THEY say empty vessels make the most noise, but the establishment I visited on my most recent trip has some things worth shouting about.

The Foghorn has entered its first full year of trading after converting a former learning centre into a micropub in Portslade.

I read reports from The Argus about how musician Tommy Bowen had opened the venue with brother-in-law Tim Harrow and former band member Niall Buckler.

It has brought a spark of gentrification to the area, and offers something different and, it’s fair to say, unexpected.

So on a week night Mrs PubSpy and I ventured to the venue in Boundary Road.

Outside, there was a chic blue sign and some benches for those hopeful of imbibing the beverages on a warm summer evening.

But we had no such luck.

Despite the sunshine, the wind had picked up, so no one was braving the chilly wind outside.

All signs of gentrification had gone when I was asked by a passer-by if they could “cadge” a cigarette.

“No,” I said.

In the doorway, there was a sign which says the micropub is “open for beersness”, but worryingly there was also a sign which stated that beers were available from noon to 2pm and from 5pm to 9.30pm.

This was enough to anger Mrs PubSpy.

“What sort of pub closes at 9.30?” she said, incredulous.

Perhaps it was because it was already 8.25pm, so Mrs PubSpy ushered me inside and told me to get to the bar, sharpish.

Inside, the decor is modern, with wooden flooring and seating, with a handful of higher tables and chairs, and a couple of lower tables and chairs.

It could almost be an Ikea showroom.

The bar itself was more like a desk.

Behind, there was a window through to an area which looks like a science lab.

There were tubes poking out everywhere, and one man, possibly a mad scientist, was responsible for finding the correct barrel to pour pints.

So it does feel a little bit clinical, compared with the usual comforts one expects from a larger pub.

But in a “cosy corner” of The Foghorn there is a bookshelf with beer guides and Scrabble.

The walls are festooned with old coasters, beer pump labels, and advertising posters from Italy and Germany which gives the place a bit of character.

The main attraction, however, is the variety of beers and ales on offer.

When you strip down the pub experience, this is always the crucial factor.

While Mrs PubSpy opted for her regular rose wine, priced at £4.20, I did my best to read the blackboard and experiment with the brewers on offer.

I asked to try a Citrus Pale ale from the Five Points brewing company in London, priced at £4.

“Do you mean you’d like to try the Five Points, or get a pint?” I was asked.

“I will try it, as a pint,” I replied.

It had a refreshing though only slight tang of the Sicilian lemon and grapefruit, and then a deeper, bitter after taste.

Time was of the essence, so I quickly popped to the gents, which was in fact one loo, clean, and recently installed.

It had an article inside stating that we only know summer has arrived when The Sun newspaper prints a “shark spotted off Cornwall” story.

With that piece of wisdom in mind, I returned to the bar, and was recommended a Jaipur IPA from the Thornbridge Brewery, Derbyshire.

It was worth the £6.20 for the blend of hops that made it a refreshing tipple, although I’m not sure if I missed out on a cheaper option, priced between £3.80 and £4.20.

The last order bell went at 9.15pm.

So Mrs PubSpy insisted we went to a nearby pub to have a “final” drink before her kebab.


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The Foghorn

Boundary Road


Decor three stars

It’s clean and functional, perhaps not so comfy.

Drink five stars

A great place for ale enthusiasts.

Price four stars

Very reasonable prices

Atmosphere four stars

Convivial, before 9.30pm only.

Staff five stars

Helpful recommendations.