RateBeer
overall
74
98
style
Brewed by Harveys
Style: Bitter
Lewes, England
Serve in English pint

bottled
available

on tap
common

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 262   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.28   EST. CALORIES: 120   ABV: 4%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Cask: Regular.
Ingredients: Spring water from Harvey’s artesian well; Maris Otter malted barley; Fuggles, Goldings, Progress and Bramling Cross hops; Harvey’s yeast - repitched for over 50 years.
First brewed in 1955.
A superbly balanced session bitter with a prominent hop character. Our most famous and popular brand - it makes up over 90% of our total brewing capacity. Winner of the Champion Best Bitter of Britain title at CAMRA’s Great British Beers Festival in 2005 and 2006. Winner of the First Prize Gold Medal at the International Brewers’ Exhibition in 1980. Brewed to an original gravity of 1036° -1040°. Fermented between five and nine days. Longer fermentations will have Bret character from the resident Bret in the brewery.


5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
chrispietruski (2) - ENGLAND - MAR 26, 2004 does not count
Initially sweetish, but then the hops kick in. Massive mouthfeel and a lovely long aftertaste. One of the very few beers not to have changed flavour in the 25+ years I've been drinking it. Normally at its best in Harveys' tied houses - other pubs may not keep it so well.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
oldfitzgerald (4) - Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, ENGLAND - JAN 31, 2012 does not count
UPDATED: APR 15, 2012 The Taste of Sussex. English session pint perfection. Harveys flagship bitter is so well rounded and balanced. Optimally hopped with aromatic locally brewed freshness that seems to set it apart from all others in this style (I would put Timothy Taylor Landlord second). This real ale would stop me from emigrating, or moving anywhere beyond the 50 or so miles distribution radius from Lewes. The pint is always so fantastically fresh in all the Brighton pubs, simply beer heaven!

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
SilkTork (5275) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - NOV 26, 2013
June, 2003:The Anchor, Sevenoaks. A firm fruity best beer but with a full taste of oak. Yeast, sulphur and fruit on the nose. Glowing golden amber colour. After big fruit rush the finish initially goes empty, then a mild dry bitterness starts to come through along the roof of the mouth, fruit joins in briefly before the mild, dry bitterness is left alone again to end on a salty note. Pulls well above its strength, and reminded me of Abbot Ale. [3.5]
Dec, 2004: Royal Oak, London. Sweet. Oak notes. Smooth and delicious. [3.4]
Aug, 2006 Little Gem, Aylesford. Fucking glorious! This is what beer is all about - fantastically drinkable and thirst-quenching, yet packed with flavour. So tasty you want more and more and more, and to keep on drinking for ever, yet interesting and varied enough to invite investigation and contemplation. Sweet malt and a stunning burst of hops. Fragrant, flowery, infused and floating, earthy and gently spicy, warm hop oil burning on the tip of the tongue. O yes. O yes, yes, yes. [4.7]
March, 2007Kings Head, Battle Awesome. Fresh and unbelievably flavoursome. I could drink this all day. I WANT to drink this all day. In here, in this pub. Die happy. [5]
Feb 2009 Who’d Ha Thought It, Rochester. Each time I have this beer I love it. I love it. I love it. It’s a perfect drinking beer. [5]
June 2009 Cask at Lewes Arms, Lewes, and seven other locations, including the brewery, on the RateBeer Harveys Brewery Tour Fucking glorious! Best goddamn beer in the world. [5]
March, 2011 Plough, Eynsford. Oh! There is so much character and flavour in this beer. The hop blend, the yeast, the open fermentation, the wild bret, all contribute to making one of the world’s most consistently fascinating, satisfying and enjoyable beers. This is my desert island beer. Caramel, toffee, wood, wet leather, spice, hops, lovely. [5]
Oct, 2011 Victoria, Eastbourne My reward for completing the Beachy Head Marathon is a pint of the best beer in the world, served in one of the best pubs in the world. Absolutely spanking gorgeous. Sweet, characterful malt - best quality brewing malt in the world. And that scintillating blend of English hops. No Bret in this batch, which means the malt and the hops play main stage, and what a show they put on. Unbelievably great beer. [5]
Sept, 2013 Royal Oak, London. Unfrickingbelievable how beautiful this beer is. [5.0]

4.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
jennythenipper (74) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - JUN 25, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 10, 2003 I think that this is the bitter I had when I was out walking hills in East Sussex. It was nearly orange in color and the flavor was perfect. I'll have to check my notes (yes, I took notes!) But the beer mat definitely matches the one I carried with me for about a year afterward to remind me how good this beer was. I'd love to get my hands on some now to see if it matches up to my memory.

4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
CourageBest (51) - Katy, Texas, USA - JUN 10, 2002
The best English bitter in the world.

4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Sobchak (131) - Skagen, DENMARK - SEP 18, 2005
(Cask, The Wharf, Aalborg) - Dark copper colour. Floral, fruity and slightly malty nose. Smooth mouthfeel, with a remarkably wellbalanced palate.- Dry maltyness, appetizing fresh hoppy flavours and easy drinkable. I have died and gone to Lewes........

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
joemateix (2) - Barcelona, SPAIN - JAN 25, 2013 does not count
Quite brilliant. My favourite bitter in The Lewes Arms is about as good it gets with trousers still on.

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
harrisoni (14128) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - JUN 30, 2005
UPDATED: APR 28, 2013 Cask at The Pilot, Maidstone, Kent. This is such a distinctive beer. A flowery hop and yeast nose leads to quite a sour hoppy flavour and a good bitter hop aftertaste. At times I would go miles to have a pint of this, other times the sourness sometimes puts me off. Very good though 3.5/5 Re-rate, The Bowl Inn, Hastingleigh 14/04/07 Almost the perfect bitter, lovely aroma, character and malt in the mouth and good biting hop finish. Great condition, great flavour. The Harp, Chandos Place 2011, it’s like the beer on turbo, fantastic delineation of flavour.s The Royal Oak 2013, THE perfect Best Bitter in my opinion.

4.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
kempicus (343) - Bakewell, Derbyshire, ENGLAND - MAR 14, 2009
First pint back in the motherland and what a beauty! It’s a beer with a unique flavour that i find impossible to describe...so i’m not gonna! Great beer for the alc % it’s got the biggest flavour, body and hop bitterness i’ve ever experienced in a ’boys beer’

4.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Orgeogre (10) - Lyon, FRANCE - NOV 6, 2011
I grew up on this one (late 70’s yes I’m an old taster) as I lived not far from the brewery. The quality of this is (or at lest used to be) quite variable from one pub to another. When it at it’s best it is the epitomy of Southern English ale. Perfect balance between fruit and hop biterness. If I had to chose a last pint before dyeing it would be this.


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