The All New Weekly Stat Attack: 1 Wales

Welcome to the new weekly stat attack, Glen is resting and I will attempt to fill the void; first with the countries of Great Britain and then ‘The World’.

First up is Wales, it has a 160 mile border with England, all hidden behind Offa’s Dyke. RateBeer has split the country into 8 districts for us to amass scores from and plenty of us have taken up the challenge.

It takes 159 rates to reach 50th for Wales with the highest total going at 819 (@fonefan), closely followed by @minutemat and @imdownthepub.

Top Place reviewers are @ManVsBeer and two of our Scandinavian friends @Rune and @Finn with 113, 43 and 40 respectively.

Old maps used to have “Here there be Dragons” over Wales, having met a few Welsh ladies over the years, there are still plenty of Dragons to be found in the Principality.

It’s now up to you, say your piece on Wales and post your stats, be they impressive or poor; let’s try and keep a weekly stat attack going if we can.

Cheers,
<*))))))><

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My own stats for Wales take me to 16th of the Ratebeer Leader Board with 315 rates. Not a single drop of Welsh Cider, Mead or Sake have touched my lips.

I’ve had beers from all 8 districts and appear on all their Stat pages, usually around midway up, or down, depending on your outlook.

63 breweries sampled, 12 sadly closed. Brains and Tiny Rebel leading the way with Monty’s coming in third.

Watched Grimsby Town in Newport, Swansea and Wrexham, but never Cardiff. The Welsh border is very close to me in Shropshire, but we rarely venture over it for beer related stuff. Only 19 places reviewed, from 5 of the districts.

There are some interesting bridges in Wales, far too many to mention; however the Menai Suspension Bridge and the Llangollen Canal Bridge must be two of the greatest engineering feats of their time and testimony to their designers and builders.

<*))))))><

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Nice one Jeremy, and good timing after my recent backlog catch-up and our rare country tick extravaganza coming up this Wednesday.

Have developed a real fondness for Wales in recent years. Live about 9 miles from the border as the crow flies, and spend a lot of time traversing the wild hinterland tracks on my bike.

As such, I have amassed 720 ratings from here, putting me second place behind the world’s biggest phone-lover. Two of my favourite places to pick up beers is Stori in Bala, a fantastic little shop on the high street which also runs its own gin distillery now. And Bottle & Barrel in Aberystwyth, with a homely feel and friendly staff. Excellent range of modern Welsh beer in both, and always a good place to pick up stuff from new independent breweries. A nice pub crawl of small micropubs to be had along the north and south coasts.

101 breweries rated and like most here, the breweries I’ve rated the most from are Pollys in Mold (124, second highest rater), and Tiny Rebel in Newport (98, just chasing the coat-tails of the top 5).

Highest rated beer is Cwrw Llŷn Cochyn at 4.4, rated in 2013, so no doubt my palate has changed a bit since then. Tied with Pollys Farrago and Tiny Rebel Double 99.

Wales is blessed with a good number of cideries based in every corner of the country from Anglesey to Pembrokeshire, and a few that literally straddle the border including Ty Gwyn which has had addresses in England and Wales at one point. Cannot find how to get the stat on Welsh ciders, perhaps @danlo can advise.

Have to give a mention to Bessies in Pembrokeshire otherwise known as the Dyffryn Arms. Bessie must have been in her 90s when we were there, the pub still operating as it was 100 years before, ale scooped out the barrel with a jug behind a hatch, quiet bench seats around a fireplace, stoked by Bessie, photos of the queen in her younger years hung above. Seems to been a fire there not long ago, not sure whether it’s reopened.

I’ll finish with the only Welsh word you need to know - ‘iechyd da’ (pronounced yek-id-dah) meaning Cheers!

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Cheers Jeremy.
Well, a whole Principality in one go, taking some sorting as I keep my records by county and Ratebeer by Districts. We are frequent visitors to the country and it has some lovely parts, and some pretty grotty bits too! I absolutely love Snowdonia, the Cambrians and the Brecon Beacons, had some great times in all of them and some pretty decent tales. Even better is the West Coast of Wales, done it in bits so far but the next project is to the whole of it, should be great.

The pubs can be hit or miss we have found. I remember when a few of us had done the Snowdon Horseshoe walk, a classic. We hit a pub in a remote village in the evening and it was quiz night. The beer was going down well, so we joined in. The first 3 or 4 rounds we were going like a train, in the lead, however, what we didn’t know was the last round was completely in Welsh, needless to say we didn’t win, but it was a great laugh.

Our last visit was in 2017, when my son got married on the in-laws farm in Cardiganshire, probably the hottest day the country has ever seen and it was a very special day. Sport wise, been to both Cardiff grounds and the National Arena for a play off final, beating Norwich. Swansea also, still never been to a good pub in Swansea though. That’s about it.

I have had 711 beers from the Principality placing me in 3rd place, must be a contender for 1,000 rates in a few years. My Welsh beers average 3.21, which is bang on average for me. My 711 beers have been across 99 Breweries, just spotted that, must get one more together for the 100 which incidentally would put me equal first with the phone lover, hunting a new Welsh Brewery high in the targets now.

The Welsh Breweries I have had most beers from are –

  1. Tiny Rebel – 83
  2. Brains – 50
  3. Hopcraft Brewing – 50
  4. Evan Evans Brewery – 25
  5. Polly’s Brew – 25

I have scored 29 Welsh beers with a 4 or over.
The Best Beers I have had from Wales are –

  1. Otley Calif-O-rnia Gold – 4.5
  2. Otley O5 – 4.2
  3. Newmans Spring Cottage Biscuit – 4.2
  4. Tiny Rebel XLPA – 4.2
  5. Hopcraft Something Must Break – 4.2

The Breweries with my highest average mark for Wales are (5 beers and over) –

  1. Pollys Brew – 3.679
  2. Newmans (Closed) – 3.562
  3. Otley Brewing (Closed) – 3.527
  4. Lines Brew Co. – 3.48
  5. Hopcraft (Closed) – 3.456

I have reviewed just 39 places in Wales with a rather lowly average of 59. Hoping to top these up in 2022.
My favourites were –

  1. Myrddins Café Bar, Barmouth, Gwynedd – 84
  2. Hopbunker, Cardiff – 84
  3. Parrot Music Bar, Carmarthen, Dyfed – 82
  4. City Arms, Cardiff – 80
  5. Tiny Rebel, Newport, Gwent – 74
  6. Kilverts Inn, Hay on Wye, Powys – 72
  7. Tiny Rebel, Cardiff – 70

Looking forward to my 100th Welsh Brewery, hope it’s a good one.

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Lovely Welsh Wales - never really knew the place until I was in my late teens, then got together with a girl from Newtown and ended up living there briefly, and then moving to Shropshire. Now have a love/hate relationship with it - the hate part usually being when the six nations egg chasing is going on and the boyos are all giving it large! The love part is simply that it is a breathtaking part of the world (some bits are excluded from this - like Wrexham for example) - Snowdonia, Anglesey, the West Coast and the South West are really very nice places to be. As far as beer is concerned, and specifically RateBeer, I’ve amassed the grand total of 16 rates over the last year and half, from 8 breweries (2 of which are no longer with us) - best scoring brewery for me is Polly’s, from whom I have 5 rates, and my highest scoring Welsh rate which was Ending Chapter at 4.3. Have only rated 4 beers from Tiny Rebel, but have definitely drunk plenty more over the years - a pub in Shrewsbury used to have these on regularly, and they were always tested. As far as the counties are concerned, I’m half way to ticking a beer from each - Dyfed, Powys and two of the Glamorgans and I can smile, that shouldn’t prove too difficult surely?

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My 10th most rated country overall
I have rated a beer from all 8 regions in Wales.
I have rated places in 5 of the 8 regions. (Apparently I should have added the mediocre chain pub by the hotel in Gwent to get a sixth!)
Top rated beer: Tie between Lines Line FA - Primary Brett Imperial Stout and Tiny Rebel Imperial Puft. Both rated from bottles which is vaguely interesting to me.

Three visits to Wales make it my third most visited country after the US and England. 2 of the 3 visits involving going to rugby matches. The third we attempted to go to a hockey game but it was cancelled due to a national weather emergency! (Meaning Cardiff is possibly my second most visited city outside of North America after London. Which I had not thought of before now.) Also ranks fourth for the foreign country where I have driven a car the most (US, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales) in a statistic that means nothing to anyone but me! :slight_smile:

I just realized that I have never flown into Cardiff. First trip was on a coach full of student rugby players coming from Bath; second trip I was cheap and tried to take a coach from Heathrow that ended up being a long expensive coach/train; third trip our train from London detoured and we had to transfer to a coach part way. Apparently I am destined to take buses en route to Cardiff!

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Where countries are split by regions you can still get to overall cidery list from the region lists if you click the country name at the top of page before the region name (it then shows tabs with the country’s list for breweries, meaderies, cideries and sake producers)

Cheers to Blackhaddock for taking forward the new weekly stat - have 156 rates for Wales, my top rated at 4.2 is Mabinogion Mead Transformation to Eagle

My wife has relatives from Wales, who now live in Cwmbran, and my sons were both christened at a small chapel in Caerdeon near Barmouth where my wife’s grandmother lived and all her family were christened. So we’ve done quite afew trips over the years, the highlight in terms of rating was going to the Welsh Cider Festival in 2018 at Caldicot Castle which is an excellent event and hopefully back on next year. Also did a good trip to Cardiff pre rate-beer days in 2000 which included watching rugby league world cup games at the Milennium stadium (Wales well beaten by New Zealand, and an entertaining drawn match-up between Lebanon & the Cook Islands) and more recently stayed in Swansea for a work trip in 2018 that took in some rating.

There are 40 active cideries in Wales, with Gwynt y Ddraig having the most entries at 45. And for the top 5 Wales cider and cidery raters minutemat has the edge currently with 100 Welsh Cider ratings to top the list, and is tied with me on 27 cideries rated.

WalesCider Ratings

WalesCideries

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Considering I’ve almost reached 2000 overall rates now, I’m a little disappointed in my Welsh tally of 28. This includes 10 breweries with the highest being 10 rates for Tiny Rebel.

I’ve had a beer from 7 of the 8 regions listed on Ratebeer but I am currently missing Powys.

My highest rated beers at 3.9 are Tiny Rebel’s Superhero Landing and Polly’s An Upfront Wither.

I did have a great uncle from Wales who had the lofty title of Mayor of Mold! I only met him once as a boy and he had a cheeky charm about him although the only conversation I remember is him complaining about the number of students having sex in the graveyard at the back of his bungalow.

I’ve been an infrequent visitor to Wales but always enjoyed my time there particularly Snowdonia and the port village of Porthgain in Pembrookshire. St David’s has its charms and Talacre Bay is a good caravan holiday place for kids in North Wales. I wouldn’t mind having a proper look around Monmouth, I only visited briefly to pick up a replacement car door but the town seemed to have some character to it.

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The principality has given me a tally of 105 ales, overwhelmingly Tiny Rebel. Top of my pile sits a Waen Christmas Snowball that left me so sozzled I gave it a 5.0, (I suspect other ales may have acted as a pace-setter for this record). A lot of Wales is terra incognita as far as I am concerned. I guess I know the north best and even visited Llandudno in 2019. I dimly recall preferring Swansea to Cardiff as a drinking location although that was pre-RB. The Purple Moose is all that has kept me drinking in Gwynedd, however, and personally there could be dragons in the centre of Wales for all I know; it’s been a case of see Lampeter and die as far as travel goes. Other than that I am more a man of the Marches, and I miss my annual trip to Hay-on-Wye even if it is more books than beer that attracts me.

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Going to be watching the Czech Republic v Wales match soon so seems like a good time to add my Welsh stats.

Overall pretty happy with my 160 Welsh ticks, and have managed to get at least 1 in all 8 districts. Top 3 breweries for me are…

Tiny Rebel 62
Polly 45
Bluestone 11

Have always liked Tiny Rebel’s beers and the highlights for me have been their hoppy offerings on cask which we have been lucky to get plenty of at our local cask-marque pub Charlies Bar here in Copenhagen. Polly’s stuff reaches us often and have been very reliable. Funny seeing that for Bluestone all the highest raters of them are us here in Denmark :smiley: (seem to remember we had all their stuff in our supermarkets for a while)

Have only visited Wales a couple of times but long ago on School trips, only drinking age opportunity would of been when I just missed out on tickets for Cardiff when we beat West Ham to get promoted back in 2004. Hopefully get to visit some time in the future :slight_smile:

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Since joining RateBeer in 2014 I have only rated a pathetic 12 Welsh beers, half of which I acquired in the UK. Not because I am not interested in them, but simply because they are just unavailable where I live.

During a recent trip to England (first time in 18 months) I picked a couple of new Welsh regions - Dyfed and Gwynedd, thanks to Beers of Europe.

To be honest I would buy a lot more Welsh beers (as well as other beers) on visits to the UK, but there is such a limit on how much I can (legally) bring back.

I’ve been to the country itself at least 20 times, all pre-RateBeer, and mainly to get the ferry to Ireland. The last time I was in Wales (and the only time in order to actually visit the place) was back in 2011, visited Cardiff with my now-wife. I found it to be a pleasant city, although the weather wasn’t great, which was to be expected in December :grinning:

The only Welsh word I know is bore da (good morning) because it sounds almost exactly the same as the Russian word for beard (boroda).

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Top 5 - four from Loka and one from Beer Riff.

Been there a few times. My last overnight stay was unplanned. The hotel in New Brighton had overbooked so we ended up driving to Colwyn Bay and booking in at about 1:00am.

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As resident Welshman, first things first, Wales is not a principality.

I don’t rate here but have ticked 240 Welsh beers on the yellow app, mostly Polly’s and Tiny Rebel.

There’s still a bit of a dearth of good stuff outside Cardiff but it’s getting better all the time in terms of both breweries and venues and the likes of Wilderness and Tenby are worth looking out for.

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My Bad, sorry about that @alovelydrop.

<*))))))><

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It is a strange one as it was a Principality, or parts of it were, up until the 16th century and the title of Prince of Wales has been given to the Monarch’s eldest son ever since, but as you say it is no longer considered a principality, particularly in Wales and was endorsed as a country in it’s own right by the devolved Welsh government. However someone forgot to tell the rest of the UK and it definitely is still called a Principality, incorrectly, when discussed. My apologies too for the misuse of the term.

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Equally guilty. I will never trust Prince Charles again!

Ah, Wales. Fun fact (or should that be ffun ffact - ok no I’m not gonna do that): I worked in Cardiff for 6 months in the late 90s. Great city. I almost went back in 2014, but a job in Cambridge came up so I went there.

I’ve rated 156 Welsh beers, my sixth most-rated county, and just 10 behind Germany. I always seem to be just outside of the top 50, but no matter.

I’ve got six beers above 4.1. A bit of an odd lot:

I will stand by Brains Dark. A good pint of this wonderful mild used to be the pinnacle of cask, and hopefully still is (it’s been a couple of years).

The most-rated breweries are Tiny Rebel (55), Brains (17), Polly’s (13) and Hafod (10). Really surprised by my low Polly’s rates, especially since I’ve had quite a few this year. Must do better.

Wales is one of two countries (the other being England) where I’ve rated a beer from every RB region, although Gwynedd and West Glamorgan only have 2 each.

I haven’t been to Wales very much at all lately. It’s awkward to get to and it’s a hard sell for my missus who’s a fan of bigger cities. But I do miss going, and I look forward to adding to my 10 places. The top (still open) boozers I’ve jotted down in my little rating book are:

Not very often will you see a Sam Smith’s anything top anything in my book, but Newport was crying out for boozers (this was before TR had a pub there) and it’s a pleasant little place.

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Really! I have always called Wales a country and never once used the term principality. I’ve never heard anyone else use the term either in conversation.

I vaguely recall the term being used in an historical context (books, TV etc…) but that’s it.

Interesting.

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Well the reason that the Welsh flag isn’t included in the Union Jack was because at the time it was created it was an amalgamation of the National Flags of the United Kingdom and because Wales was a Principality it wasn’t considered. Must admit I had never really thought about it much really otherwise.

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I’ve had 1 Welsh beer in my 12 years on site. It was at Hanging Bat in Edinburgh after a beer tasting at @cgarvieuk I believe Stu and Ben both rb folk took me there, it was from Tiny Rebel. I’ve drunk at most beer bars in Belfast in my few weeks of work trips at previous employer, a full day boozing in London and Dublin and the week I spent in bars in Scotland and still just the one. We may be returning to golf in Scotland either this summer or in next few and when that’s the case I planning on trying the 3 peak challenge where you hike Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdonia in 24hrs( highest mountain in 3 British countries), so I may be in Wales but with a tour group thing so not sure if we’ll hit a pub while there, hopefully. :crossed_fingers:

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