Family is at the heart of Swansea based brewery Tomos Watkin‘s. It is embedded in the top of the company with its ownership, right down to the very names of its award winning ales.
Originally set up in 1995, Tomos Watkin’s was then bought by Connie Parry and her brother who saved the brewery from the brink of extinction in 2002. “We bought it from the Official Receiver, as it had gone into liquidation,” Connie said. “We invested a six-fugire sum into plant and equipment and saved as many of the brewer’s jobs as we could,” she continued as she explained how her and her sibling set the brewery back on track to success.
Not only a smart financial move, the acquisition of the brewery was an extension of their own family run beverage business. No strangers to the industry, having left school after the sad and sudden death of their father, the siblings took over The Hurns Mineral Water Company that their grandfather, Idris, founded. Hurns specialised in soft drinks, producing lemonades, cordials and ginger beer, but over a decade ago, they decided to add real ale and beer to their portfolio.
It is Idris whose name and face adorn one of the breweries core beers. “We have commemorated members of our family with our beers,” she says, “Cwrw Idris for instance is named after our grandfather, Idris Parry who was torpedoed twice during the First World War and despite the best efforts of the Kaiser, he survived.” Cwrw Idris is a salute to his spirit, his dedication and his buoyancy. As well as Idris, his sister Blodwen is also celebrated in their beer range, which along with their OSB and Cwrw Haf are their best sellers.
Just as Connie salutes her grandfather, the international beer community salutes their beers. “In addition to being voted The Best Beer in Wales, by Tesco’s,” she said proudly, “I am most proud of winning The World Beer Championships in Chicago,” and she claims that the pride and passion that her and her brother have invested into the brewery is the reason for their success. Not only do I salute Idris, I salute Connie for taking Tomos Watkins from the brink of financial meltdown, to achieving international success, and for making a bloody good beer!
- Wales Online-Connie Parry and Hurns Brewing
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