The Best Craft Beer to Sample in South Wales
In case you didn’t already know, craft beer in Wales is a big deal. There are many flourishing companies that all specialise in producing Welsh craft beer – so much so that it can be overwhelming knowing where’s best to turn. This article aims to guide your search for the perfect craft beer pint (or half) in South Wales.
Best craft beer in Cardiff
If you’re a real Welsh craft beer aficionado, it’s likely you’ll have already heard of Pipes, which is one of Cardiff’s best-loved craft beer producers. They’re known for their forward-thinking flavours, and although you can purchase their products on and offline, heading to their Pontcanna brewery for a beer straight from the tap is hard to beat. Choose from the likes of Bavarian Wheat 5.3%, Session IPA 4.5% and Raspberry and Coffee Berliner 5.3%.
Established in 2014, Craft Devil aims to produce exciting, fresh, tasty, independent craft beers made as locally as possible for real beer fans. Visit the cellar bar and shop in Penarth for some great food and beer (dogs welcome), or choose from one of the eight taps at their Canton site.
Rival Brewing Co
Advertising themselves as ‘beer without the BS’, Rival Brewing Co prioritises producing good beer made seasonally. You’ll find stouts in the winter and lagers and IPAs in the summer – all of which are 100% vegan. They work with a local producer to brew the cacao oatmeal stout, occasionally adding fruit to give a richer, darker taste. So if you’re in South Wales in the winter, be sure to grab one of these.
Both a restaurant and a microbrewery, this spot is ideal if there’s a larger group of you looking to socialise. Zerodegrees’ beer is made on-site – you can even watch them brew it if that tickles your fancy – and varies monthly. But if you get keen on a particular pint, there are a couple of core beers that stay consistently on tap. Grab a pizza from the open kitchen and you’re good to go.
Best craft beer in Swansea
Dog’s Window Brewery
Like many of the breweries on this list, Dog’s Window prioritise quality over quantity. Real ales and craft beers are all handmade in small amounts, taking inspiration from both the classic and the modern. All beers are keg-conditioned naturally, and developed for superior flavour.
Bang on Brewery
Another Bridgend brewery, the beer at Bang on Brewery is award-winning and brewed by hand to ensure premium quality. All ingredients are locally sourced and the supply ranges from limited edition short runs to core beers. Choose from the likes of Cariad Welsh Ale 4.1%, Tidy Original Craft Lager 4%, and Thirst Aid Pale Ale 4.4%.
BeerRiff Brewing Co
The taproom for BeerRiff sits on top of their brewery and serves 15 beers on tap – all brewed on site. Grab a pint and survey Swansea marina, or enjoy the sun in their comfy garden. Beers offered vary between a core range and limited edition products, but all are produced in the 4bb brewhouse.
Other craft beer in South Wales
Bluestone Brewing, Cilgwyn
Nestled in the Preseli hills of Pembrokeshire, this family-based brewery operates out of 200-year-old farm buildings. They aim to deliver great beer that’s also environmentally conscious. All beers at Bluestone are vegan friendly – except for their Fossil Fuel, which is a coffee milk stout. What’s more, the company plants trees and sows wildflower seeds to offset any carbon impact and get involved in community hop projects.
Tenby Brewing Co
Brewed by the beach on the south western tip of Wales, the beers from Tenby Brewing Co won’t disappoint. Choose from a core selection or enjoy a limited edition option – the range is versatile enough to suit all beer drinkers. We’d recommend starting with Son Of A Beach 4.2%.
Tiny Rebel Brewing Co
Based in both Cardiff and Newport, Tiny Rebel have only been brewing since 2013 – but you wouldn’t know it by the number of awards they’ve won. Their Cwtch red ale has won Champion Beer of Wales multiple times, and the brewery overall has collected the Independent Craft Beer trophy from the Society of Independent Brewers, too.