The Food Hall at the Royal Welsh Show (July 18-21) will once again be bursting with flavour, and the Cywain stand will be no exception with a talented and diverse line-up of Welsh food and drink producers.
A number of small and up and coming food producers will be featured in the Royal Welsh Show’s Food Hall under the auspices of Cywain – a project created to bring added value to primary produce within the agriculture sector.
Seven companies will feature on the Cywain-managed stand (numbers 66 & 67) over the four days of the Show, creating a diverse range of food and drink, which includes sausages, beer, honey, wine, cheese, gin, and botanical syrups!
Many of the producers will be making their show debut, while others will be launching new products and ideas. All the producers taking part in the showcase have been supported in their ventures by Cywain.
In addition, visitors to the stand will be asked for their feedback on some new products including ice cream from Carmarthenshire and a new lamb offering from a group of North Wales farmers.
MONDAY, JULY 18th
Sausages and beer take to the Cywain stand on the opening day of the Royal Welsh Show.
Bringing its range of Pedigree Welsh Pork sausages, burgers and bacon to the Cywain stand will be new producer The Gower Sausage Company.
Based in Reynoldston on Gower, The Gower Sausage Company has already received plaudits for its pork including Great Taste Awards.
The Gower Sausage Company – which recently launched its processing facility in Bridgend – prides itself on producing high quality products from Pedigree Welsh Pigs that have been born, processed and packaged in Wales and are all from the award winning Burry Herd on Gower.
The Company is a joint initiative between Lampeter beef farmer and AgriWales CEO Rhys Evans and Gower pig producer Ken Austin, owner of the Burry Herd – Europe’s largest herd of Pedigree Welsh Pigs.
The Pedigree Welsh Pig can trace its roots back hundreds of years, and while it was classed as a rare breed in 2005, in recent years there has been resurgence in pig numbers.
Trefforest microbrewery, Bragdy Twt Lol will bring its own brand of beer – and fun – to the Cywain stand.
Taking its name from the welsh ‘Twt’ for ‘small’ and ‘Twt Lol’ meaning ‘fun bordering on mischief’, the brewery was established by Philip Thomas in September 2015.
A keen home brewer Philip has turned his passion into a business and now produces three core craft beers, which he sells to pubs, bars and restaurants in Wales as well as a growing customer base throughout the UK in cities such as London, Reading Birmingham, Manchester and York.
Leading the trio of bi-lingual beers at the Royal Welsh Show is Pewin Ynfytyn (Crazy Peacock) a golden hoppy 4.8% abv. ale featuring hops grown in the Rhondda.
Rhondda grown Cascade hops are also blended to create Glog, a 4.0% abv. session beer inspired by a folktale from the heart of the South Wales valleys.
While the 4.2% abv. Cwrw’r Afr Serchog (Horny Goat Ale) includes a hint of Horny Goat Weed, a herb traditionally used in Chinese medicine.
TUESDAY, JULY 19th
Honey and wine feature on Tuesday.
Visitors to the Cywain stand on Tuesday will be asked a very important question by Builth Wells beekeeper Shane Llewellyn Jones – ‘What should he call his honey business?’
Shane, who has been keeping bees since he was 12 years old, aims to use his 26 years of knowledge and skill to market his honey and bee products.
He says, “I’m hoping the public at the Royal Welsh Show will give me feedback and help me come up with a name for my business – but it’s got to have a Welsh connection.”
With 30 hives of his own Shane manages the Brecon and Radnor Beekeepers Association’s apiary, which overlooks the Royal Welsh Showground. Indeed visitors will be able to taste and buy honey produced by bees that have probably been foraging for nectar in the showground!
Shane’s honey has won countless UK and international competitions and awards, including Best in Show at the Royal Welsh – which he puts down to Mid Wales honey “being among the best in the world.”
When new Carmarthenshire vineyard, Jabajak, launched its first wine in 2015 little did its owners, the Stuart-Robson family, think they would have an award-winning wine on their hands straightaway.
But they did, and Jabajak’s White House Welsh White Wine received a prestigious silver award at the annual Welsh Vineyard Association awards.
The Whitland vineyard’s White House Welsh White is a carefully handpicked blend of Phoenix and Seyval grapes, which produce a delicate well-balanced crisp wine with fabulous elderflower notes.
The terroir (land) on which Jabajak’s vines grown includes a lot of slate, which gives the wine a ‘mineral’ quality and a clean crisp note. Owner, Amanda, believes that it’s the magical Hiraeth that enables these grapes to belong to its terroir.
Due to launch this autumn is the White House Welsh Blush Sparkling – a rosé produced from Phoenix and Seyval grapes that is blushed with Rondo producing hints of strawberry with a crisp dry finish. It looks very promising and Jabajak’s aim is to become a world leader in sparkling wine.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20th
Gin and cheese pair up on Wednesday.
Folk music and a love of his locality led Matt Rowland to launch the first distillery in North Wales for over 116 years.
North Star Distillery in Conwy is only a few months old, but has already produced its first gin ‘Merywen’ (the welsh for Juniper).
Using as many local Conwy and Denbighshire ingredients and flavours as possible, Matt hopes to “capture the essence” of his home corner of North Wales and showcase the area to a wider audience.
The gin is made using freshly picked botanicals from hedgerows and gardens and is sold in local pubs, restaurants and shops.
Eager to include his love of Welsh folk music and to show another aspect of Wales’ culture Matt has created bi-lingual bottles featuring specially composed music and lyrics.
The gin is produced in very small batches on a farm in the Conwy hills – which Matt says is “probably the smallest distillery in Wales” – but already its appeal is growing with North Star’s gin starting to make sweet music across the Welsh border too!
Hot on the heels from winning the best new cheese title at the British Cheese Awards, Bethesda cheese producer Cosyn Cymru will be featured at Cywain’s stand on Wednesday.
Former grassland scientist turned artisan sheep’s milk cheese maker, Dr Carrie Rimes, honed her skills working in France’s rural fromageries.
She makes her cheeses at Coleg Menai’s Food Technology Centre and stores them at Ffarm Moelyci – a community farm in Tregarth, which also has a shop and café.
A farmers’ daughter Carrie had always wanted to make cheese and had tried her hand on the family’s farm in Devon. However it wasn’t until several years later she got seriously into cheese making when taking part in a project which provided the opportunity to work with cheese producers in France.
Research in Welsh delis and cheese shops identified a demand for sheep’s milk cheese, and, she hasn’t looked back, and she is currently in the process of creating her own dairy at Ffarm Moelyci.
Brefu Bach was named best new cheese, while her Olwyn Fawr cheese took a silver medal at the 2016 British Cheese Awards. Joining them on the stand at the Royal Welsh Show will be Caws Chwaral and Caws Calan along with a range of sheep’s milk natural yogurt.
THURSDAY, JULY 21st
Botanical syrups bring a floral end to the Show.
Tast Natur harnesses the essence of nature in a range of innovative and versatile botanical syrups.
With encouragement from friends and family Non Rhys’ interest in Welsh flora and fauna and the ways in which they may be incorporated into food and drink has led to the creation of Tast Natur.
She forages nettles, rosehips and honeysuckle and grows her own flowers, cucumbers and rhubarb as well as picking daisies and clover from her Cardiff garden and gardens in West Wales which she then makes into syrup.
Non devises recipes incorporating her floral flavours such as chocolates, sweets and cocktails and also creates bespoke syrups for special occasions.
Her Blodeuwedd syrup – named after the Welsh floral goddess – is a mixture of blossoms including Marigold, Calendula and Viola and is delicious drizzled over ice cream, while her Nettle syrup works particularly well with a Gin & Tonic!
Dependent on nature the Tast Natur range is influenced by the seasons, and Non says she hopes she gives people the opportunity to “try what’s around them in a different way”.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Cywain was set up by Menter a Busnes to bring added value to primary produce within the agriculture sector. The project has been allocated funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme for Wales 20014-2020, which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
About Menter a Busnes
Menter a Busnes was established in 1989. With headquarters in Aberystwyth it specializes in supporting new businesses, business growth, agriculture, skills development and food and drink sectors throughout Wales. It manages a number of programmes on behalf of the Welsh Government including Farming Connect.
For more information about companies exhibiting on the Cywain stand at the Royal Welsh Show please contact:
Myrddin Davies, Cywain Manager
01745 770273 / 07964 354674
Lowri Edwards, Cywain Development Manager