April 12, 2016 by Kay Byrne
The Joiners Arms at Bishopston was packed to the rafters for a party to celebrate Rory Gowland’s 20 years as a brewer.
Rory’s Swansea Brewing Company was a beacon of hope for real ale drinkers when he founded it at the Joiners in collaboration with landlords Phil and Ian Davies.
His real ales – including Three Cliffs Gold, Old Wood, Deepslade Dark and Bishopswood Bitter – soon became staple fare for Bishopston drinkers, as well as at The Railway Inn in Killay, which he also brews for.
Rory, a former research chemist at Swansea University, was an active Camra member and an amateur brewer before he set up his own commercial brewery.
“I was looking to get into brewing professionally. I was looking around for premises and an opportunity came up at the Joiners’. The rest, as they say, is history,” he said.
Swansea Camra branch chairman Colin Smith said: “All beer drinkers in the city should be eternally grateful to Rory who firstly took the decision to set up the local brewery – a bold move back in 1996 that has been emulated by other Swansea brewers more recently – and has since been able to meet the always consistent demand for his ales in the two main outlets, The Joiners’ and The Railway.”
Rory also ran the Railway Inn for ten years, saving it from possible closure.
“It is largely due to him that the unique Railway Inn is still open, as he took on the licence until a couple of years ago, when the pub’s future was in doubt,” added Colin.
“We trust that his traditional ales will remain available for years to come. Congratulations and thanks.”