As the Craft Brewing scene booms in Wales as it does across the United Kingdom, with Craft Breweries popping up and producing top quality, interesting and intriguing new Craft beer, and with Wales stereotypically thought of as a beer loving nation, we found ourselves considering the history of beer and brewing in Wales which led to the rise of the Craft brewing industry itself. Wales is perhaps most famously known as the land of song, a land of rolling green valleys, stunning coastlines, and to many of its visitors and inhabitants, a good pint. “Iechyd da”, the battle-cry of the welsh drinker, often heard to the backdrop of Tom Jones, Stereophonics, roaring anthems “llawn calon” - full of heart - and bellowed from somewhere deeper than likely anyone can explain. On a fabled match day beer flows through the streets of Cardiff and every other Welsh city; the England and Wales fixture should be on everyone’s bucket list, regardless of victor and national affinity.
With the advent of craft brewing in the latter half of the naughties you will be hard pressed to miss a young upstart punk brewer if you throw a stone in any direction, but brewing in Wales is in our blood, it fuels our song, and so craft brewing can’t be such a new thing can it?
The independence of creating that magical Welsh Ale dates much further than the naughties, in fact there are many historical references to Welsh Ale, or bragawd, a honey based drink, more akin to mead than today’s beer, as a sought after commodity. It was brewed by monks in Tintern Abbey, perhaps even gracing the famous Cauldron of Ceridwen as hinted in the tales of Taliesin. The recipe for Guinness is even controversially claimed to be Welsh, borrowed from a Welshman in Pembrokeshire, and for the sake of not stirring the pot of controversy no more will be said about it.
Each area of Wales has its distinctive taste, from the “cymoedd”, the South Wales Valleys, the south western cities of Swansea and Carmerthen to the tips of the Gower and Pembrokeshire, St Davids up to Aberystwyth, the historic seat of Owain Glyndwr in Machynlleth, following the Wales Coast Path as it winds North to Caernarfon and Bangor, gracing the shores of Anglesey, touching Beaumaris and back through the Welsh countryside of Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons.
Beer in Wales, and indeed the UK faced a seismic decline after the temperance movement in the 1800’s and World War’s, and the Craft movement of the naughties breathed, and continues it’s bellowing fresh, well needed life back into the industry, forcing the bigger brewers to adapt and react and open craft brewing departments of their own. Companies like Brains, a much loved part of Welsh landscape, synonymous with Wales and especially Cardiff, and our national team - their logo once festooned across the proud red chests of our players - found they had to keep up with the Craft movement or be left behind - that change is only a good thing for those of us who enjoy a good pint.
Beer is our heritage, great beer is our right, a privilege those of us at Love Our Craft believe in and fight for.
We want people to know how awesome what you produce is, we want local people to discover the great liquid craftsfolk around them, learn more about how we can work together
Craft beer has made its way to the Greek Islandes of the Cyclades, pioneering breweries like Santorini Brewing Company, 56 Isles on Paros, Mikonu on Mykonos, Nissos on Tinos, Chios are paving the way for the Craft revolution in the Greek Isles
We catch up with Joelle Drummond, Co Founder of Drop Bear Beer Company, Wales’ very first non-alcoholic brewery. It is an exciting time to be following the non-alcoholic beer sector in the UK, with a movement created by specialist brewers of which Drop Bear Beers are standing right at the front. Through our conversation with Joelle from their brewery headquarters in Swansea, we get an insider’s perspective of the rise in low and non-alcoholic craft beer in the UK.
CRAFT BEER STORIES AND REVIEWS: TODAY'S STORY TELLS OF WELSH PIRATES WHILE WE REVIEW COCHYN RUBY BITTER FROM CWRW LLYN
Craft Beer Stories and craft beer review. AT THE TOWER BANK ARMS, BEATRIX POTTER'S OWN LOCAL, WE REVIEW A BLONDE ALE FROM LANGDALE BREWERY OPERATING IN ENGLAND'S LAKE DISTRICT, SISTER COMPANY TO THE BRITANNIA INN IN AMBLESIDE.
Craft beer review: Beck, Helles Lager from Fell Brewery - My basil plant is depressed. The coriander is fine, it seems to have thrived in the patch I allotted it and has developed a cloud of plumage that only seems to taunt the basil next to it. The mint in the corner seems oblivious to both as it sniffs around, sending creepers to explore its new environment.
Buy craft beer directly from local breweries: At Love Our Craft we support not only our local craft brewers, but all brewers across the British Isles, we promote those craft brewers nearest to you so that you buy the best local craft beer directly from the brewers themselves, and the craft breweries in your area benefit from the support of local beer lovers. During the pandemic we saw the effect lockdown had on our favourite craft producers in our local town of Swansea, Wales, and desperately wanted to help them.
What is craft beer? The illusive definition of what Craft is in relation to beer, and even the wider drinks industry, which in itself poses a difficult question in terms of what Craft is: for example, can Craft be extended to cider, or even whisky?
Brewery tap rooms in Swansea: Swansea, not unlike other cities in Wales, and the wider United Kingdom, has seen an upsurge in Craft Breweries, opening their doors and providing the public with delicious drinks. Just take a look at our map to see the richness of craft breweries in the area.
History of beer in Wales: As the Craft Brewing scene booms in Wales as it does across the United Kingdom, with Craft Breweries popping up and producing top quality, interesting and intriguing new Craft beer, and with Wales stereotypically thought of as a beer loving nation, we found ourselves considering the history of beer and brewing in Wales which led to the rise of the Craft brewing industry itself