HAVE YOU got a beard, do you consider yourself a trendy student, would you wear open-toed sandals or dress your mutt in a bandana? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then the Brighton Beer Dispensary in Dean Street could be the place for you.

If not, you will probably still be welcomed but you’re not going to fit in as well and you won’t be as forgiving about the cheesy smell from the back room or the stickiness of the tables. This is very much a case of you pays your money and you takes your choice.

In my case I decided to buy the full-on experience and started by ordering a half pint of the 8.8 per cent Lost and Grounded. You can buy a half for £3.90 or two thirds of a pint for £5.20 – in the end I got a third of a pint as the barrel ran out.

It looked exactly as I thought it would, like cloudy dishwater. It was, however deceptively drinkable and although fairly thick had deep, golden honey tones.

I don’t want to go too Jilly Goolden on you but for a powerful, sugary pint it did create a taste of the farmyard. But, it must be borne in mind anywhere that has been crowned Cider and Perry Pub of the Year as often as this place has must know a bit about the delights of the countryside.

Back in the room I sat at one of the slightly less sticky tables and was fascinated by the guys on the adjoining table who were planning a whole series of extended walks around Exeter – it seems 12 miles a day was standard fare for them and they couldn’t wait to pull on their knapsacks and get started.

In keeping with the feel of a serious, well-established drinking establishment everything on offer is all detailed on a very large chalkboard across one wall. Each beer is carefully documented with it’s strength, relevant characteristics and price.

Having drained my third of a pint I moved on to a pint of Freshman from Brighton Bier.

This was a mere 4.5 per cent and just £5.50 a pint – incredibly hoppy and sharp this is lemon flavoured beer in the extreme with perhaps just a touch of grapefruit, although it still looked like dishwater.

At this point I struck up a conversation with a fellow on one of the recovered bar stools. He was long haired and fairly long bearded with a check shirt worn over a Batman T shirt, so he was obviously qualified and uniformed sufficiently to make recommendations on real ale. My new friend was then joined at the bar by Jamie but, despite sporting a flowery shirt and baseball cap, he wasn’t a reliable source for information on real ales as he’d already had enough to make him trip over his own feet and fall flat on his nose before reaching the gents he was aiming for.

I wasn’t eating on this occasion, but the menu did look appealing and there are numerous awards from recent years where this one was proclaimed as the best place in Brighton to get a Sunday Roast.

I wandered into the back room to see if it led to a back garden but sadly the back door doesn’t go anywhere, and you are left facing a selection of old wooden pallets.

At this point we were joined by the aforementioned trendy students who think they maintain this trendiness just by stepping into the place.

The pub revels in its shabby chic charm and is proud to produce lashings of great beer and cider to punters prepared to seek the place out.

Happy to cater for the type of customer who will appreciate such delights I think it is safe to say Brighton Beer Dispensary won’t attract floods of visiting day trippers and trendy teenagers.

It’s equally safe to surmise the pub, and it’s loyal following are happy for this to continue to be the case.

Brighton Beer Dispensary – 38 Dean Street, Brighton BN1 3EG

Decor: Two stars

It provides the punters with exactly what they want – a no frills approach.

Drink: Four stars

Two dirty looking pints, but there’s a huge choice and something for everyone.

Price: Three stars

You get what you pay for – good quality craft beer is trendy and not cheap.

Atmosphere: Three stars

If it’s your thing you’ll love it, if it’s not then stick to plastic pubs.

Staff: Four stars

Friendly, knowledgeable and able