A PUB and brewery has celebrated its 30th anniversary.

The Hand In Hand, in Upper St James’s Street in Kemp Town, Brighton, hosts the city’s oldest brewery.

Landlady Jennifer Dalby said the venue, which has been trading as a public house since 1850, has a colourful history.

She said: “The previous owner before myself, Bev Robbins, actually removed the original roof in order to insert a tower brewery down into the building back in 1989.

“So the brewery is hidden – it spans four floors and is genuinely quite bonkers, but it’s a traditional method of brewing.”

The brewing technique is very different to modern brewing methods, because a tower brewing system relies on gravity.

Jennifer said: “Nowadays it’s normally all on one floor, but with ours it pours down to the next section.

“It’s a traditional German method of brewing. Bev loved German beers and used to dress up in lederhosen.

“He was quite the character, not only for removing the roof off an entire building to build a brewery – he even once put a human hamster wheel application in to Brighton council.”

After Bev died a decade ago, Jennifer said there was a period where the brewery was not used as much, as different managers came and went.

She said: “I was genuinely really worried that the Hand In Hand could completely lose her magic if ownership fell into the wrong hands.

“So in 2015, when Bev’s wife Brenda wanted to sell, my husband Clarke and I bought the business to preserve this wonderfully traditional corner street pub.”

The following year Jennifer teamed with brewer Jack Tavaré, who fired up the tower brewery again under a new venture, Hand Brew Co.

Jennifer said: “We invested in some new fermentation tanks, but we couldn’t chop the roof off again like Bev had. “There was no way we could get the tanks down the stairs, so in true Hand In Hand style we chopped a hole in the floor and lowered them down that way.”

Jack described the brewing process in the pub as “mad”.

He said: “Harvey’s has a tower brewery, but you never see it on the scale we have here. We bring in the malted barley and take it up two flights of stairs, and that all goes in the mash tun below. Everything is fed by gravity.

“When we’re brewing we send it down a pipe to the fermentation tanks under the floor beneath the bar.”

Jennifer and Jack are big lovers of cask ale and always produce most styles for this format.

Their Hand Brew Co beers are on tap permanently at the pub and in other independent bars, pubs and venues across Sussex.

Jennifer said: “We’re truly honoured to be looking after this ship and all the pirates who drink within her.

“I love how the building lives – there is so much life that goes on, whether that be the punters laughing and singing downstairs, or the brewers running up and down the floors carrying malt and hops.

“Even if we all stepped outside of the building for just a moment, she does not sleep, as the beer ferments down in the basement – so life is constant here, right down to a microbiotic level.”