Boom in real ale in North Wales is creating businesses and jobs. Owen Hughes reports
were living in Canada at the time and this opened our eyes to a whole new world of beer.”
While he had been working in IT security previously, when they came back to Wales Dave was determined to make a future in brewing.
He found premises in Llandudno and set about creating beers influenced by the North American craft beer scene.
They now produce three ales: Buckskin Blonde, a lager-ale hybrid; Palomino Pale Ale - inspired by West Coast American Pale Ales, and Dark Bay Porter based on the historic porter ales of London.
He said: “We’re currently on a small one barrel brewing system that produces 164 litres per brew. We are selling on draught at Bank of Conwy and have nine stockists. We are now running out of capacity and not really pushing this until we have a 10-barrel system installed in February next year.
“At present it is just myself full time and my wife helping out but we intend to take on staff next year if all goes well.
“There are a lot of breweries setting up but I think the demand is there for real ales and what we are doing is a bit different to what is already out there.
“Rather than competing with each other I think we are giving people more choice and moving them away from the large brewery companies.
“We have had support from other breweries, we have Orme Brewery just down the road from us and they have been very friendly.”
Another newcomer is Deva Craft in Sandycroft, Deeside.
Nick Gilbody, 29, set up the brewery with support from dad Adie. They produced their first ale in April.
He said: “We were both passionate about home brew and I also wanted to work for myself because I had had enough of working for other people.
“I have a chemistry background while my dad has worked for years for a major food manufacturer. We have combined our skills with me as the brewer and him helping on the manufacture and equipment side.
“Demand is slowly building. There is a lot of competition out there and it is hard to break into the market, which is still a niche market. We have had the most success in Chester.”
They can produce 800 litres per brew in a five barrel system and the beers include Pandemonium and Dual IPA. They have already taken on an extra person with Tom Sinclair joining from the highly rated Pied