Craft Republic in Barry has been named as the UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Bar or Pub (City) by a panel of industry experts in the 2022 Society of Independent Brewers Business Awards
SIBA say the award showcases “pubs or bars which have shown an extraordinary commitment to serving the best quality and range of independent beers”.
Located in a converted railway goods shed a short walk from Barry Island, the independent bar serves up fresh draught craft beer, seasonal cocktails, and stocks an extensive wine list. The venue is also known to support local distilleries. The venue also boasts a ‘bring your own food’ policy and is dog friendly.
In addition supporting local, they stock their very own Great Taste award-winning Barry Island Gin, which was developed by the bar’s owners Claire and Tim. For those that can’t make it down to Barry, Craft Republic has a shop and online store holding over 100 different beers, ciders, wines and spirits – all from independent producers.
On winning the award, owners Claire and Tim Whalley said “We’re incredibly proud to be named the UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Bar (City) by SIBA. Winning this award is wonderful recognition for all the hard work that we, and our fantastic team put into Craft Republic. We were up against bars in Liverpool, Birmingham and London so to be bringing the title to South Wales is fantastic.”
Owned by the Barry Island couple, Craft Republic was a passion project that was 7 years in the planning. The couple, who had no experience in the hospitality industry, left their corporate jobs to pursue the dream of building the bar that they themselves wanted in their hometown, putting their life savings into the project.
Opening in August 2020 as part of the Goodsheds development in Barry, Craft Republic has had to deal with the highs and lows of starting a new business in the pandemic, including only being able to operate as a shop at times.
Located in a converted railway goods shed a short walk from Barry Island, the bar is completely independent and not affiliated with any breweries. As well as featuring a state-of-the-art Direct Draw system pouring 14 lines of craft draught beer and cider, the bar has an extensive wine, cocktail and spirits list including Barry Island Rum and Vodka, and their Great Taste award-winner Barry Island Gin which was developed by Claire and Tim. In addition to being a bar, Craft Republic has a shop and online store holding over 100 different beers, ciders, wines and spirits – all from independent producers.
“It’s been a challenging time to open a hospitality business” Claire says, “the last two years have been a rollercoaster but we’re lucky to be surrounded by an incredible community in Barry who have supported us through the toughest moments”.
The latest award from SIBA is not the first accolade for the Barry bar. In 2021 they won the Best Bar category in the Cardiff Life Awards and were a finalist for Best Retailer. They are also a finalist for the Best Bar category in the 2022 awards. For the husband-and-wife team, gaining national recognition for Craft Republic is the icing on the cake.
Neil Walker, SIBA Business Awards Chair of Judges said “A huge, huge congratulations to the winners in the SIBA Business Awards 2022. We had a record number of entries, and the quality was higher than ever, so these really are the very best in the industry and should be so proud of the achievement.”
Craft Republic was up against Dead Crafty Beer Co. in Liverpool, The Colmore in Birmingham, and The Pembury Tavern in East London to win the award.