They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Otley O-Garden and O8

First published in BEER March 2008 as part of a piece about Welsh beers.
Beer sellers:

ABV:  4.8 and 8 per cent
Origin: Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf


Last month’s BEER previewed CAMRA’s Members’ Weekend in Cardiff by featuring Welsh beer and breweries, with my colleague Brian Glover reporting Wales is “fermenting furiously again, with more than 35 breweries.” What Brian didn’t mention is that an impressive proportion of these breweries are now bottling their beer, including as Real Ale in a Bottle.

I’ve long made a point of featuring Welsh beers in the March issue as it appears just before St David’s Day, but I once used to struggle to find even one bottle conditioned example to feature. This year there are so many to choose from I’ve opted to feature South Wales only, and leave the north till next year.

There are now enough brewers bottling in Wales to sustain a dedicated Welsh beer shop – the Meadow Farm Shop opened last year at Tintern, Monmouthshire (tel 01291 680101, email, no mail order yet but it’s planned this year). This is part of Kingstone Brewery which also offers its own wide range of bottle conditioned beers.

With its stylish white-on-black labels and minimalist names featuring the letter O, the Otley brewery gives its beers the presentation they. The beers exist because in 2005 Nick Otley and his fellow owners of the small independent pub and restaurant company that runs the Otley Arms and two other outlets in Pontypridd decided it made sense to add a brewery.


Otley O8

O-Garden is the brewery’s take on a wheat beer, with coriander and orange peel but curiously without the wheat! It pours a slightly cloudy golden with a creamy white head and an interesting hops and spiced orange aroma, with hints of hay and herbs. A dry palate integrates hops with orange and herb flavours and a slight apricot note. Coriander becomes more obvious in the finish which lingers with more spiced orange and a light hint of roast. Hopefully InBev haven’t contacted their lawyers yet!

The hefty O8 is an amber lent an aromatic edge with US Willamette hops. It starts with moist cake, citrus and orchard fruit and doughy pale malt on a complex floral-perfumed aroma. A firm, dry palate has sherbet fruit and mousse-textured malt with nectary orange notes and peppery hops. There’s more orange fruit in a peppery, slightly vegetal bitter finish w a hint of orange liqueur. “Dangerously drinkable” has become a cliché with strong beer but it’s well-deserved here– this strong but delightfully fresh and juicy beer slips down with perilous ease.

For more Welsh beers see next post.
Read more about these beers at

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