The Newport based Tiny Rebel started in 2008 by two fellas in a garage and has blossomed into one of the most exciting breweries in the British craft beer scene. Tiny Rebel has two top notch tap houses in South Wales with such a wide range in their own back catalogue that they can stock an entire bar (a very well stocked bar). But their beers are everywhere. From Brighton to Glasgow and around the world.
Tiny Rebel's range is ever changing but Cwtch has been there from the beginning and it's clear why it's still their signature brew (and one you'll see the most in pubs outside of south Wales). Welsh for cuddle, this is a hoppy, malty cuddle in a glass. The flavours are familiar but blended in a way that feels new. The rusty colour makes it look like a traditional bitter but it's caramel hit and american hops make it feel modern. I love Cwtch and can see exactly why it won Champion Beer of Britain 2015.
A newer addition to the Tiny Rebel range is Clwb Tropicana, only released in 2016. I stumbled on this one in a pub in Brighton. I chocked on the initial sip, realising it had cost me £6, but loved every other mouthful. Don't worry they're Brighton prices and if you find it elsewhere it is much less likely to burn a hole in your pocket and you can concentrate on the surprisingly fruity and vibrant tropical IPA. Fruit flavours up front with mango, passionfruit, pineapple and peach all discernible flavours. Finishing with a gentle bitterness left by those fruity hops. Not to everyone's taste but if you're a fan of an IPA (or Wham) it's worth a taste.
Dirty Stop Out
Like lots of modern craft brewers Tiny Rebel do have a focus on lighter coloured IPAs and golden ales but the stouts and porters they do do can hold their own with the best. Tiny Rebel describe Dirty Stop Out as 'Dark and smokey' and they aren't wrong! The smoked oats and multiple malts are right up front, making me feel like I'm drinking in a smokey old saloon. This is a complex beer though, not just oldie worldy but full of the bitterness of the modern hop fetish. Sounds a little strange but every mouthful is a delight.
This is just skimmed the surface of the Tiny Rebel range. If you see the little teddy give it a go, but be prepared..... these beers are not the expected!
Look out for a a take over near you!