Swansea

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                       The Brunswick Arms                                                            The Wig                                                                     Queens Hotel    

  

Swansea, home to Tomos Watkin’s ales, is also home to a number of excellent public houses, of which, The Brunswick Arms, 3 Duke Street SA1 4HS (01792 465676) feels like a 'country pub', with its wooden beams, comfortable seating and art adorning the walls.  The permanent ales on sale are Courage Best, Abbot Ale and Old Speckled Hen from Greene King. In addition, a guest ale is served straight from the barrel; regularly included are ales from Welsh independent brewers Evan Evans Brewery or Newmans Brewery.  Food is served every day, 12-7.45pm (Mon-Fri) and 12-2.45 (Sat-Sun). 

 

A short distance away is The Wig, 134 St. Helens Road SA1 4BL (01792 466519), recommended by regulars at The Brunswick; some recommendation!  There are 5 regularly changing ales on sale, with about 20 different ales a week, including beers from the Welsh independents, Hurns (Tomos Watkin) and Rhymney Brewery, and from further afield, eg Badger, Butcombe and Greene King.  Food is available until 8pm daily, and there is a 'renowned carvery' 12-4pm on Sundays.

 

My third recommendation is the Queens Hotel, Gloucester Place SA1 1TY (01792 521531), which is situated near the marina, and the Dylan Thomas Arts Centre and museums.  Regular beers are Theakston’s Old Peculiar and Best Bitter, rare in this part of the world, and Brains Buckley’s Best Bitter, plus a guest ale, usually from a local microbrewery.  Food, labelled as ‘traditional Welsh cuisine’, is served from 11.30-2.30pm. 

 

If you fancy something a bit different, Hurns Brewing Co, who brewTomos Watkins beers, provide a special pre-match brewery tour that includes transport to the Liberty Stadium, and back again.  The price per person is £25 (or £30 with buffet, if you are members of a group of at least 10 and no more than 35); whichever price, you get two ‘free’ pints included, and further beer is sold at £2.50 a pint. Go to www.hurns.co.uk for more information, and remember to have a ‘named driver’ happy to drink just the two pre-match pints, if parking up there! 

 

On the edge of the City Centre, the CAMRA Good Beer Guide recommends The Westbourne, 1 Brynymor Road SA1 4JQ (01792 476637), that sells Greene King Abbot Ale and Sharps Doom Bar, plus 2 guest ales, and food is served until 6pm; 4pm on Sundays.

 

If you want a Wetherspoons, try the Potters Wheel, 85 The Kingsway, SA1 5JE (01792 465113), with the usual ‘spoons fare and good value drinks, and with a strong commitment to local microbreweries.  Also, another ‘spoons recommended to visit, ie a Lloyds Bar that was created out of a transformed bank,is the Bank Statement, 57/58 Wind Street, SA1 1EP (01792 455477). Both are included in the 2013 CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

 

However, you may prefer to visit another bar that has more recently been recommended to me, and is just over the road from the Bank Statement, ie  the No Sign Bar, 56 Wind Street, SA1 1EG (01792 456110).  This, apparently, was an old haunt of Dylan Thomas.  In addition to selling 3 real ales, including Brains Rev James, and good food, this is also a wine bar and music venue. 

 

 
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