Bryncelyn Brewery

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Bryncelyn Brewery
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded July 1999
Founder Will Hopton
Headquarters Ystalyfera, Wales
Area served
Products Beer
Production output
Approximately 200 brewer's barrels per year at capacity
Owner Will & Sandra Hopton

Bryncelyn Brewery is a brew pub in 'Wern Fawr Inn', a pub located near Ystalyfera, Neath Port Talbot in Wales. Brewing was begun in July 1999, and the brewers are Will Hopton and Robert Scott.[1]

The brewery produces three quarters of a UK brewer's barrel of beer at a time. The ales have been consistent and frequent winners of awards at beer festivals since the brewery's inception.


Bryncelyn Oh Boy pumpclip

The first beer produced was Buddy's Delight; this was done in nine-gallon (one-firkin) batches. The brewery then expanded to 27-gallon batches and began producing five beer types in 2000;[2] by 2002, this had further expanded to one barrel and as of 2006 twelve recipes are brewed, with brewing taking place up to four times a week.

Bryncelyn's three regular beers are Oh Boy, a bitter; Buddy Marvellous, a strong mild ale; and Holly Hop, a golden ale. A further nine beers are produced on an occasional or seasonal basis. The Good Beer Guide describes Oh Boy as:

An enticing hop and fruit aroma, a golden color and a taste full of hops and fruit. Good bitterness and underlying malt add to the flavor, with a long, hoppily-bitter finish.[3]

Bryncelyn's beers are usually available only at the Wern Fawr Inn, but can be purchased for take-away in polypins and frequently appear at beer festivals in Wales.[4]

Buddy Holly[edit]

The names of Bryncelyn's beers all feature the motif of references to the singer & guitarist Buddy Holly; the name "Bryncelyn" itself means "Holly Hill" in Welsh. Pump clips and associated artwork for the brewery also feature Holly's image or references Holly in some way:

  • Oh Boy refers to the song "Oh, Boy!"
  • Holly Hop refers to the instrumental of the same name
  • Peggy's Brew refers to the song "Peggy Sue"
  • CHH are the initials of Charles Hardin Holley, Buddy Holly's birth name
  • Rave On! refers to the song of the same name
  • Feb 59 refers to Holly's death on 3 February 1959.
  • May B Baby refers to the song "Maybe Baby"
  • That'll Be The Sleigh refers to the song "That'll Be the Day"

Says brewer and publican Will Hopton about Holly, "He was such a talented fellow and he died at 22. He was such an influence on such a lot of different groups and individuals. Elvis was good performer but Buddy wrote most of his own music." Hopton sees the beer theme as a way of paying tribute to the performer.[5]


Bryncelyn's beers frequently place highly in blind tastings performed at festivals. Buddy Marvellous was awarded the Champion Beer of Wales title in 2002, and Oh Boy that title in 2003.[4]





  • Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival: Oh Boy, gold medal; Buddy Marvellous, bronze medal[6]


  • Carmarthen Beer Festival: Oh Boy, silver medal
  • Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival: Buddy Marvellous, bronze medal[6]



  • Mumbles Beer Festival: Oh Boy, gold medal
  • Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival: Holly Hop, champion bitter.[9]


  • Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival: Holly Hop, silver medal; Buddy Marvellous, bronze medal; Oh Boy, champion best bitter; Holly Hop, champion bitter; Buddy Marvellous, champion strong mild/old ale.[10]


  • Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival: Buddy Marvelous, runner-up mild; Holly Hop, runner-up bitter; Oh Boy, runner-up best bitter[11]

The Wern Fawr Inn has itself been awarded the title of "Pub of the Year" in 2005 by the Neath and Port Talbot branch of CAMRA, as well as "Regional Pub of the Year" for South and Mid Wales by a ballot among all branches of CAMRA in the area.[12]


  1. ^ "Bryncelyn Brewery, Wern Fawr Inn, Beer,Brewery". Archived from the original on January 5, 2009. Retrieved 2006-12-27. 
  2. ^ Matt Gullam (2000-02-16). "Bryncelyn, Ystalyfera". Retrieved 2006-12-28. 
  3. ^ Protz, Roger (September 2006). Good Beer Guide 2006. CAMRA Books. ISBN 1-85249-224-4. 
  4. ^ a b "Bryncelyn Brewery our selection of beers". Archived from the original on 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2006-12-27. 
  5. ^ "Buddy Holly pub wins beer award". BBC News. 2005-09-14. Retrieved 2006-12-28. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Champion Beer of Wales Winners". Archived from the original on 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2006-12-27. 
  7. ^ Shipton, Martin (2005-12-03). "Small is beautiful for Wales' top beer brewers". Western Mail. Retrieved 2006-12-27. 
  8. ^ Neil Warnock. "Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival". Archived from the original on 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2006-12-28. 
  9. ^ "Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival". Retrieved 2006-12-27. 
  10. ^ "Bryncelyn Brewery, Wern Fawr Inn". 
  11. ^ "Champion Beer of Wales Competition 2008". 13 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-15. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Good Beer Guide 2006 names Top 16 Pubs in Britain 12/09/2005 - CAMRA". CAMRA. 2005-09-12. Archived from the original on 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2006-12-28. 

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