Bexhill micro pub wins major design award

The Brickmaker’s Alehouse in Bexhill has been awarded the Conversion to Pub Use Award in The Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) prestigious Pub Design Awards.

Brickmakers 2 SUS-211208-103705001
Brickmakers 2 SUS-211208-103705001

The awards, held in conjunction with Historic England, celebrate exceptional pubs across the country that have undergone conversion or conservation work, or are newly built.

The Brickmaker’s Alehouse occupies premises which at various times have been occupied as a shop, as a café, and as an office and showroom for a local brick manufacturer during the 1930s – hence the name. It retains some fireplaces built from their products, as well as an attractive mosaic threshold featuring their name.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Co-owner of the Brickmaker’s Alehouse, Martin Payne, said: “When we set out to create the Brickmaker’s, we wanted to be sympathetic to the Victorian building, which is in a conservation area, so we tried to create an interior that feels traditional but still contemporary.

Brickmakers 1 SUS-211208-103654001

“Above all we wanted a space that felt welcoming to all, especially to people who may not visit pubs that often. I think our main driver was to create a pub that we’d want to spend time in. We’d done a lot of practical research leading up to this point!”

The Brickmaker’s Alehouse shares the top spot in the Conversion to Pub Use Award category with the Colmore Tap in Birmingham. The award celebrates instances where an existing building is converted to pub use. Pubs are judged on the taste and restraint used on the outside and inside of the pub.

Andrew Davison, chair of CAMRA’s Pub Design Award judging panel, said: “This pub is a wonderful example of a pub conversion. The owners, Martin Payne and Robin Hill, working with architects MMPC Ltd who provided the design drawings, have conserved the surviving historic features while ensuring that essential new ones, such as the beer cabinet and the servery are of high-quality design.

“The result is an attractive place with a definite ‘pub’ feel, something which not all micropubs manage to achieve. The Brickmaker’s Alehouse is a very worthy joint winner of this Pub Design Award.”

This year’s Pub Design Awards come after over a year of restrictions and uncertainty for the pub industry, and mere weeks after the full lifting of restrictions on 19 July. The awards had been delayed from their usual announcement earlier in the year, in order to factor in coronavirus restrictions on pubs and allowing the judging panel to visit the nominated establishments.

Winners will be recognised at a virtual event hosted by the awards’ judges at 7pm on 26 August.

There were seven winners across the different categories, ranging from best refurbishment to the prestigious Historic England Conservation award, and one additional pub highly commended in this year’s competition.

These awards are celebrated as CAMRA is underway with its Great British Beer Festival At Your Local event, taking place nationwide and helping pubs celebrate real ale and cider by getting consumers back to the pub. Learn more and find local events here: