Toast St. David with Welsh craft beer!
By beerrevhay, Feb 27 2016 09:37AM
No St. David’s Day celebration is complete without a Welsh beer - or several - to toast the nation’s patron saint, and we're bringing the cheer with some of the finest around. From hop-bomb pale ales to award-winning Welsh red’s, we've got it covered. Here’s our guide to quenching your thirst on March 1st.
Welsh craft beer was cast into the spotlight in 2015 when Tiny Rebel took the Supreme Champion crown at the Great British Beer Festival with their Welsh red ale, ‘Cwtch’. Hoppy, malty and easy-drinking, Cwtch - Welsh for ‘hug’ - cemented the Newport upstarts’ rise from beer-geek garage homebrewers to big time.
In just eighteen months, Mad Dog has grown from a tiny, kitchen stove operation to an all-singing, all dancing brewery on the outskirts of Pontypool. It’s all down to one man - Al Jones - and his phenomenal work ethic. When you’re waking bleary-eyed, Al is already deep into his first brew of the day, and planning the next. From designing labels and pump clips, to creating recipes, to delivering casks up and down the country, somehow Al manages to do the lot. Mad Dog’s All Day Granola Stout is the stuff of legend in South Wales. Also check out his rich, peach-infused Belgian-US triple, K9 Triplephenia
Waen’s restless head brewer Sue Hayward is constantly conjuring up new creations, but hop-forward pale ales (often Ska-themed) and Welsh red ales feature heavily. Her zesty Pamplemousse is a citrus-packed banger of a pale ale, with its lip-smacking tropical fruit flavour aroma derived from copious amounts of Cascade, Citra and Mosaic hops. Also watch out for Snowball - a hefty, 7% chocolate, vanilla and coconut stout. Sounds wrong. Isn’t.
The clue is in the name - it’s all about the hops with head brewer Gazza. Twiggy brown beer doesn’t get look in as these brews are loaded with New World and southern hemisphere hops. Pales and hopped-up golden ales are the mainstay of Hopcraft’s output, with regular diversions into the realms of maple coffee porters (buy ‘Crema Extrema’ on sight) and delectable stouts.
Crafty Devil Brewery
Big beers combine with a love of big tunes in music-inspired brews, fiendishly crafted from the Devil’s Cardiff HQ. Stand out beers include their ‘Safe as Milk’ coffee milk stout and ‘Devil Man’ IPA. Making a new appearance in cans is their hoppy lager, Born Slippy.
The Celt Experience
Celt’s eclectic output - ranging from dry-hopped bitters to blackcurrant sours to saisons aged on raspberries - is inspired by the warrior tribes who gave the invading Romans a run for their money here in South Wales. Taking a lead from the natural world, Celt Experience put harvested wild yeasts and foraged ingredients to work in their Caerphilly-based brewery, to great effect.