The latest 'Iechyd Da' beer column from Llandeilo brewer Simon Buckley

The latest 'Iechyd Da' beer column for the Carmarthen Journal newspaper, written by award-winning brewer Simon Buckley, chief executive of Llandeilo-based Evan-Evans Brewery

Well, dear readers, it’s summer time; time for golden beers, lazy days and the thrill of trying new beers.
Time for the brewery cricket team to find their kit and get ready for the Llandeilo ‘Ashes’ series (more of that in due course) and time for you to try some great ales from Wales at the Great W-Ales Beer Festival in Cardiff.
The inaugural W-Ales Beer Festival is being held at Cardiff’s massive Millennium Stadium between June 5 and 7.
Generally, the current market is difficult, and I sometime wonder if the economic recovery actually is getting to us in the regions?
For your Llandeilo brewer, however, we are having one of the best years we have had in a very long time.
But why are we succeeding where others are finding it difficult?
We have now built our business predominantly outside Wales.
Whilst we are on target to sell well more than a million pints here in Wales, over the next year we are more than likely to sell well over two million a year in England, and most of that into the London market.
So does history repeat itself here? The answer is yes.
We, like many Welsh men and women, have followed our ancestors to the bright lights, and have decided to build a new brand and brewing operation based in the South East where the market is booming, and the demand for new and interesting styles of beer is driven by a massive home market.
This is topped up by our colonial cousins from across the pond, and the ever-demanding Japanese, all of whom want to experience the great British pub and ales when they come to London.
Only last night I stood in the Three Tuns just off Oxford Street and listened to an Australian barmaid tell a spellbound group from Texas the difference between four cask ales on the bar.
There were phrases like ‘Hop forward’ and ‘Lingering fruit and bitterness’. Wow!
She was from Alice Springs and admitted that she had never heard of cask beer until she came to London, let alone tasted it.
Less of the Wagga, Wagga, and more of the Marylebone ‘Good day, try this . . . ’
So it’s not just London taxi drivers that have the knowledge; bar staff increasingly want to know what makes the beers taste different, how are they brewed and what it is that makes each one different.
So, stand by, Gilly Goulden, we brewers are being tasked to provide training notes and descriptions of beer styles to help satisfy this quest for knowledge, and to make sure that our customers enjoy the very best of cask beer and the experience.
So what is there to look forward to?
New delicious golden and amber beers brewed with exciting new hop varieties that are light in malt, rich in fruit and spice, and noble hops.
Names like Amarillo, Aurora, Glacier, Tettnang, and Nugget, each individual hop used differently in the process, and the subtle change of yeast.
And the result?
Well you tell me. I believe they are great new beers, with crisp fruit finish, something we in Wales should be proud of. They will all be on show at the festival in Cardiff, so I hope you come along and come and support the very best of Welsh brewing.
The new three-day beer and cider festival is a joint venture between the Millennium Stadium and CAMRA, organisers of The Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival.
Hosted inside Europe's largest indoor arena, the event will see around 270 different real ales being poured from 70 different Welsh breweries.
The festival will showcase all the best Welsh beers as well as the award-winning real ales, ciders and perries from across the whole of the UK.
Over three days visitors can enjoy product sampling, top tips and demonstrations from the top brewers.
Tickets are £25 (3 Day Pass) and £10 (Day Pass) and are available strictly to over18s now at wru.co.uk/tickets.

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