Wales - Return of the casks
Wales, the Return of the casks.
Someone has to do it, take the empty beer casks back to the breweries after the beer festival. That means another trip to Wales so check the passport and an early start from Kingsteignton. Pete was driving and Dave was organising, nine of us and lots of empty casks piled into the minibus and off we went. We had a very good run, no traffic problems nor border checks so we were at the first brewery, Hopcraft, early, they were racking this day and were really too busy but they did chat for a while, we dropped the empties and moved on. Glamorgan Brewery just a short distance away and they were all very busy as well but they did give us a good welcome, broke out a few beers and chatted away about their expansion plans, they are the main beer supplier for Welsh rugby it seems. We presented their certificate for the best Welsh beer of our festival, we were given a beer to take away and off we went to no 3. Grey Trees brewery, we stopped at the brewery in a small industrial estate to drop off the casks, a quick chat and on to their pub, Grey Trees National Tap. This was not far away but parking was a problem, the bus was too big so Pete dropped us off and went off to hide the bus. The rest of us piled into the Tap to sample some beers. The pub was finished off now but had no food, it is supposed to be famous for pork pies, none available though today. Right we called up Pete and moved on, I was getting hungry! We found the Glamorgan brewery tap, Rhoswenallt Inn, they had food and beer so we stayed here for quite a while. Their loyalty scheme of buy 9 drinks and get the 10th free was easily achieved. However we had more casks to return and off to the Treforrest brewery, only time to unload and buy a few bottles. We all wanted to go to the Tiny Rebel brewery and pub but disaster, it was closed for a private function, the bouncers wouldn’t let us in. Plan B was to go to their pub in Newport. We found a parking place, found the pub, a converted main street shop with minimalistic decor but lots of T R beers and good food. We had plenty of time spare now so some of us had a wander about. The local Spoons didn’t have exciting beers and the Lamb only had Doom Bar but the Pen and Wig, famous for Bass, also had several Welsh beers which we tried. We started to wander back to the Tiny Rebel pub and saw Hogarths Gin Palace which looked interesting, it had Courage Directors and some Welsh and Worcester beers so we had to stay there for a while to sample some. Now it was getting late so back to the minibus where the others were waiting and off to Newton Abbot. The journey seemed much shorter going home but perhaps that was the snooze! We visited 5 breweries, only drank beer in one but managed 5 pubs and lots of different beers, I like collecting beer and returning casks. RA