Large country pubs become something of a magnet when the summer months come around, thanks to a combination of fine weather and a large garden. Here at the Shepherd & Dog, we like to try something a little different sometimes, and of course we like to make the most of our setting amid the natural splendour of the South Downs National Park.
This July, we’re hosting our Wild Beer Tap Takeover, a celebration of all that’s wonderful about traditional yet innovative brewing techniques. It’s free to enter this event, there’s no need to book in advance or to buy a ticket, you just turn up with a thirst and perhaps an open mind about which ingredients could and should be included in certain beers. For some people, this could turn out to be something of a journey into the unknown.
The Wild Beer Company is based on a farm in rural Somerset, where they brew with imagination and flair against a backdrop of picturesque countryside. They have a passion for brewing with unorthodox yeasts and somewhat alternative fermentations, and the end result is a range of beers which have to be experienced to be believed.
Glorious ingredients, glorious beers
Their current range includes beers flavoured with ingredients such as limes, salt, pineapple, rhubarb, honey, ginger, chocolate, seaweed, vanilla, coffee, pepper, sourdough and so much more. We love the way they combine what might be seen as unusual ingredients with an appreciative nod to traditional brewing processes, resulting in a stunning selection of beers which cover the whole taste spectrum.
Needless to say, here at the Shepherd & Dog we are synonymous with the type of fine dining Sussex has become famous for, and our superb summer menu will be available to complement the Wild Beer event. Here’s a golden opportunity to give your summer a bit of a twist, and to celebrate the union of fabulous beer and exquisite food.
The Wild Beer Tap Takeover is on July 26th at the Shepherd & Dog in Fulking, one of the finest gastropubs in Sussex.
Here at the Shepherd & Dog, we’re understandably proud of our location right in the heart of the South Downs National Park. This is a truly beautiful part of the world, and it’s one that lends itself perfectly to the gentle art of relaxation. Whether you’re in the area for long, lonely rambles or a friendly stroll with the family, the chance to call in and see us surely shouldn’t be overlooked.
This is the UK’s newest National Park, having been given this official status in 2011, but of course the countryside that surrounds us has remained blissfully unspoilt for many centuries. If you’re ever in the mood for a VERY long walk, the South Downs Way runs from Winchester in the west to Eastbourne in the east for a distance of around a hundred miles.
Here at the Shepherd & Dog, we’ve been providing refreshments to walkers and ramblers for many decades, and we’re understandably proud of the welcome we offer to a diverse cross-section of people throughout the seasons. Our unique location in the picturesque village of Fulking places us in the ideal position to offer superb drinks and fine dining to locals and visitors from all over the world.
Proud to offer the evening dining Brighton people love
We enjoy a peaceful spot at the foot of the fabled Devil’s Dyke, a 100m deep valley which has been an important tourist attraction for a number of years. Of all the pubs in Sussex, we feel ours is in a truly fabulous location. Devil’s Dyke has an interesting mythology about it, having been named after an ancient tale concerning the digging of a ditch by the devil himself in order to flood the valley.
In Victorian times, Devil’s Dyke was a hugely popular tourist attraction, and was home to a fairground and a couple of bandstands. These days, you’re more likely to see paragliding enthusiasts looking to make the most of the winds, and many of them pop into the Shepherd & Dog after their adventures have come to a close for the day.
We offer a superb lunch menu here, and on summer days many of our patrons head into our large garden to make the most of the warm weather. When the evenings come around, our dinner menu tempts visitors from across the region, as our talented chefs create the type of fine dining Sussex has become increasingly famous for. Why not pay us a visit and find out for yourself?
The Shepherd & Dog is a large, friendly and welcoming pub and restaurant in the South Downs National Park. We pride ourselves on being one of the most iconic pubs in Sussex.
I know of several candidates who consider themselves God’s gift when it comes to beer, but I have recently come across evidence that in ancient times the heavenly brew was in fact the purview of a Goddess.
The ancient Sumerians counted among their most revered Deities the Goddess of Beer – Ninkasi. As evidence of this an ancient hymn to Ninkasi was written some 4000 years ago, and as well as being the lovelorn ramblings of an early boozer, it contains the recipe for the Middle Eastern beverage of the time.
The Hymn provides wonderful evidence of the fact that beer was in fact a staple of the culture of that time around Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) and archaeologists have also discovered chemical traces of beer in a fragmented jar dating from the mid-fourth century BC. At the same site they also found evidence for early wine-making and it is thought that the idea of brewing beer arose from baking, perhaps discovered from the fermentation process that was seen with grains that had been left out too long.
As only fresh water was used in making beer, and it had to be boiled as part of the process, it may have been a case that, quite by accident, they discover it was healthier to drink than the water from the local canals which could be polluted by human and animal waste. The beer also contained nutrients other drinks didn’t and when included as part of a staple diet of the Mesopatamians, they realised they felt better, and not just because of the alcohol. From the evidence of art works also found throughout the region dating from ancient times, it’s clear that beer was consumed daily in great quantities by the people. No wonder they gave prayers of thanks to Ninkasi.
So there you have it – official confirmation that the ladies of the bar at not in fact encroaching on a traditional male domain, but are simply re-claiming their ancient rights as the heavenly appointed village boozers – but we kind of knew that already ;0}
Despite having just had the warmest December on record, winter finally seems to be arriving, so I thought it might be nice to just remind you of the lovely summer we had (no it’s ok – no need to thank me). That way you can while away the soggy afternoons remembering those lazy afternoons in the beer garden in your favourite Sussex country pub.