The City Arms reopened in Cardiff this weekend in time for the first Autumn international as a proper Real Ale pub!
The City Arms was built in the 1880’s – the same decade Brains was founded – but was known then as the Cattle Market. It was later renamed Dovers Arms, but became the City Arms in 1905 in celebration of the new ‘City’ status.
The Real Ale fans of Cardiff are rejoicing to the news (well I am), as apart from Spoons, there are not a lot of pubs with more than one Guest Ale on in the City Centre, especially Brains pubs, the Goat Major was doing the business for a while, but has slowed down recently in it’s selection.
I had a great time on Friday evening when I was lucky enough to sample a good selection what was on offer, thanks to the people from Brains for the invite to the opening.. the beer bottle selection was great as well and Duvel (green) on tap is a great addition.
Here are a selection of the beers that I had, the good news is that Otley brewery are providing the casks ales, so will look forward to a great range of Welsh Beers and some from further afield.
After reworking the bar area and giving the interior and exterior a lick of paint, the pub’s manager, Chris Partridge, is looking forward to welcoming new and returning customers: “The biggest change has happened behind the bar. Every day there will be up to eight cask (or real) ales on draught, two of which will be served direct from the cask, a range of draught imported beers and more than 20 different bottled beers and ciders.”
The City Arms can now boast to housing the biggest selection of beers in Brains’ entire pub estate. And, as Philip Lay, Retail Director at Brains explains, cask ale is a big part of that offer: “Cask ale is becoming something of a star performer in the beer market so we’re confident the City Arms will be a big draw. Last year overall cask ale sales increased by 5% and the number of 18-24 year old drinkers grew by 17%*, which suggests that the traditional ‘old man in a flat cap’ image is finally being shed.
“This is a pub rich in tradition, with a fantastic atmosphere and an unrivalled range of beers and we hope to attract customers of all ages.”
It’s the old Brains pub on Quay St just opposite the Millennium Stadium, they have not made many changes to the pub just cleaned it up a bit (which it needed) – the City Arms may have been a traditional pub and popular when a game was on, but the times I went there, it was not a haven for good real ale to be honest the welcome was not that, well welcome!
But a pub in this position needs some love and its good to see Brains doing it and upping its Real Ale game, wonder if they have plans for the model Inn, just round the corner.
The cask ales list for the launch are from some great Welsh Breweries and some excellent English ones, so looks like a good start..
10 cask ales, Otley, Breconshire, VOG, St Austell, Wickwar, Rhymney and of course Brains – IPA, SA, Dark & Rev
source with 4 direct from the cask!!
Beers on are
CASK ALES AND CIDERS
Fresh and hoppy, very quaffable!
The legendary Dark, with chocolate & malt flavours
The Famous S.A.! Nutty, rich and satisfyingly dry
The Rev. James
Full bodied, rich and warming, with a hint of spice
Traditional cloudy cider with full-bodied flavour
Otley Brewery (Pontypridd)
Clear wheat beer with orange, coriander & cloves
St. Austell (Cornwall)
Rich, juicy, malty & hoppy
Chestnut ale with hints of malt & fruit
Grog Y Vog
Vale of Glamorgan Brewery (Barry)
Fresh flavoured golden ale
Rhymney Brewery (Merthyr Tydfil)
Full bodied mixed malts, well rounded and easy drinking
Breconshire Brewery (Brecon)
Smooth and easy drinking with biscuity malt flavours
Bread of Heaven
Ale with a reddish hue and a moreish fruit finish
also for the non real ale fan – 7 draught imported beers and 24 different bottled beers and ciders from all over the shop (as posted on twitter by @Brains_Ian)
I hope Brains let us know what ales are on every week – using the power of the webs.
I think it may become my Cardiff local (after the Goat) of course depending on price;)
I can see the City Arms becoming a mecca for Real lovers people visiting Cardiff, Well done Brains – you have used yours.