Brewed exclusively for plas y Brenin
Following the dramatic failure of
their two previous expeditions, in late
winter 1926 luckless adventurers
‘Leftguard Fletcher’ and ‘Dimples Amberfield’
packed their bags for the black caves of
Assendanowir. Their goal, to explore the
unmapped matrix of caverns that lay beneath
Despite the most carefully prepared plans,
disaster struck once more. Three weeks
into their descent Dimples was struck by a
calciferous tuba. Against all odds the thin
Sprylon rope held his fall and he escaped
without injury. But as Lefty hauled him
back to the narrow underground pathway
Dimples realised his torn rucsac was now
lighter. Their supply of candles and
matches had fallen into the dark abyss
With their only possessions now a zippo lighter
and two hundred bars of rich, dark chocolate,
once again the courageous duo were forced to
abandon their plans and find a way home. This
time without light, surviving on chocolate alone.
After two weeks crawling in the darkness Lefty
fell groaning to the floor. The diet of rich
chocolate had taken its toll on his usually stout
constitution. His stomach groaned in grim
defiance. Accepting the welcome reality of his
fate, his body relaxed.
Instantly a deafening roar erupted
from deep inside the
seat of his tweed
breeches, filling the
air around them with
an ungodly stench.
Hearing the noise
for the lighter,
flicking furiously as he
squinted through the
darkness. Suddenly a hot wind
rushed past their faces and a vast ball of orange
fire surged upwards to the ceiling.
Their eyes watering from the smell, the pair
looked at each other and smiled, realising this
was the answer to their troubles.
With Lefty shovelling chocolate into his
mouth by the handful and Dimples close
behind with the lighter, it took them less
than two days to find a safe passage out of
the black caves.
Back in Blighty, Lefty and Dimples returned
to Plas y Brenin, and their jobs as barmen
where night after night eager drinkers
leaned in to hear the triumphant explorers
recount their story.
Hearing this incredible tale of ingenuity and
determination, local brewer ‘Humphrey The
Great’ founder of the now famous ‘Nant
Brewery’ offered to brew a special ale in their
The result was a legendary real ale entitled
“Dark Winter” flavoured with rich dark
chocolate and infused with ‘natural gases’.
Dark Winter is enjoyed to this day by visitors
to the National Mountain Centre, helping
them warm their minds and bodies after a long
winter’s day on the hill.
So the next time you visit Plas y Brenin, be sure
to raise a glass to Lefty and Dimples and enjoy
the taste of Dark Winter.