Ale drink to that! New brew celebrates 20th anniversary of town food festival
An award-winning brewery is raising a toast to one the UK's top food festivals with a "heavenly" new beer to celebrate the event's 20 anniversary.
The foaming ale, called Ambrosia which means food and drink of the gods, will be launched by Llangollen Brewery at the town's popular two-day food festival which gets underway on Saturday.
Head brewer Ynyr Evans explained it was its way of thanking the festival for providing the brewery with an important shop window every year.
Llangollen Food Festival was founded in 1997 and since then the event has gone from strength to strength, annually attracting around 8,000 food lovers from far and wide.
As a result, it's been named as one of the Top 10 food festivals in the UK.
Another beer, Holy Grail Ale, which launched by Llangollen Brewery at the festival back in 2012, is now one of their biggest sellers.
It was inspired by a local legend involving the nearby Cistercian abbey of Valle Crucis and Dinas Bran Castle, on the hilltop towering over the town.
According to the story, the castle is the final resting place for the Holy Grail, the cup that Christ drank from at the Last Supper and that there is a tunnel all the way down to the abbey below.
Ynyr is hoping for similar success with the new Ambrosia Ale which he describes as "quite hoppy with a medium sort of bitterness".
To come up with the new brew, Ynyr has brought to bear years of brewing experience which began when he and his uncle Steven Evans, who owns the Abbey Grange Hotel and a number of pubs in the area, went into the beer making business together back in 2010.
The brewery is based in what had been the Abbey Grange’s farm shop on the road up to the Horseshoe Pass and close to Valle Crucis Abbey.
Ynyr, who had previously obtained a degree in geography and a master’s degree in countryside management, recalls that in the early days they were producing just 250 litres of ale per brewing but that expansion of the operation rapidly followed.
He said: “We extended the brewery into the old stables behind the hotel and gradually upped our production to our current 8,000 litres a week.
“We sell to scores of pubs across North Wales and into the North West of England but concentrate very much on looking after our local customer base.
“We only use the finest ingredients and local underground water source to produce our distinctive country ales, which include Llangollen and Welsh Black Bitter, Wrexham Borders pale ales and Llangollen Bitter and Llangollen Lager."