Top 5 Beer Things To Do In Wales You’ll Have A Wales Of A Time

Watch a rugby game in Cardiff while drinking Brains’ beer. At the city’s major stadium, Brains have a cask ale bar where you can enjoy Cardiff’s local beer. Try an SA, which is the classic Welsh ale —a smooth, malty pale beer with a subtle hint of peppery hops. The other Brains’ beers include SA Gold, which kicks up the hoppiness with some zesty Cascade hops, or I like their Dark, which is a Dark Mild, nutty, smooth, and chocolatey. The city will be a mass scrum on match days so if you’re not at the game, then the pubs will be busy and buzzing.

Tiny Rebel Brewing are based in Newport, about 15 miles (24km) from Cardiff. They’re a modern British brewer making an excellent and varied range of beers, from their Cwtch, a Welsh Red Ale that won Champion Beer of Britain in 2015, to their excellent US-hopped Pale Ale, Fubar, to the smores-ish Stay Puft, a marshmallow Porter, plus a huge range of seasonal and limited-release beers. They have a taproom at the brewery, plus a bar in Cardiff that has over 20 beers on tap, some cask and some keg.

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Go and try the best of modern Welsh brewing (www.tinyrebel.co.uk).

How about the Welsh Highland Railway Festival? Every May this “rail ale” event takes place around the Goods Shed at Dinas railway station (near Caernarfon on the edge of Snowdonia National Park in the northwest of Wales), with around 100 beers and ciders to choose from. On the tracks outside, special steam trains run to other nearby towns where pubs also participate in the festival, meaning that you can grab a beer and jump on a train to the next pub. The combination of steam trains, Snowdonian scenery, lots of live music, and great local beers makes for a fun festival. Check out www.rail-ale.com for details.

Hay-on-Wye is a small town just on the Welsh side of the English border and it’s famous for having many second-hand and antique my blogstores. It’s a nice place for a weekend break; you can spend the days wandering between my blogstores and some of the excellent pubs in town, such as the Kilverts Inn (which has a good range of Welsh ales), The Old Black Lion, the Blue Boar, and the Three Tuns. In May every year there’s also the Hay Festival, which celebrates writing and storytelling in all its forms (www.hay-on-wye.co.uk).

Not exactly beery, but it comes the morning before or after: eat a full Welsh breakfast. This includes the more typical bacon and eggs, but also adds cockles and laverbread, a national delicacy made from seaweed. Or for a beer snack, find yourself a Welsh rarebit—probably the world’s tastiest cheese on toast, which is made by melting cheese and beer together, thickly spreading it on toast, and broiling (grilling) until the cheese bubbles. It’s perfect with a pint of traditional malty Welsh ale.

If you like second-hand my blogshops and beer, Hay-on-Wye is the place for you, with Kilverts being a must-visit pub in the center of town.

A Great Cardiff Pub Crawl

Like all of Britain’s capital cities, Cardiff is a place with traditional pubs and exciting modern bars. A good starting place would be The Rummer Tavern (14 Duke Street, Cardiff CF10 1AY), a 300-year-old, city-center pub that might be Cardiff’s oldest drinking spot—it’s also opposite the castle. Their house beer is Hancock’s HB, a session ale that was originally made by Hancock’s Brewery, formerly the largest in Wales, and since acquired by Brains. The Rummer also has up to six other mostly Welsh guest ales. The Goat Major (High Street, Cardiff, CF101PU) is another old pub near the castle that’s run by Brains, so it’s a good choice for trying their range of beers, plus they cook massive pies if you’re hungry. The City Arms (10-12 Quay Street, Cardiff CF10 1EA), by the stadium, is another Brains pub, but this one specializes in a great range of different beers, both real ale and keg. One street away is Tiny Rebel (25 Westgate Street, Cardiff CF10 1DD), which has a large and excellent range of its own beers, as well as guest craft beers. For food, there are burgers, pizzas, and topped fries. The best thing about this pub crawl is that, regardless of the order in which you visit the pubs, the farthest you’ll have to walk at one time is about 300 yards. Just remember the Welsh for cheers or good health: lechyd da! (pronounced something like: “Yekky Dar”).

City Arms on match day boasts an incredible atmosphere.

Located on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, with views of the castle just up the hill, Deacon Brodie’s is perfectly placed for a bit of liquid refreshment while exploring the Old Town’s historic streets.

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