March 1, 2019 by Kay Byrne
There’s good news and bad news on the real ale front this St David’s Day. On the bright side, cask ale is returning to the White Swan on High Street today for the first time since the 1970s.
Licensee Gez Couch has got together with Mumbles Brewery to offer two beers on hand pump and they are launching it tonight with an evening of Welsh entertainment.
“We have a brand new cooling system downstairs and two hand pumps ready to go,” said Gez. “We will be rotating their beers and the first three are Red Dragon, IPA and their bitter.
“We are a minute from the train station and open every day. We presently open from midday but plan on extending to open from 10am with coffee and food in the next weeks.”
Also with something to celebrate this weekend is Beer Riff, the craft ale bar and brewery in Swansea Marina. Richard and Jo Bennett, of The Pilot of Mumbles, and co-brewer Rhys Pillai are celebrating the first anniversary of their bar with a party tomorrow, March 2 from 12noon to 11pm.
The bar has really taken off since its launch last year and offers 15 rotating craft beers, some from their own brewery, and pizzas. It’s open seven days at Pilot House Wharf. Read more here.
Also moving onwards and upwards are Gerrard and Bronwen Armor, who have relocated the Mumbles Ale House from its old, rather tiny, home on Dunns Lane, to the much bigger Victoria Inn on nearby Westbourne Place.
The pub has had a makeover, but more importantly for real ale fans, is still serving a variety of cask ales from all over the country, both on hand pump and straight from the barrel. Read more here.
The Village Inn in Killay has had a rebranding and refurbishment too as the Village Bar Café and is now open from 10.15am for coffee and breakfast as well as its real ale offering.
The Brunswick pub on Duke Street, Swansea, has also recently reopened after a refurbishment and is offering one ale from the cask and four to six beers on hand pump, including Butty Bach.
A 150-year-old real ale pub is soon to reopen on High Street. The former Adam & Eve, which has had a new lease of life as The Last Resort for the past couple of years, has closed, but is being taken over by the owners of Cinema & Co, which also serves real ale, so that looks hopeful!
Another promising development is the complete refurbishment of The Office pub, now known by its former name Three Lamps, on Castle Square. It is now a multi-floor venue with its own microbrewery. They are dispensing keg ale at the moment, but may offer cask ale at some point.
So far so good, but there has been unwelcome news from Gower. Llanrhidian has lost two of its pubs, both excellent real ale venues. The owner of the once thriving Greyhound at Oldwalls has been given planning permission to redevelop the site for housing, despite a strong protest from the local community.
The Dolphin at Llanrhidian has also closed following the retirement of its licensee and many fans of the pub will miss its friendly welcome, well kept cask ale and wonderful, sunny beer garden.
There is some consolation for locals as the Welcome to Town pub on Mill Lane is doing well and serving good food and real ale.
Another pub closure that is being fought by locals is The Linden Tree in West Cross. The pub closed its doors at the beginning of December after the owners were unable to find a buyer.
Locals are calling on Swansea Council to block any plans for owners to change its use.
Have you got any news about your local pub? If so, please leave a comment below.