Crafting Pub Excellence: Introducing Nigel Edwards

Let’s take a dive into hospitality’s heartbeat as we introduce Nigel Edwards, the newest addition to the Purple Moose Brewery family as our Public House Operations Manager, steering the way at our two Porthmadog pubs, The Australia and The Station Inn.

From humble beginnings as a flour miller's assistant to rubbing shoulders with celebrities at iconic Welsh pubs, Nigel's 35-year career is nothing short of extraordinary. Let's delve into his captivating tale of service, laughter, and the unwavering passion that led him to our doorstep.


Can you share a bit about your journey in the hospitality industry, leading up to your role at Purple Moose Brewery?

I was 14 years old when I got my first customer facing Job – and who would have known that it would have led to a 35 year career leading to Porthmadog! I pinch myself when I look back and realise that the 14-year-old flour millers assistant would spend all that time working with the public. Yes, I said flour mill's assistant - my first job- showing people around a restored flour mill in Penegoes- making them laugh with stories about the history of a watermill in Penegoes.  I suppose you could say that my first step into pubs/restaurants came when I was 16 when, having been told by my Father that he was working at my age and paid his own way, that I started to work at Plas Dolguog near Machynlleth. What a first shift:

“hey you!” bellowed the head chef- “take this to the restaurant and put it on the buffet”.

So, I picked up a large homemade warm quiche and thinking being clever I balanced it on one hand and made my way - disaster! As I got to the table the pastry crust round the quiche decide to fall in a complete circle and rest in the bend of my arm! Fortunately, a more experienced waiter came over and helped replace the Pastry crust and place it on the table- with no evidence for the Head chef to know what had happened. Seven years I lasted there being part of over 200 weddings, parties and even worked in the kitchen serving 100 meals daily. I didn’t enjoy the kitchen so much so concentrated on Front of House and Bar work.


Image: Plas Dolguog. Image source:

10 years at the Wynnstay raising to Deputy manager at the age of 22- and two children later I was approached to become an apprenticeship assessor- why would I want to do that? I mean working Monday to Friday 9-5 no weekends or bank holidays – I signed up pretty quick.  I worked at this role for 7 years covering an area all over Wales and then moved down to Neath and work for another learning provider dealing solely with Wetherspoons. This time my area was South Wales, M4 corridor and as far south as Weston-super-Mare.


This employment came to an end in 2015 when I popped into The Cross Foxes near Dolgellau and asked if there was any seasonal work as I was unsure that it would be a stop gap and wouldn’t want to go back to customer facing. How wrong was I?! After pulling the first pint, taken the first order and served the first meal I knew that this was my calling. After three weeks I was asked to stay on and within 4 months offered the role of Manager. I spent 8 very happy years there and have made some lifelong friends and some cherished memories.


And then we get to September 2023 – and a chance phone call from Purple Moose Brewery. Another challenge - was I up for it? Too right... and here I am…. Yours Truly back and forth between the Aussie and the Station with 101 things going on - watch this space!


Famous people Served at Dolguog

William Hague on the eve of his engagement- endless phone calls from the media- how did they know that he was there?

Former World Rally Champions Mikka Hannkinen Colin Mcrae, Didier Auriol, Nicky Grist (south Wales Boy)


Ian Botham on route on one of his walks- second time walked in and said “Alright Nige - great to be back. Remember my Steak just needs its @rse wipping and putting on a plate”.


Ray Gravel - turned up at 9:30pm kitchen closed at 9:00pm conversation goes:

RG “any chance of something to eat?”

ME “give me a minute I will see what I can do - kitchen closed but will find you something”.


Me to Head Chef” I know the kitchen is closed but RG has just walked in and is staying tonight and wants some food. I know the kitchen is closed……”


Chef Interrupts” Never mind closed - that man can have whatever he wants he is a living legend!”



Lily Savage, came in as Paul O Grady and went out as Lily Savage

John Craven Country File/ Newsround

Terry Nutkins Wildlife guy

Michaela Strachen kids tv presenter and Hitman and Her

Robert Plant – Led Zepplin


Gareth Edwards and Max Boyce walked in to The Wynnstay, go to reception and the receptionist looks up and says to Gareth Edwards - “I haven’t got a clue who you are!” looks and Max Boyce and says “but fu#@ing loves you!”


Cross Foxes

Roy Noble (Radio Wales presenter) nicest bloke ever!

George North, Ken Owens (Welsh Rugby)

Julie Walters (Actress)

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London)

I asked Sadiq Khan how everything was, and I know it was a bit cheeky but was there any chance of a photo. He goes to get up and says no problem… to which I said “not with you, I want a picture of your wife!”. Luckily he took it in good humour and the rest of the group he was with found it hilarious!



Finally, are there any exciting developments / projects for either of the two pubs that you can’t wait to get your hands on?


Station Café – hoping to recapture some of what was there before making it a community hub and a great service for station users.


Australia: Increased food serving capacity with eventual opening of an upstairs dining room and meeting space.


I look forward to welcoming you, cheers!