Friday, 28 May 2010

Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival - Beer list 2010

 It's coming up to the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival again.
This year the festival opens on Thursday June 10th and continues on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th June. 11-11 all days.
Admission costs £5 per person, which includes limited edition glass and souvenir programme. CAMRA members and those under 26 will receive an allowance of beer tokens
Provisional beer list - subject to change depending on delivery etc:

Abbeydale Caskarade 4.2 Seasonal beer with cascade hops
Arkwrights Run of the Mill New brewery at Preston
Arkwrights Trouble at Mill New brewery at Preston
Art Brew tba
Artisan IPA 6.0 Specially brewed for us by local microbrewery that specialises in bottled beers
Bank Top Barley to Blonde 3.8 Latest seasonal
Bath Ales Summer Beer 3.8 New beer from well established brewery
Birds Bromsgrove tba
Box Steam Old Jocky 4.0
Bragdy r Nant Mwnci Nells * 5.5
Bragdy r Nant Chwaeden Aur 4.2
Brains Dark* 3.5 Classic Dark Brown Mild with a mix of malt, roast and caramel with a background of hops.
Brains Bitter 3.7 Malt and fruit flavours initially bittersweet. An easy drinking beer.
Brains SA 4.2 Mellow, fullbodied beer with a malty, hop and fruit mix.
Brains Reverend James 4.5 Rich in flavour and dark amber in colour
Brains Gold 4.7 Golden beer with a hoppy aroma. Well balanced with a zesty hop, malt, fruit and balancing bitterness and satisfying finish.
Braydon Chippenham Yertis 4.1
Breconshire County* 3.7 Amber with a balanced mix of hops, malt and bitterness, a traditional British bitter.
Breconshire Golden Valley* 4.2 Rounded golden beer, former champion beer of Wales.
Breconshire Cribyn* 4.5 Very pale, aromatic best bitter
Breconshire Good Time George 4.6 In honour of George Melly
Breconshire GVX* 6.0 More potent version of Golden Valley
Breconshire Spirit of The Dragon* 6.5 matured in whisky casks
Bryncelyn Everyday 3.8
Bryncelyn Holly Hop* 3.9 Refreshing hoppy, fruity flavour with balancing bitterness, a similar lasting finish.
Bryncelyn Buddy Marvellous* 4.0 Dark brown, complex and tasty mild, former champion beer of Wales.
Bryncelyn Oh Boy* 4.5 Golden in colour with a tasty mix of hops, fruit, bitternesss and background malt.
Buckle St Honeybourne Pandoras Box 4.2
Bullmastiff Welsh Black* 4.8 A stout with blackcurrant flavours, distinctive and tasty.
Bullmastiff Old Casknicker 5.0 new beer, light brewed with golding, styrian golding and Saaz hops.
Bullmastiff SOB* 6.0 Complex, warming amber ale with a tasty blend of hops, malt and fruit flavours.
Bullmastiff Special Reserve 6.5 Brewed initially to commemorate what is now the Brewery Tap Wetherspoon Penarth, Bears Head. Taste the vanilla.
Celt Experience Summerberry 4.1
Celt Experience Golden* 4.2 Citrus hop bitterness with some underlying sweetness leading to a refreshing zesty finish
Celt Experience Proud of Pubs 4.2 New recipe this year, hoppy and golden
Celt Experience Bronze new recipe 4.5
Celt Experience Bleddyn 7.6
Celt Experience Beer Rocks Spring Crazy 4.4
Celt Llantrisant Wheatsheaf Golden Hoppy Special 6.2
Concrete Cow Cock & Bull 4.1
Conwy Cwrw Gwesty Cobden 4.1
Conwy Honey Fayre SP* 4.5 A golden honey beer.
Conwy Rampart BB* 4.5
Conwy Telford Porter* 5.4
Corvedale Farmer Ray 4.5
Crown Inn Pewsey/Worlds End tba
Cumbrian Legendary Dickie Doodle 3.9
Derventio Cleopatra 5.0 Apricot beer
Elland Earthbound 4.8
Enville LPA (Light Pale Ale) 4.0
Evan Evans Cwrw 4.2 Blend of biscuity malt and fruitiness with a light copper colour
Evan Evans Golden Hop 4.2
Evan Evans Archers Empire 4.4
Evan Evans Warrior 4.6
Evan Evans Archers Golden 4.7 Classic Old Style light amber clean dry bitterness, spicy finish
Facers Flintshire* 3.7 Golden colour, tasty hop flavours and balancing bitterness.
Facers Daves Hoppy Beer* 4.3 Amber-gold brew with a big malt and Phoenix hop flavours.Added dry hop.
Felinfoel Double Dragon 4.2
Felinfoel Seasonal 4.3
Freeminer Slaughter Porter 5.0
Fuzzy Duck Cunning Stunt 4.3
Gertie Sweet Wrexham Gertie Sweet 3.9
Gertie Sweet Wrexham "1047 4.7
Golden Valley "4-10" 3.8
Golden Valley Brewers Choice 4.5
Great Orme Welsh Black Mild 4.0
Great Orme Celtica* 4.5
Gwaun Valley Fishguard Bitta (2*9) 4.0
Gwaun Valley Fishguard Bitta (2*9) 4.0
Gwaun Valley Fishguard Light (2*9) 4.0
Gwaun Valley Fishguard Light (2*9) 4.0
Heart of Wales Horseplay 4.4
Heart of Wales D'Rovers Return 4.0
Heart of Wales Welsh Black* 4.4 Well balanced stout, full flavoured with roast malts, current champion Stout of Wales.
Heart of Wales High As A Kite* 10.0
Hobsons Mild 3.2 A tasty mild, complex malt flavours, former champion beer of Britain
Hobsons Best 3.8 Amber coloured, well balanced malt and hop flavours with a clean bitter finish.
Hogswood Stoked 3.7
Ilkley Pale 4.2
Ironbridge Coracle 3.8
Ironbridge Shankers Tipple 4.6
Jacobi Dark 5.0
Jacobi Light 3.8
John Roberts tba
Jolly Brewer tba
Jolly Brewer tba
J Ht S (Fox, Hanley Broadheath) Snooty Fox 4.1 Copper coloured with local Worcestershire hops
Kingstone Gold 4.0
Kingstone Abbey Ale 5.1
KInver Fest Special
Kinver tba
Kinver tba
Lion's T'ale as available
Loch Leven Once Bitten 3.9
Ludlow The Boiling Well 4.7
Mallinsons Dangerhops 4.4
Marble Ginger 4.5 Full bodied, complex with a clear ginger flavour
Mavern Hills Pressnitz Pizen 4.3 Pale gold, Soft fruit and citrus flavour, thirst quenching.
Mc Givern Mad Matts 3.6
Mc Givern tba
Montys Sunshine 4.2
Montys Mojo 3.8
Moorhouses Black Cat 3.4
Morton Penkside/latest
Naylors Cravenbrau 4.3
Neath Ales tba
Neath Ales tba
North Cotswold tba
North Curry Gold
North Wales Moelfre IPA 4.0
Oakham Inferno 4.0
Offas Dyke tba
Offas Dyke tba
Otley "01* 4.0 The original Otley best bitter, pale gold
Otley O Garden* 4.6 Award winning wheat beer
Otley "F" 4.8 Special brew only available at Fagins Taffs Well
Otley OG* 5.4
Otley "02" 4.2 Rounded golden beer, juicy malt with a fine mix of hops and bitterness.
Otley Dark O 4.1 Dark brown, mix of dark malts, roast and hops.
Penlon Cottage Tipsy Tup 3.8
Penlon Cottage Cardi-Bay Best 4.1
Penlon Cottage Twin Ram 4.8
Penpont Launceston tba
Penzance Potion No 9 4.0 Smooth drinking, hoppy finish
Plassey Dragons Breath 6.0
Plassey Cwrw Tudno 5.0
Prescott Hill Climb 3.8
Preseli Tenby Rocky Bottom 4.0
Preseli Tenby Walk the Plank
Purple Moose Snowdonia BB* 3.6 Hoppy, floral gold coloured ale with a dry finish, champion beer 2009.
Purple Moose Revelation 3.9 The seasonal - no tasting notes
Purple Moose Glaslyn* 4.2 Full bodied session bitter
RCH Pitchfork 4.3 Pale gold, citrus hop flavours with bittersweet balance, refreshing.
RCH Old Slug Porter 4.5 Rich mix of coffee, chocolate, dark fruit and hops, dark brown.
Rhymney Hobby Horse 3.8 Pale brown, traditional best, malt, gentle hop and bitterness
Rhymney Dark* 4.0 Dark mild with malt flavours, bittersweet,rounded, champion beer 2007.
Rhymney Amber 4.7 New beer try it and see
Rhymney Export* 5.0 Premium beer, full bodied, copper coloured, malty.
Roseland Truro Cornish Shag 3.8
Rotters TBA
Rowton tba
Salamander Harem Scarum 4.0 new pale ale
Salopian Soul 3.9
Salopian Blackwater SKA 4.0
Sandstone Postmistress BB* 4.4 A pale brown, fruity, malty beer
Sandstone Sandstone Edge 3.8 Pale, aromatic session beer.
Sarah Hughes Pale Amber 4.0 Pale gold, bittersweet with a rounded hoppy finish.
Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild 5.8 An all time favourite and multi-award winner
Shires All Nations Madeley Dodger Mild 3.5 nutty and full bodied
Shires All Nations Madeley Summer Classic 4.3
Six Bells Mayfayre 4.3
Spinning Dog Spinach Ale 2.9 What a healthy beer to be sure
Spinning Dog Herefordshire Light Ale 4.0 Summer special
Steel City/Gazza Multi Hop Sp
Steel City/Gazza Multi Hop Sp
Stonehenge Danish Dynamite 5.0
Swansea Deep Slade Dark* 4.0 award winning premium dark - roast malt flavours
Swansea Three Cliffs Gold 4.7 Golden, hoppy and bitter beer with a refreshing crisp finish.
Teme Valley Talbot Blonde 4.4 Mellow, rich golden beer.
Teme Valley That 4.1 Copper colour, malt and hop flavours.
Tempest Bitter 3.7
Tempest IPA 4.7
Tempest Porter 5.1
Thomas Guest (Black Country) English Summer 4.1
Thomas Guest (Black Country) Cobblers 4.4
Thornbridge Jaipur 5.9 complex well balanced
Toll End Ocker 4.0
Tomos Watkin Cwrw Haf 4.2 Golden, refreshing hop, juicy malt and bitterness
Tryst Black IPA ?
Tudor Blorange 3.8 golden, citrus, floral
Tudor Skirrid 4.2 best session beer
Tudor Sugar Loaf 4.7 darkish, roast hints of coffee
Uley Pigormortis 6.2
VOG Light Headed 4.0 Refreshing pale amber beer.
VOG Summerdaze 4.2
VOG Chapter Old School 4.5 New brew commissioned by local arts centre, a darkish bitter
Waen Landmark 5.2
Warcop Cobblers 4.0
Warcop Black Bowler 6.7
Wessex Isle of Avalon Lumberjack 5.0 A new rasberry beer
Wharfebank Cam Fell Flame 4.4
White Hart Carmarthen Cwrw Blasus 4.0
White Hart Carmarthen Roast Barley Stout 4.0
White Hart Machen tba
Wickwar Station Porter 6.2 Dark, complex mix of chocolate, coffee and dark malt flavours
Windlestone New Gold 3.9
Windsor & Eton Guardsman 4.2
Windsor Castle/Sadlers Magic Miles 6.0 Ruby Mild
Wye Valley HPA 4.0 Light, gold-coloured ale with a good hop character throughout
Wye Valley Trekkers 4.2
Wye Valley Butty Bach 4.5 A deep gold, full bodied premium ale.
Wye Valley Country 6.0
Zero Degrees Pale Ale 4.2
Zero Degrees Seasonal 4.2
Zero Degrees Black Lager 4.8
Zero Degrees Pilsner 4.8

A big thank you to the festival organiser who has refused to supply me with this information. An even bigger thank you to the person not even in CAMRA who eventually did!

Red Lion, Penderyn

Every so often when researching articles for this blog or for my column in the Trumpet of Truth, I come across a truly stunning pub and it was a nice surprise the other Saturday to find the Red Lion in Penderyn, a pub I had been meaning to visit ever since reading in the Fullers Brewery magazine that they stocked Fullers ESB.

Red Lion, Church Road, Penderyn, CF44 9JR, 01685 811914
Open Monday-Friday 7-11. Saturday & Sunday 1-5, 7-11

The Red Lion is situated high above the village of Penderyn, opposite the ancient church of St Cynog's with its attractive lych-gate and gravestone-packed churchyard. 
 Above: The Church of St Cynog
Set in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the area around the pub offers stunning views and walks to see the nearby waterfalls are a good way to spend a few hours in this locality. The Red Lion is built out of the local limestone and features a slate roof, an extension is currently being built to the side of the original building using the same building materials as are used in the original building. 

An old lantern with a rampant Red Lion hangs outside of the pub, beneath which is a sitting bench to sit and watch the graveyard opposite on. Above the doorway on a window pane and on the lantern, is the name of the pub in Welsh, the Tafarn Llew Coch. 

The inside of the Red Lion features flagstone floors and old brewery memorabilia on the walls, including an old commemorative plate from the former clubs brewery in Pontyclun as well as brewery mirrors from Hancocks brewery.

Left: the graveyard reflected in an old Hancock's brewery mirror

There is plenty of seating around the pub, from high-backed settles to the usual tables and chairs. Either end of the building are two wood-burning fireplaces which provide welcome warmth at night in this atmospheric pub. Water jugs hang down from the ceiling and the gleaming brass on the walls, together with the brewery mirrors help make the interior of this pub well-lit. The back room of the pub is well worth looking at if you have an interest in military history as there is a display about Rorke's Drift and other history of the Welsh regiments. 

The Red Lion is set in its own grounds with an extensive car park to the side of the pub.
There are no handpumps on the bar but there is a chalkboard beer menu to one side of the bar. The beers are instead served straight from their barrels in the walk-in cellar just off the bar. One of the permanent beers is Fullers ESB, or as it is shown on the chalkboard as 'Chiswick's Finest'. The Red Lion is a very rare local outlet for this beer and has been serving it for over 30 years. The beer range typically features Brains SA, Tomos Watkin OSB, Shepherd Neame Spitfire and Wychwood Hobgoblin.  A nice touch is that all the real ales are served in the brewery branded glasses. Local cider and perry is also available on draught from makers Bragdy Brodyr of Glyn Neath.
 Above: the cellar
The Red Lion also holds an annual beer festival, this year it will be on Saturday 17th July.
The Red Lion is an excellent country pub set amidst the stunning scenery of the Brecon Beacons. 
 A pint (well almost! - did not want to spill any!) of ESB

Google Map:

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Penderyn is also famous for the Welsh Whisky  Company who are based on the main road.

Penderyn is served by a regular daytime bus service from Aberdare (Number 7) and the Red Lion is located on the hill to the West of the town.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Beer festival at the Red Cow

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Aberdare is a bit of beer desert if you are unfortunate to have ever trapsed the town looking for a decent pint, however on the outskirts, to the east is Llwydcoed and the Red Cow pub where they are holding a beer festival this weekend.
Beers on:
London Pride 4.1%
Hobgobin 4.5%
Ramblers Ruin 5% ... Red Dragon 4.8%
Butty Bach 4.5% ... HPA 4%
Columbo 4% ... O1 4%
Snowdonia Ale 3.6%  ... Glaslyn Ale 4.2%
Doom Bar 4%
Betty Stogs 4%
Old Hooky 4.6%

A good range there that should suit all tastes, a pity Brew Wales is on the cider this weekend in the Clytha Arms otherwise a trip up to the Red Cow would be in order. 

 The Red Cow Inn
6 Merthyr Road
CF44 0FE
Google Map:

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Journey Planner:
Bus Number 6, Merthyr-Aberdare stops outside

Welsh Cider festival this weekend

It's that time of year again when the hard-pressed cidermakers of Wales gather for the annual competition and festival in the grounds of the Clytha Arms in Monmouthshire.

From Brew Wales

The festival opens this Friday (28th) and continues throughout the weekend with live bands on to entertain the drinkers. with around 40 different makers producing many different ciders and perries it should turn out to be a very enjoyable weekend.
Brew Wales will be there on Saturday morning judging the ciders and perries and hopefully will not be to tired by the afternoon.The judging is on a blind tasting so there is no way I might be biased towards Llanblethian Orchards Cider or Seidr Dai, both of which I helped to make last autumn.


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The Clytha Arms
Near Abergavenny
South Wales
United Kingdom
NP7 9BWFacebook Site
The Clytha Arms can be reached by public transport, the Number 83 bus from Abergavenny-Raglan-Monmouth passes to the rear of the pub and the return service Monmouth-Raglan-Abergavenny stops outside at 1840, NB that is the last bus!
Journey Planner:

Monday, 24 May 2010

Patriot, Pontypridd

The Patriot, 25a Taff Street, Pontypridd, CF37 4UA

The Patriot is a relatively new pub, having only opened last year and is situated on the main shopping street in Pontypridd. The pub is the second pub to be opened by the award-winning Rhymney Brewery and was converted from retail premises. The pub is a sister pub to Rhymney Brewery's highly successful and popular Winchester pub in Merthyr Tydfil.
The building features a large window and side entrance, leading to a relatively small but extremely popular bar with a row of six shinning brass handpumps on it, all serving beers from Rhymney Brewery.
The Patriot is by a far a drinkers' pub, with no food being served but instead offers six handpumped real ales from the Merthyr-based brewery. The selection of real ales does change but typically features brews such as Hobby Horse, a 3.8% mid-brown coloured ale with a subtle hoppy flavour to the 5% True Taste of Wales award-winning Rhymney Export; with their other ales such as Rhymney Bitter, Bevan's Bitter, General Picton, Premier Lager and Rhymney Dark also featuring regularly along with any seasonal ales the brewery brews. The Dark previously won Champion Beer of Wales at the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival which this year will be held in June at the Cardiff International Arena.
The real ales served at the Patriot are poured from gleaming brass handpumps and are served in branded Rhymney Brewery glasses with all the beers in top form here as the Patriot has Cask Marque accreditation. The Patriot also sells the full range of bottled beers from Rhymney Brewery together with their mini-kegs and presentation boxes if you want to take some beer home or make a gift of their beers.
There is plenty of seating around this pub, despite the small size of the Patriot and entertainment is provided by flat-screen televisions that show the latest sports events.  The walls are decorated with old posters and newspapers and there are a number of distinct areas in this pub despite being open-plan. The atmosphere of the Patriot is a lively and vibrant and conversation dominates in this friendly valleys' pub.
The Patriot is an all to rare example of a retail premises converted into a successful and popular pub. The pub may not be to everyone's taste but as an excellent outlet for the award-winning real ales from Rhymney Brewery is certainly hits the mark. The Hobby Horse trademark is certainly roaming the valleys of South Wales once again.

Google Map:

Pontypridd is easily reached by bus or train:

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Enjoying myself with good beer

Popped into the excellent Otley Arms in Treforest for a few pints of their beers. Unlike some brewers from the West of Swansea who believe in homepathic hopping, the Otley Brewery ram their beers with flavour. The favourite today is California, a brilliant gold ale of 5% ABV packed with the full grapefruit and citrus flavours you would expect with using American hops. Another great beer from a great Welsh brewery.

Champion Cider

A quick visit to Gwynt Y Ddraig Cider today to try out their Black Dragon Cider which was judged best in the world at the International Cider Competition in Hereford the other day. And what a great cider this is, golden yellow with a subtle wood aroma and a medium dry finish. Lots of apple flavour packed into this 7.2% ABV cider as well. Its a bit busy here at the farm with orders for their ciders going out to across the UK, check out the box on the right hand side of the blog if you wish to order online.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Mochyn Du, Cardiff

Y Mochyn Du/The Black Pig, Sophia Close, Pontcanna, Cardiff,CF11 9HW

Situated just off Cathedral Road, Y Mochyn Du is one of the few pubs in the Capitol to have a Welsh name. Handily placed at the entrance to Sophia Gardens and opposite to the Welsh Institute of Sport, the Mochyn Du was originally built as a lodge for the castle before becoming the Poacher's Lodge pub in 1994 and took its present name in 2002. The pub takes its present name from a traditional West Wales folk song, a copy of which is printed and mounted on one of the walls of the Mochyn Du.
The architecture of the pub is quite different to that of the typical Cardiff pub with a large roof, timber beams and bare stonework on the outside, the style is reminiscent of the pre-World War Two style of pub design known as Brewers Tudor.
The interior of the Mochyn Du features a large wooden-clad 'L' shaped bar with four handpumps on each side serving real ales from mainly local breweries. The Mochyn Du was a runner-up in the Cardiff CAMRA Pub of the Year Award recently. Two house beers are served, Cwrw and Cwrw Haf, both brewed by the Vale of Glamorgan Brewery in Barry. The other two handpumps feature beers from different guest breweries such as the award-winning Otley, Celt Experience and Rhymney Breweries to name just a few. Above and also behind the bar there is an impressive display of pumpclips of real ales that have featured in this pub over the years. Bottled Welsh cider and perry from Gwynt Y Ddraig is also available and there is a good range of single malt whiskies as well.
The Mochyn Du manages to offer a wide choice of seating with comfortable leather seats, stools and more traditional dining chairs and tables dotted around the pub. Off to one side of the bar is an attractive conservatory which leads to an outdoor area, shaded by large old trees that are a feature of the parks of Cardiff. Sporting memorabilia features highly in the decoration of the pub, hardly surprising given its location, with one corner devoted to Glamorgan Cricket as well as signed rugby shirts mounted and framed high on the ceilings. The lighting inside the pub is a bit eccentric to say the least, with an ornate chandelier in one part and an unusual cast-iron structure in another.  
The Mochyn Du, alongside offering the good range of real ales also offers a good choice of food from their bilingual menu with Welsh Beef, Welsh Cheeses and other locally produced products featuring on it.
The Mochyn Du is a rare Cardiff example of a genuine free house, not tied to any wholesaler or any particular brewery, that is able to offer its customers the best of Welsh beers, ciders and food in a comfortable atmosphere. 

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Monday, 17 May 2010

Llanover Arms, Pontypridd

Llanover Arms, Bridge Street, Pontypridd, CF37 4PE
Open 12-11, 01443 403215

The Llanover Arms is a two-story building situated off the A470, opposite the entrance to Ynysangharad Park. One of the oldest buildings in the area, the Llanover Arms has been owned by the same family since 1899 and is one of the few unspoilt pubs in South Wales. The Llanover still retains a multi-room arrangement, with one long bar in the front room and serving hatches to the rear and side-rooms. In the bar there are old brewery mirrors, some of which are cracked but are still left on the walls of the pub as if changing anything in this Freehouse would be tantamount to vandalism. Reflections from names such as Ely, Bass and Worthington Breweries help to illuminate this bar and there are low-backed settles, reminiscent of church pews to sit on. One serving hatch even has an old sign advertising “Senior Service” cigarettes on it and old jugs together with pewter tankards hang from the ceiling of the bar.
Stepping into the Llanover Arms is like taking a step back into history and experiencing what nineteenth century pubs were like with their different rooms, all with different customers and atmospheres.
Four real ales are available nowadays, Brains Dark and Bitter, Felinfoel Double Dragon – an unusual beer for the area and a guest beer, usually from an independent brewery, often from many miles away, Thwaites Brewery of Lancashire was a recent visitor on the bar.
The old serving hatch for off-sales still exists on the side of the bar – a reminder of the days when children were not allowed into pubs but were sent to the window by the side of the bar to collect freshly-drawn beer in a jug. There is an old brass cash register on the bar, no longer used, but merely adding to the atmosphere of this Valleys boozer.
It is unusual that the pub is called the Llanover Arms, as Lady Llanover was a rampant teetotalist who closed down all the pubs on her estate near Abergavenny. Her husband was Benjamin Hall, who, when he was Minister for Works, gave his name to “Big Ben” in the Palace of Westminster. In one of the rooms there is a picture of  Lady Llanover and one of Lord Bute, but these are both racehorses and there is a belief in the pub that it is named after the racehorse and not the local landowners!
The Llanover Arms is an unusual survivor, in being a virtually unspoilt pub that has not been modernised into an open plan eatery or vertical drinking establishment, it is a pub that has hardly changed in a century, where the seats and tables bare witness to the countless customers and their pints that have used this pub throughout its life. A living piece of history and a good pint as well, what more does anyone want in a pub?

Friday, 14 May 2010

Bunch of Otleys at the Grapes!

This weekend the Bunch of Grapes in Pontypridd will be featuring an all-Otley brewery beer festival with 18 Otley beers on at the same time. This looks set to be a real hop-fest of an occaision so if you like your bland tasteless ales then stay in Chaverspoons drinking the cheap stuff.

Live music on Friday night with the Black Hawk Big Band and Acoustic Artist BenSem on Saturday night.

BBQ Saturday from 12pm-6pm

Sunday Lunch 12pm - 330pm

On the Main Bar
Otley - O1
Otley – O8
Otley – O6 Porter
Otley – O-Garden
Otley – Motley Brew
Otley – Dark 8

On the Festival Bar
Otley – O2
Otley - O4 Colombo
Otley - O3 Boss
Otley - O5 Gold
Otley – Dark O
Otley – 11038
Otley – Americano
Otley – Shado
Otley - O Ho Ho
Otley - O Mai
Otley – Croeso
Otley – OG

Ciders Available:
Cider Dai
Blaengawney Farm
Raglan Cider Mill
Gwynt Y Ddraig
Gwynt Y Ddraig – Happy Daze Cider
Gwynt Y Ddraig – Black Dragon

Continental on Tap:
Erdinger - Weissen
Dortmunder Action Bier - Orginal
Lindeboom - Pilsner

Now I would have supplied some tasting notes for the festival, unfortunately Rachelle at the brewery has refused to send me any!

Bunch of Grapes
Ynysangharad Road.

CF37 4DA
Facebook site
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Journey Planner:

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

SIBA Award winners - Wales and West

SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers held their Wales and West competition at Ludlow Castle last week and although the Brew Wales editor was invited along to be judge it, he could not attend as was busy running a CAMRA beer bar at Tredegar House Folk/Dance Festival.
Well done to all the winners, especially Norman at Corvedale who came second overall with his St George's Stout. No doubt we can all look forward to seeing this beer at forthcoming CAMRA beer festivals, especially those local ones in Shropshire.
The full list of winners is available here
List of Welsh winners:
Mild: Bronze for Great Orme Brewery Welsh Black

Best Bitter: Silver for Breconshire Brewery Cribyn

Premium Bitter: Silver for Tudor Brewery Sugarloaf

Strong Bitter: Gold for Waen Brewery Landmark

Strong Ale: Gold for Celt Experience Bleddyn 1075

Porters, Strong Milds and Stouts: Silver for Waen Brewery Blackcurrant Stout

Speciality Beers: Silver for Otley Brewery O-Garden

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Saturday Night @THFF

Do we have a new Government yet? No one really cares on Saturday Night at a beer Festival with the musicians in fine fettle and the beer flowing like the tears of Gordon Brown as he realises his time as our Beloved Leader is at an end. First beer to sell out was Wye Valley Rapid, followed by HPA and Butty Bach. Still plenty of real ales and ciders on for tomorrow though, but glad we ordered that second cask of HPA. Even found time for a spot of lunch at the nearby Dragonfly, a nearby M & B pub serving ales such as Sharps Doombar and St Austell Tribute at too low a temperature. Forgot to take the thermometer over there though. Real ales as the CAMRA bar are about 11-12 degrees C, thanks to the cooling system borrowed from Jim at Spinning Dog Brewery in Hereford. Back to the bar for the last half hour and we open in 13 hours for the Sunday Session. More fun, beer, music and cider, what more do you want for entertainment in Newport?

Live from the bar #THFF

Okay the weather may not be as warm as last year but the beers and ciders are going down well here at the 21st International Festival of Music and Dance at Tredegar House in Newport. Favourite beers at the moment are the light and hoppy ales such as Tudor Brewery Blorenge and Purple Moose Snowdonia. Thinking of a cheese to match with the Snowdonia and the Hafod organic from West Wales springs to mind. Pity there is no where selling it around here. The nearby chippie is doing well from our customers though.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Tasting at #THFF

Well its come to this, the most difficult job at any beer festival, checking the quality of the ales, no surprise that the Wye Valley HPA is on top form, it surely is one of the best beers in the world. Celt Experience Bronze was next to try, a very quaffable bitter followed by a Kingstone Tewdric, again enjoyable and tasty. Three down, nineteen to go! An enjoyable afternoon ahead which should put me in the mood for watching the election coverage tonight.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Setting up #THFF

Day 2 of the set up at the beerex for the Folk Festival at Tredegar House and most of the beer has arrived and the cooling is working and in place. Good, a few more bits of cellarwork to do and we will be ready to open on Friday at 5pm, in time to celebrate the demise of the worst Prime Minister this country has ever known. So why not join Gwent CAMRA for a weekend celebration of #gordonout?

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Welsh cider video

Good piece here about Welsh Cider from Cardiff uni journalism student Briohny Williams, who I met the other whilst up the Gwynt Y Ddraig farm.

Glad to see my the shot of my hand pouring a pint made the final cut!
Full article can be read on her blog here.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Welsh Cider Bar in Somerset

Gwynt Y Ddraig. The Welsh Cider and Perry Company are today running a bar at the North Somerset Agricultural Show. A busy day beckons as around 20 thousand people are expected at the one day show. Gwynt have lots of their cider here, both on draught and in bottles so a good day will be had by all, though blogging may be sporadic due to quality controlling the ciders.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

A vote for Labour is a Vote for more tax

A leading Welsh Labour politician has this week admitted that a vote for Labour will be a vote for increased taxes. Though not comparable to the actions of our Glorious Leader in Rochdale, superbly parodied by Fido here:

Former Swansea barmaid, Health Nazi Minister in the Welsh Assembly Government and failed leadership contender Edwina Hart AM has threatened to seek new powers to increase alcohol prices in Wales.

Just what our struggling breweries, pubs and cidermakers need - an increase in price applied to our beers and ciders that are made in Wales. How will that allow our producers to compete on an equal basis with English and Scottish products? It won't.

Hart told the Welsh Assembly in a written statment: “The Welsh Assembly Government has worked very hard to tackle alcohol misuse using all the means at its disposal and will continue to do so. But it is important that we do not ignore the evidence that making alcohol a little less affordable has the potential to significantly reduce the blight of alcohol misuse on our society and I am very clear that if we do not see the action we want at UK level very soon, then the time will come when we seek more powers to act ourselves."

So you wish to raise taxes again? Listen Edwina your party has bankrupted this country and closed more than 10,000 pubs, yet at the same time allowed our City Centres to become no-go areas at night due to the profusion of superpubs. And then you blame it on the cost of alcohol. 
According to the Office of National Statistics:

Between 1980 and 2008, the price of alcohol increased by 283.3%. After considering inflation (at 21.3%), alcohol prices increased by 19.3% over the period.
For the truth about alcohol check out the Devils Kitchen Knife here rather than the lies, half truths and delusions put out by the Welsh Assembly Government and the health stasi BMA.

So if you wish to be taxed more Vote labour on Thursday.

Welsh Cider in Wetherspoons

From Brew Wales

Wetherspoons pubs across South Wales will be serving draught Welsh Cider and Perry this weekend thanks to Gwynt Y Ddraig who will be supplying their award-winning products to their pubs.

Above: Gwynt Cider Operations Director Bill George supplying the cider at a previous Wetherspoons Festival
The following ciders and perries have been supplied to JD Wetherspoons, not all may be available in every pub.
Draught cider and perry:
Happy Daze, 4.5 % ABV Medium. A new cider in our range, fruity, apply aroma, well balanced finish. A light and very easy to drink medium cider
Haymaker 6.5 % ABV Medium. A fruity medium cider bursting with the flavour of apples. A true Farmhouse Cider with a smooth finish.
Farmhouse Sweet 5.5 % ABV, Sweet. Easy drinking cider, very smooth as the acidity is mellowed by the sweet taste.
Farmhouse Scrumpy 5.5 % ABV, Medium. Refreshing medium cider. Smooth and well balanced flavour.
Fiery Fox 6.5% ABV, Medium. Golden medium cider with a refreshing apple aroma. Smooth balanced flavour that has a fresh, crisp sharpness.
Dog Dancer 6.5% ABV, Medium Dry. Produced from bittersweet cider apples blended with a true sharp cider apple, it is a light straw coloured cider with a medium dry, smooth, crisp, slightly sharp characteristic.
Old Timer 7.0% ABV, Medium golden cider reminiscent of harvests in days gone by.
Barnstormer 6.5% ABV, Dry. A true traditional farmhouse dry cider. A firm favourite with dry cider fans
Black Dragon, 7.0% ABV, Medium Dry. Matured in oak barrels to produce a cider rich in colour, body and flavour with a fresh fruity aroma.
From Brew Wales
Brown Snout, 6% ABV, Medium. Single varietal true bitter sweet apple harvested late in November. It has become a popular apple to grow in modern day bush orchards
Two Trees Perry 4.5% ABV, Medium. A pale, fruity perry with an aroma of fruit and a hint of honey on the palate.
Pyder, 6.0% ABV, (Apple and Pear).Medium. An out of the ordinary blend of apple and pear juice fermented and matured in wood.

If you cannot get to a Welsh Wetherspoons then Gwynt Y Ddraig will be running a cider bar at the North Somerset Agricultural Show on Bank Holiday Monday, 3rd May.


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