The year was 1861. A man going by the name of Michael D. Jones chaired a meeting in his Bala home in North Wales where the futures of the men in attendance was discussed. Industry was dissipating, communities were disappearing and disillusionment was growing. Many headed for the New World and founded colonies in New York and Pennsylvania but found that the ‘language of heaven’ was being increasingly abandoned in the US of A in favour of English. Jones and his cronies needed a better option if they were to keep their language alive. After deliberation that included Vancouver Island, Patagonia in Argentina was settled upon.
A few years later, in 1865, Jones, accompanied by nearly 200 of his fellow Welsh brothers and sisters, boarded the Mimosa and set sail from Liverpool for a promising new land.
150 years later, there are still around 5,000 Welsh speakers down in Patagonia and one local brewery has crafted a beer to commemorate the anniversary of that first voyage.
Llantwit Major based brewery, tomos a lilford, is released their latest brew, Gaucho, this week in their home town as well as being available in Cardiff.
The South American IPA, may not be brewed with Argentinian hops but it has still captured the flavour of the region.
“We used a South American green tea called Yerba Mate,” said the brewery’s Co-Owner Rob Lilford. “We have also, for authenticity, used a high proportion of malted wheat. The result is a 5% pale beer with a very dry edge and a subtle unami middle,” he continued.