If you are a member of CAMRA, a regular in The Albert or just like beer then you will know what I am talking about, if not then bear with me!
One of the many things that has amazed me since moving to North Wales is the number of small independent micro breweries and there are some great articles from a couple of years ago that tell it better than I can both locally and nationally and since then even more have appeared but this post is not so much about the beer as the places you can find it.
I am passionate about promoting locally sourced goods and produce, not just in Wales but anywhere. I realise that some pubs are tied to a brewery or are part of a chain but there are not many of those in North Wales, with most being totally independent or part of a small group of pubs.
Probably the most pleasant surprise has been Wetherspoons, I have been into both The Palladium in Llandudno and their pub in Pwllheli where they have had a good selection of local beers. Having said that I also went into Colwyn Bay and they had none, but maybe that was a one off.
The pub that probably has impressed me the most has been The Albert, which until recently was my local, as they always have four guest beers on and it is very rare if two of them aren’t local. It was here I came across the Pigeon Toed Orange Peel and Gwyneth’s Handbag as well Dark Side of the Moose!
The Station at Colwyn Bay is their sister pub but for me not quite as good.
Not surprisingly Dylan’s have more than a couple local beers as their whole philosophy is about using local produce but another surprise has been Snooze in Llandudno as again they usually have two or three local beers or lagers and it is a great place to sit outside and do a little bit of people watching while enjoying a beer and the food is pretty good as well!
I have recently moved nearer to Conwy and I have been into my local and sadly it has no local ales. However, I have been into the newly refurbished Erskine Arms and have been very impressed as like The Albert they appear to always have a couple of local ales, one of which always appears to be from the Heavy Industry Brewery and it was here I discovered Dr Jeykll’s Last Waltz. Without a doubt Heavy Industry come up with some great names for their ales as they also produce the Pigeon Toed Orange Peel.
Strangely The Cottage Loaf is its sister pub and again not quite as good when it comes to local ales.
I know that there are a number of pubs in Conwy which have a good selection of locally brewed ales so they may become the subject of future posts and maybe a regular ‘Ale Watch’.
As for the mystery of Gwyneth’s Handbag well it was a beer I tried locally but I don’t know which brewery it came from…..or was the beer so strong that I am imagining that it was called that?