News, views and reviews on Welsh brews, by Neil Goodman. The Six Nations tends to unite two of Wales’ greatest treasures: real ale and rugby. Whether you’ve worked up a thirst by playing or just watching the game, there’s really no finer way to find refreshment.
MIKEY RAYER – Crafty Devil
Going on a Mikey Rayer? Low in alcohol at 4% but big in flavour with a clean, crisp finish, this is brewed by Cardiff’s Crafty Devil with Maris Otter Extra Pale malt and oats. An all-day thirst-quencher with a super light appearance and bags of mouthfeel. There’s not many players whose alcoholic exploits have led to them becoming rhyming slang for a day on the booze. Reminisce about the former Cardiff full-back scoring two tries in the mud for Wales against Scotland in 1994 as you sip.
BALL CHASER – Dog’s Window
Just like Shane Williams, this brewery may be small in stature but have been producing the goods at quite some pace. A beer from their experimental small batch series which proved so popular that it’s become part of the main range, this New England IPA is naturally hazy with a lovely fruity aroma. Brimming with New Zealand and American hops, it has plenty of bite at 5.3% – a light amber-coloured beer which will have you reaching for more at half-time.
GATLAND’S LAW – Tenby Harbour
Tenby Harbour Brewery break with their usual tradition of naming beers after local boats to rebrand with a rugby theme. Paying homage to former Welsh rugby coach Warren Gatland, this is a striking pale ale whose hoppiness comes from the blending of New Zealand hops to give a tropical, fruity tang. Nicely balanced with Maris Otter malts, it also comes in at a very sessionable 4.2%, so light in strength and colour, but full of flavour. A grand slam of a beer!
For more info: www.walesales.com