Brain’s brewery has been affiliated with Wales since the company’s inception in 1882 in a small stone building behind a Cardiff pub and, to this day, you can find the Brain’s logo above the door of more than 270 pubs, bars and hotels across Wales.
Still owned by the descendants of its founder, Samuel Arthur Brain, the company has always had strong links with Welsh sport. Brain’s is the official ale of Football Association of Wales and Glamorgan Cricket, but its link with sport are undoubtedly the strongest when it comes to rugby.
A visit to the Millennium Stadium or Cardiff Arms Park would not be complete without a pint of Brain’s at half time, so it is fitting the brewers have honoured the Six Nations tournament this year by releasing yet again their seasonal, and aptly named, ale, Bread of Heaven.
Bread of Heaven (4.0% ABV) is a traditional cask ale with a distinctive reddish hue and hop aroma, finely balanced by a more-ish fruit finish. It accompanies Brain’s Bitter and SA Brain already on offer all year round, described by the company as “the toast of a nation”.
It was first brewed in 2004 to celebrate Brain’s sponsorship of the Welsh national rugby team and was the official ale of Wales’s 2005, 2008 and 2012 Grand Slams, as well as their 2013 Six Nations victory. Brain’s remains the proud official ale of the WRU.
Just one pub anticipating a warm reception for the seasonal ale is The Yard, in the Brewery Quarter on St Mary Street. The Welsh flags and bunting are already up inside the pub to welcome the estimated 7,000 punters that will pass through the doors today alone.
Joe Muldoon, 40, the manager, said: “It is meant to rev up the passions of the Welsh people on match days. With Brain’s being a local company in Cardiff, I think it is only appropriate we do something to invoke it.
“We sold four or five kegs of the ale in less than four days. We do a lot of craft beers so it’s nice there’s a bit more recognition to what the brewery already does.
“The beer will be on sale for the whole month of February, hopefully reaching a climax around St David’s Day.”
Bread of Heaven will be available in the following Brain’s pubs in Cardiff to coincide with the Wales v England clash tonight, 33 Windsor Place, Cardiff Cottage, City Arms, Dempsey’s, Duke of Wellington, Goat Major, Kitty Flynn’s, Old Arcade, Terra Nova and The Yard.