Towards the end of August I spent a few
days doing a bit of exploring in West Wales. Although my visit there was far
too brief, I managed to visit a few cracking local venues, so I thought I’d
write a little bit about them… Here’s a very quick summary of a few highlights!
Wright’s Food Emporium, Llanarthne
Definitely one of the highlights of the
trip, this place is seriously worth visiting. A café/deli with a wide range of
cheeses, meats & other goodies, which serves great food. On the beer front,
the deli stocks a tremendous selection of beers – from local Welsh breweries to
international craft superstars Mikkeller. This was a noteworthy selection,
which included the likes of Tenby Brewing, Geipel, Wild Horse, Bluestone and
others. They also had a couple of interesting beers on tap, including London
microbrewery The Kernel.
I would thoroughly recommend a detour to
Wright’s for anyone travelling towards West Wales. You won’t be disappointed.
There are rumours that plans are afoot
for a wine-led venue in Cardiff… Let’s hope this comes to fruition, perhaps
with a few beer offerings as well!
The Ginhaus Deli, Llandeilo
Another day another deli. Once again,
great selections of cheese & meat, and an incredible stock of gin, if that’s
An eclectic yet cosy interior, which
feels a little bit like a wine-cellar (in a good way), was particularly charming
when candle-lit during the evening.
No beers on tap, but a very decent range
of bottled and canned beer available. Very good offerings available from 4Four,
Otley, Bluestone and others.
No visit to Llandeilo should omit this
little gem of a deli.
The Angel Hotel, Llandeilo
An interesting and welcoming pub with
buckets of character. There are several rooms spread throughout the pub, each
with their own unique personality.
Beer-wise, a good selection of Welsh
brews, with Gower and the recently-resurrected Celt brand available on tap.
This pub has an old-world warmth which
makes it a popular venue amongst tourists and locals alike.
What an absolute belter of a bar.
Located in a little courtyard off Upper Frog St, this is a sharp bar, with contemporary
Serving as the brewery tap for the
excellent Tenby Brewing Co, a range of cracking local beers are available on
tap, along with a well-stocked bottle collection, with beers from Crafty Devil,
Otley, Heavy Industry, Arbor and many more available in addition to Tenby’s
This is a really top quality craft beer
bar and kitchen, which must be one of the best in Wales.
For the first time since probably the 1930s, Wales now has over 100 active breweries. The last decade has seen a dramatic increase in the number of Welsh micro-breweries, with growth outstripping all other parts of the UK apart from London . Over the past couple of years, it has regularly been predicted that Wales would soon break the 100 brewery barrier, with 88 independent breweries recorded in 2015 . It now appears that we have reached that landmark figure. Below, we have listed all the active breweries in Wales – giving a total of 115. Four of those breweries are not yet brewing commercially (denoted by *). However, even discounting those 4 companies still leaves a total of 111 breweries operating in Wales. The geographic footprint of the breweries is impressive, with every local authority area in Wales (yes, all 22) having at least one brewery! In terms of size and scale, the list is very diverse – including long-standing giant Brains alongside newly established micro
As we approach the end of 2017 it seems like a good time to reflect upon the year. We've seen an exciting year of change on the Welsh beer scene and it would be impossible to capture every single development here. With that in mind, I've decided to list a few of the highlights below: Tiny Rebel First of all we start with arguably Wales’s biggest craft brewery, Tiny Rebel. It’s been a big year for the Newport brewers, moving into a state of the art new premises in Rogerstone, enabling a significant expansion in production and the development of an onsite bar and brewery tours. A slight down-note for Tiny Rebel has been the recent case involving the branding of their Cwtch beer. However, an optimist would note the significant publicity and exposure the brewery has received off the back of this episode… In spite of this recent blip, there’s no doubt that 2017 has been a great year for Tiny Rebel. Grey Trees The awards have been pouring in for the Aberdare br
In honour of Wales reaching 100 breweries in 2017, I will be seeking to review/profile 100 Welsh beers which you should try, with the intention of covering 100 different Welsh breweries… With no further ado, here are the first ten! Brains - Dark A fitting place to start. This beer is something of a Welsh - or at least a south Walian - icon. A beer of historic significance, harking back to the days of heavy industry, Brains Dark - a traditional dark mild - was a favourite amongst miners, steel workers and dockers. Some might consider the dark mild an unfashionable beer style, but Brains Dark is a cultural significant beer which still enjoys relatively high popularity. At 3.5% on cask, this is a solid session beer. Flavour-wise, notes of coffee, dark chocolate and a hint of liquorice give an interesting palate. Conwy - Clogwyn Gold Clogwyn Gold from leading North Wales brewery Conwy is a traditional golden ale with a modern twist, utilising high quality North American hop