July 3, 2017 by Kay Byrne
Swansea Camra members enjoyed the generous hospitality of Tomos Watkin when the brewery hosted our annual general meeting this weekend.
We were able to sample a wide range of their cask and keg beers and ciders, and it’s fair to say that the brewery really does offer something for everyone.
The Llansamlet-based company, which was acquired by Hurns brewing in 2002, is well known for its established core range of beers like OSB, Cwrw Haf, Blodwen and Magic Lagyr, which are available in cask and bottle.
But the company has also been brewing for new palates lately, as brewer Gareth Moule explains: “We’ve been branching out with new styles in small runs of limited edition beers, and we’ve had a very good reaction to them.”
The new brews include Black Beard, a 4.5% spiced rum stout, and Dark Horse, 4.5%, a delicious stout with an oaty flavour. On the lighter side, the team came up with a new IPA, which has proved so popular it looks like it will be joining the core range.
The family business has also started putting some of its new brews in cans, to meet a growing market for canned craft ale. Hurricane Blonde, 4%, and Kick Ass IPA, 6%, have both been marketed in this way.
Anyone picking up a bottle or a can of Tomos Watkin beer will have noticed a change in branding lately. The striking designs are the brainchild of Jamie Morrison, son of chief executive Connie Parry.
The brewery is happy to strike a balance between brewing cask and keg ales. Said brewer Gareth Moule: ” I probably drink about 50-50 cask and keg ale myself and I think some beers are better in cask and others in keg. Some of the trendy bars will only take keg so its good to be able to supply them and have the best of both worlds.”
The market for Tomos Watkin’s cask ales is mainly pubs and clubs in south and west Wales but their bottled ales have a much wider reach, with some being exported as far afield as America.
You will also be able to taste some of their cask ales at the Swansea Bay Beer & Cider Festival from 24-26 August at the Brangwyn Hall.
Swansea Camra chairman Paul James said: “This year, the Swansea and Neath Port Talbot branch of Camra decided to organise its annual general meeting in a brewery! The event could not have been more successful and enjoyable, thanks to the exceptional welcome and hospitality extended by all at Tomos Watkin.”
All serving officers were re-elected at the AGM and membership secretary Mike Steele reported that branch membership currently stands at 587. To find out all about the benefits of joining Camra, click here