Having been in the service sector all my working life I’d always had a yearning to create a family company that actually made something and having dabbled in home brewing as a student and into my 20’s and 30’s why not make beer – I liked drinking it, the craft beer revolution was well underway, there were only a couple of little breweries on the Island and Anglesey was fast becoming an all year round food and drink destination with over one and a half million visitors each year– so what could go wrong we thought as we discussed it back in 2014. Karen, my wife, & I agreed, she would be able to use her considerable skills in sales and management developed over a number of years with blue chip companies and I could be head bottle washer! So Anglesey Ales Ltd was formed. The next step was to find someone who shared our vision, someone younger who enjoyed a process and had a head capable of creating a recipe. We didn’t have to look very far, Karen’s son Adam who had been in the military and then worked in several catering establishments was a perfect fit. What soldier doesn’t like a process or chef that doesn’t enjoy creating a new dish? After discussing it with Emily, his wife, the decision was made, and they moved to live in Aberffraw with their young son Stanley in August 2017 and Emily started nursing at Bangor Hospital soon after.
Our first tiny nano brewery was set up behind the Tafarn Y Rhos in Rhostrehwfa and we started test brewing on our 5 gallon luxury home brew equipment in September 2017. We developed 11 brews and ran a Facebook campaign to see who would like to taste our brews for free, we were overwhelmed at the response with over 100 applying. We whittled it down to just 12 – Champion tasters as we call them, and they were invited to sample 4 of our preferred brews – the clear winner, which was fortunate as it was ours also was the Rhosneigr IPA. At 4.3% ABV the golden, hoppy and easy drinking India Pale Ale became our first core brew and we were over the moon when it won a Great Taste award in August 2018.
Subsequently Adam, who in the meantime had passed Brewlab’s certificate in practical brewing, developed the ‘auburn and malty’ 5.5% ABV Trearddur Bay Extra Special Bitter (ESB) and the ‘amber and citrus’ Beaumaris Strong Pale Ale (SPA) 6% ABV which now form the backbone of our premium brews. We were as pleased as punch when the Trearddur Bay was awarded 2 stars (Outstanding – above and beyond delicious) by the Guild of Fine Foods in their Great Taste Awards announced in August 2019.
In April 2019 with demand outstripping supply we decided to upscale and move to larger premises in Llangefni. Production in the 10 barrel brewhouse commences in Autumn 2019. To be continued…………………………..