Saturday, August 1, 2009

Back to England with the Coba & Wiz

We spent our final week back in England in the South Downs of East Sussex, where we stayed in the old market town of Lewes. A pub lover’s paradise, the town dates back to before the Norman Conquest (along with many of the pubs!). With our B&B conveniently bracketed by the Swan on one end of the street and The King’s Head on the other, we got down to work almost immediately. Lewes is dominated by two things: Lewes Castle, on a hill high above the town and visible from many of the pubs, and Harvey’s Brewery. Virtually all of the bars we visited featured one or more Harvey’s brews on tap. We tried Harvey’s Best Bitter and Hadlow Ale, which we were lukewarm on, and their Jubilee, a rich golden ale more to our liking. Our very favorite pub was the Lewes Arms, built right into the ramparts of the castle and the only place we deviated from Harvey’s to drink Fuller’s ESB. One hot day, we boarded a train for the 15-minute journey to the city of Brighton and hit the beach. There we discovered that, just sometimes, the warmish British beers just couldn’t cut it! Forgive our lapse! Lewes’ most (in)famous son is Common Sense scribe Tom Paine. We drank in one of his favorite pubs – The Brewer’s Arms - and were pleased to drink in his name as well. To celebrate the bicentenary of Paine’s death, Harvey’s has crafted a special edition Tom Paine ale which we were fortunate enough to catch on our last night in the U.K. Though we’ve been to England six times, as we sipped our ales in the beer garden of the Cricketer’s Arms in the tiny village of Berwick, we were already planning our next trip.

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