The Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival is an annual beer festival held every summer in Cardiff, Wales. The festival runs for 3 days and features over 150 different real ales, a large variety of ciders and perries as well as a large selection of German beers. There are 40+ breweries in Wales and the festival aimed to have at least one beer from each of them.
The event has been held at the Cardiff International Arena (CIA) for four years and was previously held at the City Hall elsewhere in Cardiff. The City Hall venue wasn’t big enough to hold the ever increasing number of beer drinkers and the much larger CIA means that it is easier to get a seat.
I usually attend only on the Saturday but this year I also attended on the Thursday – the opening day. This day is reserved as a quiet day and there is no entertainment. As well as being quieter, visiting on the first day means that you are able to have a choice of more beers including any special beers. One such beer was from Otley and was brewed by beer author Melissa Cole. thai-bO is described as being a ‘thai meal in a glass
As with any beer festival, there was a competition for the best beers. The winner of the Champion Beer of Wales was O-Garden from the Otley Brewing Co. Otley brewery produces some excellent beers and they are no stranger to winning awards. Their O8 beer was Chapion Beer of Wales in 2008. Here is the full list of winners from the festival.
Top Three Beers:
- Gold – Otley, O-Garden (Pontypridd)
- Silver – Bragdy’r Nant, Mwnci Nel (Llanwrst)
- Bronze – Rhymney, Export (Merthyr Tydfil)
- Mild – Bryncelyn, Buddy Marvellous (Ystradgynlais)
- Bitter – Bryncelyn, Holly Hop (Ystradgynlais)
- Best Bitter – Breconshire, Cribyn (Brecon)
- Strong Bitter – Rhymney, Export (Merthyr Tydfil)
- Golden Ale – Great Orme, Celtica (Colwyn Bay)
- Speciality – Otley, O-Garden (Pontypridd)
The festival cost £5 to get in and included a programme and festival glass. Drinks were reasonably priced with beers costing between £1.30-1.50 a half. Third pint measures were not advertised but were available for £1 each. The German beers were fairly expensive with bottles costing £3.60 and keg beer costing £2 a half.
Cardiff International Arena
Mary Ann Street
Tel: 029 2023 4500
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