Keeping it real … Real Ale
Let me take you back, back to a time where I had never been to Belgium, the term craft beer wasn’t ringing in the ears of London pubs, before a hipster was even dubbed a hipster, my beer belly was a fraction of the size it was now and a time where although I drank ale it was tough to find the amount of decent selection we have now. I take you back to a time where I had no commitments and a weekly paid job which mostly meant weekends away watching Orient around the country and all weekend drinking sessions with one of my best pals who lived in Brighton. On one particular trip we visited some pubs in Hove, one of the pubs being The Bee’s Mouth. Well before my knowledge of Belgian beers was where it is now this was possibly the first place I unknowingly sampled Belgian beer. Even back all those years ago when I first visited The Bee’s Mouth there was a large and impressive bottled Belgian Beer range. Stepping into the unknown world of wooden handled glasses and 10% beers may have been wasted on my friend and I but it certainly helped us get literally wasted!
Fast Forward to the first weekend of 2015 and I’m stepping through those doors again with my friend, a good seven or eight years since my first dabble with Belgian beers and it feels just like it did the few times I visited.
The Bee’s Mouth is a long bar with many different rooms to relax in, there are loads of odd bits and pieces around the pub, including a spinning manikin head in a glass cabinet in the bar (still wearing his Christmas hat)! The dim lights contrasting with the neon bar signs and heavy smell of scented candles mixed with psychedelic music may take some adjusting to when walking in however in an odd way it becomes quite relaxing! If it doesn’t relax you instantly then maybe you need to take a seat in the little nook at the back. There’s a odd mix of old school pub, Persian furniture and alternative rock feel about the place which just makes it feel a bit unique and cool. You walk through the long bar down some steps and you then enter a square drinking room, full with trombone lights, old wooden tables and the previously mentioned Persian nook where you could jump into and curl up in with the cushions.
Back out of that room and down some more steps you will find the loo’s and a passage way to the downstairs room, live music and cinema nights take place in this dark and dingy/grungy style room. This is where their weekly open mic Jazz nights take place.
The beers on offer are still as good as they were before. On the bar there is two hand pumps for ales, the time of visiting they had local brewery Darkstar hophead and Downlands Brewery Devil Dyke Honey Porter (very good!), there are keg beers as well with a few larger named breweries alongside Sam Adnams and Fruli. Not just stocking Belgian bottled beers now there is also an impressive world beers menu too, which at the time.of visiting included Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout and Wild Beer Co Put it in your Pipe to name a few.
The Bee’s Mouth was a craft beer bar before bars were craft beer bars and it might not be everyone’s cup of tea as it is rather out there with the decoration however I am a big fan and it was great to relive those early memories when I returned to one of my first venues for trying Belgian beers!