Tuesday, October 17, 2006


16 October 2006

ANGRY Lewes Town Council is to invoke a medieval enactment against national brewer Greene King to preserve its sole right to bear and display the town's coat-of-arms.

The brewer has invoked the council's wrath by using the famous armorial arms to sell a new beer with which it intends to replace local brew Harveys at a town centre pub.
Customers at the Lewes Arms are also furious. More than 500 of them have signed a petition calling for their beloved ale to be retained.

Town clerk Steve Brigden this week said: 'We, the council, were granted the sole right by the Monarch Charles 1 in 1634 to bear the coat-of-arms. First of all, we deplore the brewery's action in attempting to withdraw our local beer from the pub in question. We are also using our legal powers to resist the use of the coat-of-arms on the company's new Lewes Arms beer. As far as we are concerned, it is cynical marketing to the detriment of our fine local bitter. If Greene King decline to listen to us, we shall investigate further use of our legal powers to ensure that Lewes' ancient brewing heritage will not be disadvantaged.'

The Mayor, Cllr Merlin Milner, added: 'As a Harveys drinker, I think the brewers should listen to their customers rather than head office. The use of the coat-of-arms as a logo is a disingenuous attempt to lure Harveys customers to their own beer, masquerading as a local brew. 'They must think we are stupid.'

Local customer Andy Gammon said it was he who approached Lewes Town Council when he saw the coat-of-arms on the hand pump. 'I thought there was an issue here that needed to be discussed,' he said. 'Personally, I don't drink the new beer and I have no intention of doing so.'

Greene King was invited to comment but had not done so as the Sussex Express went to press.


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