Monday, 21 October 2013

A Dead Dog and Conwy

The rain was drumming down as we left Portmadog with little reluctance, heading back up through Snowdonia in grim weather which threatened to blow us off the road. Our destination in the short term was   Snowdonia Brewery at the Parc Brewery Tap on Beddgelert Rd,  Waunfawr.  At the stroke of opening time we dashed the few yards from the car park into a warm welcome and very decent beer indeed.  Perfect Snowdonia Gold and a nice chat to the brewster, who good naturedly chastised the bar staff for not offering us samples from the range, restored our faith in all things beery.  Even the samples were crisp, clear and cool.  Would it last?

Our next destination, Conwy, was immediately impressive with its streets busy despite the downpour and the castle replete with two Welsh flags dominating the scene in a good way.  We parked at the Castle Hotel, an old coaching inn which regrettably seemed to have had all character removed, though that didn't detract from the very warm welcome received from the young and enthusiastic bar staff.  We noted too in the hour or so we were there, the large number of diners and drinkers. They are obviously doing something right.  Beer here was from Conwy Brewery with the 3.6% Clogwyn Gold being a bit of a belter.

Lastly in Conwy, a terrific pub of tremendous appeal and character. The Albion is a splendidly restored 1920s, multi roomed pub which positively gleams inside.  Again the welcome couldn't have been warmer, nor the beer in much better form.  Local pork pies from Edwards (what a shop they have - worth a trip to Conwy just for their Bara Brith and sandwiches) were spot on too. It was consequently a cheery bunch of old gits that left for Chester. Now North Wales has been slagged off by some respondents and I can see why, but Conwy was a gem and I dare say we'd have found some other decent beer there too. It just had that sort of feel to it.

Above all what set Conwy aside from Portmadog was the quality of the offer.  A warm welcome and  excellent beer really makes all the difference. It isn't that much to ask surely? 

You are no doubt wondering about the dead dog.  He is ubiquitous in these parts. The sad tale is here.


Anonymous said...

N.Wales breweries are offering some of the best ales right now, check out cbob awards, the crux is the cellar-master, know your product, check it and make sure it is fine to sell. Buying a pint isn't always cheap. It Has To Be Good.

Beer Hawk said...

I absolutely love Conwy but never see it on tap up our way. There's some great stuff coming out of Wales at the moment - Celt, Otley...where you going next?

Curmudgeon said...

Agreed that the Albion is a lovely pub but when I called earlier in the year I found two beers both a bit tepid and flabby.

The Liverpool Arms on the quayside is a nice little unspoilt "symphony in brown".