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

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

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


Will you be drinking the strong ABV beers at the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival

As tomorrow is the start to one of the highlights on the Welsh brewing and drinking calender Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival– I thought I would look at the ales that always seem to end my afternoon on the Friday at the festival – the ones over 6% ABV – but after my recent trip to Bruges I think I could handle a few of these earlier 😉 (ok maybe in thirds)

Some really strong ales this year , with Otley Brewing shouting the loudest with a shed storming Odessa 9.7 with Heart of Wales High as a Kite 9.5 coming in close – it’s left to two other Otley Beers to follow, the now classic Otley O8 8 and Otley Motley Brew 7.5

The new boys on the block from Newport Tiny Rebel have a very respectablel Hadouken IPA 7.4 then the Ponty boys are back in the race with their lovely Porter – Otley O6 Porter 6.6   but the dark horses are back again, with Cardiff brewery Brains showing off their Strong Ale 6.5 after a great entry last year.

So if you are going for the the strong ales – remember to take your time – and don’t get over excited like me – it’s all about pacing yourself 🙂

Here is the full list as nicked from but in ABV order


Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival Great Beer List

The honorable Brewblogger has posted the list of beers that will available at this years Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival 2009 at the CIA in Cardiff, Thursday 11th June 11-11, Friday 12th & Saturday 13th June 11-11


Some great Welsh classics in fact, he mentions 78 Welsh Beers from 29 different Welsh Breweries

I am looking forward (as I will be going) to these ales.

Conwy Mulberry Mild, 3.80%ABV, Mild
Otley New Brew to be confirmed (will it be hoppy?)
Rhymney Lager, 5% ABV, Speciality Ale
Bullmastiff Welsh Black, 4.60% ABV, Speciality Ale (I love it )

But hopefully Arfur can give some pointers to some of the stars of the festivALE.

of course the English craft Beers are worth a walk to the other side of the bar as is the Cider..

and those half pints help as I can’t drink as much as I would/could on a multiple session.

You can learn more about this great use for the CIA’s terrible acoustics here.