Thursday 26 June 2008

Rhondda Valley Brewery

A few years ago Dave the RAT sent me this window photo as he was having difficulty in identifying the brewery. The photo was taken in the Ogmore pub, Gilfach Goch.
Of course I just filled away the photo and forgot to tell hime but after a bit of research (and an email to remind me!) here's what I discovered.
The letters on the window are R V B E and this stands for the Rhondda Valley Breweries Co Ltd of Trehebert - now the interesting thing is the letter E - this stands for Ely as Rhondda Valley Brewery took over Ely Brewery in Cardiff in 1920. In 1928 Rhondda Valley Breweries changed their name to Ely brewery, closed production at Treherbert and moved it all to Ely in Cardiff. So we can safely say that this window dates between 1920-1928. Ely brewery was aquired by Rhymney Brewery in 1959 with 265 pubs. Pubs eventually ended up in the Whitbread empire.

And here is an old photo of the Ogmore pub, Evanstown, Gilfach Goch, Mid Glamorgan, when it was in the Rhymney Brewery Empire.

Original Trade Mark came from David Leyshon at the Graig Brewery, Rickard Street, Pontypridd. Founded 1867. Merged with the Newbridge-Rhondda Brewery Co Ltd in 1903 to form Pontypridd United Breweries Limited. Brewery closed 1904 and remained unused until 1922 when it was converted into a church. Pontypridd United Breweries was acquired by Rhondda Valley Breweries Co Ltd, Trehebert in 1918.

Great British Beer Festival

Earls Court, London will again host CAMRA's Great British Beer Festival this year, running between Tuesday 5th August and Saturday 9th August.

65,000 people attended the ‘Showcase for British Beer' last summer and we expect the same numbers to come along this year to participate in the festival fun!

Over 500 tasty tipples from the smallest microbreweries and large regional brewers have been handpicked for visitors to try. These will include wheat beers, ciders, golden ales, stouts, porters, bitters, milds, bottle-conditioned beers, perries and traditional foreign beers from around the world.

A large representation of real ales, ciders and perries from Wales will also be at the festival and for the first time ever, Brains, the National Brewer of Wales will be having a stand at the Great British Beer Festival. For years their beers have been available at this event, now the brewery has confirmed it's position as the National Brewer of Wales with a larger presence at the Festival. It's a long way from one of the first CAMRA festivals at Covent Garden in the 1970s, when rumour had it, after selling out of real ale a call was made to Brains for an emergency delivery and for the first time ever they sent a dray into England!

The festival is not only about the ale! Visitors will also be able to enjoy food, live music, entertainment, games, tombolas, and quizzes in the comfort of a family friendly atmosphere. Why not catch up and socialise with friends, unwind after work, or just soak up the festival atmosphere!

Other Festival Highlights

Family Room - all those under the age of 18 must remain in the Family Room throughout the festival and must be supervised by a family member.
Tutored Beer Tastings - why not learn to appreciate the different tastes and flavours be attending one of our tutored beer tastings - But be warned - places sell out fast!
Corporate Hospitality - For work colleagues or clients, we are able to offer a variety of packages to suit most tastes and budgets.
Hat Day - Thursday 6th August. This will be the 4th year that we will be celebrating Hat Day! As usual we will be asking people to wear their silly hats on Thursday. So whether you have got one in the cupboard, or even better make one for the day, make sure you remember those hats! The best hats will win some superb prizes.
Opening Times

Tuesday 5 August 5pm - 10.30pm
Wednesday 6 August 12 noon - 10.30pm
Thursday 7 August 12 noon - 10.30pm
Friday 8 August 12 noon - 10.30pm
Saturday 9 August 11am - 7pm

Ticket Prices

Discounted tickets can be bought in advance from / 0871 230 5594

For more information

CAMRA Press Office - 01727 798443

It wouldn’t be Wales without SA

David Pickering, WRU Chairman and Richard Davies, Sales and Marketing Director at Brains toast the deal with a pint of SA and SA Gold.

The Brains logo which has been emblazoned on the Welsh international rugby jersey since 2004 is to stay proudly in place in a new sponsorship deal agreed by the WRU and SA Brain and Co Ltd.

That era has included two Grand Slams in 2005 and 2008 along with Wales test match appearances across Europe, throughout the southern hemisphere and in the USA and Canada.

Today the Welsh Rugby Union announced a renewed sponsorship deal with Wales’ leading brewer and pub operator which means the Brains logo will remain on Wales’ international jerseys until September 2009.
The arrangement is part of a wider four year deal which ensures that Brains remains the toast of Welsh rugby with dispensing rights to serve its newest brand extension ‘SA Smooth’ at the Millennium Stadium until 2012, alongside Brains Smooth and ‘45’, its Continental style beer.

The jersey sponsorship means Brains will now make its mark on the new Under Armour Wales kit which will be officially launched in October shortly before the Invesco Perpetual series 2008.

As you would expect from the innovative and ‘positive thinking’ people at Brains, they will again break the mould of sponsorship and have two different sponsorship marks on the Home and Away kits. The ‘Brains SA’ logo will feature then on the home international jerseys with the away kit featuring ‘SA Gold’, an award winning golden ale which is also Brains’ fastest growing cask ale brand.

Richard Davies, Sales and Marketing Director at Brains said: “We are delighted to announce the extension of our relationship with the WRU for a further four year term.

“This will enable us to promote our key brand SA and our fastest growing brand, SA Gold, which recently won silver in the Champion Beer of Wales Awards at the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival and Gold in the All Wales Bottled Beer Awards.

“After seeing two Grand Slams and many victories home and away during our first four years of sponsorship we are extremely hopeful of a continuation of a successful Welsh team.”

Welsh Rugby Union Chairman, David Pickering said: “The contract extension with Brains is a great boost for Welsh rugby. The creative partnership established with Brains has been the envy of other rugby playing nations and combined with the recent major deal with Under Armour provides the WRU with a dynamic foundation of sponsors.”

The Welsh Rugby Union Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis, said: “We are proud to be associated with a company which represents success in Wales.

“Brains is based on strong tradition combined with modern thinking and strong commercial drive which echoes what we are achieving within the professional game.”

New branding for the 2008/09 season

Away Jersey Branding

Home Jersey Branding

More details from SA Brain

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival 2008 - takedown

Only one photo - decided to do B & W - staff watching the rain come down.

Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival - Festival Charity

Festival Charity at the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival this year was the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, pictured above outside the CIA.
More info from their website

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Media Wales video for the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival

Media Wales' David Owens went to see what was on offer at the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival at the Cardiff International Arena.

Saturday 14 June 2008

Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival - brewer spotting

Phil Parry of Tomos Watkin Brewery

Bob Jenkins of Bullmastiff Brewery

Keith Wrigley of Black Mountain Brewery

Steve from Ffos y fin brewery


Friday night at the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival saw thousands descend on the CIA.

Friday 13 June 2008

Otley are the Champions!

Nick Otley of Otley Brewing Company savours a pint of Otley O8, Champion Beer of Wales 2008.

The Otley clan celebrate after winning Champion Beer of Wales.

Nick Otley takes time out from behind the bar to be interviewed by Media Wales.

Jamie Baulch, former bar man in Lliswerry leisure centre and athlete excersises his arms by pulling a pint at the Otley bar at the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival.

Champion Beer of Wales results 2008

Champion Beer of Wales Competition 2008

Champion Beer of Wales Competition 2008

Overall Winner – Otley O8

Runner Up – Brains SA Gold

Third place Brains Dark

Category Winners


Winner - Brains Dark

Runner up – Bryncelyn Buddy Marvellous


Winner – Purple Moose Snowdonia

Runner up – Bryncelyn Holly Hop

Best Bitter

Winner – Evan Evans Cwrw

Runner Up – Bryncelyn Oh Boy

Golden Ale

Winner – Brains SA Gold

Runner Up – Tomos Watkin Cwrw Haf

Strong Bitter

Winner - Rhymney Export

Runner Up - Otley OG

Old Ale

Winner – Breconshire Ramblers Ruin

Runner Up – Purple Moose Dark Side of the Moose


Winner – Bullmastiff Welsh Black

Runner up Cwmbran Stout

Barley Wine

Winner – Otley O8

Speciality Beer

Winner – Otley O Garden

Runner Up – Conwy Cwrw Mel

Thursday 12 June 2008



It's amazing what people leave around in some places. Still safer than leaving it on a train!


Keith Jenkins Regional Director of CAMRA and John Rhys, a Director of Brains celebrate the opening of the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival by pouring a SA Gold. It's okay Keith, John knows how to pour a pint!

Wednesday 11 June 2008

Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival - Cider List

The ciders and perries have all been delivered and stored in our cool room (above photo of Berriew cider with Llanblethian Orchards Cider and John) Ciders and perries below - subject to availability. We open 1100 hrs Thursday!
Allen Medium Cider
Barker's Upsy-Daisy Real Perry Burp
Bent Bike Cider Slipstream
Berriew Cider Dry Rum Barrel
Berriew Cider Dry Whiskey Barrel
Berriew Cider Medium Rum Barrel
Berriew Cider Medium Whiskey Barrel
Berry Hill Fruit Farm Gala
Berry Hill Fruit Farm Greensleeves
CJ'S Cider
CJ's Cider
Dan Y Graig
Day's Cottage Original Farmhouse Cider
Double Vision Cider
Double Vision Perry
Gethin's Wrongbrew
Gethin's Mingers
Gwatkin's Yarlington Mill
Gwatkin's Stoke Red
Gwatkin's Oldfield Perry
Gwatkin's Norman Cider
Gwatkin's Kingston Black Cider
Gwynt Y Ddraig Haymaker
Gwynt Y Ddraig Black Dragon
Gwynt Y Ddraig Cherry Norman
Gwynt Y Ddraig Farmhouse Sweet
Gwynt Y Ddraig Farmhouse Vintage Dry
Gwynt Y Ddraig Haymaker
Gwynt Y Ddraig Kingston Black
Gwynt Y Ddraig Malvern Hills Perry
Gwynt Y Ddraig Yarlington Mill
Gwynt Y Ddraig Haymaker
Gwynt Y Ddraig Haymaker
Gwynt Y Ddraig Kingston Black
Hartland's Farmhouse Perry
Hecks Kingston black
Hecks Blakeney Red Pery
Hunts Farm Cider
Legbender Farmhouse Cider
Llanblethian Orchards The 10p Tax Solution
Llanblethian Orchards Mayday Sweet Cider
Malvern Magic Blakeney Red Perry
Malvern Magic Knotted Kernel & Browns
Meare Farmhouse Cider
Moore Triple U Perry
New Forest Cider
Old Monty Oak Cask
Old Monty Kingston black
Pickled Pig Cider Porkers Snout
Pickled Pig Cider Old Spot
Raglan Cider Mill Boris's Brain Bender
Raglan Cider Mill Barn Owl
Reddaway's Farm Cider
Rosie's Triple D Wicked Wasp
Rosie's Triple D Triple D Cider
Ross On Wye Farmhouse Cider
Ross On Wye Perry
Sandford Orchards Devon Red Bull
Sandford Orchards Cider
Sarah's Cider
Dry Cider
Seidr Dai Blakeney Red Perry
Seidr Dai Monmouthshire Heritage
Seidr Dai Hellen's Early
Seidr Dai Dai's Dry
Seidr O Sir Sweet Cider
Seidr O Sir Maes Edwy
Seidr O Sir Cantrefdy
Severn Sider Cider
Springfield Old Barn Cider
Springfield Farmhouse
Springfield Red Dragon Cider
Three Saints Nice Boys
Three Saints Burgundy
Three Saints Bit Of Rough
Toloja Aeron Y'Chest
Toloja Guinevere
Toloja Drunk Dewi
Traditional Vintage Herefordshire Blakeney Red Perry
Troggi Llansoy
Troggi Earlswood
Troggi Tregagle
Troggi Penallt
Ty Gwyn Cider / Perry
Upper House Farm Herefordshire Cider
W.M. Watkins Whiskey Barrel
W.M. Watkins Perry
W.M. Watkins Oak Barrel
Wernddu Over The Hedge
Wernddu Black Dingle
Westcroft Janet's Jungle Juice
WilkinsFarmhouse Cider

Tuesday 10 June 2008

Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival - setup day 2 pt 3

Well known Cardiff cidermaker, author and occasional schoolteacher Dave Matthews delivers craft ciders from members of the Welsh Perry and Cider Society to the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival. Lots of Monmouthshire cider and perry this weekend at the CIA.

Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival - setup day 2 pt 2

Aerial view of the bar, no those are not ants but our hard-working CAMRA volunteers who have been setting up the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival all week.

Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival - setup day 2

And the beers were stillaged and on cooling long before CAMRA volunteers left last night. The picture above shows the complicated cooling system - more pythons than the Life of Brian. Still more work and a few more deliveries today, including the cider.

Above - the bar at the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival - with plenty of room for the customers.

Monday 9 June 2008

Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival - setup day 1

The Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival is in the process of being set up, with deliveries from across the UK making their way to the Cardiff International Arena for the biggest beer event in Wales.

Martin Lewis from Cwmbran Brewery delivered early despite nearly getting lost in the trafic chaos that is the rebuilding of Cardiff City Centre.

Bill Picton of WARCOP Brewery delivers his Pit Prop Mild

Whilst Paul Jenkins of Bullmastiff Brewery contemplates the Cardiff sun before heading off to a wedding in Germany this weekened. Hang on Paul, the beer festival is in Cardiff not Munich!

The stillage is built and the beers are waiting to be hoisted up.

Friday 6 June 2008

Cider at the Great Welsh

Provisional cider list for the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival
Gwynt y ddraig:
Kingston Black
Black Dragon
Farmhouse sweet
Vintage Oak
Yarlington Mill
Strawberry Norman

Ralph's Cider:
Sweet Cider
Med Perry
Dry Perry
Dry Cider

Blaengawney Cider

Raglan Cider Mill (1 Perry 1 cider)


Wernddu Vinyard (1 Perry 1 Cider)

Three Saints (2 Perry 1 Cider)

Berriew Cider (2 Cider)

Gethin's (2 Cider)

Bent Bike Ciderhouse (4 ciders)

Old Monty Cider (2 Cider)

Mid Wales Cider Company (2 Cider)

Berryhill Farm Cider (2 Cider)

Seidr Dai (3 Perry 1 Cider)

Llanblethian Orchards (2 Cider - one sweet/one med)

In addition there will be 54 other ciders and perries from English producers - full list will be posted next week.

Opening hours
Thursday June 12th 11am - 11pm
Friday June 13th 11am - 11pm
Saturday June 14th 11am - 11pm

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.

Tuesday 3 June 2008

Beer List 2008

It's June so that means the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival is nearly upon us. Provisional Beer list below, subject to change due to war, famine, floods or Darling and Gordo putting up beer tax again and a brewery going bust.

Black Mountain Black Five 4.50%
Black Mountain Porter 5%
Brains Dark 3.5
Brains Bitter 3.7
Brains SA 4.2
Brains Reverend James 4.5
Brains SA Gold 4.6
Brains seasonal 4.6
Buckleys Best 3.80%
Breconshire Pen Y Fan 6.20%
Breconshire Welsh Pale Ale 3.40%
Breconshire Golden Valley 4.2
Breconshire Ramblers Ruin 5
Breconshire Cribyn 4.5
Breconshire Spirit of the Dragon 6.50%
Bryncelyn Holly Hop 3.9
Bryncelyn Buddy Marvellous 4
Bryncelyn Oh Boy 4.5
Bullmastiff Iechyd Dda 4.6
Bullmastiff Son of a Bitch 6
Bullmastiff Welsh Black 4.80%
Celt Experience Bronze 4.5
Celt Experience Golden 4.2
Newman's Cave Bear 5%
Newman's LLOB 5
Coles Cwrw Blassus 4.40%
Coles Stout 4%
Conwy Cwrw Mel 4.40%
Conwy Welsh Pride 3.80%
Cwmbran Stout 4.20%
Cwmbran Pink Panther 4.50%
Cwmbran Golden Wheat 4.50%
Evan Evans Cwrw 4.20%
Evan Evans Bishops Revenge 4.20%
Evan Evans seasonal
Facers Daves Hoppy Beer 4.3
Facers Northern County 3.80%
Facers Clwyd Gold 3.50%
Ffos Y Ffin Cothi Gold 3.80%
Ffos Y Ffin Paxtons Pride 5.50%
Felinfoel Celtic Gold 4.2
Great Orme Extravaganza 4.40%
Great Orme Ormes Best 3.80%
Jacobi Light Ale 3.80%
Jacobi Dark Ale 5.00%
Kingstone 3 castles 3.80%
Kingstone Seasonal/Gatehouse 5.10%
Miws Piws seasonal
Miws Piws Snowdonia 3.60%
Miws Piws Dark Side of the Moose 4.60%
Miws Piws Cwrw Glaslyn 4.2
Heart of Wales Heart of Wales 4.10%
Heart of Wales Aur Cymru 3.80%
Otley O1 4.10%
Otley O Garden 4.60%
Otley Dark O 4.10%
Otley OG 5%
Otley O8 8%
North Wales Farmers Favourite 4%
North Wales Moelfre Mild 3.60%
Plassey Border Mild 4.5
Plassey Owain Glyndwr 4.3
Plassey Dragon's Breath 6
Rhymney Dark 3.9
Rhymney Export 5
Rhymney Rhymney Bitter 4.5
Rhymney Hobby Horse 3.8
Swansea Deep Slade Dark 4%
Swansea 3 Cliffs Gold 4.7
Swansea Original Wood 5.2
Tomos Watkin Merlin's Stout 4.2
Tomos Watkin OSB 4.5
Tomos Watkin Cwrw Haf 4.20%
Vale of Glamorgan Grog y Vog 3.3
Vale of Glamorgan No 1 Best Bitter 4.5
Vale of Glamorgan seasonal 5
Warcop Pitprop 3.80%

FOREIGN BEERS (okay English and Cornish!)
Archers Crystal Clear 5.00%
Archers Red Admiral 4%
Corvedale Dark and Delicious 4.50%
Hobsons Mild 3.40%
Hobsons new beer 3.50%
Ludlow Gold 3.80%
Salopain Shropshire Gold 3.80%
Six Bells Goldings 3.80%
Spinning Dog Hereford Cathedral 4.00%
Spinning Dog Mutleys Revenge 4.80%
Spitting Feathers Basket Case 4.80%
Three Tuns Three 8 3.80%
Weetwood Cheshire cat 4.00%
Woods Shropshire Lad 3.80%
Wye Valley HPA 4
Wye Valley Butty Bach 4.5
Wye Valley Golden 4
Wye Valley seasonal ?
Wye Valley ? 4.4
Bays Best 3.7
Blackawton 44 Special 4%
Blackdown Devon Pride 3.80%
Branscombe Vale Summa That 5.00%
Branscombe Vale Branoc 3.80%
Clearwater Ebony & Ivory 4.20%
Country Life Golden Pig 4.70%
Exe Valley Exeter Old Bitter 4.80%
Exe Valley Barons Hopsit 4.10%
Keltek King 5.10%
Keltek Kornish Nectar 4.00%
O'Hanlons Double Champ Wheat 4.00%
O'Hanlons Dry Stout 4.20%
Otter Bitter 3.60%
Otter Head 6%
RCH Pitchfork 4.20%
RCH Old Slug 4.50%
RCH Firebox 6%
RCH Seasonal
Scattor Rock Teign Valley Tipple 4.00%
Sharps Cornish Coaster 3.60%
Sharps Eden Pure Ale 4.40%
Skinners Cornish Blonde 5%
Skinners Heligan Honey 4%
South Hams Eddystone 4.80%
St Austell Proper Job 4.50%
St Austell Tribute 4.20%
St Austell Tinners 4%
Summerskills Tamar 4.30%
Teignworthy Beachconber 4.30%
Wooden Hand Cornish Buccaneer 4%
Bath Ales Dark Hare 4
Bath Ales Bath SPA 3.7
Bath Ales Gem 4
Blindman's Black Bess 4.1
Bath Ales Barnstormer 4.5
Battle down Sunbeam 4
Cotleigh Barn Owl 4.5
Cotleigh Buzzard 4.8
Cotswold Spring Codrington Codger 4.2
Cotswold Spring Gloucestershire Glory 4.1
Exmoor Fox/ Gold 4.4/4.5
Goffs White Knight 4.7
Hidden Pleasure IPA 4.9
Hopback Thunderstorm 4.6
Hopback Summer Lighting 5
Matthew's Brewery Tim's Bier 4.6
Matthew's Brewery Brassknocker 3.8
Moor Ported Peat Porter/ Peat Porter 4.7/4.5
Moor Old Freddy Walker 7.3
Moor Revival 3.8
Nailsworth Artists Ale 3.9
Nailsworth Vicar's Stout 4.5
North Cotswold Mayfair 4.1
North Curry The Withyman 4.6
Seven Vale Severn Sins 5.2
Uley Pigs Ear/ Old Spot 5
Wickwar Mr Perrett's/ Station Porter 5.9/6.1
Wickwar Old Arnold 4.8
Wickwar Coopers 3.5
Wickwar IKB 4.50%
Yeovil Ales Summerset 4.1


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