Monday, 19 March 2012

Albion Conwy

The guys are in their red rugby shirts and singing Sospan Fach and Hymns and Arias, and me and my mate and brother want to join in because we know the songs from school but we’re unsure about our Welsh, but I also want to chat (I am a stranger to the pub, even though I have strong local credentials). I ask the barman: have we won a Grand Slam or something? But this is not about the match, glorious as it was, it is about the Albion in Conwy, a pub whose decor is unique. Why? It is one of the most unspoilt pubs in Wales and was recently taken under the collective wing of four local breweries: Conwy, Purple Moose, Bragdy’r Nant and Great Orme. Collaboration. And whisper it gently but this is also a craft beer bar — there are beers from the quartet of local pubs, plus a couple of guests and Freedom dark lagers. The architecture is superb, pre 1914 with a gratifying sense of the homeliness of a great pub. It’s craft in the sense of how we used to know craft, in that people have shaped its environment, have laid claim to its environment, are part of its environment, are creating the environment — it’s organic in that sense and as one local said to me: ‘it was crap before but now it is part of Conwy and I, for one, are so loving that Freedom Stout.’ I will be back there in the autumn. 

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