Saturday 8 September 2012

Albany, Roath, Cardiff

Albany, 105 Donald Street, Roath, Cardiff, CF24 4TL
Open all day
The Albany is a welcoming Brains pub, set on a corner of a late-Victorian terrace in a suburb of Cardiff which is popular with students. It can be difficult to find the first time, but it becomes easier the more you go here. This is a two-bar pub with a smart, comfortable lounge to the front and a popular, partly tilled, rear section that leads to a beer garden. The front bar has old stained-glass windows with the Brains AI logo set in blue and white glass, which add to the atmosphere of this pub which was built in 1895. 

On the walls are some of the many awards the Albany and the staff have won over the years, from SA Brain 'Manager of the Year' to Cardiff CAMRA 'Pub of the Year', this clearly is one of the best pubs in Cardiff. The Albany is popular with students and locals alike and, along with a lot of other pubs owned by SA Brain, offers free Wi-Fi access. An old Brains price list from 1940, framed and mounted on the wall makes interesting reading.

 The beer range is from SA Brain and Bitter, Dark, SA and SA Gold are all served on gleaming brass handpumps, together with two regularly changing guest ale, from breweries such as Adnams or the Brains Craft Brewery seasonal. The fact that Brains are willing to showcase beers from other breweries alongside their own excellent products is one of the reasons this pub is so popular with customers. The Albany has been a regular pub in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for a number of  years and there are stickers and posters both inside and outside the pub to advertise this fact to customers.

The rear bar has Sky Sports on televisions and photos of local sporting teams adorn the walls. More traditional pub sports are not forgotten as the Albany has a skittle alley and dart board as well as running a quiz night on Tuesdays and a Karaoke on Saturday nights. Smokers are also catered for with the rear heated beer garden, which can be a sun trap in the summer. There are not that many outside areas in Cardiff to enjoy a drink in, so the garden at the rear of the Albany is a welcome change to drinking inside in the summer.
Food is only available lunchtime from 12-2.30 Monday-Saturday and the Welsh Black Beef curry is a favourite on the menu.
The Albany in Roath is more than a 'street-corner local', it is a multi-award winning community pub serving superb real ales and offering something for everyone with the two-distinct bars. Here's to the next 117 years!
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