Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Beer

Well there we were, innocently wandering through Soho, with a bit of time to spare while the boys were perusing the shelves of a local wine shop. There was Hotel Chocolat on the corner of the crossroads. It would have been rude not to venture in… So we did.

Purple Moose Brewery

Purple Moose Brewery opened its doors in summer 2005, when Ffestiniog Railway volunteer, Lawrence Washington, spotted a gap – plenty of visitors to Ffestiniog's home town, the former slate port of Porthmadog, but no local brews to enjoy.

Growing public demand for these delightfully flavoured beers has led to production quadrupling in size in recent years, and the visit offers a lovely chance to see a charming micro-brewery that is very much part of the community in the friendly town of Porthmadog.

  • Tours
  • Bar
  • Shop
  • Public Transport within 5 miles

The Welsh Perry and Cider Festival 2013

24 May 2013 - 27 May 2013

The 11th Welsh Perry & Cider Festival 2013 will host the International Craft Cider Festival at its new home, Caldicot Castel in Monmouthshire.

As well as cider and perry from Wales and further afield, there will be live music, local foods and market stalls throughout the May Bank Holiday Weekend. Monday is designated the family day, with plenty of medieval games and activities.

Brains' Boilermaker IPA

There's a lovely malt base to this flavourful IPA, with honey, marmalade, and spice from time spent in Penderyn whisky barrels – a true Welsh IPA. 

This was the winner in Brains' Ultimate IPA challenge - guest brewers including beer celebs Melissa Cole, Marverine Cole (aka Beer Beauty) and the entertaining duo that is Dwink – Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham – were invited to Brains new craft brewery to try there hand at creating an IPA. And it was the lads what won with this creation.

Ty Gwyn Orchard

Situated on a large farm in the Monnow valley, Ty Gwyn has been growing cider apples on terraced orchards for around 40 years, where they've also been growing apples for Bulmers and blackcurrants for Ribena. In fact, it was a glut of apples that Bulmers didn't need, that eventually forced them to experiment with their own craft cider and they've not looked back since!

  • Tours
  • Shop
  • Wheelchair Access

Gwynt Y Ddraig Gold Medal Cider

This little bottle can claim to be the first ever Welsh cider producer to achieve a Gold medal from CAMRA in 2004. It might have been a while ago now, but it's still doing well.

A far bolder cider than its little brother Gwynt Y Ddraig Orchard Gold, reviewed here, it has a distinct Appletise nose, followed by some robust flavours and a full mouthfeel on the palate, ending in some stripy tannins on the tongue and a lengthy finish to boot.

7%/500ml/£30.00 for a case of 12. Available from Middle Farm Cider & Perry Collection, direct from Gwynt Y Ddraig’s online shop as well as from selected outlets in Wales

Gwynt Y Ddraig Orchard Gold

It's all about the zesty sparkle with this offering from Gwynt Y Ddraig (which translates from Welsh as 'the dragon's breath).

Sharp tangy bubbles hit the back of your throat, giving way to a crisp but fleeting aromatic apple aftertaste.

4.9%/500ml/£24.00 for a case of 12. Available from Middle Farm Cider & Perry Collection, direct from Gwynt Y Ddraig’s online shop as well as from selected outlets in Wales

Ty Gwyn Ciders

Ty Gwyn Medium Dry Cider
This medium dry offering is Ty Gwyn’s flagship cider, and it’s easy to see why it has wide appeal.  It’s a very lightly sparkling cider with subtle notes of apple jam. A blend of late harvested Vilberie and Brown Snout apples provide a hint of sweetness upfront, followed by some fleeting tannins. A crowd-pleasing festival cider.

Hallets Real Cider

This is a solid simple cider from the people at Blaengawney Farm and it's little wonder that it's built up a firm following (it's been given its very own Hallets Real Cider website independent of its producer).

6%/500ml/RRP £3.36. Available from Blaengawney Farm, a number of local pubs and restaurants in South Wales and online from


Welsh Wine Week

Parva Farm Vineyard
28 May 2011 - 5 June 2011

This year's Welsh award-winners, Parva Farm near Tintern is open every day during Welsh Wine Week. Picking up a silver in the 2011 International Wine Challenge, Parva has a treasure hunt for kids, self-guided tours of the vineyard and tastings, plus a guided tour on Thurs 2 June, 5.30pm (£5).