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Real Ale In Wales

Real ale is alive and thriving in Wales and always has been really. The Welsh branch of the Campaign for Real Ale ( CAMRA) put on another hugely successful annual beer and cider festival in 2012 in Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena. In 2012 there were over 150 real ales as well as ciders, stouts, porters barley wines and foreign beers.

Real Ale In Wales

As usual it was a three-day event at 6 GBP for entry ticket, a pint or half-pint glass and a programme, which gives useful information to help visitors enjoy the thirst quenching drinks. Under 26's and CAMRA members also received some complimentary beer tokens.real ale in wales

Cash does not change hands at the points of sale, but people buy beer tokens to exchange at half-a-pint each. All beers, cider and perry are sold at the same price, which is often at a slight discount to their normal selling prices.

Arfur Daley, the festival organiser said: “Most of what we have on show is Welsh. This is a Welsh beer festival and we want to showcase the best of what Wales has to offer".

The Welsh CAMRA Beer Festival is always well organised and 2012 was no exception. Many of the stewards work free of charge (or for a few complimentary beer tokens per shift. There is security, which is handled by members of CAMRA, but there is never any trouble.

The festival began on Thursday as usual and that is the quietest day, because people have to work or go to college on Friday, but come the weekend it got very busy. The live music was a great attraction as well as the real ale.

Nick Otley, managing director of Pontypridd’s Otley Brewing Company, who had 13 examples of thirst quenching ale and beer of Wales at the festival, said: “We have been appearing at the festival for about six years. It is our home festival and a great chance for us to showcase our beers to new people and a younger generation".

Brains Brewery of Cardiff used the festival to launch its latest and strongest ale, Brains Strong Ale, which has a giddying 6.5% abv., almost 50% more than it's beer with the traditional reputation for making people tipsy - Brains S.A., which has the nickname of 'Skull Attacker'.

Going out in the UK is expensive and the sighs are that people want value for money whey they do venture out. The number of people who have tried real ale has risen by 40% in the last five years according to Britain's best selling beer and pub guide, which is compiled by CAMRA members.

An entry in the book is free of charge, but landlords should not expect free advertising if they do not merit it. CAMRA's 130,000 members regularly visit pubs in the guide and write reports on their experiences - good and bad.

There are 66 new entries from Welsh pubs in the latest edition. This is a colossal amount, but then Wales always has had a reputation for serving great home-made real ales from great Welsh beer micro-breweries like Bullmastiff Breweries of Cardiff.

by +Owen Jones