When the rain comes in from the South, the beacons wander closer to Brecon

What we did in the Summer…. (and beyond)

Posted December 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Well, its been a while since the last post (and the last post explains a lot of that!)


Following on from the last post, Duncan has made a good recovery – arm, leg and ankle are fixed, and his foot is on the mend, but now requiring a lot of the added metalwork removing at some point in the New Year…


What have we been doing, rather than posting here?


First was the WAles festival in the Millennium Stadium – a great new event in conjunction with the WRU and CAMRA. We were delighted to find out that all of our core range of beers had made their respective finals in the CAMRA Champion Beer of Wales competition, and the Three Beacons was judged to be the Best pint of Bitter in Wales, and will go head to head with the best Bitters the rest of the UK can offer at Olympia next Summer for a tilt at the Champion Beer of Britain title. In the meantime, the Giraffes did strike and most of the beers on our bar sold out!


Next up was the Brecon Jazz Festival – the entire brew of our Jazzy Beacons sold out in the run up to the Festival – we promise to brew more next year! – and the weekend went really well.


The following week saw a huge number of Welsh Drink producers represented at the Green Man Festival – a fantastic music event held on the Glanusk estate. The cask beer and cider bar was a huge success, with several re-orders, and we look forward to working with Mike and his team in 2015 and beyond.


Ludlow Food Festival, held in the magnificent surroundings of Ludlow Castle was one of our best events yet – three years to the day from when we first launched the beers. The entire weekend’s stocks when before the end of Saturday, but fortunately we were able to restock and keep everyone happy! We’re looking forward to next year’s event already.


Abergavenny Food Festival was another fabulous event, again massively exceeding our expectations – many thanks to all of you who joined Simon at the stand and enjoyed a pint or three… Staying with Abergavenny, their Christmas Market a couple of weekends ago was another great event – a really good atmosphere, very well attended and a lot of fun – apologies to those who were hoping to pick up Mini-Casks in the afternoon – all that we took had sold before midday! We’ll have more for next year…


On to beer news – in June we set up was we believe was a first – a trans-dimensional collaborative brew : we linked up with Ankh-Morpork, foremost city of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, specifically to the Unseen University’s Boathouse Brewery, where we worked with Modo, the Head Gardener of the University, to create Modo’s Midden – a 4.5% Golden Ale brewed with a lot of Pioneer and Northdown hops – Modo is particularly keen to use a lot of hops, and all of the Brewery’s spent hops are fed to his somewhat sentient Compost Heap, which seems to keep it happy!

This beer sold very successfully across the  JD Wetherspoons estate, as well across our more regular customers.

In fact, the concept worked so well, we’ve since linked up with more members of the Discworld’s Brewing community to recreate some of their most famous beers :

Bugarup Blonde – a 4.0% blonde cross between a lager and an IPA, originally created by Archchancellor Rincewind and Nielette at the (in)famous Roo Brewery in Bugarup.

Bledlows’ Silence – a 5.5% IPA – the Bledlows are the fearsome Porters of the Unseen University – they take Tradition extremely seriously, and are frankly put out by the comings and goings of the University’s lecturers and students – in fact they feel the whole place would be much better without them all! This heavily hopped IPA provides them with solace when they can retreat into their Lodge.

Hix’s Darkside – Dr John Hix, head of the Department for Post-Mortem Communications (definitely not a Necromancer…), has put aside his budding Thespian career and status as the University’s Resident Evil Wizard in order to create this contribution to the Boathouse’s repertoire – a seriously strong, evilly dark and decidedly drinkable 7.0% Oat Stout.

These 4 beers can often be found in casks, as well as in gift packs of bottles from www.alesbymail.com. There are 5 other Discworld beers that are also available in bottles from Ales by Mail – Ricdully’s Revenge, Founders Ale, Black Hogswatch, the Invalids’ Restorative as well as a contribution from the Assassins Guild – Taking the Dark


In November, to celebrate the Celtic New Year, Buster was one of six Celtic brewers who met up in Cornwall to create a new collaborative beer – Celtic Cross. Born of many conversations, (mostly at the superb Celtic Beer Festival, held in St Austell Brewery’s old cellars each year), this event saw the coming together of brewers from all over the Celtic World :

Roger Ryman of St Austell Brewery representing Cornwall

Buster Grant of Brecon Brewing representing Wales

Fergus Clark of Inveralmond Brewery representing Scotland

Daire Harlin and Pat Hurley of Bru Brewing in Co Meath, Ireland

Flo Vialan of Purity Brewery representing Brittany

to create a 4.5% Red Ale on St Austell’s magnificent Brew plant. The beer also included ingredients from the Celtic nations (Cornish Saffron, Welsh Apple juice, Scottish Rowan berries, Irish Shamrocks and Breton Wild Garlic) which added a little spice and mystery to the brew! The beer was launched at the Celtic Beer Fest, where it went down a treat. Next year, the Isle of Man will be joining us all, hopefully here in Brecon for the next instalment of this!


The program of Seasonal Ales for the Year have been really well received, and the list for 2015 has been finalised and will follow in another post soon…


One other piece of news – Arran Peel joined the team in October, working with Buster in the Brewhouse.


In the meantime, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support, hope you’ve enjoyed the beers, and wish you all the best for Christmas.


Have fun



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