Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Evening Star

55/56 Surrey Street
East Sussex

The Evening Star
is conveniently no more than three minutes' walk from Brighton rail station, and I can think of no better stop-off for a parched traveller arriving from London. On my most recent visit to this fantastic public house, the spiritual home of the Dark Star Brewing Company, my determination to try a few more of its interesting ales knew no bounds.

Two to mention. First (pictured above), the Dark Star Imperial Stout, brewed with plenty of roasted barley to create a great clunking fist of a beer (10.5% abv). The slight fizz lightened the oil-slick mouthfeel and the taste recalled dark chocolate, merlot wine, and, as J had it, "mature Cornish turf". This was truly a biblical beer, which lingered in the throat like a force of darkness. Lovely. For those who like to hide their ale in cupboards rather than drink it down suddenly, it's worth mentioning that the Imperial, already aged in the brewery, is designed to "improve for many years" in the bottle.

Following that - not easy for any beer - I tried a pint of Dark Star Original (5%), from the cask (right), which in some respects resembled a childhood nephew of the Imperial Stout. Its colour was the darkest red, with the dominant flavour slightly sweet malt, alongside chocolate and honey. Unlike the Imperial, however, the seeds of evil were in their infancy here.

These were great beers and this is a great pub. Brightonians are lucky people indeed.

HISTORY: The Dark Star Brewing Co starting making its beers in the cellar of the Evening Star in 1996, before moving to ever-larger premises, first to a site near Haywards Heath, then most recently to Partridge Green - both in West Sussex.

ALSO: Read about other Dark Star beers I've tried here and here.

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