Ale of North Wales

Holidaying on Anglesey was a first for me and my partner, we were staying with some family in Penmon, a small village on the tip of the island. It was early September, just as the kids were going back to school. So we managed to avoid all of the summer holiday business.

My Aunt and Uncle recommended that we spend the day at the Beaumaris food festival the coming weekend, not that either of our waistlines needed any expanding! We arrived around midday and had a wonderful time trying all of the local produce that is available from all around this fantastic island. There were a few stalls in particular that appealed to the both of us, those that served real local ale. After our day tasting the delicious ales from the local breweries, as well as some of the great food that was on offer, we decided we hadn’t had enough (you can never have enough ale).

During the remainder of our stay we made a point of dining and drinking in establishments that served the fine local ale we’d acquired a taste for. On Monday afternoon we went for dinner at The White Eagle, in Rhoscolyn where we had fantastic food and even better ale. They stocked Amnesia from the Anglesey Brewery- which is a very drinkable and full bodied ale with a rich hoppy flavour, and turned out to be a new favourite of mine. They also served various ales from the Conwy Brewery including Honey Fayre, which as you can guess from the name, has honey aromas and is a soft and refreshing bitter. Welsh Pride was more citrus like and had a nutty finish- it went perfectly with my pork.

On Tuesday we paid The Tavern on the Bay a visit for afternoon ale accompanied by some fantastic views over Red Wharf Bay and then on to Ye Olde Bull’s Head for a fabulous feast and some more ale, the atmosphere in here was very traditional, the Freehouse had a collection of interesting antiques, an open log fire and oak beams. Relaxing in here with some traditional Welsh ale was the perfect end to our evening.

We tried out the Black Lion Inn on Wednesday which is a beautifully renovated 18th Century Grade II listed Inn. The owners have a real passion for food and drink, sourcing everything as locally as possible. We had some Menai oysters and mussels caught right from the straights, accompanied by some ale of course. They had one called Seithenyn from the Cwrw Llyn brewery which was a refreshing golden beer. The interesting thing about the ales from Cwrw Llyn is that they all have a story behind them. Seithenyn was the keeper of the sluice gates in the fertile netherlands of Cantre’r Gwaelod between Llyn and Ceredigion. He was also a drunkard and got very merry at the king’s daughter’s wedding one day. He neglected the sea-defences, a storm came in from the west and Cantre’r Gwaelod was drowned, creating Bae Ceredigion. I found this fascinating. They also stocked Purple Moose, Snowdonia Ale is and always has been one of my preferred beverages, a pale ale brewed with a delicate combination of aromatic hops.

Unfortunately, our stay on this fabulous island had come to an end, and it was time to pack our bags. We had of course made sure we’d stocked up on some of the North Walian ale to take back with us… After-all it was almost the weekend again!