Friday, 27 May 2022

Herefordshire Cidermaker celebrates 30 years of making cider

A Herefordshire cidermaker is celebrating 30 years of making award-winning cider and perry with a launch of a new cider. The cider is a blend of traditional cider apples: Yarlington Mill, Dabinett and Michelin, their juice is fermented with wild yeasts and matured in oak barrels.  The resulting 7% cider is available in bottles, direct from the farm shop in Abbeydore, Herefordshire, or by mail order here

 
As well as celebrating 30 years of cidermaking with a bottle of cider, Gwatkin Cider have opened a tavern at their farm in the Golden Valley of Herefordshire, the Red Cow, named after the farm's historic herd of Herefordshire cattle, will be dishing up locally produced food together with the full range of Gwatkin ciders and perry. 


Thursday, 31 March 2022

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Monday, 14 March 2022

Beer Review: Siren Craft Brewery - Prest to Zest (Coffee & Lemon)

 In this episode, myself and Crafty Beer Guy Tim take a look at Siren Craft Brewery Prest to Zest, a coffee and lemon beer


Saturday, 12 March 2022

Beer Review: Arbor Ales Massive Azzac

 Another beer review with Crafty Beer Guy Tim and myself, another great beer from Arbor Ales


Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Best Beers in Wales

 Time for my annual review of the best beers in Wales, as judged by various online sites

First up, is Ratebeer:

1              Polly's Brew Spectrum QIPA       

2              Mabinogion Mead / Superstition 'Hounds of Annwn' Strawberry vanilla                

3              Polly's Brew DDH Oh My              

4              Polly's Brew Fallow Plans             

5              Tiny Rebel Imperial Puft               

6              Loka Polly Souvenirs      

7              Polly's Brew Farrago      

8              Polly's Brew Lo-Fi            

9              Polly's Brew India Pale Ale El Dorado Deluxe Edition        

10           Polly's Brew DDH Rosa                  

11           Polly’s Brew Every Piece Matters             

12           Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Imperial Chocolate                

13           Loka Polly Rosa

14           Polly's Brew DDH Pines                

15           Polly's Brew Livewire     

16           Tiny Rebel / Siren Dark Cherry & Chocolate Barley Wine

17           Mabinogion Mead Transformation to Eagle        

18           Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Imperial Praline      

19           Polly's Brew Fickle          

20           Loka Polly Double IPA Mosaic Simcoe    

21           Polly's Brew Rock The Bit             

22           Polly's Brew Mylar          

23           Polly's Brew Avery          

24           Polly's Brew Double IPA Azacca Mosaic

25           Polly's Brew What Did You Feel IPA         

26           Tiny Rebel / Arbor Bonsai            

27           Polly's Brew Nada           

28           Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Imperial Irish Cream             

29           Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Imperial Espresso Martini  

30           Polly's Brew Naive Melody         

31           Polly's Brew Wave Mix

32           Polly's Brew Discount Jazz Hour                

33           Polly's Brew Cahb           

34           Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Imperial Salted Caramel      

35           Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Amplified Imperial                

36           Loka Polly Spur

37           Polly's Brew India Pale Ale Simcoe Mosaic 

38           Tiny Rebel / Deya NEIPA              

39           Polly's Brew Ghost Voices           

40           Loka Polly Petal                

41           Polly's Brew Patternist  

42           Polly's Brew An Original Mix       

43           Polly's Brew DDH Spur  

44           Tiny Rebel Dooms Night               

45           Tiny Rebel Chunky          

46           Polly's Brew Surface Edition       

47           Tiny Rebel Dodge, Dip, Duck, Dive and Dulce      

48           Polly's Brew A Late Summer Pale Ale: Idaho 7    

49           Polly's Brew Floating Through the Surface           

50           Polly's Brew High Speed Soul

Okay, well that's a toss up between Polly's and Tiny Rebel, with the Mabinogion Mead cropping up despite the meadery appearing to close some years ago? Looking at the individual scores it appears some made their way to America and were still be drunk in 2021.

Ratebeer also mentions the top places to drink in Wales (based on what their members say)

Over to my favourite beer app, Untappd

NB, a beer must have 150 ratings or more to appear on this list:

  1. Polly's Brew Co. DDH Spur
  2. Polly's Brew Co. DDH Pines
  3. Polly's Brew Co. DDH Patternist
  4. Polly's Brew Co. IPA - Birthday Beer
  5. Polly's Brew Co. DDH Every Piece Matters
  6. Polly's Brew Co. Positively Unattached
  7. Polly's Brew Co. DDH Rosa
  8. Polly's Brew Co. Deep Fake
  9. Polly's Brew Co 58 BPM
  10. Tiny Rebel Brewing Co Super Hero Landing
  11. Polly's Brew Co. Nada
  12. Polly's Brew Co. This Never Happened
  13. Polly's Brew Co. DDH Oh My…
  14. Tiny Rebel Brewing Co Imperial Salted Caramel Stay Puft
  15. Polly's Brew Co. Everything We Dream Of
  16. Polly's Brew Co Acapella
  17. Polly's Brew Co A Fleeting Sound
  18. Polly's Brew Co Fallow Plans
  19. Polly's Brew Co Keeler
  20. Polly's Brew Co Controversy Between Deep
  21. Polly's Brew Co Ghost Voices
  22. Polly's Brew Co Cahb
  23. Polly's Brew Co Spur
  24. Polly's Brew Co Good Nature
  25. Polly's Brew Co Rosa
  26. Polly's Brew Co The New Renassaince
  27. Polly's Brew Co Lo-Fi
  28. Tiny Rebel Brewing Co Imperial Chocolate Stay Puft
  29. Polly's Brew Co. Does It Matter How Far?
  30. Polly's Brew Co. Amateur Dance
  31. Polly's Brew Co. Every Piece Matters
  32. Polly's Brew Co. Floating Through the Surface
  33. Polly's Brew Co. Wallow
  34. Polly's Brew Co. Spectrum TIPA
  35. Polly's Brew Co. Circadian Rhythm
  36. Polly's Brew Co. The Feels Vol. 3
  37. Polly's Brew Co. Hi, Everything’s Great
  38. Tiny Rebel Brewing Co Amplified Imperial Stay Puft 12.8% ABV!
  39. Polly's Brew Co. Farrago
  40. Polly's Brew Co. Mylar
  41. Polly's Brew Co. Naive Melody
  42. Polly's Brew Co. Dream Like Sequence
  43. Polly's Brew Co. Chinook Mosaic Double IPA
  44. Polly's Brew Co. Brand New Only
  45. Polly's Brew Co. Jennasea
  46. Polly's Brew Co. The One You Can’t Control
  47. Polly's Brew Co. Step Inside the Panic Room
  48. Polly's Brew Co. Humble Clairvoyance
  49. Polly's Brew Co. Circle Foam

 Okay, that's quite a list from Untappd, with Polly's Brewery definitely producing the best beers in Wales according to Untappd.

So the Untappd list of Best Brewries in Wales looks like:

  1. Polly's Brew Co., Mold, Flintshire
  2. Dog's Window Brewery, Bridgend, Bridgend
  3. Lucky 7 Beer Co, Hay on Wye, Powys
  4. Crafty Devil Brewing Co, Cardiff,  
  5. Wild Horse Brewing Co, Llandudno, Conwy
  6. BeerRiff Swansea, Swansea
  7. Bragdy Mona Gaerwen, Isle of Anglesey
  8. Wilderness BreweryNewtown, Powys
  9. Tenby Brewing Co, Tenby, Pembrokeshire
  10. Flowerhorn, Cardiff, Cardiff
  11. Tiny Rebel Brewing Co, Newport
  12. PIPES™Cardiff,
  13. Grey Trees Brewery, Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taf,
  14. Brew Monster Caerphilly,
  15. Rival Brewing Co.Cardiff,
  16. The Waen Brewery Llanidloes, Powys
  17. Lines Brew Co.Usk, Monmouthshire
  18. Gwynt y Ddraig Pontypridd,
  19. Geipel Brewing Llangwm, Conwy
  20. Cwrw Cader Dolgellau, Gwynedd s
  21. Purple Moose Brewery (Bragdy Mŵs Piws) Porthmadog, Gwynedd
  22. Well Drawn Brewing Company, Caerphilly,
  23. Untapped Brewing Company , Raglan, Monmouthshire
  24.  Mad Dog Brewery Co, Penperlleni, Monmouthshire, Cardiff soon!
  25.  Mantle Cardigan, Ceredigion
  26.  Gower Brewery, Swansea,
  27. Cwrw Llŷn, Ffordd Dewi Sant, Gwynedd
  28. Tenby Harbwr Brewery, Tenby, Pembrokeshire
  29. Wye Valley Meadery, Caldicot, Monmouthshire
  30. Glamorgan Brewing Co, Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taf
  31. Tinworks Brewing Co., Llanelli, Carmarthenshire
  32. Cwrw Iâl Community Brewing Company, Eryrys, Denbighshire
  33. Hafod Brewing Company, Mold, Flintshire
  34. Bragdy Twt Lol / The Trefforest Brewery Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf
  35. Hallets, Mynedd Maen, Newbridge, Caerphilly
  36. Caffle Brewery, Narberth, Pembrokeshire
  37. Big Hand Brewing, Wrexham, Wales
  38. Lithic Brewing, Brynmenyn, Bridgend
  39. Bragdy Lleu, Penygroes, Gwynedd
  40. Snowdon Craft Beer, Colwyn Bay, Conwy
  41. Kingstone Brewery, Tintern, Monmouthshire
  42. Magic Dragon Brewing, Wrexham,
  43. VOG Brewery, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan
  44. Mumbles Brewery, Swansea,
  45. Cold Black Label, Bridgend,
  46. Coles Family Brewers, Llanddarog, Carmarthenshire
  47. Tomos & Lilford, Llandow, Vale of Glamorgan
  48. Conwy Brewery, Llysfaen, Conwy
  49. Bragdy Nant, Llarwst
  50. Great Orme Brewery, Llandudno, Conwy Wales

 

 Over at Beer Advocate, again, no Welsh beers make it into the top-rated beers beers for the UK, however the Welsh list is rather surprising 

1              Tiny Rebel Brewing Co Stay Puft               

2              Tiny Rebel Brewing Co  Clwb Tropica

3              Purple Moose Brewery Dark Side Of The Moose (Ochr Tywyll Y Mws)    

4              Tiny Rebel Brewing Co. Dutty    

5              Tiny Rebel Brewing Co. Cwtch   

6              Brains Dark

7              Brains Bitter

8              Felinfoel Brewery Co , Thames Welsh ESB (6.5% ABV, Export only?)              

9              Hurns Brewing Co ,Tomos Watkin Old Style Bitter

10           Purple Moose Brewery Snowdonia Ale (Cwrw Eryri)

11           Conwy Brewery Clogwyn Gold

12           Brains The Rev. James

13           Brains SA

14           Brains SA Gold

15           Brains Craft Brewery Barry Island IPA (6% version!)

16           Felinfoel Brewery Co. Double Dragon


A new list to look at this year is the Untappd app copy, Pint Please, which out of it's top twenty UK beers, only one Welsh entry, Tiny Rebel makes an appearance at number 6

No CAMRA awards for real ales brewed last year due to COVID

Once again, beers from the Llandeilo Village Idiot failed to get a mention in any of the lists

Sunday, 27 February 2022

Beer Review: Arbor Ales Zero Zero

Once again, another one of our video beer reviews, this one, number 6, is Abor Ales Zero Zero. I did like the use of American hops in this beer, bitter, orange citrus flavours, my type of beer.



 

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Beer Review: Arbor Brewery Mosiac

Beer review number 5 and it's over to Arbor Ales in Bristol for their Mosiac  



Monday, 21 February 2022

Beer Review: Brew York Born Under Peaches

The fourth in our series of Beer Reviews, another beer from Brew York
 

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Review: Brew York Cherry Kola

The third in the series of video beer reviews, this time it was part of the Brew York Sweet Shop Range and their Cherry Kola Sour. Not a beer I particularly liked as can be seen in the video below. Hopefully we will be trying a beer that tastes of beer in the next video!




 

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Beer Review: Verdant - There Will Be No Intervals

Beer review number 2, and myself and Tim tried some Cornish beer this time with Verdant There will be No Intervals. Again this is available from Tim's stall at Monmouth Market on Saturdays.



 

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Beer Review: Burning Sky Arise

Been awhile since I posted anything on here so here's something totally different, the first of a series of beer reviews with myself and Tim Whiting who runs Crafty Beer Guy at Monmouth Market on Saturdays underneath Monmouth Town Hall, and at Ludlow Market on Sundays. Hope you enjoy this first review, we have a few others in the pipeline. This beer was Burning Sky Arise, not a brewery I'm too familiar with but one I will definitely be seeking out in future.






Saturday, 9 October 2021

A pint in the Pilot

The Mumbles Mile pub crawl is one of those historic crawls that is better left to history than attempted, apparently there were 26 pubs when the pub crawl was first put around in the 1960s, far less today but at least there are no Watney Brewery pubs left. Probably about 13 pubs now, although the line blurs between "eatery" and "pub". A few of the pubs are food only so are actually restaurants, others are hardly open, The George for example but that may have to do with the Brains sale of their pubs. Anyway, any serious attempt at the Mumbles Mile faces  serious problems in that the beers in the Pilot brew pub and the nearby micropub Ty Cwrw, Welsh for Beer House, are far better than in the other pubs/restaurants along the way. Mumbles is worth a visit just for those 2 pubs. 

Monday, 6 September 2021

Former Wetherspoons in Newport closes

As if the rows of closed shops in the centre of Newport isn't depressing enough, the former Wetherspoons pub, the Tom Toya Lewis has shut it's doors. Wetherspoons put the pub on the market back in 2017 and sold it in mid-2018 with planning permission to convert the unused upstairs into 8 two-bedroomed apartments. The pub was bought by Warrington-based Close Community Ltd, who, according to Companies House run "sports clubs". Anyway, their accounts are overdue at Companies House and even when the pub was open under the new ownership their were supply problems with beer and food.

The pub was named after Tom Toya Lewis, a young hero of the 1909 Alexandra docks disaster and was originally built as the YMCA in 1909, although by the 1980s the downstairs had become a tailor's shop, Bollingtons I believe?

Elsewhere in Newport, 'Spoons have also sold the Queen's Hotel, which has become a members-only club, ending 157 years of being a public house.

Saturday, 21 August 2021

Rhymney Brewery to open pub in Newport

A stroll down Commercial Street in Newport revealed a lot of closed and borded up shops but this former bank has a notice in the window, applying for planning permission for change of use to a pub. The Blaenavon-based Rhymney Brewery are looking to convert this building into a pub to fit in with their portfolio of pubs in Merthyr (The Winchester), Pontypridd (The Wonky Bar), Cardiff, Aberdare and Maesteg. Good to see a brewery doing something positive in the City Centre.

The address, 32-33 Commercial Street was formerly a branch of the RBS, 
1948 the National Bank had chambers here
1938 National Bank
1914 Hodder,  Henry & Co Ltd,  chemists were here
1897   32,  Oliver,  Geo,  bootmaker
              -   Davies,  D,  manager, Geo Oliver
           33,  Garrett,  & Atkins,  chemists
            -   Atkins,  & Lockyear,  photographic artists
1876: 

32 Phillips H. W. clothier    
33 Adams John, pork butcher    
33 Jacobs Samuel, watchmaker. &c.
1848
Lewis, David, Builder and Valuer, 32, Commercial street.
Harden, Charles, Baker, Grocer and Confectioner, 33, Commercial street.

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