Archive for June, 2013

Hurns Brewing Company

26/06/2013

Efallai na fydd ‘Hurns Brewing Company’ yn enw cyfarwydd iawn ond tybiaf bod Tomos Watkin yn ddipyn mwy cyfarwydd. Y cysylltiad rhwng y ddau yw bod cwrw Hurns yn cael eu gwerthu o dan y brand Tomos Watkin.

Enillodd dau gwrw Tomos Watkin tlysau aur ac efydd yng ngwobrau Gwir Flas y llynedd ond dechreuodd y cyfan pan brynodd tîm brawd a chwaer fragdy gan y derbynnydd yn ôl yn 2002. Roeddynt eisoes yn berchen ar gwmni cyfanwerthu a dosbarthu ac fe brynwyd y bragdy fel ‘naid ffydd’.

Ystod o'u diodydd

Ystod o’u diodydd

Roedd bod yn berchen ar gwmni cyfanwerthu yn galluogi iddynt ddosbarthu eu cynnyrch a hefyd tîm marchnata, dechrau da ar gyfer unrhyw fragwr newydd.

Ond pam ymgymryd â’r her o fragdy a oedd wedi methu? Yr ateb mewn gair yw angerdd. Maent yn angerddol am Gymru a’i bwyd a diod, credant y gall ein bwyd a diod sefyll ysgwydd wrth ysgwydd gyda’r gorau yn y byd. Roeddent yn teimlo y dylai cwrw Cymreig hefyd yn cael y gydnabyddiaeth uchaf am ei ansawdd a bod Cymru yn haeddu cwrw gwych a oedd yn ‘cynnyrch waith llaw grefftus’ – dyma pam anwyd Tomos Watkin.

Ers 2002 mae’r cwmni a’u cynnyrch wedi tyfu i’r fath raddau fel bod ganddynt bellach gontractau ledled y byd. Mae buddsoddiad diweddar wedi gweld swm chwe ffigur yn cael ei wario ar waith potelu a phecynnu newydd sy’n dangos hyder yn y dyfodol ac mae eu cwrw yn dechrau gweld mwy o ddosbarthiad yng Nghymru ac yn y DU, er enghraifft mae bragwyr Fuller’s o Lundain newydd gymryd eu cwrw.

Mae Cymreictod a’r iaith Gymraeg yn amlwg yn eu brandio. Maent yn bragu ystod eang o gwrw mewn casgen, ceg a photel ac mae ganddynt hefyd amrywiaeth mawr o gwrw tymhorol a seidr. Bydd blog arall yn y dyfodol yn ymdrin â’u cwrw buddugol, ond, am y tro, mae’n wych gweld stori lwyddiant arall o fragu Cymreig.

Hurns Brewing Company

26/06/2013

The name Hurns Brewing Company might not necessarily be that familiar, however the mention of Tomos Watkin is likely to elicit a much more positive response. The connection between the two is that Hurns beers are sold under the Tomos Watkin brand.

Two of the Tomos Watkin beers won gold and bronze at last year’s Wales True Taste awards but it all started when a brother and sister team bought a brewery from the receiver back in 2002. They already owned a wholesale and delivery company and bought the brewery as ‘a leap of faith’.

The Hurns range

The Hurns range

Having a wholesale company gave them access to distribution and they also had an established sales and marketing team– a good start for any small brewer!

But why take on a failed brewery? The answer in a word is passion. They are passionate about Wales and its food and drink, firmly believing that our food and drink can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world. They felt that Welsh beer should also have the highest recognition for its quality and that Wales deserved a great beer which was a ‘handmade and artisan product’ – Tomos Watkin was born.

Since 2002 the company and its brands have grown to such an extent that they now have worldwide contracts. A recent investment has seen a six-figure sum spent on a new bottling and packaging plant shows confidence in the future and their beers are beginning to see more distribution within Wales and the UK, for example, the London brewer Fuller’s have just taken on their beers.

Their branding is clearly Welsh and the Welsh language is prominent. They brew a wide variety of ales in cask, keg and bottle and they also have a great range of seasonal beers and a cider. I will cover the prize winning ales in a future post but, for now, it’s great to see another Welsh brewing success story.

Purple Moose Expands

18/06/2013

A further sign of the microbrewing boom in Wales comes from Purple Moose in Porthmadog.

Purple Moose started life back in 2005. The latest chapter in their history will see a major expansion project to alleviate capacity constraints in meeting current demand and to enable further expansion. They are boosting their brewing capacity from the current 10 barrel plant to 40 barrels by installing a brand new brewing plant.

Inside the brewery

Inside the brewery

This will allow Purple Moose to increase the availability of its award winning ales in Wales and other parts of Britain. It also means that it can start to export its bottled beers. The current plan is to increase the brewing of its current range of ales rather than add new beers. One result is that Ysgawen, an elderflower ale, will now be a regular year-round ale as opposed to a seasonal.

MD Lawrence Washington behind the stick

MD Lawrence Washington behind the stick

Financial assistance has come from Cyngor Gwynedd’s Local Investment Fund and one new job has been created immediately increasing the size of their sales team. The expansion is likely to create further new jobs in the future. All in all, very good news for brewing in Wales and for Porthmadog.

Mws Piws yn Ehangu

18/06/2013

Mae arwydd pellach o ffyniant bragdai Cymru i’w weld ym Mragdy’r Mws Piws ym Mhorthmadog.

Dechreuodd Mws Piws nol yn 2005. Mae’r bennod ddiweddaraf yn eu hanes yn gweld prosiect i ehangu eu gallu cynhyrchu i liniaru cyfyngiadau capasiti i ateb y galw presennol am eu cwrw a hefyd i’w galluogi i ehangu ymhellach. Maent yn cynyddu maint eu bragdy o’r ddeg casgen bresennol i 40 casgen.

Tu mewn i'r bragdy

Tu mewn i’r bragdy

Bydd hyn yn caniatáu Mws Piws i gynyddu argaeledd eu cwrw, sydd wedi ennill sawl gwobr, yng Nghymru a rhannau eraill o Brydain. Mae hefyd yn golygu eu bod yn gallu dechrau allforio eu cwrw potel. Y cynllun cyfredol yw cynyddu bragu eu hystod bresennol o gwrw yn hytrach na ychwanegu cwrw newydd. Un canlyniad yw bod Ysgawen, cwrw blodau ysgaw, am fod ar gael drwy gydol y flwyddyn yn hytrach na’n gwrw tymhorol.

Rheolwr Gyfarwyddwr Lawrence Washington y tu ol i'r bar

Rheolwr Gyfarwyddwr Lawrence Washington y tu ol i’r bar

Mae cymorth ariannol wedi dod o Gronfa Fuddsoddi Leol Cyngor Gwynedd ac mae un swydd newydd wedi cael ei greu yn syth gan gynyddu maint eu tîm gwerthu. Mae’r ehangu hefyd yn debygol o greu swyddi newydd pellach yn y dyfodol. Ar y cyfan mae hyn yn newyddion da iawn i fragu yng Nghymru ac i Borthmadog.

Drink of the Month June 2013: Ancre Hill Estates – Chardonnay 2010 (11% abv)

02/06/2013

With Welsh Wine Week 2013 just coming to an end I thought it would be a good to build on this by featuring one of the wines from our growing wine industry.

Gwynedd-20130612-00116

Ancre Hill Estates is probably Wales’ leading vineyard and is based just outside the town of Monmouth. As mentioned in my previous blog post they won the prestigious Bollicine Del Mondo for their Sparkling White, a great win.

What’s more they follow biodynamic principles and are in the process of developing a winery that will be the first in Wales.

The 2010 Chardonnay is the result of great growing weather. Three-quarters of the wine was fermented in stainless steel with the reminder interestingly spending six months in French oak casks.

The French oak should add something to the flavour, we’ll see.

So, as ever, there are two ways to enjoy the drink of the month but both require a bottle of Ancre Hill Chardonnay 2010!

Drink it at your leisure and leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

Join in the live tweetasting on Thursday 13 June between 9-10pm using #drinkswales

Diod y mis Mehefin 2013: Ancre Hill Estates – Chardonnay 2010 (11% afc)

02/06/2013

Gyda Wythnos Win Cymru 2013 yn dod i ben meddyliais y buasai’n syniad blasu un o winoedd ein diwydiant gwin sy’n brysur tyfu.

Gwynedd-20130612-00116Mae’n debyg mai Ancre Hill Estates yw ein gwinllan blaenllaw ac maen’t wedi eu lleoli ar gyrion Trefynwy. Fel y soniais ar y blog yn ddiweddar, maen’t wedi ennill y Bollicine Del Mondo ar gyfer eu gwin gwyn pefriog, buddigoliaeth hynod wych.

Hefyd maen’t yn dilyn egwyddorion biodynamig  ac wrthi yn datblygu gwindy, neu gynhyrchfa win, a fydd y cyntaf yng Nghymru.

Mae Chardonnay 2010 yn ganlyniad o dywydd tyfu gwych. O ran ei gynhyrchu, fe gafodd dri-chwarter o’r gwin ei eplesu mewn tanc dur di-staen a’r gweddill mewn casgenni derw Ffrening am chwe mis.

Disgwyliaf i’r casgenni derw Ffrening gyfrannu rhywbeth i’r blas, fe gawn weld.

Felly, mae dwy ffordd i fwynhau diod y mis ond mae’n anghenrheidiol cael potel o Ancre Hill Chardonnay 2010 yn gyntaf wrth gwrs!

Yfwch yn eich amser eich hun a chyfrannwch eich sylwadau ar y blog a/neu…

Ymunwch a’r sesiwn trydarflasu yn fyw ar ddydd Iau 13ed Mehefin rhwng 9-10yh gan ddefnyddio #diodyddcymru