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Thursday, September 30, 1999 Published at 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK

UK: Wales

Welsh brewers raise a glass to Rugby World Cup

Beer drinkers now have a wider choice of real ales

Wales's independent brewers are rising to the challenge of the decline in real ale sales and are looking forward to a boost from the Rugby World Cup.

In the 2000 edition of the Good Beer Guide publishers The Campaign for Real Ale announced that 50 new breweries had set up since the last guide was issued.

[ image: The Rugby World Cup has provided a boost for small brewers]
The Rugby World Cup has provided a boost for small brewers
And over 600 new beers have been brewed by smaller brewers since last year.

Guide editor Roger Protz said the trend towards bland nitro-kegs and lagers was being fought against.

"These figures show that despite the claims of the big brewers people still love real ale.

"Britain's 400 independent breweries are meeting that demand with interesting locally-brewed beers."

Champion real ale brewer Tomos Watkin is one of those breweries rising to the challenge.

The Llandeilo brewery is promoting Watkin's Whoosh as the World Cup bitter in south Wales.

Rugby star

The beer's pumps feature a picture of former Welsh rugby star and brewery founder Harry Vaughan Watkins.

Watkins played for Llandovery, Llanelli and Wales in the early years of this century.

Brewery Managing Director Simon Buckley said: "With the millennium only a few months away, the Rugby World Cup, and everything that is happening in Wales, there is no better time than now to join the revival in the Welsh brewing industry."

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