Keeping it real … Real Ale
I can’t remember the first time I had my first taste of ale, it’s always been a part of me and even when I was younger when everyone was tucking into their alco-pops or cans of Fosters I was looking for different beers. I can remember the first time I had a Belgian beer and I can remember the moment I first tried a new “Craft Beer”. That beer was a bottle of Tiny Rebel Hadouken, it was the first time I really caught a right hook from hops. Although I was always drinking different ales and trying to get my friends into them I think that hop punch was where it all changed.
Since then I have always wanted to visit Tiny Rebel, either the brewery or their pub to sample their beer as fresh as possible.
This Summer something awful happened, Leyton Orient got relegated!!! But every cloud and all that as it meant we would be playing Newport County, which just so happens to be the home of Tiny Rebel. Although I had been told by a few different people that there was a taproom at the brewery, or it was at least possible to have a drink there, we were disappointed to find that when we arrived at the brewery there was no taproom nor were we able to drink on site. We picked up some bottles of One Inch Punch and a brand new t shirt and returned back to the hotel.
Cardiff was the destination for the evening, with the number one spot being the Urban Tap House. Tiny Rebel opened the Urban Tap House in 2013 and they claim that it was Wales first dedicated Craft Beer and cider pub. It’s huge (5 rooms over 2 floors!) and it is perfectly placed a stones throw away from the Millennium Stadium. As you walk through the doors of the huge pub you have the option of turning left into a seating area or walking ahead around the large L shaped bar, which wrapped around the corner into the back seating area and back door. There is also more seating available upstairs.
The decor is just right, not over the top arty/rough around the edges that it looks forced or fake but perfectly natural. Tiny Rebels instantly recognisable bear mascot can be spotted around the bar, the walls and of course on the pumpclips. There is a real comfortable homely feel to the place even though it is such a large building.
The people who put together the football fixtures were good to us as it was just a week previous that Tiny Rebel deservedly won the champion beer of Britain for its incredible beer Cwtch. And guess what was on the bar… It would have been rude to not had any other beer. And it is that good that it required to be ordered again! It really is a great beer, big caramel biscuit mouth with a perfect balance of bitterness from the US hops used to brew the beer. In my opinion a truly outstanding example of what cask ale is all about.
Let’s Talk about the burgers… Ohhhhhh the burgers! If you thought drinking a pint of Cwtch straight from Tiny Rebels pub was magical moment then you wait till your try their burgers. I’m not even joking when I say their Thai chicken burger is hands down the best chicken burger I’ve ever had! It’s reasonably priced too so if you’re lucky enough to visit then do tuck in. I also love seeing their weekly create your own burger competitions.
Cardiff is a really good beer destination, there are many great drinking venues that are worth a visit. Tiny Rebel’s Urban Tap House however could be the best pick of the bunch and worth the trip alone.