Bwrw Cwrw – Beers and Spirits, a new craft ale and spirits shop has recently opened in Newport Arcade. Owner Dominic Mayer spoke to THOMAS MOODY about his first week and the role local products will play in his business

A MUCH-requested new shop opened in Newport this week.

Bwrw Cwrw - Beers and Spirits can be found in the Arcade in the city centre after opening last Saturday.

Welsh for ‘pouring beer’, the store caters for fans of the increasingly popular craft ale market, housing a number of local beers, real ale, German lager, Belgian ale, gin, whisky and rum.


Owner Dominic Mayer said there was a real need for the business in Newport among fans of craft beer.

“I was working in Tiny Rebel for a few years and was speaking to the regulars about bottles they had got,” he said. “I thought there’s many people coming in and talking about drinking interesting beers and thought it made sense.

“There’s a bar in Caerleon and there’s Tiny Rebel, but that’s it really.

“In Cardiff, there’s about five different bottle shops, and there’s more than I can count in Bristol.

“The response since opening has been amazing. Everyone who has come in has said they have been waiting for this for ages.

“They said they have been going to Cardiff or even Bristol for the same thing.”

South Wales Argus:

CHOICE: A range of craft beers and ales at Bwrw Cwrw

Mr Mayer said he had been preparing for opening the shop for about half a year, but was always confident it would be a success.

“Opening was stressful,” he said. “I had help from my family getting the place ready, but I’ve been putting things together for probably over about half a year.

“But I was always quite confident has I knew lots of people were wanting this kind of thing and since opening I’ve met so many more people like that.”

South Wales Argus:

CLOTHING: It’s not just alcohol on offer at Bwrw Cwrw

As well as stocking beers from Germany, Belgium and Scandinavia, Mr Mayer said local drinks would be a key part of his business.

“I put a lot of thought into everything we sell," he said. "Its nothing you would find in supermarkets.

“There’s a mixture of local products and niche specialities that can be hard to find anywhere else.

“I have got the really weird stuff, but I’ve got some introductory beers that aren’t as expensive as your 15 per cent stouts.

“We are one of the few outlets to stock the Newport Rising beers. We got a number of local beers and Wye Valley Gin.

South Wales Argus:

PRESENTS: The packs of beer at Bwrw Cwrw

“I have had people come in looking for specific gins, as they go to gin festivals or tastings but then can’t get them in supermarkets.

“It’s really important, for our customers and for the brewers and distillers themselves that we stock local beers and gins.

“It can be difficult to get their products out there in to the big shops.”

While the shop is aimed at customers who are in to their craft beers, Mr Mayer said it was also important to keep things as easy as possible for those who aren’t.

“A lot of people now have friends and family who are in to beer, but might not know much about it themselves," he said.

“We do the packs to make it less overwhelming if you are buying for someone else or if you are getting into beers yourself.”

Despite only being open for a week, Mr Mayer said there were already some tentative plans in the pipeline for the new year.

“I have people coming in and asking about drinking in and tasting events,” he said. “These are definitely things I will be looking in to doing in the new year.”