A Sussex pub is in the running to be named best in the country.

The Evening Star in Surrey Street, Brighton, has been declared the finest pub in Sussex and Surrey by the Campaign For Real Ale (Camra).

In May it was presented with the Anthony Jenner Memorial Shield after being voted pub of the year by Camra's Brighton and South Downs branch.

The national winner, chosen from 16 regional winners, will be announced during National Pubs Week in February.

The Evening Star is known locally and nationally for its ales, many of which come from small independent breweries.

It is included in the Good Beer Guide 2006, which was published yesterday and claimed there has been a resurgence in real ale.

Some 2,000 real ales are brewed around the country - more than at any time since Camra was launched in 1971.

Roger Protz, the guide's editor, said: "The giant national breweries will tell you people only want to drink lager but we know there are people who don't want to drink heavily hyped, overpromoted lager brands.

"They want beer with flavour and character."