Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Great British Beer Festival

It's coming up to the first week of August soon and to all beer aficionados from across the world that can mean only one thing, yes the Great British Beer Festival will once again descend upon Earl's Court in London and I get the chance to drink as much Fuller's Chiswick as I can. Regular readers of this blog now my fondness for Fullers and the brewery staff are well used to me propping up their bar during the festival in-between dealing with the media.
This year will be my 20th year working at the GBBF and it is always a great social occasion, meeting up with friends who you have not seen for a year or sometimes longer. The Festival has come a long way since being held in Docklands arena and I don't mean just moving across London!
If you are interested in coming along check out the Great British Beer Festival website for opening times or if you are a CAMRA member come along and support CAMRA by working at the festival.
Meanwhile I'll leave you with some photos I took of the festival last year:

Old Arcade, Cardiff

Old Arcade, 14 Church Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BG

One of Cardiff's' most famous pubs, the Old Arcade stands in the shadow of St John's Church and adjacent to the market. The present building dates from 1844 and it was originally called the Birdcage Inn, the Arcade & Post Office and then the Arcade Vaults but there is a building on this site marked on the John Speed map of 1610, so this Victorian building may well have roots going back over four hundred years. The Old Arcade features a frontage on Church Street and an alleyway leading to the market on the side, both with the distinctive Brains logo hanging outside. In the alleyway, the windows of the pub are worth looking at as they feature etched glass legends such as 'Brains Beer' and 'Luncheon Bar'. Being a City Centre Brains pub, the Old Arcade offers six real ales, all pulled from the brick-built cellar by handpumps with distinctive red ceramic handles decorated with fleur-de-lys. The real ales served are Brains Bitter, Dark, SA Gold, SA, Reverend James and a guest ale from an independent brewery.

The front bar of the Old Arcade is spacious with plenty of tables, this room was altered in 1995 to create more seating. Before this the bar was closer to the door. Around the walls are signed rugby shirts in frames, showing that the Old Arcade is a popular destination on match days. Flags from most rugby playing nations are pinned to the ceiling, which help create a vibrant atmosphere on match days.
Behind the rear fireplace is another room, accessed by passageways either side. This backroom has more original features including another bar, this time with a dark mahogany bar back with etched mirrors fitted into it. This creates a lot more light in the bar which, would normally be quite dark as it faces the alleyway to the market. At the very back of the pub is a heated outdoor smoking area, which features an old pub sign from the Old Arcade that was based on an old drawing of Church Street from the 1850s.
Food is served 11.30-6 (4.30 Sunday) and features choices from an extensive menu, though it is advisable to find a table early as the Old Arcade is a very popular lunchtime venue. This pub manages to combine features from the Victorian period with twenty-first century functionality and manages to pull them together to create a vibrant City-centre bar.
 Above: the cellar of the Old Arcade
The Old Arcade is one of only one hundred Welsh pubs to be featured in a new book by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, called the Real Heritage Pubs of Wales. This book, in full colour and illustrated with photographs throughout celebrates the most unspoilt pubs in Wales with historic interiors and is available to buy at the bar.
From Brew Wales

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Tom Jones drinks Welsh Beer!

From the Independent in Ireland

Sir Tom Jones has said he still enjoys a taste of the green, green grass of home despite his Los Angeles lifestyle.

The Welsh singing legend - who turned 70 this month - said it was not unusual to be able to get his hands on imported British beers nowadays.

He told the TV Times: "I was never interested in drugs because I've always liked a drink. I love the taste of British beer; you know, real beer on tap. I don't want someone pouring me a drink of something that I don't know. And I think that with drugs it's like that. I wouldn't want to take a chance on something where I don't know what the effect will be."

The ale-loving crooner said: "Nowadays they import quite a lot of British beer and you can even get Welsh beer. They haven't got Brains yet but I'm drinking Felinfoel Double Dragon and it's great.

"It's the closest thing you can get to Wales without actually going there."

Sir Tom said fellow Welshman and Stereophonics singer Kelly Jones had a nickname for him, due to a habit not normally associated with giants of rock 'n' roll.

He said: "I do enjoy a drink but if I've got to do something the following day then I've got to get my eight hours sleep.

"In Wales we call everyone by their nicknames, like I'm 'Jones the Voice' and Kelly Jones from Stereophonics has got a new one for me. He calls me 'Tommy Eight Hours'."

:: The full interview appears in the latest issue of the TV Times.

(Via the Independent (Eire) and the PA)

Now Sir Tom's hometown, though it may not look the same when he steps down off the train, has a brewery to beat all others, the Otley Brewery and the Bunch of Grapes, now how difficult will it be to get a case or two over to Sir Tom so he can try out the best beer in Wales?
Or will he be a guest brewer at the bewery following in the steps of Glynn and Melissa?

Brains in the Morning

Took this photo of Brains Brewery the other morning, no please don't ask what I was doing in that part of the City at 0330 hrs, suffice to say it was had been a very good previous day that involved lots of pubs, an old friend from University and quite a few beers! Yes I know the composition is not quite there with the photo but I did not want to end up in the Taff and cannot be bothered spending hours on photoshop to alter it.
It is of course the former Hancock's Brewery, a brewery that I have been taking photographs of for the last 15 years but this was the first time I had been near there at this time of the morning and seen the reflection in the Taff.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Head to the Boar's this weekend

View Larger Map
The Boar's Head in Brecon will this week be playing host to the Brecon Beer Festival this weekend which kicks off on Friday night at 5pm and continues throughout the weekend.
A souvenir pint glass will be required to buy beer or cider at the outside bar - a real snip at £2.
If you decide you have enough glasses at home, a £1.50 refund on the glass will be available.
Beer prices will start at £2.20 per pint up to £2.80, and ciders will be betwen £2.80 and £3.00 per pint.

On the bar in the pub:
1 Breconshire Welsh Pale Ale 3.7
2 Breconshire Golden Valley 4.2
3 Breconshire Cribyn 4.5
4 Breconshire Ramblers Ruin 4.4
5 Breconshire Good Time George 4.6
6 Brains SA Gold 4.7
1 Breconshire Brecon County Ale 3.7
2 Breconshire Good Time George 4.6
3 Breconshire Wild Beacon 4.8
4 Breconshire GVX 6.0
5 Brains Dark 3.4
6 Kingstone 1503 5.0
7 Tudor Blorenge 3.8
8 Otley O-garden 4.8
9 Otley 5-0 5.0
10 Celt Summerberry Stream 4.1
11 HoW Welsh Black 4.4
12 Monty's Mojo 3.8
13 Oakham JHB 3.8
14 Tim Taylors Landlord 4.3
15 Fullers ESB 5.5
16 Caledonian Deuchars IPA 3.8
17 Adnams Bitter 3.6
18 Rugate Ruby Mild 4.4
19 Ringwood Forty Niner 4.9
20 Kelham Island Pale Rider 5.0
21 Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted 3.8
22 Hop Back Summer Lightening 5.0
1 Gwynt y Ddraig Happy Daze 4.5
2 Gwynt y Ddraig Black Dragon 7.2
3 Gwynt y Ddraig Black Dragon 5.0
4 Gwynt y Ddraig Dogdancer 6.5
5 Gwynt y Ddraig Two Trees Perry 7.0
6 Old Monty's Medium Cider 6.5
7 Ralph's Medium Perry 6.5

So that's over 10 Champion Beer of Britain medalists and a load of Champion Beer of Wales winners as well.

Brecon can be reached by bus

Boars Head

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Labour slam budget after ruining our country

The Labour feedback from the budget has started, with leadership contender Diane Abbott MP saying "The only thing they {the Lib Dems} got out of it is cheaper cider." Not bad from a party which ruined our country that has turned the Nanny State into the Bully State, that has created the surveillance state where their wheely-bin spies search our rubbish and fine us if we put our rubbish in the wrong container etc etc.

Abbott, who regularly appears slightly tipsy on Thursday night television with the great Andrew Neil and the even more pissed Portilo no doubt believes that this budget will benefit only cider drinkers. Well let me tell you this Abbott, - today I have spoken to a cidermaker who will be employing more people because of this budget - that's real job creation and a benefit to the economy, not cheaper cider. Good luck with your Labour leadership campaign, with people like you in charge of the party they will unelectable for years to come.

Welsh cidermaker welcomes budget


Gwynt Y Ddraig, the award-winning Welsh cidermaker have today welcomed George Osborne's first budget which does not set out to penalise cidermakers as the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer chose to do.
According to Bill George, Operations Director of Gwynt Y Ddraig, “In these difficult times it was a relief to hear that the proposed 10% tax on our products will not go ahead and we also welcome the freeze on cider duty announced in the budget today. This is a good budget for us and the rest of the cidermaking fraternity throughout the country. We can now look forward to growing our business and even taking on more staff, something which the 10% cidertax would have prevented us from doing. It is good to finally have a Government that supports our traditional rural industries and not penalises them for their successes”.

Gwynt Y Ddraig Facts:
  • Gwynt Y Ddraig was founded in 2001 by local farmer Bill George and his nephew Andrew Gronow
  • 450 tons of fruit were pressed last year
  • Black Dragon Cider was judged 'Best International Cider' in 2010
  • Orchard Gold Cider was commended in the True Taste Drink (Alcoholic) awards 2007/8
  • Gwynt Y Ddraig Farmhouse Sweet was judged “Best Sweet Cider” at the Bath Cider Festival 2008
  • Gwynt Y Ddraig Perry was voted Champion Perry of Wales at the Welsh Cider Festival 2008
  • Gwynt Y Ddraig have previously won Champion Cider and Perry of Britain, as judged by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.

Further Information:
Bill George, Operations Director, 0779 106 6240
Andy Gronow, Production Director, 0779 106 6257
Llest Farm, Llantwit Fardre, Pontypridd, RCT, CF38 2PW

Monday, 21 June 2010

Positive news story about beer

Good coverage in the Daily Mail and ITN News on beer being good for you. Of course it is something we all have known for years, though with the bansturbators from Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Concern Cymru (funded by the Welsh Assembly Government to the tune of £250,000). Report was commisioned by the Beer Academy.

The study says beer is a rich source of vitamins, fibre, minerals and antioxidants and has a relatively low calorific value compared with many other alcoholic beverages.

-68% of people consider beer to be Britain's national drink,
-10% wrongly believe that beer contains fat
-13% incorrectly believe that beer is made from chemicals rather than malted barley and hops.

Well that's a relief then, right off to lunch for a rich source of vitamins, fibre, minerals and antioxidants!

Real Heritage Pubs of Wales Book

CAMRA celebrates Welsh pub heritage with new guide

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale,  has published a new book - the Real Heritage Pubs of Wales – Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest / Tafarnau Treftadaeth - Tafarnau o Ddiddordeb Hanesyddol Mewnol.

Real Heritage Pubs of Wales is CAMRA’s pioneering initiative to bring greater appreciation of the most valuable historic pub interiors in Wales for locals and tourists alike. The aim of the guide is to encourage appreciation of the rich variety of architecture that still exists in genuine Welsh pubs.

The guide will be officially launched at a press reception on Monday June 21st at the Old Arcade, Cardiff (CF10 1BG) from 1pm-2pm. Representatives of CAMRA including members of its Pub Heritage Group will be in attendance.

Real Heritage Pubs of Wales co-author, Michael Slaughter, said: “This guide is the culmination of over 10 years of surveying by CAMRA members to identify the last remaining pubs that are still much as they were before the mid 1960’s when a trend for pub refitting and opening out began.“

“It leads you to 100 pubs that retain their historic interiors with informative descriptions and over 200 photographs which aim to make clear the significance of each one.”

Using this guide you can:

-Discover where you can drink in a C13th crypt; the round tower of a town’s medieval walls; a C17th guildhall; and a coaching inn still with horses in its stables.

-Track down pubs used by Dylan Thomas, Max Boyce, and the 1953 Everest expedition.

-Discover which Welsh heritage pubs sell real ale, much of it locally produced, some brewed on the premises; also where you can still get served ‘beer from the jug’.

Public transport details, accommodation & food availability are given for each pub.

Real Heritage Pubs of Wales is available in all good bookshops, or direct from CAMRA, priced at £6.99 (excluding p&p).

Wales on Sunday cover the book here.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Beerex at Sebastopol

View Larger MapIf anyone fancies a walk along the Monmouthshire-Brecon canal this weekend then stop off at Sebastopol near Pontypool as the Sebastopol Social Club will be holding its annual beerex.
Beers available, subject to availability:
Red Squirrel           Colorado 5.4%
Rhymney                 Amber Ale 4.7%
Wantsum                1381 3.8%
Poachers                Black Crow Stout 4.5%
Nelson Brewery     Friggin' in the Riggin' 4.7%
Sawbridgeworth    Dragons Blood 4.3%
Northumberland    Onion Bag 4.0%
Wentworth             Spring Bank 4.5%
Leydon Brewery    India Pale ALe 4.5%
Lytham                    Gold 4.2%
Wychwood             A Flash of Hops 4.0%
Cotleigh                 Albatross 6.5%
Milk Street             RAY 4.3%
Toll End                  Pale Ale 4.4%
Church Brewery    More Tea Vicar 3.7%
Norman Night        Missile Ale 3.6%

Sebastopol Social Club
Wern Road 

View Larger Map

The club is easily reached by public transport from Newport and Cwmbran:

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Beer Justice is the Ale Taster!

From Great British Beer Festival 2009

Congratulations to fellow blogger and former Greater London Regional Director of CAMRA, Steve Williams who has been selected as the City of London Ale Taster.

The role of Ale Taster (also known as Ale Conner) would have disappeared in the early nineteenth century and their duties would have involved visiting stalls and inns on market days and during the town's fairs to ensure that the ales, beers and other produce on sale were of good quality.

"The new London Ale Taster will have a much more modern-day role." explains Malcolm Ball, chief executive of Wellington Market Company, the company responsible for Old Spitalfields Market.

"The winner for this year's event will be given a weekly beer budget so that they can carry out the role of 'mystery drinker' in the capital's pubs. We'll set them up with a blog (website diary page) so that they can report back to consumers on what they find on their travels".

So Steve will now be crawling around London blogging about beer and pubs? So no change there then! Joking aside Steve is the perfect man for the job, it's just do we still have to call him His Worship in the Great British Beer Festival press office?

Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival 2010 - news roundup

Lots of coverage this year with Media Wales filming 2 videos here and here as well as the piece on the cider and a piece in Wales on Sunday the week before the festival with an interview with Matt Otley.

Not forgetting the beer review of Great Orme Brewery Great Welsh in the South Wales Echo.

Media Wales Video:

 Media Wales Taste Test:

Dom over at Welsh Icons has uploaded photos of the festival at his Flickr site - well worth a look as are those from Rob at Travels with Beer and those from Andrew Wilcox who is the organiser of Shedweek and Shed of the Year.
The Assembly Member for Caerphilly, Jeff Cuthbert AM presented the Champion Beer of Wales Awards and there is a write-up on Wales Home here.
I've yet to see the copy of Playboy Magazine (Croatia) but I'm sure it will be a good article.

The winners of the cider competition were:
Gwynt Y Ddraig -Black Dragon (Pontypridd)
CJ’s Cider – Surprise (Monmouthshire)
Rosie’s Triple D – Medium (Wrexham)
Seidr Dai – Raglan’s Rarest (Cardiff)
The Champion Beers of Wales 2010 were:

Gold - Otley Brewery O-Garden
Silver - Bragdy'r Nant Mwnci Nel
Bronze - Rhymney Export

Category winners:
Mild - Bryncelyn Buddy Marvelous
Bitter - Bryncelin Holly Hop
Best Bitter - Breconshire Cribyn
Strong Bitter - Rhymney Export
Golden Ale - Great Orme Celtica
Speciality - Otley O-Garden

A great time was had by all who attended the festival and the next big one is of course the Great British Beer Festival in Earl's Court in August. 

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Croatian Playboy at the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival

Well its been a busy week at the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival and this year we managed to attract attention from the Balkan media in the form of Domagoj Jakopvic Ribafish, assistant editor of Playboy (Hrvatska) Magazine Croatia. Riba as he likes to be known as, together with his photographer enjoyed themselves at the festival where they sample a wide range of beers and ciders, although the dark beers were a favourite.
On a side note, the late great Michael Jackson (that's the beer writer not the kiddy fidling nonce) used to write for Playboy in the 1970s so there is much more to that esteemed organ than the photographs normally just looked at.

Commons elects Deputy Speaker with Brains

From Brew Wales

Congratulations to Swansea-born Nigel Evans MP, who this week was voted 1st Deputy Speaker by his colleagues in Parliament. Nigel is a big real ale fan and has been Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Beer Group for many years and has attended the Great British Beer Festival and the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival in the past. We  look forward to his Welsh accent calling "Order Order" in the House - mines a pint of Dark please Nigel!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Champion Beer of Wales 2010

Today at the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival a panel of expert judges had the difficult task of choosing the best beer in Wales and the winner, announced by Jeff Cuthbert AM (Caerphilly) went to:

Gold - Otley Brewery O-Garden
Silver - Bragdy'r Nant Mwnci Nel
Bronze - Rhymney Export

Category winners:
Mild - Bryncelyn Buddy Marvelous
Bitter - Bryncelin Holly Hop
Best Bitter - Breconshire Cribyn
Strong Bitter - Rhymney Export
Golden Ale - Great Orme Celtica
Speciality - Otley O-Garden

So congratulations to Nick, Matt, Charlie and the rest of the team at Otley Brewery for winning Champion Beer of Wales again.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Gwynt Sweep the boards with more awards

Welsh cidermakers celebrate as their producst are selected to go to the prestigious UK Championships in Reading next year.  
The top four ciders from a selection from Wales, North-West England, and Scotland were chosen to qualify at the preliminary rounds held at the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival in Cardiff, but Wales has swept the board. The successful ciders are:  
Gwynt Y Ddraig -Black Dragon (Pontypridd)
CJ’s Cider – Surprise (Monmouthshire)
Rosie’s Triple D – Medium (Wrexham)
Seidr Dai – Raglan’s Rarest (Cardiff)
Welsh cidermaker, Andrew Gronow of Gwynt Y Ddraig said, ‘This is another competition we have won to add to our impressive range of awards. We look forward to competing in the national competition in Reading next year. ‘
The event at the CIA transforms the Capitols' music arena into what one of the organisers describes as ‘Wales’ biggest pub’. With the event officially open and festivities well underway, the CIA is host for three days to the best of Welsh and UK real ales, ciders and perries.  
Organisers of the event, The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) expect record numbers at this year’s event, the 22nd of its kind to be held, with visitors travelling from all over to taste more than 150 different ales, and 120 real ciders and perries, many from our own Welsh breweries and ciderhouses.
Due to the high numbers of entries received in the cider categories and at the UK Championships in Reading, this year has seen the preliminary rounds for Welsh, Northern England and Scottish cider entries, with the top four qualifying for the nationals in May 2011.
The Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival runs from 10-12 June. Entry is £5 per person, to include a festival glass and programme, and live music on-site. For more information visit
This press release is issued by the Welsh Cider & Perry Society. For more information please contact Cressida Slater, Development Officer, on 07702 942587.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival - cider list

At long last, most of the ciders and perries have arrived on site at the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival so here is the list, apart from 6 being delivered tomorrow morning, hopefully before we open at 1100. Please note not all the ciders will be on at the same time and are subject to availability etc.
 Some ABVs missing but they tend to be around 6%

Rosie's Triple D Medium 7.20%
Rosie's Triple D Wicked wasp 7.40%
Rosie's Triple D Black Bart 7.20%
Rosie's Triple D Perry 5.40%
Berriew Bettws Dry
Berriew Maldwyn Medium
Wm Watkins Cider Oak 6.30%
Wm Watkins Cider Whisky 7.00%
Wm Watkins Perry 6.10%
Springfield Old Barn
Springfield Farmhouse
Springfield Dabinett
Gwatkin Yarlington Mill 7.50%
Gwatkin Blakeney Red 7.50%
Gwatkin Norman 7.50%
Seidr O Sir Cantref 6.30%
Seidr O Sir Maes Edwy 6.30%
Seidr O Sir Bettws 6.30%
Ross on Wye Cider 6.50%
Ross on Wye Perry 6.00%
Dan Y Graig Dry Cider 6.00%
Dan Y Graig Medium Dry 6.00%
Cjs Cider
Cjs Surprise Cider
Cjs Perry
Troggi Cider Medium Dry
Troggi Cider Cider
Troggi Perry Perai
Mad Hatters Nine Holes 5.00%
Mad Hatters Second in Lime 5.00%

Orchards Cider 5.80%
Old Monty Kingstone Black
Old Monty

Penallt Perry Capsy Wennet 5.50%
Upper House Farm Oak 6.00%
Rathays Painted Lady 4.50%
Hartlands Farmhouse Perry 5.80%
Green Valley Rum Tiddly Tum 7.00%
Llanblethian Orchards Pick n' mix Perry 7.00%
Llanblethian Orchards Hendre Huffcap 7.00%
Llanblethian Orchards Dry Cider
Three Saints Nice Boys 5.50%
Three Saints Divine 3.60%
Three Saints Scrum 6.20%
Palmers Upland Cyder Attercop 7.00%
Palmers Upland Cyder Bingo Bongo 6.50%
Palmers Upland Cyder Strawberry Norman 6.00%
Blaengawney Farm Heartbreaker 7.00%
Blaengawney Farm Blindfold 6.70%
Blaengawney Farm National Treasure 5.60%
Blaengawney Farm Blakeney Red Perry 4.00%
Raglan Cider Mill Barney's Best 4.60%
Raglan Cider Mill Blakeney Red Perry 4.50%
Raglan Cider Mill Sweet Perry 4.50%
Seidr Dai Blakeney Red Perry 5.20%
Seidr Dai Tumper's/nailer/Berllanderi Blend 5.60%
Seidr Dai Hellen's Early Perry 4.90%
Seidr Dai Raglan's Rarest Cider 3.90%

Monday, 7 June 2010

Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival - Setup Day one

Stillage and beers are up at the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival and the cooling is being built around the casks. Day one at the Festival is always a learning curve but today we are ahead of schedule so things are looking up. We open to the public on Thursday so loads to do before we open.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Know Your Units!

Tip of my Aussie hat to Obo for this little gem which clearly shows the units of alcohol. Now units of alcohol are total works of fiction and only used by fake charities, the dead tree press, the Nanny State and politicians who all think they have a right to insist on how we choose to live our lives. When I started to read about how many units of alcohol I should not be drinking every week I gave up counting them.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Live music at the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival

The Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival kicks off next week on Thursday and here is a quick run down of the Entertainment at the festival, sponsored by the Breconshire Brewery.

Thursday 10th June
Quiet Day

Friday 12th

3pm Jazz & Swing 

Four piece jazz band from South Wales

7pm Jug Band 

The Jug Band was once referred to as the 'Drinking man's Pink Floyd' 

8.30pm Funhouse
FUNHOUSE are up to a ten piece band, based in Cardiff, and have been filling dance floors in South Wales and the west of England with their unique mix of Ska, Reggae, Afrobeat, old style R & B, Soul, New Orleans and Latin since 1996. With a four piece horn section, Piano, Hammond organ, synth and two percussionists augmenting the traditional line-up of guitar, bass, drums and vocals, FUNHOUSE are truly a great live band.

Saturday 12th

1pm Maesteg Gleemen Choir

Maesteg Gleemen Male Voice Choir was formed in 1958 and is not only the longest established choir in the Llynfi Valley, but indeed within the whole of the County Borough of Bridgend, South Wales.

2pm Isca Morrismen

Traditional Morris Dancers from South Wales will be bringing morris merriment into the festival for all your entertainment needs.

7.00pm Rattled

The Welsh band Rattled is based in Swansea and plays an exciting mix of covers and original material which blend the styles of Rock, Blues, Celtic, and Ska music.

All through the Festival the Balloon Platoon will be entertaining the customers and staff with some amusingly shaped balloon sculptures, just ask and a unique hat will be yours for the night!.

Opening hours
Thursday June 10th 11am - 11pm
Friday June 11th 11am - 11pm
Saturday June 12th 11am - 11pm
Admission price
Admission costs £5 per person, which includes your limited edition glass and souvenir programme. CAMRA members and those under 26 will receive an allowance of beer tokens. There is no need to book tickets in advance, although you may be interested in our bulk ticket scheme.
Other information
Hot and cold food is provided by the CIA and is available all sessions.
We are pleased to present live music on Friday afternoon & evening and Saturday afternoon. Thursday is reserved as a quiet day.

Welsh Perry and cider Championships 2010

Above: Cidermakers await the results

Despite the rain there was a good turnout for the annual cider and perry championships at the Clytha Arms last weekend. The weather improved on the Sunday and by all accounts it was another successful weekend, organised by the Welsh Perry & Cider Society

Welsh Perry & Cider Championships 2010

Dry Draught Cider
Gold: Palmer's Upland Cyder Cheeky Jackdaw Cyder
Silver: Des Devlin Drunk Dragon Dry
Bronze: Blaengawney Heartbreaker

Medium Draught Cider
Gold: Seidr Dai Knotted Kernal
Silver: Rosie's Triple D Medium
Bronze: Ty-Bryn Cider, Oak Barrel Medium Sweet

Sweet Draught Cider
Gold: Springfield Dabinett
Silver: Seidr O Sir Cantref
Bronze: Rosie's Triple D Black Bart

Spirit Cask Cider
Gold: Rosie's Triple D Wicked Wasp
Silver: Berriew Bettws
Bronze: Troggi Penallt

Bottled Still Cider
Gold: Springfield Dabinett
Silver: Rosie's Triple D Rampant Ram
Bronze: Blaengawney Heartbreaker

Bottled Sparkling Cider
Gold: Ty-Bryn Cider
Silver: Blaengawney Dabinett
Bronze: Ty Gwyn Medium

Champion Cider
Gold: Springfield Dabinett
Silver: TyBryn Medium-Sweet
Bronze: Rosie's Triple D Wicked Wasp

Dry Draught Perry
Gold: Llanblethian Orchards Pick 'n Mix
Silver: Three Saints Burgundy
Bronze: Bragdy Penywern Dry

Medium Draught Perry
Gold: Ty-Bryn Blakeney Red Medium Sweet
Silver: Seidr Dai Hellen's Early
Bronze: Bragdy Brodyr Silver Lady

Sweet Draught Perry
Gold: Raglan Cider Mill Old Vicarage
Silver: Troggi Llansoy
Bronze: Gwynt Y Ddraig Two Trees
Bottled Still Perry
Gold: Blaengawney Perry
Silver: Three Saints Divine
Bronze: Rosie's Triple D Perfect Pear

Bottled Sparkling Perry
Gold: Troggi 2008-EP
Silver: Ty-Bryn Medium Sweet
Bronze: Palmer's Upland Cyder Blakeney Red

Champion Perry
Gold: Ty-Bryn Blakeney Red Medium Sweet
Silver: Raglan Cider Mill Old Vicarage
Bronze: Troggi 2008-EP

Best Newcomer: Des Devlin

Above: Alex Simmonds of Llanblethian Orchards and his award for best dry perry, the Pick n'Mix

Now regular readers of this blog know that I make some cider and perry myself, both with Seidr Dai and Llanblethian Orchards and so it was fantastic news that the Pick n' Mix Perry, a blend of Hendre Huffcap and Potato pears won the best dry perry award. Especially as it had been pointed out to us that you cannot make a good perry with Hendre Huffcap pears. Rather than blend seperate perries after fermentation, the two types of pears were fermented together to produce this award-winning perry. If you wish to try some get down to the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival next week in Cardiff. The secret ingredient to the perry winning was of course that it was picked and pressed on my birthday last year by myself and Alex and John. A truly bio-dynamic perry!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Go Bare Naked on Saturday!

With a headline like that there should be a few more visitors to this site, or indeed a few less! Of course what I am referring to are the Bare Naked Beers produced by Simon at Artisan Brewery and one of his regular beer festivals at the brewery.
Beers available will be:

The Real IPA 5.7% ABV

Bavarian Wheat 5.5% ABV

Helles Lager 5.0% ABV

Artisan Brewing Co. in conjunction with the Kings Rd Art Studios is pleased to announce the 3rd microBEER Festival of the year.

Barenaked Beers / Smoking BBQ / Open Arts Studios / microMAKERS Market Stalls / & Day long rocking tunes from a plethora of talented artists.

The line-up - Live music from 2pm

__ Under The Driftwood Tree
__ The Irascibles
__ The Alex Sedgmond Duo
__ The Sweet Aches
__ Barefoot Dance of The Sea
__ Elliot Jones
__ Tarrick Papworth

Doors open 12noon.

Live Music from 2pm - 9pm

Admission is free.
Artisan Brewing Co. 183a Kings Rd - CARDIFF, CF11 9DF
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Breconshire Brewery Commemorates George Melly

The Breconshire Brewery will be releasing a new special commerative ale, in association with the George Melly Sculpture Appeal  - Good Time George, at local beer festivals next week including the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival and at the Star, Talybont on Usk. 
In addition the beer will be available at the Brecon Beer Fest on the 2-4th July in the Boar's Head, Brecon.
George Melly has been described as the flamboyant 'Oscar Wilde of English jazz'. He was also the first musician to be contracted by Brecon Jazz for the 1984 festival and remained a loyal and inspirational performer and supporter until his death in 2007. He was instrumental in setting up the Jazz Festival and served on its committee, as well as being involved with the Contemporary Art Society for Wales. A Surrealist flâneur, an incisive critic, broadcaster and raconteur, George was a vivacious entertainer in outrageous suits.  He had a passion for surrealist art and fishing and wrote extensively on both subjects. He was first inspired to sing on was hearing a recording of Bessie Smith singing Gimme a Pig-foot and a Bottle of Beer. Now Goodtime George has his own beer brewed in his adopted home town of Brecon.

The George Melly Sculpture Appeal was set up in July 2008 at the 25th Anniversary of Brecon Jazz Festival. Their aim is to commission a sculpture which commemorates George Melly’s relationship with Brecon. Please get in touch at (Registered Charity Number : 1130174). 5p from every pint sold will be donated to the Appeal.

This commerative Ale is brewed with water drawn from under the hills of the surrounding Brecon Beacons National Park, and blend of pale, wheat and chocolate malts, all from Warminster’s traditional Floor Maltings, which give this beer its rich, dark colouring and velvety smooth texture.

This 4.6% abv commerative ale is a rich, tawny colour, with a smooth, complex flavour - full of character and extremely pleasing - much like the man himself…

Casks of this beer will be available from the beginning of June for the summer, either direct from the brewery or from selected wholesalers. More details can be found at, or by telephoning the Brewery on 01874 623 731.

Breconshire Brewery
Ffrwdgrech Industrial Estate, Brecon Powys, LD3 8LA
Tel : 01874 623 731             Fax : 01874 611 434


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