I used to write about beer – sometimes professionally and often for pleasure – but now I don’t. Well, apart from the occasional musing, snipe and shred of fiction.




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  1. Dear Craig, my family are celebrating our Welsh heritage this Christmas Eve and looking to create a reasonably authentic experience (either modern or historical). Part of this, of course, is our beer and spirits. Unfortunately, we live in Utah, USA, the land of cultural desolation. I can find no Welsh beer in our limited liquor stores. Can you recommend brews that might be similar to something I might find in Wales (forgive my ignorance is this is an offensive question!).

    1. Hi Teri, thanks for getting in touch, and you’ve caused no offence whatsoever! It’s quite an interesting question, and I’ve just learned how little Welsh beer actually gets exported out to the States! In my searches I found a couple of online beer shops which sell Welsh ales. Half Time Beverages sell Tomos Watkins Old Style Bitter, which is a good traditional version of South Wales bitter (on the same page under Welsh beers they also have Murphy’s Stout, which is actually Irish, so ignore that), while both Liquor Mart and Binny’s sell Celt Experience beers, which are an excellent modern style of Welsh beer and ones I highly recommend.

      I don’t know if ordering beer online is appropriate for where you are; being Welsh means I don’t quite have the same sense of scale, so me suggesting you just order in from California or wherever might be the same as you casually telling me to order something from Italy. If online orders is something that doesn’t work out for you, then you might be interested in recreating some Bragawd, or Braggot. It’s a Celtic style of beer dating back to the Dark Ages, if not earlier, and is essentially a beer made with spices and honey. The spices would have been added during the brew process and the brew would have been drunk cold, but I have a more Christmassy suggestion.

      For this, take a bitter style ale, anything not too hoppy with a good biscuity character and a strength of around 4% ABV, and gently warm it up on the stove in a pan, being careful not to boil it, then add spices and honey to taste. Effectively you’re mulling it, so if you have any mulled wine kits lying around they’ll do nicely, if not, then Demerara/brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and honey will do nicely. Serve into mugs and drink on a cold day (forgive my ignorance, I don’t know if Utah has cold days). This also works well for wheat beer, where the addition of fresh citrus fruit also works well.

      I hope some of that helps. Iechyd Da!

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