A night around Brecon, another 3 GBG pub town that I’d only ever been to once, back when “Love Is All Around”  was Number 1. Mind you, that narrow it down to between 1993 and 1995, given how long it was top of the charts.

I know it’s got hills and all that, but is Brecon worth a visit in its own right ?

Hills are all around us
Pretty Welsh town

Yes, but it’s no Abergavenny or Monmouth, more like a Llanberis for the Brecons, which means there’s no Spoons and the B&Bs are the most expensive so far.

But the walks are free.

Walk along the Usk easier than walk up Sugar Loaf

Three very different guide entries along a half-mile stretch of the main road out of town.  A pub crawl for the very lazy walker.


The first one is the micro/tap/craft bar, a long narrow shop conversion built to appeal to the Mrs RMs of the world.  Oddly, no music, which may suit Herne micro fanatics but means a bit of a dead atmosphere.


One other customer in the Brecon Tap at 3pm on a Thursday, and she isn’t drinking the cask. Three beers I’ve never heard of, their relative paleness highlighted by those vital jam jars.


I pick the middle one, a pale murky neo-soup of a beer (NBSS 2), not that bad but I leave it after a fruitless search for a pot plant.  CAMRA should signal the availability of pot plants for tickers to tip away their beer surreptitiously.

Still, it clearly improves choice in the town, and that’s what matters in our choice-obsessed world, isn’t it ?

A pleasing lack of choice in the Clarence;

Yer Trad

Butty Bach or Bitter ?  That’s the sort of decision I like.


A couple of Old Boys in a classic unimproved bar.

Ancient scoring system

But a dozen or more out in the gorgeous garden, which gives me ample opportunity to ditch a decent but swiftly lukewarm half of Butty after a couple of mouthfuls (NBSS 2). No doubt someone will ask why I didn’t take a slightly too warm beer back.


Still, the Clarence was a warm, friendly pub, and gave me an opportunity to bring you another of those distorted photos that my extensive customer research shows you demand. Thanks Pauline.

Chupa Chups

Across the road, the ghosts of Beer Guides past illuminate this pub.  Five points for a correct identifications.

Clue in the reflection

It looks like it was a cracker.

Proper food

You’ll know my views on rugby and social clubs, but at least it’s a proper sign.

The Devil’s work

One other Old Boy on the Carling, and the friendly barman pulls the Sea Fury through thoroughly for the first pint of the day.

My disappointment at the turned round Doom Bar clip is palpable

That Sharp’s (top) was the best of the bunch (NBSS 2.5), but even then it wouldn’t convert you to cask.

And as I walked into the hills, I couldn’t help but think if this summer was doing for marginal cask outlets what 1976 apparently did more effectively than Watney’s.  By the head of the canal basin, dozens of tourists were enjoying a pint of Peroni.  I should have joined them.



  1. Your neverending saga of warm,flat pints being left unfinished across the length and breadth of the land is all a bit dispiriting.
    If I brewed cask beer I’d be a worried person.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Indeed,I don’t buy this nonsense that if it’s warm outside then cask must be rubbish.
        If your cellar is too warm put a bloody cooling system in.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha…I’ve been on a school trip to France so knee deep in l’escargot and the Bayeux tapestry. Met an interesting chap working Villediue market from Reigate who liked France but – I quote – said “They can’t make beer for shit over here.” Looks like there could be a burgeoning cask market in Northern France!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “Looks like there could be a burgeoning cask market in Northern France!”

        The biggest problem with breaking into the Northern France market is that it’s too close to Belgium. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s on a parallel road just north of the town centre, so if you were just doing a normal exploration on foot you might not pass it. There’s also a big Brains pub right in the centre which looks rather Spoons-like.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I stayed in the Gremlin for two nights about thirty years ago.
        “A Llanberis for the Brecons” – and there was precious little real ale in Llanberis when I stayed there three years ago.
        Those three keg taps apparently out of the end of a wooden cask is what CAMRA would have reported to Trading Standards in the 1970s.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “Hills are all around us”

    My wife and I can’t listen to that song now without thinking of the movie “Love Actually”. ;

    “Walk along the Usk easier than walk up Sugar Loaf”

    I shall take your word for it. While I’ve been up the Sugar Loaf I have yet to walk the Usk.

    “their relative paleness highlighted by those vital jam jars.”

    I have to agree, that’s not very helpful. 🙂

    “That Sharp’s (top) was the best of the bunch (NBSS 2.5), but even then it wouldn’t convert you to cask.”

    Sadly have to agree.

    “I should have joined them.”

    Nowt wrong with a cold lager once in a while. Of course, after saying that, I still stick to ales in this heat (currently 34C with the humidity) but go with the Session Ales rather than stronger IPAs. 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

  3. We had a mixed experience on the Brecon Tap – its the Brecon Brewery place isn’t it. Clarence is a GBG regular. Opposite is the Gremlin where the beer (I recall Draught Bass) was poor but it has what may be the oldest surviving GBG sticker (1978). Beer quality in Spoons was good- several of us tried different beers too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was October 1988 when I stayed in the Gremlin and alongside the Draught Bass were Everards Old Original, Robinsons Best Bitter and Wadworths 6X.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think it’s Brecon Brewery founder Buster Grant who is, or has been, the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Chairman.

        Liked by 1 person

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