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A thread devoted to Real Ales in Wales

William of Walworth

Festographer
Welsh CAMRA Pub Of The Year, 2014, was announced a little while back as the excellent Pilot in Mumbles

Visit thoroughly recommended for all Wales resident ale-lovers, and for anyone really.

We'll be there tomorrow afternon (Sat 1st) for the official award ceremony ... :cool:
 

marty21

One on one? You're crazy.
Welsh CAMRA Pub Of The Year, 2014, was announced a little while back as the excellent Pilot in Mumbles

Visit thoroughly recommended for all Wales resident ale-lovers, and for anyone really.

We'll be there tomorrow afternon (Sat 1st) for the official award ceremony ... :cool:
Great news - The Pilot is the last pub on the old Mumbles run? - one of the few of the originals left - it probably suffered a bit in the 80s I think the run was 13 pubs then - so there were plenty of casualties when you got to the Pilot:facepalm:
 

William of Walworth

Festographer
Yes, that's it marty21 :)

It was closed for a while, up to about 3 years ago, but was comprehensively refurbished before reopening at the end of 2011. The landlord Richard, and our mate Rob Turner, started the Mumbles microbrewery there. Rob and Mumbles moved on to renting space and brewing plant from Thomas Watkins ( :hmm: ) early in 2014, the Pilot's brewing rooom is tiny and Rob had Ambitions to distribute more widely and expand.

But Richard, Pilot landlord still, has carried on brewing his own beers at the Pilot, with an excellent range of Pilot Brewery beers -- I particularly recomemnd the Black Storm :cool:

All in all the Pilot really deserves that award. Great views of the Bay, and cracking beer always.

Easy walk, as well, to the new and superb (albeit tiny) Mumbles Ale House (Facebook page).

All in all, Mumbles is our shining exception to the Swansea area being (mostly) poor for ale and pub choice.

No food at either of the above pubs, bar snacks only. None of that 'food getting in the way of drinking' nonsense :D

But I'm getting introduced to the main man at the (also excellent) Gower Brewery soon, to find out what's new along the lines of new beers for them, and hopefully new pub developments ;)
 
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William of Walworth

Festographer
Here's (possible?) news for Cardiff -- O'Neills opposite the Prince of Wales Spoons is being refurbished atm, and will apparantly reopen as a Nicholsons (a 'brand' which is part of the same empire, but much, much more ale-friendly than O'Neills ever was).

Not sure where festivaldeb got that news .. maybe from our CAMRA Announce network, but I don't have access to that right now.
 

William of Walworth

Festographer
Here's (possible?) news for Cardiff -- O'Neills opposite the Prince of Wales Spoons is being refurbished atm, and will apparantly reopen as a Nicholsons (a 'brand' which is part of the same empire, but much, much more ale-friendly than O'Neills ever was).

Not sure where festivaldeb got that news .. maybe from our CAMRA Announce network, but I don't have access to that right now.
Wrong :oops: O'Neills in the above news from months ago. I'd just assumed they were refurbishing the O'Neills in which someone got murdered a few years back. Ahem.

In fact the new Nicholsons is another ex-O'Neills, more central/just off the main drag.

As I'm sure any Cardiff fule kno ... this new place is not too bad at all, but there are several much better pubs in the centre.
 

William of Walworth

Festographer
And more importantly.

The Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival 2015 organisers have made an Annoucement (on Facebook, at least).

Not at the Millennium and not in early June either said:
In response to enquiries as to whether or not the GWBCF is taking place this year, it has now been decided that it will not be happening in the Millennium Stadium in 2015.

CAMRA regrets the disappointment that this will cause to people. However the desired dates proved to be unavailable and we would not have had sufficient volunteers to organise this event on the alternative dates.

Meanwhile we are investigating the possibilities of a more modest festival later in the year.
(in the Autumn, it would seem).

Better not be TOO close after the somewhat more ... erm ... settled in arrangement Swansea Bay Beer Festival has done its 2015 thang! Over the late August Bank Holiday w/e ...:D ;)
 
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ddraig

dros ben llestri
Wrong :oops: O'Neills in the above news from months ago. I'd just assumed they were refurbishing the O'Neills in which someone got murdered a few years back. Ahem.

In fact the new Nicholsons is another ex-O'Neills, more central/just off the main drag.

As I'm sure any Cardiff fule kno ... this new place is not too bad at all, but there are several much better pubs in the centre.
not been in yet, may do soon
 

William of Walworth

Festographer
Some superb news for ale choice in Cardiff.

This recently emerged in the blogspot by high-standard brewer Gazza Prescott.

He brews near Pontyclun, and as well as being a thoroughly class brewer, he's an excellent and friendly bloke. Utterly obsessed with loading his beers with bucket after bucket of strong and tasty hops.

Hopcraft Brewery blog said:
(Thursday 8th January 2015)

The Hopbunker


Well, here's the big news that some already know...

Work began this week on our brewery tap in Cardiff. It's on the Kingsway, opposite the Castle and close to the end of Queen Street, and is (for those who remember such things) the old Bogiez (and before that, Barfly) rock club.

For those that don't know, it's a concrete cellar below what is now student accommodation, hence the name Hopbunker - it really is like a nuclear shelter down there! We'll be "decorating", if that's the right word, in an industrial fashion which should fit right in with the surroundings.

There are still a few things to be ironed out but we're 95% certain that everything will fall into place and we'll open sometime in February; obviously the plan is to open for the rugby at the beginning of the month... We have a star-studded team being assembled to run it with a very special boss-man who many will already know!

The plans are for UP TO (not necessarily all the time!) 12 cask and 20 keg beers with - obviously - the emphasis on Hopcraft and Pixie Spring beer accompanied by guest beers from far and wide. Our favourite Welsh brewing comrades will be featured prominently but we'll also have brews from all over the UK (sourced from my many contacts!) and there will hopefully be some meet the brewer events and suchlike to sample.

We'll be updating you with more info about this exciting project as soon as we have some, so finally I'll say we hope you can come visit us and sample our beers as an integral part of Cardiff's flourishing craft beer scene.

Cheers, Brothers and Sisters of Myrcene!
 
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marty21

One on one? You're crazy.
The One Show had a pub item tonight , filmed in The Pilot and then at a place I hadn't heard of, The Westbourne, which is self service :hmm: pumps on tables, order by Ipad :hmm:
 

William of Walworth

Festographer
The One Show had a pub item tonight , filmed in The Pilot and then at a place I hadn't heard of, The Westbourne, which is self service :hmm: pumps on tables, order by Ipad :hmm:

Bollocks, we missed this. When the landlord at The Pilot originally told us there'd been filming, a good while back, nothing was then known about the broadcast date. I suspect he or someone else will have kept a DVD of it though (I'm assuming it's not on iPlayer anymore).

The Westbourne is by no means a bad pub and sometimes has good ale choices (not consistently enough though, IMO). The pumps on tables thing there is well weird, looks very strange. For now, the pumps only apply to quite a small range of non-real-ale drinks, eg Strongbow I think, and a couple of the generic lagers, etc. Nor do all the tables have them, and the main bar still operates as normal -- if the programme gave the impression that ONLY self service was in operation there, that's wrong.
 

William of Walworth

Festographer
That Hopbunker project seems to have had a fair few delays. When we walked past the other day, there looked like there was a huge amount of work still to be done. The original promise of opening it up in time for the Six Nations seems stupidly overambitious now.

The Hopcraft blog has very little about it, and nothing recent. He seems to be focussing only on his beers atm.
I've just joined the Facebook group specifically about the new pub, but only time will tell how much I pick up from that.
 
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Pickman's model

every man and every woman is a star
i hope the recent gales haven't hindered drinking of real ales in wales, tho' i suppose leaks in roofs may mean you have to dance around the pails.
 

William of Walworth

Festographer
Those who visit Gravity Station in Barrack Lane (we love it :) ) will be pleased, or at least interested! to know that they plan to open in Swansea too. We know where as well, but we have no idea of timescale yet. Great news nevertheless -- central Swansea particularly is short of quality places ...
 

William of Walworth

Festographer
Plenty going on with Urban Tap as well.

The supposedly temporary new branch in Newport, next to the indoor market, is excellent -- only opened Friday 1st May. We turned up the next day :D

Much recommended.

Urban Tap in Cardiff plan a beer festival starting Thursday 4th June -- details findable on the website or Facebook no doubt. We'll be there for the first day as we plan a Cardiff visit anyway ...

we have tickets for the (Brian Wilson-less) Beach Boys in Cardiff that evening
 
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