The craft ale revolution is well underway. Craft breweries have grown over 73% in the last five years. The art of brewing the finest ales is well-rooted in local history and culture, and is just as skilled as producing the finest wines. If you love beer, these historic places in Wales and Austria are must-see’s for an authentic, real-ale experience:
Wales: Traditional pub experience at an old Drovers Inn
There is nothing more characteristic than the wooden beams and inglenook fireplaces of an old pub. At the Y Talbot, in Tregaron, tradition is alive and well, slightly more refined since its old drovers’ inn days to keep up with the times. The pub is well stocked with Welsh cask ales and ciders, to be perfectly paired with a hearty meal in the winter or the refreshing breeze in the beer garden in the summer.
Brecon Beacons, Wales: Locally sourced ales in a village pub
Seductively nestled between the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Felin Fach Griffin is a rural gastropub set to win you over. The atmosphere is convivial and contemporary country, and the ales are sourced from six different local breweries: Brecon Brewing, Wye Valley, Rhymney Brewery, Celt Experience, Monty’s and Waen. The food is just as remarkable. Menus change with the seasons and are a step above what you might expect in rural Wales. Feast on baba ganoush, imam bayilidi, goats curd and buttermilk cracker or pig cheek with carrot and apple slaw, followed by turbot with sunblush tomatoes, capers and oliver vierge.
Anglesey: Mix and experiment in wild and undiscovered Anglesey
There’s a reason that Prince William and Kate Middleton lived a quiet life in Anglesey before they were married: It’s undeniably beautiful, quiet and still a fairly remote Island, connected to the mainland by bridge. At the Olde Bull’s Head Inn old and new blend in together under the low ceilings of the 400-year-old drinking hole that once welcomed Charles Dickens. Ask for the house recommendations on the best hand drawn cask or craft ale, or choose a more “do it yourself” approach and request a beer paddle of three different ales to taste.
Crickhowell, Wales: A former coaching inn
Keeping up the same inviting environment for 500 years is an art that requires the skills of a master. The secret of the success of the Bear Hotel in Crickhowell most likely stems from the healthy socializing between guests and locals over a homemade meal and a pint of local ale, since the hotel’s historic bar is also the local social hub. Beers are sourced from Celtic Vale and Brains Brewery.