21. Otley - O1 Sadly, Otley closed in early 2018, so there are only a few bottles of this award winning beer floating around. If you get a chance - try it before it’s gone! It’s a great beer with a nuanced aroma of hay, honey and bitter hops. A well balanced palate which is moderately bitter. Refreshing and very drinkable!
22. Bragdy Twt Lol - Glo in the Dark Bragdy Twt Lol is one of my favourite breweries. I could’ve selected any of half a dozen beers for this list but have gone with Glo in the Dark, which is Dark Ale. Rich roasted malt and coffee on the nose are followed by a surprisingly bitter palate driven by hops, which gives an unexpected kick to the beer, which retains a malty sweeteners in the background. An innovative and interesting beer which executes that difficult skill of pleasantly surprising the drinker.
23. Lines - Pale Ale Lines is a relatively new brewery but with a good heritage, having been established by the former owner of the Celt Experience brewery. The Caerphilly based company consistently produces extremely high quality beers, using high-end ingredients and cutting-edge ideas. This is a collaboration beer brewed with Manchester’s Track Brewery. A wild beer brewed using a wild yeast strain (sacc brux trois) along with NZ and US hops Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic. This is a brilliant beer - tropical and citrusy on the nose, with notes of strawberry and mango. The flavour has hints of pine, floral notes, tropical fruit and is very hoppy with a dry bitter finish. Possibly my beer of 2018 so far.
24. Great Orme - Snowdon Craft Lager Llandudno brewers Great Orme’s Snowdon Craft Lager is a very good European style lager. A slight citrusy aroma which is enticing leads to a very clean and crisp palate which has a distant hint of lime in the background. Well hopped for a lager, this is what I would call a proper lager. Often available in Co-op supermarkets in Wales, so check it out!
25. Mad Dog - Third Eye Blind Gwent brewery Mad Dog have been producing very good beers for a few years now, and Third Eye Blind is one of my favourites. This pale ale makes use of excellent new world hops - Rakau from NZ and Chinook from the US. The nose has some very interesting notes, with cocoa, citrus and dried apricot all coming through. The palate bursts with citrus and tropical fruit flavours followed by an earthy bitter finish.
26. Tiny Rebel - Cwtch Tiny Rebel need no introduction from me, as they are one of Wales’ best known craft breweries. Likewise, Cwtch scarcely needs an introduction as it is a well-known award winning beer, previously winning the champion beer of Britain award (2015). A Welsh red ale with a rich and refined flavour. Six different malts and three American hop varieties give this beer a stunning combination of refreshing hop-led flavour along with sweet maltiness. This is the definition of a well balanced beer.
27. Boss - Bare Swansea-based Boss have emerged as a prominent figure on the Welsh craft beer scene, with their beers stocked across Wales by the Co-op. This is a great example of a Helles lager - the staple beer of Munich. The aroma leads off with lemon, melon and grapefruit aroma. The flavour is citrusy but has hints of biscuit and caramel from the malt base. A good lager which balances hops and malt very well.
28. Rhymney - Export An new “old brewery”, in the sense that it’s essentially a relaunch of the historic Rhymney brand, making good use of the brewery’s original branding. Widely available from Morrisons and Lidl, this is a very enjoyable traditional bitter. Honey, toasted malt and slightly spiced fruit all appear on the nose, alongside a faint smoky hint. The palate is well-rounded with spices a malty sweetness leading to a satisfying bitter finish. If you like bitters, this is certainly worth seeing out.
29. Roath - Mill Garden Roath Brewery is a relatively new figure on the Cardiff beer scene but they’ve already produced some very good beers. Mill Garden is a witbier (which translates as white beer) - a Belgian style of beer most famously encapsulated by Blue Moon and Hoegaarden. Roath’s effort is very commendable with the classic aromas and flavours of the style all present - spice, coriander, a slight yeasty sourness. A very enjoyable beer.
30. Glamorgan - Welsh Pale This is a very good pale ale from the Llantrisant based Glamorgan Brewing Company. Relatively widely available with Co-op and Lidl both often stocking this beer. Clean and crisp with floral notes on the nose. A hint of citrus on the palate with lime and pine coming through. The bitter finish has a slightly woody note which is interesting and rounds off the beer very well.