Three-day ‘party’ to mark first anniversary at Brooksteed

Brooksteed Alehouse manager John Azzopardi with Tom Flint, who will have a half share in the new Bottle and Jug Dpt business. Picture: Derek Martin DM1833648a
Brooksteed Alehouse manager John Azzopardi with Tom Flint, who will have a half share in the new Bottle and Jug Dpt business. Picture: Derek Martin DM1833648a

The owners of Brooksteed Alehouse are planning a big party to celebrate their first year at the micropub.

John Azzopardi and Aaron Burns, who bought the business from Nick and Paula Little, have expanded the range of drinks on offer and built up the customer base.

Married couple Aaron Burns and John Azzopardi having fun at a Gin and Bear It charity fundraising event

Married couple Aaron Burns and John Azzopardi having fun at a Gin and Bear It charity fundraising event

The alehouse, in South Farm Road, Worthing, was opened in 2014 and is a former winner of the Campaign for Real Ale’s prize for Surrey and Sussex.

Aaron said: “It was a successful business before but you don’t buy a business unless you see room for growth and improvement. This place gave a lot of scope, even though it was brilliant and successful before.

“What we have really tried to do is make the pub as inclusive as possible and to appeal to as many people as possible. We have also got a strong sense of community, so we have had regular charity events, which has increased trade.

“We believe there is a real value in having a community pub, it helps lift the place, and we have always been strong believers in working with other businesses for mutual benefit.”

Aaron set a target to increase trade by a half in the first year, and said they achieved that milestone in the third quarter.

The first anniversary is on Saturday and a three-day weekend party is planned to celebrate, from tomorrow until Sunday, with music, food and an outside keg wall.

A week or too later, the married couple expect to be adding a new business to their profile, a bottle shop on the other side of the road, just north of the level crossing.

Bottle and Jug Dpt will be a new and separate business, run in partnership with Tom Flint, who currently works behind the bar at the Brooksteed.

Tom, 35, has been a food writer for the last couple of years and previously worked in public sector middle management, for the NHS.

He met John and Aaron when he wrote a feature on their Gin and Bear It pop-up bar for ETC magazine, the Herald’s sister publication, a couple of years ago.

Tom said: “When they took over the Brooksteed, doing bar work fitted in perfectly with my quitting my job at the NHS and taking up food and drink writing.

“I had been toying with the idea of doing wine in Worthing but we are restricted for space in the Brooksteed. John and Aaron were thinking about how to build on what they have when they noticed the Michael’s Cycles shop up for lease, which was perfect.”

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