Good Times…

Some of you may know that the lease on the Engine Room premises was for 5 years; that 5 years ends at the beginning of November this year. Over the last few months I have done a lot of soul searching but I have finally decided to stand down from running the bar. There are a number of reasons but I think the two main ones are; 1. I’d like to get a bit of time back to pursue other things, and 2. I think I owe it to my body to stop. I’ve always had back problems but the latest problems which culminated in spinal surgery leads me to think that perhaps I should try and ease off the heavy lifting!

Myself and indeed the whole family have really enjoyed running the Engine Room. We’ve met lots of great people and made lots of new friends. I also like to think in some small way we have expanded the horizons of beer drinkers in East Grinstead, and done our bit in promoting local live music.

In recent months, I have been talking to a number of people about taking over the ER, but so far nothing has developed. I will continue to search for someone to take over the bar and to put their own unique stamp on it. It is important to say that the decision I have made is not a financial one so I am not looking for an investor, but rather someone to take over the lease and the day-to-day running. If you are interested then let me know and we can have a chat.

Don’t worry it is still very much BAU and we will be continuing with all our usual events and we will still be sourcing an ever changing selection of beers and ciders for you to enjoy. We intend to host our annual Oktoberfest in September and after that it will depend very much on whether someone takes over or if the business will close. I will endeavour to keep you all abreast of any developments as and when they happen.

Sussex Day, Sussex Beers, Sussex Hospitality…

Well that was a blast…our customers never cease to amaze us. We had to deal with the heat and the showers but I think all in all it all went according to plan…and much beer was quaffed. As ever thanks for all your support, thanks to the musicians for the entertainment…and of coarse thanks to our amazing staff for all their hard work!

It never REIGNS but it POURS…

So the year is already flying by and we are fast approaching Bank Holiday season! I think we’ve all had enough of the rain so hopefully in the next weeks or so we will start to see some sunshine.

We are opening on all three Bank Holiday Mondays from Noon to 8pm.

Some of you will know I’ve been suffering from a bulging disc in my back. I had surgery 6 weeks ago and all seems to be progressing well…back behind the wheel as of today. Soon be manhandling the barrels as before!

We had our Strong ‘n’ Dark Beer fest back in March which was a great success. We have just announced our next Beer Festival on 16th/17th/18th June. As last year this will feature only Sussex Breweries and we are already on the lookout for some new Sussex Brews from across the county. We are also working on a music line-up for the weekend.

All the details of the event will be posted here so keep checking for updates.

In the meantime we are finalising our list of “Coronation Ales”. So far we have secured these for you to enjoy over the Coronation BH and we’ll keep our eyes open for any additions:

On Saturday the 6th May we will be showing the Coronation on the big screen in the long room. On the Sunday (7th), we will be having an informal “street party” in our outside area. We aim to line up all the tables for a good old fashioned get together. people are invited to bring their own food and there will be a prize for the best Coronation Quiche! See here for the “official” recipe. If anyone has any ideas for games etc then feel free to take the lead, just give us the heads up!

Les & Pete continue to draw a crowd at their regular music slot on Tuesdays from 8pm. They like an audience sing-a-long and they are usually happy to accommodate anyone who fancies joining in on a tune or two!

Our quiz nights continue to be well attended; if you fancy joining in they are held every 2nd Thursday of the Month at 7.30pm. Maximum of 6 people per team and £2 entry per person. All proceeds go to St Catherine’s Hospice.

We also hold music nights on every third Wednesday of the month, these KO at 8pm and coming up we have:

17th May The Andy Smythe Band – new to the ER but once again featuring Jimmy Van Lin on Fiddle and Mandolin!

21st June Nicola Wright And Dave Philips – regulars at the ER, Dave and Nicola have teamed up in recent months to create a great duo.

Remember, we are a small space so if you want to watch the band it’s always a good idea to book, just message us or email us here

That’s it for now folks; let’s hope the sun shines soon! Remember to keep an eye on social media and the website for news of future events.

John, Lisa, Sarah and all the team @ the ER

Doesn’t time fly…

Sorry for the recent radio silence from the basement. Christmas came and went and we are already speeding towards the end of February. This weekend marked the 4th Anniversary of us opening the doors of the ER to all you wonderful customers. It’s been an interesting 4 years, not least because of the pandemic but we are still here, and thankfully so are you!
We are marking our anniversary, as we did last year, with a Dark ‘n’ Strong Beer Festival where we focus on Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Milds and ESBs. A large number of beers have already been squirreled away and I now have to whittle the provisional list down to the final one…this week I promise!
All the information regarding the Beer Festival can be found here
We’ve always said that the main ingredient of our success (alongside the beer and the staff of course!) is you the customers, and we want to thank you all for you continued support both throughout Covid and now in these difficult times.
I would like to make one special shout out to Jonny who has prepared this video to commemorate our 4th Anniversary…
Thanks Jonny

Christmas is coming…

Again it’s been a while but with the run up to Christmas we thought it was time we gave you an update on events in November and December

Firstly, a quick look back on the last couple of months. Thanks to everyone that attended our first Gin Festival in August and our third OktobERfest in October. Once again you drank us dry of German draft beers! Here are a couple of snaps; I promise I will get round to publishing all of the pictures soon (thanks to Sarah for some excellent snapping!)

The Gin Festival saw our first full band playing outside and we had gin tasting sessions from Cabin Pressure, Dedbest and Blackmoon. Roll on the next one!

And next…

This weekend we have entered The Big Reveal. We don’t have any windows but the team are working on something to reveal! Added to that we have some other surprises in store. We plan to have a bar outside serving keg beers, mulled wine and mulled cider as well as a range of Christmas gifts. Mostro Pizza will be parked on London Road at the bottom of the hill; with every pizza purchased gat a £1 off at the bar. We also have Harley House doing tastings of their vast range of gins, rums and vodka; a chance to pick up a bottle for that someone special!

Following on from TBR weekend on Monday 21st we are opening to show the first England group match against Iran. KO is at 1pm, we plan to open at noon. There is a rumour that Steve may be bringing a batch of his acclaimed sausage rolls for general consumption…who needs football! If anyone wants to watch the Wales match at 7pm let us know and we will happily stay open for that as well. We are also showing the other two England group matches on the 25th and 29th; both matches at 7pm. If you plan to come along please let us know as space is limited!

As well as regulars “The Beer Jukebox” performing every Tuesday evening (except 29th Nov) they will also be playing on Christmas Eve; rumour is that there will be some guest appearances!

We have our regular monthly quiz night on the 8th Dec…this is always very popular so if you have never been and fancy your chances you might want to book soon! £1 per person, max 6 to a team, KO 7.30pm

On Wednesday 21st we see the return of 3Times7 to our ERUnplugged sessions. Jenny and David performed at the ER back in August and went down a storm with their soulful blues music. It looks like being a popular night so I would recommend booking if you plan to come along!

Throughout December we will be featuring a number of festive ales both on cask and keg. Here are just a few that you will see hit “the taps”:

Remember, throughout the festive period we will be stocking a number of Christmas gift ideas; including ER Merchandise (tote bags, beanies, t-shirts, polos and fleeces), a range of 750ml sharing bottles as an alternative to wine, 3 and 6 can craft beer gift packs, and packs of 10 or ever popular beer sticks. Come in and take a look!

And finally, the ER NYE bash. This year the theme is Country & Western, tickets go on sale this weekend:

That’s it from ER HQ for now…we will be publishing out Xmas opening hours very soon. Hopefully see you on Saturday Yee Haw!!


Sorry for the recent radio silence but it’s been a busy few months including holidays, a bad back and sciatica! But things haven’t stopped in the basement; our music and quiz nights continue to be very popular as do the every changing beers and ciders, not forgetting the Sussex Gins. We thank you all for your continued support, recommendations and great reviews!

In a moment of madness we (or maybe I!) decided to hold our first Gin Festival at the ER over the August Bank Holiday weekend

We have 3 “new to the ER” Sussex Distillers with 6 new Gins for you to sample

Blackmoon from Newhaven – a Sussex Blend London Dry Gin developed during lockdown

Dedbest near Lewes – a Classic Dry Gin called Contractors Gin from Bob Dedman and Damian Best who work together in the construction industry.

Georgie & Henners (G&H) from Steyning – these guys have a Gin which is replacing Hendricks in a number of bars across Sussex, as well as a Lemon Gin this tastes like Limoncello!

We will have some gin tasting sessions over the weekend, including 3 guest Distillers:

Friday 26th 7pm

Cabin Pressure

Sunday 28th 3pm


Monday 3pm


In addition, each day we will feature a different Gin cocktail.

Rest Assured our normal beer and cider offering will continue as usual…

you DON’T have to drink gin to attend OUR Gin Festival!

Also Live Music!

Live Music Line-up:

Friday 26th

5pm The Three Hats (Dave, George and Pete from local band The Bag Full of Hats)

7pm Nic & Dave (Nicola Wright and Dave Philips – the sensational new duo!)

Saturday 27th

3pm Joshua David Bartholomew – Actor and Singer Songwriter

5pm Dephis – multi-instrumentalist Mike Floyd and classically trained singer and recorder player Julia Simpson. Occasionally join Les & Pete on Tuesday nights.

7pm Izzy – Izzy Lunn who has appeared at The ER twice before; already a firm favourite and great to have her back!

For more information on the acts follow these links:



Sunday 28th

3pm Typical Daydream – a Grateful Dead tribute band

5pm Dr Isi and The Interns – a female fronted guitar based rock cover band

7pm The Beer Jukebox (Les and Pete and maybe Andy!)

For more info see these links:



Monday 29th

2pm –  Vinyl Monday – bring along you LPs and Singles to share with everyone.

Raise A Glass And Money For The People Of Ukraine This Thursday 14th April

The Engine Room is inviting the people of East Grinstead to raise a glass and money for the people of Ukraine on Thursday, 14th April at 6pm, after 30,000 pints-worth of Kyiv-based Varvar Brew’s craft beer was rescued from the country and brought to the UK for fundraising purposes.  

One of hundreds of pubs, bars, restaurants and retailers across the UK to show their support for the people of Ukraine by pre-ordering Kyiv-based Varvar Brew’s craft beer and running fundraising initiatives for www.drinkersforukraine.com, The Engine Room will be donating 20% of the sales to the Red Cross International Relief

The scheme has been set up by Hertfordshire-based importer and distributor Euroboozer with the first load of beer successfully arriving at their HQ on Friday 8th April, after a difficult and much-delayed journey out of Kyiv, not to mention from Dover. 

The much-prized stock, which sold out to the trade in days of the initiative being launched, is now eagerly being delivered so that fridges, shelves and even some draught lines are stocked up ahead of the 14th April. 

Drinkers and retailers around the UK are being asked to share their pictures on social media at 6pm using the hashtag #DrinkersForUkraine.

John, General Dogsbody and Gopher at The Engine Room, said:

“It’s great to help such an amazing initiative and to show support and help raise money for the people of Ukraine.  We’re urging people to head down on Thursday for a 4pm release, and whenever they can thereafter, to buy a beer, raise a glass and show their support at 6pm.”

The story so far….

Kicked off on the 25th March, the initial plan was to rescue roughly 45,000 pints of beer from Varvar Brew, which has had to close down since the invasion. The brewery was desperate to sell its stock to raise much-needed funds for food, medicine, to pay taxes and wages, and to support the country as a whole.

Thanks to the incredible backing from the On and Off-trade in the UK, the stock was pre-ordered and sold out within days of the launch.

Euroboozer then, with much difficulty, organised for the first lorry to set off from Kyiv on the 31st March. The lorry passed the Ukraine border on the 4th April and safely arrived at Euroboozer HQ on Friday 8th April. 

In addition to paying Varvar the full price for the stock (around €55,458.86 so far), Euroboozer will also be donating all profits from the sale of the beer to www.drinkersforukraine.com, which is raising money for humanitarian relief in Ukraine.

For the full list of venues stocking Varvar Brew’s eclectic selection of crafts beers and raising money, visit https://www.euroboozer.co.uk/blog/varvarlands

About Varvar Brew

An independent and ambitious craft brewery founded in a former sawmill in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 2015. With a passion for brewing great beers, the brewery has garnered a loyal following within Ukraine’s burgeoning craft beer scene. Running two brewhouses – 2,000 L and 500 L, they produce over 750,000 L of beer per year across four lines; traditional craft, modern craft, barrel-aged and sours, and experimental.

Ukraine is the breadbasket of Europe so the brewery often incorporates fruits, berries and herbs, as well as some more unusual ingredients – tomato, gherkin, horseradish, beetroot, birch sap and seaweed into its recipes. Taking great pride in representing their country at international competitions, festivals, and in collaborations, the brewery aims to show the world what Ukraine has to offer.

Some of the brewery’s recent tours of the UK have included collaborations with Siren (Mavka, imperial porter), Marble (Reminiscence, old ale), Pomona Island (Ratamahatta, NEIPA), Carnival (Muddler, imperial gose), North (Smoked Stout, stout), Heist (Limbo Shots, NEIPA), and Neon Raptor (Rise & Paul, NEIPA).

For further information visit – www.varvarbrew.com.

About Euroboozer

Started from the back of an old VW Vento in 2003, Euroboozer was set up by beer lover Martyn Railton, initially importing Austrian brands Stiegl, Schremser and Hirter. The company soon branched out across Europe and the Atlantic helping to drive the craft beer trend in the UK.

Nineteen years on the VW Vento has gone to be replaced with offices and a warehouse in Hertfordshire and Euroboozer now supplies some of the finest food and beverage establishments and retailers in the country.

In addition to the Austrian beers, the company exclusively distributes Andechs, Blakstoc, Harpoon and Other Half, as well as ten exciting Czech craft breweries and a host of leading UK brewers.

For further information, please visit www.euroboozer.co.uk or follow on Instagram – @euroboozer and Twitter @Euroboozer.

Six Nations @ The ER

We’re showing the Six nations at the Engine Room. We aim to show two matches from each round, including all the England fixtures, however, if demand is there we are happy to show some of the others.

We have a few “special” ales in to help you enjoy the matches and remember you get 10% off of a 4 Pint jug!

You can also bring or order takeaway food to eat; we can supply plates, cutlery and serviettes.

Here is the fixture list…

Ireland v Wales, Saturday Feb 5, KO 14:15, Dublin
Scotland v England, Saturday Feb 5, KO 16:45, Edinburgh
France v Italy Feb 6, KO 15:00, Paris
Wales v Scotland, Saturday Feb 12, KO 14:15, Cardiff
France v Ireland, Saturday Feb 12, KO 16:45, Paris
Italy v England, Sunday Feb 13, KO 15:00, Rome
Scotland v France, Saturday Feb 26, KO 14:15, Edinburgh
England v Wales, Saturday Feb 26, KO 16:45, Twickenham
Ireland v Italy, Sunday Feb 27, KO 15:00, Dublin
Wales v France, Friday March 11, KO 20:00, Cardiff
Italy v Scotland, Saturday March 12, KO 14:15, Rome
England v Ireland, Saturday March 12, KO 16:45, Twickenham
Wales v Italy, Saturday March 19, KO 14:15, Cardiff
Ireland v Scotland, Saturday March 19, KO 16:45, Dublin
France v England, Saturday March 19, KO 20:00, Paris

Space is limited so it is advisable to book a table by emailing us here OR send us a WhatsApp msg:

Basement Burbles…

Back again after a busy couple of weeks.

We had a great time over the weekend with the “Big Reveal”, although we don’t have a window to unveil, Lisa and Sarah were on the street handing out samples of mulled cider and coupons for a £1 off your first round!.
For a while we were flooded with customers, many wanting Mulled Cider and a complimentary mince pie. There seemed to be a few new visitors amongst them so hopefully we will see them again! Sarah spent hours setting up our amazing “Xmas Shop” but unfortunately we didn’t get many takers for our selection of gifts, but we will be running the shop every weekend afternoon up to Christmas so drop by and take a look. We have a range of sharing bottles of Belgian beers, gift packs of cans and also our much loved Beer Sticks. We are also stocking Marvolio’s Nostrums Liqueurs (the only outlet in East Grinstead!)

Looking ahead to the run up to Christmas we have a number of events lined up. Every Tuesday night we have our regular “house band”, The Beer Jukebox playing from 8pm. Les is fresh from singing some of his own compositions at New Music night in the Dorset Arms.

Unfortunately we have had to cancel Jeffrey and Sarah on Wednesday 1st Dec, Jeff has come down with the dreaded Covid and is recuperating.
On the 9th we have our monthly quiz, which is already fully booked; proof of how our quizmaster Chris “The Inquisitor” has become! The only quizmaster to be fuelled by regular pints of 8.2% cider!!
In the run up to Xmas we have the return of Jono Harrison, an amazing singer, guitarist, keyboard player…and he writes his own songs too! Jono is playing on 15th Dec from 8pm.

On Sat 18th Dec we have a double bill with Andy Twyman at 4pm and The Three Hats at 6pm. Tables are already getting booked so don’t miss out.

Sunday 19th is our Staff Xmas Party; an opportunity for us to say thankyou to all out staff for the hard work they have put in, particularly when we were doing table service only…OUTSIDE! Everyone is welcome and we will be drawing our raffle as well as declaring the winner of our “Guess the Number of Bottle Tops” competition. If you haven’t already got your raffle tickets or made your guess then get down to the bar; all proceeds go to St Catherine’s Hospice. Apparently Father Christmas my be dropping by!

We have also managed to book “The Travellin’ Trio” to perform on Thursday 23rd at 8pm. The Travellin’ Trio are Alan Atkinson (Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica), Jimmy Van Lin (Fiddle, Mandolin), Frank Percy (Double Bass). They perform wide range of lively musical styles including folk, bluegrass, country, gypsy jazz, blues, swing, old time, and more. They are guaranteed to get you’re feet tapping and we may even get some of you up on your feet! This really will be PARTY TIME!

And finally to help ease you in to your Christmas Eve celebrations come down and see The Beer Jukebox from 4pm on the 24th Dec. Rumour has it that Les and Pete will be joined by some guests and there maybe some audience participation!

But let’s not forget the BEER! Here’s some of the Festive Specials we have lined up for you:

More basERment news…

Hi all. It’s been busy times under The Old Mill getting ready for the festive season.

On the music front we’ve had Jono Harrison and Toulah Morgan (with Jude & Craig) appear at our “ERUnplugged ” sessions on Wednesdays. As well as three further “ERUnplugged” sessions on alternate Wednesdays, we have some “post-Christmas shopping” entertainment for you on the 18th Dec with Andy Twyman performing at 3pm and The Three Hats at 5pm. Come in and relax over a pint or a glass of something! Then on 24th Dec, Les & Pete will be appearing around 5pm to KO your Christmas Eve celebrations…maybe with some guests!

For details see our events calendar here

We’ve come up with a theme for our NYE party. Its M*A*S*H meets Scrubs. If you don’t know, these are both medical themed dramas, M*A*S*H from 1972-1983 and SCRUBS from 2001-2010. Just Google them!
Tickets are £10 each in advance (just ask at the bar or email us). There’s a buffet, and glass of fizz at midnight and other fun stuff…fancy dress is optional…but if you feel more comfortable wearing a face mask then this is the event for you!

In the run up to Christmas, we also have two more of our monthly quizzes; this week’s on the 11th is fully booked but there are still tables for the 9th December…get your table bookings in early! £1 per person, max. 6 per table.
We are also planning to support “The Big Reveal” in the town on 20th Nov, starting at 5pm. We will be serving mulled wine and complimentary mince pies at the entrance to the bar. We will also have our Christmas shop with a selection of Christmas Gifts for you to peruse. Drop by and say hello after you have seen all the shops reveal their festive windows.

Finally, we are having a Christmas raffle in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice. Our collections for this invaluable local charity have suffered over the pandemic and even since re-opening contributions have been down as we have not been doing out Sunday cheese & biscuits. So we are pleased to have the opportunity to collect some money for this great local cause. We already have a number of prizes donated by local businesses and from some of our regular breweries. Tickets are selling fast so make sure you’re “in it, to win it”!

Think that’s it for now. Keep an eye out for the various posters in the bar and remember to get in early if booking for the music events, quiz or NYE party.

We’re always happy to take constructive suggestions or to just hear from you, so feel free to get in touch: