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 πŸ™‚


Next time you walk past that old pub call in, it may be gem

Camra have launched a great book about Real Heritage Pubs in Wales.

I went along to one of my favourite Cardiff City pub (after the Goat Major), The Old arcade on monday, thanks to Brains for the lovely half of dark and the snacks on the house πŸ˜‰

Anyway the book is a great celebration of pubs with interiors of special historic interest that are still with us, it’s mad that Wales has over 4000 pubs but only just over 100 with original features.

The book is A5, so handy for your man bag when you are traveling around Wales looking at these great pubs.

Each entry for the pub contains a great photograph taken by Michael Slaughter, a potted history of the pub with info on the interior and facilities ie does the pub do food, its not a replacement for the Good Pub Guide but a great addition if you are on the lookout for a pictorial guide to the best old boozers in Wales.

A bargain at Β£6.99

Of course my mate Rob is a one man old pub photo machine with his Travels with Beer be good if he put a book out as well πŸ˜‰


The great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival 2010 Cardiff June 10th to June 12th – you going?

After last years festival I hope to fit in some time this week to go, probably from Thursday Lunchtime (half day off work anyone?) and a half on the Saturday as Iam doing the photomarathon with my Son, and hope to get some more purple moose as it was great last year.

Purple moose

Some great Beers on the list from Wales and beyond, more info on the Cardiff Festival here

There are quite a few breweries I have not tried, so not sure which to try with my lack of time, it may be ArfurD and the old glassworks boys recommendations.

If it’s on then I will be having a half of Bullmastiff Welsh Black as its a custom of mine to have one of bob & pauls excellent brews every Welsh festival… so hopefully one of their brews will be available on the thursday.

Brewery Beer
Abbeydale Restoration
Arkwrights Run of the Mill
Arkwrights Trouble at Mill
Art Brew Seasonal
Artisan IPA
Bank Top Barley to Beer
Bath Ales Summer Hare
Black Country Ales Cobbler
Black Country Ales English Summer
Blackwater SKA
Boggart Cascade
Box Steam Old Jocky
Bragdy r Nant Chwaeden Aur
Bragdy r Nant Mwnci Nells
Brains Bitter
Brains Dark
Brains SA Gold
Brains Reverend James
Brains SA
Brains On the Head
Braydon Chippenham Yertis
Breconshire Brecon County Ale
Breconshire Cribyn
Breconshire Golden Valley
Breconshire Good Time George
Breconshire GVX
Breconshire Spirit of The Dragon
Bridestone Pennine Gold
Broughs Bitter
Broughs Pale Ale
Bryncelyn Holly Hop
Bryncelyn Buddy Marvellous
Bryncelyn Oh Boy
Bullmastiff Rover’s Return
Bullmastiff SOB (Son Of A Bitch)
Bullmastiff Special Reserve
Bullmastiff Welsh Black
Cannon Royal IPA
Cannon Royal Dark Edge
Cannon Royal Mortar
Celt Experience Bleddyn 1075
Celt Experience Bronze new recipe
Celt Experience Golden
Celt Experience Proud of Pubs
Celt Experience Summerberry
Celt Experience Beer Rocks Spring Crazy
Celt Llantrisant Wheatsheaf Golden Hoppy Special
Concrete Cow Cock & Bull
Conwy Honey Fayre SP
Conwy Rampart BB
Conwy Telford Porter
Conwy Beachcomber
Corvedale Farmer Ray
Cumbrian Legendary Dickie Doodle
Derventio Cleopatra
Elgoods F’Elgood Fresh
Elland Earthbound
Enville LPA (Light Pale Ale)
Evan Evans Archers Empire
Evan Evans Archers Golden
Evan Evans Cwrw
Evan Evans Golden Hop
Evan Evans Warrior
Facers Daves Hoppy Beer
Facers Flintshire
Felinfoel Double Dragon
Felinfoel Seasonal
Forge Lite House
Freeminer Slaughter Porter
Fuzzy Duck Cunning Stunt
Gertie Sweet Wrexham “1047
Gertie Sweet Wrexham Gertie Sweet
Golden Valley “4
Golden Valley Brewers Choice
Great Orme Great Welsh
Great Orme Celtica
Great Orme Welsh Black Mild
Gwaun Valley Fishguard Bitta (2 9)
Gwaun Valley Fishguard Bitta (2 9)
Gwaun Valley Fishguard Light (2 9)
Gwaun Valley Fishguard Light (2 9)
Heart of Wales D’Rovers Return
Heart of Wales High As A Kite
Heart of Wales Horseplay
Heart of Wales Welsh Black
Hobsons Best
Hobsons Mild
Hogswood (St Agnes) Old Goshen
Hogswood (St Agnes) Stoked
Hunters Phesant Plucker
Jacobi Dark
Jacobi Light
John Roberts “1642”
John Roberts XXX
Jolly Brewer Taffy’s Tipple
Jolly Brewer Taig’s Garden
Joseph Herbert Smithy (Fox, Hanley Broadheath) Snooty Fox
Kingstone Abbey Ale
Kingstone Gold
KInver Light Railway
Kinver Maybug
Kinver Nightjar
Liverpool One Liverpool Dark
Liverpool One Liverpool Dark
Loch Leven (Kelty Scotland) Once Bitten
Ludlow The Boiling Well
Mallinsons Castle Hill Premium
Mallinsons Castle Hill Premium
Marble Ginger
Mavern Hills Black Pear
Montys Midnight
Montys Sunshine
Moorhouses Black Cat
Morton Forever Darkness
Naylors Cravenbrau
Neath Ales Black
Neath Ales Firebrick
North Cotswold Vanilla Bumble Beer
North Cotswold Summer Solstice
North Curry Gold
North Wales Moelfre IPA
North Wales Abergele
Oakham Inferno
Oakham Inferno
Offas Dyke Grim Reaper
Offas Dyke Thirst Brew
Otley “01
Otley “02”
Otley “05”
Otley “F”
Otley O Garden
Otley OG
Otley tba Dark O
Penlon Cottage Cardi
Penlon Cottage Tipsy Tup
Penpont Launceston Roughtor Extra
Penzance Potion No 9
Plassey Cwrw Tudno
Plassey Dragons Breath
Prescott Hill Climb
Preseli Tenby Old Mariners
Preseli Tenby Baggy Wrinkle
Purple Moose Glaslyn
Purple Moose Dark Side of the Moose
Purple Moose Snowdonia Ale
RCH Old Slug Porter
RCH Pitchfork
Rhymney Amber
Rhymney Dark
Rhymney Export
Rhymney Hobby Horse
Rotters Utter Rotter
Rowton Meteorite
Rowton Bitter
Rowton Golden Mild
Rowton Golden Mild
Salamander Golden Mouth
Salopian Soul
Sandstone Postmistress BB
Sandstone Poachers Pale
Sandstone Sandstone Edge
Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild
Sarah Hughes Pale Amber
Six Bells Bursting Out
Spinning Dog Herefordshire Light Ale
Spinning Dog Mutley’s Revenge
Stonehenge Eye Opener
Stonehenge Danish Dynamite
Swansea Deep Slade Dark
Swansea Three Cliffs Gold
Teme Valley Talbot Blonde
Teme Valley That
Tempest IPA
Tempest Porter
Thornbridge Jaipur
Thornbridge Jaipur
Toll End Ocker
Tomos Watkin Cwrw Haf
Tryst Black Jack IPA
Tudor Blorange
Tudor Skirrid
Tudor Sugar Loaf
Uley Old Ric
Uley Pigs Ear
VOG Chapter Old School
VOG Light Headed
VOG Summerdaze
Waen Landmark > now maybe blackberry Stout
Warcop Black Bowler
Warcop Cobblers
Wessex Isle of Avalon Lumberjack
Wharfebank Cam Fell Flame
White Hart Carmarthen Cwrw Blasus
White Hart Carmarthen Roast Barley Stout
Wickwar Station Porter
Wickwar Station Porter
Wickwar Station Porter
Wickwar Cotswold Way
Windsor & Eton Guardsman
Windsor Castle Brickmakers
Wye Valley Butty Bach
Wye Valley DG Country Ale
Wye Valley HPA
Wye Valley Trekkers
Zero Degrees Black Lager
Zero Degrees Mango
Zero Degrees Pale Ale
Zero Degrees Pilsner

Wales or England? You decide!

Boo Welcome to England ;)

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severn bridge on the way home

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Welcome To Wales : Yip

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Pub Review : The Otley Arms – Treforest – Freehouse

I have been drinking on and off at The Otley Arms for the last 15 years.. and a few years ago its was my permanent local for about 18 months…where people know your name sort of place, even though I only live 4 miles away now – as the bus drives, I don’t visit this pub enough, but nothings changed apart from the bar maids hair colour.

The Otley arms does not pull any punches it serves quality real ale and all the favorite keg beers to an audience that’s either students and locals or the odd person who pops in depends on the time of the year.

If you like an old fashion pub then you may think you are getting one from the outside

Otley arms

Otley arms

But the Otley has gone through so many internal changes over the years that It does not really know what it is.

Otley arms

But I think that’s what gives it its unique charm, Pool for the students, great jukebox, good food the Sunday lunches are what you would expect and more – many tellys and a biog screen for football/rugby when the big matches on… and some great odd regulars who never seem to leave.

The saving grace and the reason I always seem to return if I get off the train at treforest is the quality of the beer, there is always at least two award winning otley beers on tap (yes they brew their own up the valleys) – mostly the excellent O1 (Β£2 a pint currently) and whatever they are brewing at the moment like OG a stronger brother to O1.

The guest beers they have on are normally of good quality and wide ranging but the price is something you would be-used to in the city unless you are a holder of an Otley card or a O badge were you will get a discount.

Otley arms flanker's tackle

One of the beat beers they do is called ColumbO but this was not on on my recent visit, in fact it’s one of my favorite beers from the last few years, if your local serves it then grab a pint.

Otley columbO

If you want a proper history to the Otley then beer “know it all” Arfur Daley has a post somewhere online πŸ˜‰


Two Welsh Beers in Indy Top 50

Great news that Otley 08 and Brains Dark have made it into the Indepenedant list of The 50 best beers, there were some mighty beers in that list… I suppose we are so used to Dark in Cardiff and a good pint is always a pleasure.. 08 what can I say – hope to get some 08 this weekends OCT O BAR FEST 2009.

In search of the perfect pint? Toby Green presents the experts’ guide to crisp and clear lagers, hoppy ales and brilliant bitters

The STRONG category
Otley O8
< otley08

‘O8, from stylish new Welsh brewer Otley, is a heady beer that combines the zing of summer ales with the richness and depth of barley wine,’ says Pete.

Brewery Otley Brewing Company (
How much Β£3.34 8% ABV – 500ml

and in the DARK ALE/STOUT Brains Dark

‘Finally achieving widespread recognition as a minor classic, this dark ale is chock full of coffee, chocolate and liquorice flavours, along with a faintly briny savoury note,’ says Zak.

Brewery Brains Brewery (


Cheap Stock photos – but mainly Wales & Prague

I have been a member of istockphoto for many years (since 2004, where did that time go) and used it for stock photos for projects, then started to add my own photos, and been lucky to sell some photos which payed for a few new lenses.

They have a system called Dollar Bin, where the unloved and unsold photos go to die and hopefully someone gives them one last chance, here are some examples that have recently done there, as you can see little use as stock πŸ™ but I try

You can see and hopefully buy some of my snaps here, of course there are lots of much better photos on sale there for a great price.

being a very amateur snapper, its good to see what people don’t want, so you can think about other ways of seeing things for the next time you have your camera out.

Ironically my most sold Image was taken before I had a DSLR… but that help pay for it!


I do use Flickr as well but that’s mainly for photos from my mobile and it seems to consist of Beer Pumps and dogs.