Held between Thursday 28th and Sunday 31st October, the festival is spread over the brewery’s three pubs, the Otley Arms and the Rickard Arms in Treforest and the Bunch of Grapes in Pontypridd. Each pub has a selection of beers and ciders with most being found at the Otley Arms and Bunch of Grapes.
Last year a minibus shuttled drinkers between the three pubs for a small charge but with the bus costing £500 and not enough people using the service it wasn’t available this year. The Otley and Rickard Arms are close enough to walk between but to get from either of those pubs to the Bunch of Grapes requires either a £5 taxi ride, a long walk or a short train ride plus 15 minute walk. A minor inconvenience but worth it.
The beer found at the Otley Arms included a mixture of styles and included breweries such as Salopian, Leeds, Marble, Bank Top, Otter, Bristol Beer Factory, Brew Dog and Dark Star. There were also 6 Otley beers available including a superb vintage O6 Porter that had aged for 13 months.
The Bunch of Grapes focused on just pale ales and IPAs and featured a wide range of breweries including Kelham Island, Acorn, Moor, Allgates, Roosters, Saltaire, Skipton, Hadrian and Border, Bank Top and Jarrow. Even though only a few styles of beer were available there was still enough of a variety. And as the Bunch always has a great selection of beers available, you could always raid one of their many beer fridges if you fancied a different style.
Mini Cheese Festival
As well as the beer festival, a cheese festival was held at the Bunch of Grapes on 28th and 30th October which allowed you to sample a selection of cheese from around Wales. On the Saturday you had the option of either 5 different cheese or 10. The 5 cheese cost a reasonable £6.80 and included three different styles of bread made on the premises, ham and coleslaw. Tasting notes were available to help you choose your cheese.
Like their beer and pubs, Otley put a lot of effort into organising and promoting their beer festivals. Each one has an excellent selection of beers and their pubs serve excellent beers all year round, there are always reserves should they start to run out.
They are increasing the number of beer festivals to around four per year and this was their third. Back in May they held the first All Otley Beer Festival, in July they held a Golden Ale Festival and between 25th-27th November they will be holding a Thanksgiving Festival featuring American beers.
More Photos of the Otley Oct-O-Bar Fest, 2010
The Bunch of Grapes
40 Ynysangharad Road
Tel: 01443 402 934
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