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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.


Tiny Rebel



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.


Mad Dog



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 Brewery



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.


Hopcraft



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.

By beerrevhay, Nov 26 2015 11:17PM

Beer Revolution is one year old this week - how time flies!


We opened this time last year as Hay revved up for the annual Winter Weekend, taking over a dusty old storeroom in the castle grounds.


As some of these pics will testify, it sometimes felt like a monumental task getting the place ready for opening - many, many hours were spent cleaning, painting, cleaning again, sign making, nailing lumps of wood together and researching the beers we wanted to put on the shelves.


(By the way - big thanks go out to local furniture maker Andy Dix for building our counter - people ask about it all the time, so if you've ever been in and wondered....well, Andy's the man.)









A year on, we reckon the effort was well worth it.


We had about sixty different craft beers and real ales on offer when we opened.


Gradually, the range has expanded to over 200 and if we had more room we’d probably squeeze a few more in.


The last year has seen us host world-renowned beer writer Melissa Cole, as well as meet the brewer events with Welsh outfits Waen and Lucky 7.


Meet the Brewer with Hay's Lucky 7
Meet the Brewer with Hay's Lucky 7

Melissa Cole hosts a tasting during Hay Festival
Melissa Cole hosts a tasting during Hay Festival

We’ve opened the previously out-of-bounds upper floor and transformed it into a grungy little bar.


We’ve survived the back-breaking long days and nights of Hay Festival and buzzed at wowing the staff at the Groucho next door with some of our favourite and most flavoursome brews.


And we’ve been responsible, I’m sure, for bringing certain beers to Herefordshire and Powys for the first time, ever.


As we move into year two, plenty more new stuff is in the pipeline, or already happening!


This website is part of that, as we take the business online.


Our first ever collaboration brew, with Hereford’s Odyssey, is already out in the wild at a couple of locations and getting rave reviews (we’ll be making a proper announcement on that one soon!)


Meanwhile this weekend we’ll be hosting Caerphilly-based Celt Experience for a beer & cheese pairing event, cementing our commitment to promoting quality Welsh produce.


Anyways, join us - if you fancy it. It’s gonna be great.


2016 is just around the corner. Onwards, comrades - another year in beer awaits!






By beerrevhay, Nov 24 2015 10:21AM


We’ve been hanging out with new Hereford brewery Odyssey, and the delicious fruits of our labours - two cross-border collaboration beers - will be hitting the streets any time now.


Most modern breweries rarely live up to the romantic image of some rustic outpost. Nothing wrong with that - it’s just how it is!


But Odyssey’s set-up looks like it’s been plucked straight from a brewery picture book - brick barn, the rolling countryside of a National Trust estate and a ceiling spanned with vaulted beams, they’ve got the lot. In the field yonder, Hereford cattle chew on the brewery’s spent grain and plans are afoot to return used hops to the soil in the form of compost. Odyssey have only just set out on their journey, and already they’ve discovered a bona-fide brewtopia!



In case you didn’t know, Odyssey comes from the same people behind Hereford’s Beer In Hand, Alison and Mitchell. They’re committed to putting product before profit, which means using the best, freshest ingredients money can buy and - importantly - not skimping on the hops. (We can confirm that many bucket loads have gone into our collab ultra-pale And The Light.)



For our part, as well as bringing you lovely beer from all over the world, we’re committed to supporting local breweries and brewers. The Herefordshire border is mere yards from the front door of our shop, so our partnership with Odyssey is a no-brainer.


More on the two new beers, and the inspiration behind them, coming soon. Find out more about Odyssey here.


Stay tuned, comrades!






By beerrevhay, Nov 23 2015 11:05PM



This coming weekend sees us hosting Welsh brewery Celt Experience for a FREE tasting and cheese pairing session.


They’ll be here from 1-4pm on Saturday November 28th, which handily coincides with Hay’s Winter Food Festival.


We’ll have three Celt beers for tasting, each paired with a cheese which, naturally, will also be Welsh!


Celt’s Ellie Stoppard told us: ‘We're all about food pairing and every beer recipe starts with a food pairing in mind.


‘The diverse and complex flavours beer provides us with mean that the world of beer pairing is just as (if not more) exciting than wine pairings!


‘Cheese and beer pairing is a great way to encapsulate how the flavours of food and beer work together, as food and beer can often share similar qualities; fruity, nutty, farmhouse, creamy, bitter etc.


‘We might look to complement those flavours or to contrast them.


‘For example - our American-style pale ale, Silures, works well with a mature cheddar as the tropical American hops complement the rich, fruity flavour of the cheese.


‘Meanwhile Bleddyn cuts through the crumbly creamy flavour of Caerphilly with its grapefruit flavour and bitter finish.


‘And then there is the flavour explosion that is an Imperial Stout, with a strong, blue cheese - sweet, creamy, pungent - it's one that you just have to try for yourself!’


We’re passionate about supporting Welsh breweries. We have a load of Welsh beer listed in the online store, and we’re adding more all the time.


The local area is rich with Celtic history and barely a mile from the shop there’s the remains of a Roman hill fort built to repel the Silures tribe.


Celt have drawn on this history and for brewing and beer naming inspiration, so we hope they’ll feel right at home in Hay. We’re thrilled to be welcoming them - come down on Saturday and see what they’re all about.

By beerrevhay, Nov 16 2015 03:49PM




Our draught beer is now available for takeaway in these lush 1-litre glass growlers.


Growlers are pretty common place in the States, less so over here outside of the big cities - but they’re catching on, and despite the daft name they make a lot of sense.


>They’re a more environmentally-friendly way of buying take away craft beer, as you’re effectively recycling the bottle every time you refill.


>Filling a growler is cheaper than buying the same or equivalent beer in a can or bottle.


>And you get to try beers that might not be available in bottle at all.


Our growlers cost £10 and they’re made of thick, brown glass with a chunky, ceramic, flip-top stopper.


Refill costs vary according to what’s on the tap. At the time of writing, we’ve got Wiper and True’s autumnal amber ale, In the Pines. It’s a riot of burnt toffee and hop flavour. A litre fill is £6.


We’re more than happy to fill growlers bought from other bars and craft beer bottle shops - but we can’t fill random receptacles like empty milk cartons. Your beer deserves better!


Keep your filled growler in the fridge. Ideally you should drink within two or three days, but we’ve kept these growlers for as long as a fortnight and the beer has been fine. Note that once you open it, you really need to drink the lot - supping half and leaving a big head-space above your beer means it will go flat, and will begin to oxidise (no one wants stale beer.)


Now, this next bit is going to sound very wrong, but it has to be done: If you’re bringing in an empty growler for us to fill, please make sure it’s clean. We can’t fill a mucky growler. The best way to keep it clean is simply rinse it after use in warm water, ensuring any yeasty sediment has been removed.


If you must use detergent, ensure it’s thoroughly rinsed as any residue is instant death to the head on your beer.


Stuck for Xmas? Buy a growler plus a fill voucher for the beer lover in your life!





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