Good Beer Hunting

no. 465


Little Haven is, as its name suggests, rather small. Comprising a handful of houses, hotels, and holiday rentals, the Welsh coastal village has few amenities—especially on this January visit.

There’s a seafood restaurant (closed for the winter), a cafe (also closed), a lifeboat station, and three pubs. The closest store is in Broad Haven, a short walk over the hill, and hardly busier than Little Haven. In between the two towns is a grim-looking hotel—the proprietor of which, according to local legend, is an elderly woman who offers bar visitors a choice of absinthe…or…absinthe.

Other than that, there’s not much to do in the Havens.

Nestled on the southern side of the sleepy seafront, the Swan Inn offers views overlooking the Pembrokeshire coast on clear days. During inclement weather, however, the limited visibility means you must focus your attention indoors.

As a result, our senses are filled with the scent of smoke from two roaring fireplaces, the relieved chatter of warming walkers, and the wet nose of Bertie, the local pub dog. In my case, there’s also a freshly pulled pint of local cask Pale Ale.

No sooner have I started on my second than Bertie is gently dissuaded from the kitchen. Again. Maybe there’s more to do here than I realized.

Words and photos by Lily Waite