My top Five Welsh Beers

The nice people (former colleagues) over at Walesonline asked me to come up with a list of great Welsh beers – they were in no particular order so

Here are my Top Five from the list I have had this year – there seems to be a lot of variants on stouts/porters – and no surprise Tiny Rebel come top – 90% of their beers this year have been amazing

1) Dirty Stop Out, Tiny Rebel: A stunning smoked oat stout which rightfully was Champion Beer of Wales 2013. ABV: 5%

Tiny Rebel Beer : Dirty Stop Out

2) Hadouken, Tiny Rebel: A perfect example of an IPA ABV: 7.4%


3) Shining Tsar, Brains Craft: One of the many excellent ‘craft’ beers from Brains – strong but very drinkable ABV: 7.5%


4) O6 Porter, Otley: Very good porter – also look out for the excellent mOtley Brew. ABV: 6.6%


5) Boilermaker, Brains Craft: A hoppy beer matured with Penderyn whisky-infused oak chips in Penderyn casks. Great on keg or bottled. ABV: 6.5%


of course I’m sure you have had others – so feel free to list your top five in the comments :)

Otley Odessa

First day at GWBCF 2012 it’s not about Otley odessa at all – shut up what a beer but not for normal beer drinkers

Ok it was the battle of the ABV I thought it was.

But Otley brewery have brought their milkshake to the yard as Kelis once said no not about milk stout – their silly Odessa – which has waited in quiet in the  Penderyn Whisky casks for the last 18months has stormed the Great Welsh beer and cider festival- Iam not saving it could be Welsh beer of the year but it could be Welsh beer of the year!

Otley Odessa

It;s his fault - Nick Otley

It;s his fault - Nick Otley

This year I hoped it was not just about strengh as there are so many new pretenders to the flavour throne – Tiny rebal, Pixie Spring and even Welsh beer stalwarts Brains with their craft beer collection.

But again the ponty brewery has shaken things up with their 9.7 ale which is full of flavour the chocolate and ginger afertaste brings you out of the alcoholic stupor,  but has the Welsh brewery gone into the level of overly strong beers to prove a point, maybe? but it does taste so good :)

My brewery of the festival is Tiny Rebal

They stood out not just because the take the brew dog approach to their adertising but can actually deliver on every beer even though they are from Newport! - they were pride of place at the entrance to the GWBCF – where as in the past it was the likes of Otley, Brains with the marketing money clout .

But Tiny rebel have definitely delivered – even if they use a gadget like their hop rocket that looks like it was build in their shed (ok that has not changed my view) but it did add something to their Fubar

Tiny rebel Hop rocket

Their other ales went down a storm with the chaps I was with – and I personally liked the Dirty Stop Out.

of course this is all ho ha – the main reason for my day in the CIA as it was (the Motor pint arena) – was to make up the numbers in the cider judging- you know it’s serious when beer writers writer and Cider convert Peter Brown is on the other team.



But I could lie to say the cider was up to their with the quality of the ale – but alas the batch we had to judge only had one stand out cider (and as of time of writing I no idea what it was) – maybe it’s an issue getting ale fans to judge the mighty apple.

the thing that made me smile was the gang from the Goat Major pub on their staff day trip – I left them just as they were getting on the strong beers – so Cardiff look out.

Goat major gang

Goat major gang

so if you are going to the largest pub in Wales over the next 2 days – you will have a great time.


What are you doing in Cardiff on the 7 till the 9th June? hint may involve beer

Well you will mostly find me at the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Hope to see you there – I will be the bloke with the I love sheds tshirt on – I have a few so not wearing the same one each day ;)

anyway here is Provisional List of Breweries and beers

I was looking forward to my first pint of Bullmastiff Welsh Black since last year – but it’s not on :( but the Brains Strong Ale was nice last time and Saltire Triple Chocoholic is a festival fav, and great to see a full range of newport’s Tiny Rebel beers – as only tried two so far.

Abbeydale Absolution 5.3
Abbeydale Moonshine 4.3
Acorn Barnsley Bitter 3.8
Acorn Gorlovka Imperial Stout 6.0
Acorn IPA 5.0
Big Bog
Brains All at Sea 5.2
Brains British Summer 4.1
Brains Dark 3.5
Brains SA 4.2
Brains SA Gold 4.7
Brains Strong Ale 6.5
Brains Barry Island IPA 6.0
Brains Jack Black 4.3
Brains Organ Morgan 4.0
Brecon Beacons to the sea 4.1
Brecon Bright Beacons 4.5
Brecon Bronze Beacons 3.9
Brecon Diamond Beacons 4.3
Brecon Genesis 1.ii The Prophet’s Porter 5.6
Brecon Gold Beacons 4.2
Brecon Twilight Brecon 4.0
Brecon Wandering Beacons 5.0
Breconshire Ramblers Ruin 5.0
Bryncelyn Buddy Marvellous 4.0
Bryncelyn Holly Hop
Bryncelyn Oh Boy 4.5
Bullmastiff Son of a Bitch
Bullmastiff Welsh Red
Celt Experience Bleddyn 5.6
Celt Experience Bronze
Celt Experience Golden 4.2
Celt Experience Native Storm 4.4
Celt Experience Silures 4.6
Cerddin Cascade 4.8
Conwy Beechcomber Blonde 4.2
Conwy Cwrw Mel 4.5
Copper Dragon Black Gold 3.7
Copper Dragon Challenger 4.0
Copper Dragon Golden Pippin 3.9
Elland 1872 Porter 6.5
Elland Bargee 3.8
Elland Nettlethrasher 4.4
Facer’s Clwyd Gold
Facer’s Dave’s Hoppy Beer 4.3
Facer’s Landslide 4.9
Felinfoel Double Dragon 4.2
Gloucester Dockside Dark 5.2
Gloucester Gloucester Gold 3.9
Gloucester Mariner 4.2
Gower Gold 4.5
Great Orme Celtica 4.5
Great Orme Welsh Black 4.0
Grey Trees Rechabites Bitter 4.0
Heart of Wales Aur Cymru
Heart of Wales High as a Kite
Heart of Wales Irfon Valley 3.6
Heart of Wales Welsh Black 4.4
Ilkley Best 4.0
Ilkley Black 3.7
Ilkley Mary Jane 3.5
Jacobi Light Ale 3.8
Jacobi Red Squirrel 4.0
Kelham Island Kelham Best 3.8
Kelham Island Pale Rider 5.2
Kelham Island Riders on the Storm 4.5
Kingstone 1503 4.8
Kingstone Stout 4.4
Kite Cwrw Haf 4.1
Kite Gold Wing 4.2
Kite Thunderbird 4.5
Leeds Leeds Best 4.3
Leeds Midnight Bell 4.8
Leeds Yorkshire Gold 4.2
Llangollen Grange No1 3.2
Monty’s Midnight Stout 4.0
Monty’s Mischief 5.0
Monty’s Sunshine 4.2
Nant Mwnci Nell 5.5
Neath Black 5.5
Neath Gold 5.0
Ossett Silver King 4.3
Ossett Yorkshire Blond 3.9
Otley Croeso 4.2
Otley Motley Brew 7.5
Otley O Garden 4.8
Otley O1 4.0
Otley O3 Boss 4.4
Otley O4 Columbo 4.1
Otley O5 Gold 5.0
Otley O6 Porter 6.6
Otley O7 Weissen 5.0
Otley O8 8.0
Otley Oxymoron Black IPA 5.5
Otley Thai Bo 4.6
Pixie Spring
Plassey Mild 4.2
Preseli Baggywrinkle 4.5
Purple Moose Dark Side of the Moose 4.6
Purple Moose Glaslyn 4.2
Purple Moose Snowdonia 3.6
RCH East St Cream 5.0
RCH PG Steam 3.9
RCH Pitchfork 4.2
Rhymney Export 5.0
Rhymney Gold
Rhymney Hobby Horse 3.8
Rudgate Battleaxe 4.2
Rudgate Ruby Mild 4.4
Rudgate Viking 3.8
Saltire Raspberry Blond 4.0
Saltire Triple Chocoholic 4.8
Sandstone Edge
Swansea Deep Slade Dark 4.0
Timothy Taylor Dark Mild 3.5
Timothy Taylor Landlord 4.3
Tiny Rebel Cwtch 4.6
Tiny Rebel Dirty Stop Out 5.0
Tiny Rebel Doc Brown 3.8
Tiny Rebel Fubar 4.4
Tiny Rebel Full Nelson 4.8
Tiny Rebel Hadouken IPA 7.4
Tiny Rebel Urban IPA 5.5
Tomos Watkin Brewery Bitter 4.0
Tomos Watkin Chwarae Teg 4.1
Tomos Watkin Cwrw Haf 4.2
Tomos Watkin OSB 4.5
Tomos Watkin
VoG Cwrw Dewi
VoG Wheats Occurrin 5.0
Waen Blackberry Stout 3.8
Waen Chilli Plum Porter 6.1
Waen First of the Summer Waen 3.9
Wentworth Bumble Beer 4.3
Wentworth Oatmeal Stout 4.8
Wentworth Rampant Gryphon 6.2
Wye Valley DG Lager
Wye Valley DG Stout 4.2
Wye Valley HPA 4.0
York Centurion’s Ghost 5.4
York Guzzler 3.6
York Yorkshire Terrier 4.2
Zero Degrees Mango 4.5
Zero Degrees Pilsner 4.8


How long is a delivery from brewdog? ask the lost dog

I have been drinking brewdog beer for a few years after being introduced to them by my mate and all-round beer know it all Rob way back in 2009 and I love their interesting hoppy beers and was even moved to buy some shares the first time round (to get the reduction on further beers bought online mainly to cover the silly postage price).

Now this is my problem.

It always takes two or three times longer for my beer to arrive than I think it should (and every other beer company ever does)

The longest I have waited was 4 weeks and thought they had sorted out issues, fair enough on one occasion when two bottles were broken – they sent new ones within two days.

Most recently I took up their shareholder offer of Lost Dog + Paradox Jura Pack

Lost Dog & Paradox Jura

Paradox Jura is a one off limited release 15% imperial stout aged in Jura whisky casks. Lost Dog is our collaboration with Lost Abbey – a 11.2% Imperial Porter aged in rum casks and comes in a stunning presentation box.

Iam a big fan of Jura whisky – so thought I would give it a go

When i bought it was quoted as

Shareholder only exclusive offer.*
*Please note this is being shipped from Brewdog HQ, and no other items from the shop can be added to this pack as a result. It will also take longer to ship, as a result. We are aiming for 2-3 business days for these awesome craft beers to be delivered to you. It is our way of ensuring you get your paws on these awesome beers. Enjoy Scamps!

2-3 business days – not bad I thought – a new record for them.


I ordered on Thursday 16/02/12 19:51:10 – so maybe wednesday I would get my beer – I emailed them on thursday and got the reply “Should be delivered today or tomorrow at the latest.” – no tracking no reason why.

I got the beer on the 28th Feb – but with no explanation why from brewdog customer service

maybe it’s because I get it delivered to the outpost that is Central Cardiff (Rob seems to get stuff sent to Newport quicker than me)

I know they won’t give a shit about this post as they are too busy being punk and filling sperm whales with beer in collaboration with Watney Combe & Reid or what ever their new marketing ploy is

anyway Iam writing this drinking one of their beers – so Iam the fool really.

Bramling X

Bridge End Inn in Ruabon, North Wales is Camra pub of the year

From Camra.

The Bridge End Inn in Ruabon, North Wales, was bought in 2009 by Peter McGivern after it was closed for six months, and is now a thriving local, selling beer from the family’s microbrewery as well as ale from more than 100 local and regional breweries.

Real ale campaign group Camra, which gave the award, said the pub was one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of its annual competition – and the first Welsh winner.

Judges said the inn had everything that makes a great pub – atmosphere, decor, service, value for money, customer mix, a warm welcome, and excellent beer.

Mr McGivern said he decided to take on the pub after retiring as a local teacher, and to give an outlet for a microbrewery run by his son Matthew.

Asked how he coped with switching from the classroom to a bar, he told the Press Association: “It’s terribly similar really. It’s all about interacting with people.

“We are a family business and the pub has been a real labour of love.

“What we strived to do was create a pub not focused on food that we would enjoy visiting, putting the product first and offering a wide range of traditional beer styles. As a result we’ve built up a mixed trade of locals and beer lovers from all over Britain.

“We are delighted with this national award, particularly as we were told when first taking on the pub that there was little demand for real ale in the area.”

The Bridge End Inn beat three other finalists to claim the award – the Engineers Arms in Henlow, Bedfordshire, the Front in Falmouth, Cornwall, and the Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton, Lancashire.

City Arms Cardiff – Beer of the Week : Butcombe OLD VIC PORTER – and Meet Buster the Brewer

This week the beer of choice at the City Arms Cardiff – has been the excellent OLD VIC PORTER (4.7% ABV) from Butcombe brewery.

a great example with top aroma – could drink this all day – shame it’s just run out :(

on another note the City Arms is having another of it’s tuesday night Meet the Brewer evenings – this time with Buster from Brecon Brewing on 28th feb 7ish – formerly head brewer at Breconshire

Established in 2011 by Buster Grant, one of Wales’ best known brewers, Brecon Brewing have created a range of beers full of flavour and character inspired by the dramatic locality, working with the local community and reigniting interest in Brecon.

so should be a good night.


How much is the price of a pint of Real Ale in London – £2.40 if you are an MP

The torygraph did a story on the subsidised food and drink for our elected members of parliament

The taxpayers’ subsidy for the bars and restaurants in the Houses of Commons has risen to £5.8m a year, despite promises by parliamentary official to cut public funding for politicians’ meals and drinks.

They did not mention the price of a pint, but after a quick search of the parliment website (hat-tip @arfurD)

The Strangers bar (where MP can bring guests) sells Guest Ales/ Cellarman’s reserve £2.40 a pint.

You can view the full list here.

Or the other prices for the various outlets that we subsidise.

Maybe I should have gone into politics instead of sheds.

I wonder how many pints get quaffed in a year by our MPs at their bars?