Friday, 22 February 2013
The Andrew Buchan opened last year, in a late-Victorian building on the corner of Albany Road and Arabella Street. The building had previously lain empty for five years, before that it was video shop, although it had been a grocers’ shop in the nineteenth century.
The pub is named after the Scottish founder of the original Rhymney Brewery, founded in 1838 and closed by Whitbread in 1978. The Rhymney Brewery name was resurrected by the Evans family in 2005 and the Andrew Buchan is the fourth pub in their estate, the others being in Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare and Pontypridd. The modern brewery is today located in Blaenavon World Heritage Town.
The Andrew Buchan pub features frosted windows on the outside and is painted red with the pub name written in script with the famous Rhymney 'Hobby Horse' logo also emblazoned on the signage. The doorway leads to a very long room with a bar in the middle. On the left as you enter the pub is a large modern brick-built fireplace with a wood-burner located in it, a welcome site on these cold winter nights. Above the fireplace is a moose’s head, very Fawlty Towers and something that has become a theme with the Rhymney Brewery pubs. There are seating areas either side of the fireplace, or alternatively customers can choose to sit in the window and witness the hustle and bustle of Albany Road. A staircase in this front area of the pub leads to an upstairs function room which is available to local groups, a chalkboard by the staircase informs customers when and which group has booked the room.
The pub narrows somewhat near the very long bar, before expanding again at the rear where there is more seating and access to the outside smoking area; a compact yard with a park bench. The walls are decorated throughout with pictures of old Cardiff mounted on them. Flatscreen televisions are mounted throughout the pub for major sporting events.
Being a Rhymney pub the beers are from that brewery with former Champion Beers of Wales Dark and Export alongside Bitter, Hobby Horse, Bevans and any seasonal beer the brewery are brewing at the time. Takeout containers of five litres are also available. Ciders from Gwynt Y Ddraig are also available.
As with the other Rhymney Brewery pubs, the Andrew Buchan does not serve any food but is a pub merely dedicated to good beer and there is nothing wrong with that!
Google Map: Streetview still shows the building as the video shop
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