: “We are very excited about the future. The change at the Brickies is huge and that is going to mean a lot to us but it is also very exciting to be taking on a new business.”