‘Beacons to the Sea’ celebrates canal’s 200th anniversary
A horse drawn dray and narrow boat are set to recreate travel history through the Brecon Beacons National Park next weekend - providing the first delivery of a specially produced local beer to mark the 200th anniversary milestone of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.
A horse drawn carrier will deliver the first barrels of ‘Beacons to the Sea’ – a new ale designed by Brecon Brewing to celebrate the historic waterway’s bicentenary – before it is loaded aboard a barge that will set sail for pubs and restaurants along the canal.
The celebrations, funded by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s COLLABOR8 Interreg IVB NWE project and Powys County Council, will see the boat visit from Brecon to Talybont-on-Usk on Friday, March 30, before heading towards Llangynidr the following day.
Real ale lovers and outdoor enthusiasts are being encouraged to join in the festivities and look out for the horse drawn dray and narrow boat delivering the beer – in the same way it would have done two centuries ago.
Buster Grant, Head Brewer at Brecon Brewing, said: “The canal used to be the major transport corridor for coal and iron, but there is also evidence to suggest beer was produced and exported in the same way using the canal network. In my mind, re-enacting that journey is perfect.
“’Beacons to the Sea’ is a 4.1%, zesty, golden ale that we feel sums up the canal pretty well. It’s very refreshing and goes very well with the Canalman’s Lunch. It’s perfect for enjoying while enjoying the canal.”
Member Champion for Visitor Centres at Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Cllr Gareth Ratcliffe, said: “This is a fabulous opportunity for both visitors and residents to take part in this nostalgic event and enjoy a locally produced beer and fantastic surroundings as part of the ongoing events to celebrate the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal’s momentous anniversary.
“But people don’t just have to stop at this event, they can enjoy the Canal Food Trail between Brecon and Talybont-on-Usk and have a walk or cycle along the canal – it’s a great day out for all the family. Pick up a Canal Food Trail leaflet from one of our Visitor Centres or Tourist Information Centres and eat and drink your way along this fantastic canal.”
David Morgan, Mon & Brec 200 Co-ordinator, said: “We are very much looking forward to seeing the beer arrive to the canal in horse and cart and being delivered by boat – recreating the traditional ways. Together with joining in with the festivities you’ll be also be able to catch a glimpse of the action on Countryfile on 8th April. This is just one of a whole host of special events throughout the year taking place on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal helping celebrate its bicentenary.”
Carol Williams, Tourism Growth Area Project Officer for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, added: “The ‘Beacons to the Sea’ event sees one of our local breweries finding a quirky way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. The beer is a great catalyst for bringing the pubs along the Canal Food Trail route together.”
A series of celebratory events will be held throughout the year (including Canal Dog of the Year!) and for more information please visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/monandbrec200 or www.breconbeacons.org/canaldog.
For more information about the bicentenary celebration activities and events happening along the length and breadth of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal during 2012 please visit www.canalrivertrust.org/monandbrec200.