Red Cow, Pontsticill, Merthyr Tydfil, CF48 2UN
Open all day
The Red Cow is situated a few miles north of Merthyr Tydfil, in a quiet village, close to a reservoir and the Brecon Mountain Railway. The pub is a two-story building built out of the local limestone with a slate roof. The pub was originally called the Pant-y-dwr, or Water Hollow, the house next door has now taken on this name. The Red Cow was originally two separate houses and the pub expanded into the neighbouring property, which is why there are two porches on the outside. The pub has a large outside seating area and a car park.
The entrance is on the left hand side, via a door with stained glass windows. The bar is open-plan and the counter is made of light wood, this contrasts with the dark-grey flagstone floors and black wrought iron foot rail that surrounds it. Despite being open-plan the Red Cow retains distinctive areas with comfortable wooden settles on the left-hand side and tables and chairs on the right. The room on the right hand side features a stone fireplace with brass mining figurines on the mantelpiece.
Three real ales are served from the gleaming brass handpumps, with Wye Valley Bitter being permanently on and two guest ales. Recent guest beers have been from Wickwar Brewery in Gloucestershire and Bullmastiff Brewery in Cardiff. Pumpclips from other breweries that have featured here are displayed on the blackened ceiling beams that span the interior of the pub. Elsewhere on the ceiling hang old water jugs, one in the shape of an 'E' was made for the Worthington Brewery.
Around the walls are photographs of the local area and a map of the surrounding area, useful if you wish to walk around the glorious countryside of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Also on the wall is a framed collection of brass shive hole rims, taken from old wooden beer barrels, each stamped with the name of an old brewery that used to own the barrel. Brass beer taps and clay pipes feature on another wall mount. There are also flat-screen televisions but these are kept turned down during the day to allow conversation to dominate in this friendly pub popular with walkers and their dogs. The Red Cow also sells fishing permits for the nearby reservoir and is popular with a local gun club as they have their names on boards on a wall.
Food is served 12-4 and features traditional pub favourites together with a daily specials board featuring home-made sausages and mash as well as steak and ale pie. There is an extensive ice cream menu from Sidoli's, the local ice cream makers. If the pub gets too busy there is a short flight of stairs to an upper dining area. The pub also offers WiFi.
The Red Cow is on a bus route from Merthyr Tydfil.
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