Beer Cider

This post should have been about great beer in Bath – but cider in Cardiff will have to do

I spent a great weekend in bath with some old school friends (Welsh friends, I did not go to school in Bath ;)) – just to say that the Salamander and Raven pub where the most frequentest stops and had great ale even if – but the Pulteney Arms was a right gem after the bad treatment we got in the The George Inn Bathampton- when we tried to get some food after a boat trip – very rude staff ok there was 10 of us and it was 3pm – but they could not accommodate us for lunch (btw they are open all day) maybe they just did not like the Welsh 😉

Bath was a joy as usual and dinner in the The Garricks Head was very good – but I think the company helped.

anyway this week it’s all about cider in Cardiff –

Cider and Perry Festival - City Arms Cardiff

as Arfur from Brew wales explains.

The CAMRA Pub of the Year for Cardiff, the City Arms in Quay Street will be holding a cider and perry festival, starting on Wednesday 25th April and continuing throughout the weekend, finishing on Sunday 29th.

There will have 8 different ciders and 4 varieties of perry for customers to choose from alongside their usual range.
These guests will be alongside our resident ciders including Stowford Press, Aspall’s, Friel’s, Thatcher’s Katy, Thatcher’s Gold, Savanna Premium Dry and Orchard Gold Cider. The new ciders will be limited edition so make sure you get your hands on them whist they’re around!

Unusually ciders and a perry from Llanblethian Orchards of Cowbridge will also be available, unusual in that most of this award-winning hand-crafted cider is normally only ever sold at beeer and cider festivals and not in pubs:

Llanblethian Orchards Stoke Red dry single variety cider 5.3%
Llanblethian Orchards Bramley mix 5.3% , a blend of Stoke Red and Bramley apples to produce a medium-sweet cider
Llanblethian Orchards Hendre Huffcap and Blakeney Red Perry 6.8%

On Thursday 26th April, live music will be on in the pub.


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.


Is the best Real Ale pub in Cardiff now the City Arms?

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.

From Brains:

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


Brains (Wales)
Fresh and hoppy, very quaffable!

Brains (Wales)
The legendary Dark, with chocolate & malt flavours

Brains (Wales)
The Famous S.A.! Nutty, rich and satisfyingly dry

The Rev. James
Brains (Wales)
Full bodied, rich and warming, with a hint of spice

Addlestones Cider
Addlestones (Somerset)
Traditional cloudy cider with full-bodied flavour


Otley Brewery (Pontypridd)
Clear wheat beer with orange, coriander & cloves

St. Austell (Cornwall)
Rich, juicy, malty & hoppy

Rite Flanker
Wickwar (Gloucestershire)
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

Red Dragon
Breconshire Brewery (Brecon)
Smooth and easy drinking with biscuity malt flavours

Bread of Heaven
Brains (Cardiff)
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.