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 🙂


Doctor Who’s TARDIS on Cardiff Castle

Since the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who – there has been a TARDIS on the battlements of Cardiff (Wales, UK) castle – of course Cardiff is where the Doctor is made


Bacon, Yes , Caramel Yes – best bar snacks in Cardiff ever

First it was the amazing hop infused crisps, now Paul from the Urban Tap house has outdone himself with his candied bacon strips.

This is not a review just a celebration of what is good with the world “Streaky bacon encased in caramel”- they glistened in the afternoon light – saying eat me eat me – we know how good salted caramel is so these taste amazing – one ok, two is too much but what a bar snack (£1 a strip is not cheap but worth it’s weight in Caramel) and an amazing Amuse-bouche to what this man can do with a fryer – I’am told his deep fried gherkins are a thing of beauty as well.

Candied bacon strips

Candied bacon strips

Candied bacon strips


Updated: Brewdog will be coming to Cardiff in 2014?

Update 27 Dec 2013 : Welcome to The Craft Beer Quarter in Cardiff!

The site of doom – occupied by Double Super Happy – Tabu and twenty others over the years! – but I’m sure brewdog can keep it open.

View Larger Map

After the great welcome that Tiny rebel had to Cardiff the other month with their Urban Tap House- us drinkers were looking forward to scottish craft brewer opening at a premises in Cardiff before Christmas – but looks like they are still looking – The Great BrewDog Bar Hunt is Back!

Here are the criteria:
For all premises:
It needs to be currently on the market
We would consider properties available to buy or lease
A valid licence is a bonus, but not essential
A location with good footfall but not necessarily completely central. Anything slightly edgy and off pitch is cool with us!
Additional specific criteria for BrewDog Bars:
The venue will ideally have previously been a bar and have both a cellar and a valid licence
A reasonably small venue – 80-130 capacity
Corner units are preferable but we will take all applications into consideration.
Ideally 150-200 square meters in size
Target Locations:
South London
Central London

Plus they are giving a £1000 away to anyone that gets them in a place – so you should be able to get at least 2 rounds in with that 😉

Various places in Cardiff have been mooted from us who know nothing- Ten Feet Tall – Buffalo Bar promised land – and about 4 places on St Mary Street.

at least the good news is that Brewdog have not given up the ghost of opening in the Welsh Capital – as i know us shareholders and drinkers alike would love to see them here.


Are you a fan of craft beer? Well Cardiff is the place to be

This autumn craft beer finally makes it’s fully fledged mark on the beer drinkers of Cardiff – with Tiny Rebel Urban Tap House raising from the ashes of Fire Island, Scottish naughty boys brewdog potentially throwing their shareholders money about and Waen Brewery opening what could be a revival of the off-sales trend – it’s a great time to be a beer drinker in the City.

I managed to have  a quick look at Urban Tap House – there are a lot of familiar faces behind the bar and a large  number of beards – but this is not your typical Camra member pub- they have all Tiny Rebels beers on cask/keg & bottle – a great selection of Cask and some interesting Keg beers but what stands out is the sheer number of bottle beers – One Hundred, the champion beard wearer & manager Chris reports , which I think is a first for a Cardiff pub.

Chris Rowlands

Some very amazing beers from Craft American Brewers Odell, Rogue Ales – old school Belgium and some great German/Dutch/Scandinavian and of course British modern classics like Thornbridge, Kernel and those brewdogs – plus a great selection of ciders – mostly bottled at the moment but more to come.

When the City arms opened a few years a go – I posted “Is the best Real Ale pub in Cardiff now the City Arms?” well time will tell but I think these two neighbours can complement each other instead of be in competition.

Here a selection of quick snaps


Sign & Friendly Drinkers: Urban Tap House Cardiff

IPA Menu: Urban Tap House Cardiff

Cask Ale List: Urban Tap House Cardiff

Friendly Staff: Urban Tap House Cardiff

Bar:  Urban Tap House Cardiff

Half: Urban Tap House Cardiff

Mega Bootled Beer Fridges: Urban Tap House Cardiff

Urban Tap House

You can follow the bar on social media – Twitter/Facebook to see what’s on tap.


This sounds weird but I love this London Alley

When I come down to London for work – I sometimes find myself in the Harp pub in Covent garden

As one of my work mates smokes – so we stand outside at the back of the pub in the “beer garden” that is on this great lane – it’s called Brydges Place and is apparently London’s narrowest alley – the The London Coliseum backs onto it as well – and you sometimes see thespians walking up and down but mostly it’s real ale fans from the pub showing off their beards.

anyway I always take a photo of the lane – as it has a great spooky atmosphere about it and not it’s a ritual every time Iam there to take a few snapshots – Click on them to see a bigger version

London alley

London alley

London alley

London alley

London alley

London alley

London Alley