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Half Moon Hotel, Llanthony, ABERGAVENNY, NP7 7NN [Map]
One of those inns that you really have to search around for to find as it's miles from anywhere tucked up a very rural welsh valley. It is run by the local farmer who certainly knows how to keep his beer. A lovely old rural pub untouched and 'ungentrified' as yet. There's a priory (Llanthony Priory) about 200 yards down the road which is worth a visit. All you need to know though is that the inn sells Bullmastiff 'Son of a Bitch' beer (abv 6%) and it tastes wonderful. It's regarded as one of the finest strong bitters available in the world and it's brewed a few miles down the road just outside Cardiff.
The pub is also a good place to base yourself for a weekend if you're looking for somewhere close to the Brecon Beacons to stay. The Offa's dyke path is also almost on the pub's doorstep. The bar is quite small and cosy and on a cold night the fire's guaranteed to warm you through as is the beer. We had a chat with some of the locals who were very friendly and ended up playing bar billiards against them. We even met the lord mayor or Llanthony, a bloke called Drew, shortly before the turn of the 21st Century and he told us about the pantomime he was going to star in alongside the landlord who was going to be Man Tuesday or Wednesday, or maybe just midweek! There's also a dart board as well although I wouldn't recommend a game of darts after more than a couple of pints of SOB!
A fantastic pub (one of my favourites) that forms the centre of a very small rural community in the middle of a very pleasant part of the country.
Do note the limited opening hours. Tony, the landlord, pointed out that they do sometimes extend the opening hours in the busier summer months. Always call though before you visit to check when they are open. You can stay at the pub and if there's a group of you there's a nice bunkhouse for about 16 or so 200 yards down the road at Court Farm next to the priory.