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Welsh tapas bar launches own label Spanish-style beer as it opens third restaurant

Published:  04 June, 2015

Welsh-based tapas restaurant and sherry bar, Bar 44 is launching an own label Spanish-style pale ale, as it opens it third restaurant in Cardiff.

The own label Toro Blanco pale ale has been brewed by The Glamorgan Brewing Company to accompany the Spanish-inspired menu of the new Westgate Street restaurant, which opens in two week's time. It will also offer a Spanish cider from Asturias on draught, Avalon Sidra, along with craft Spanish bottled beers, Alhambra and Estrella Galicia beers.

The first bar, was opened in 2002 in Cowbridge by brothers Tom and Owen Morgan with a second following in Penarth in 2012. Known for its sherry and Spanish wine selection, the restaurant was a runner up in the small independent restaurant category in the Harpers Spanish Wine Awards 2013.

The Cardiff restaurant is bringing sherry from Bodegas Baron in Sanlucar de Barrameda, the first time it will be available in the UK and will offer a varieties of sherries, with some styles served straight from 225L barrels - one of only two places in the UK where this is available. It is shipping three barrels of Gonzalez Byass from Jerez, which have been seasoned in sherry for four months prior to shipping to keep them in good condition and allow the sherries to evolve and mature.

"Our lighter, dry styles of sherry, such as fino and manzanilla, will still be kept in and served from the fridge as you would for a white wine, but for certain styles our barrels will be perfect," owner Owen Morgan said. "We are hugely pleased to be serving three different styles of sherry straight from the cask. Traditional tabanco's in Jerez and in the sherry triangle of the Cádiz region serve sherry this way - they are almost akin to a traditional pub, Andalucian style."

Morgan, who is one of the few qualified sherry educators in Wales, having completed an intensive course with the The Consejo Regulador D.O Jerez. the regulatory body of the Jerez Sherry region., said he and his brother continued to develop new and existing relationships with key small producers in Spain.

"For some of these producers it will be the first time they are showcasing their products in the UK and we're honoured to be able to serve them and hopefully do them justice," he said.

Sophie Bowen was promoted to general manager of the new restaurant on Westgate Street with Manuel Monzon as the tapas chef.