10 April 2014

One of those posts

Time to haul in the net and see what new Irish beers have shown up this last few weeks.

First up, one that made its début, briefly, at the St. Patrick's beer festival in Dublin last month: Carlow Brewing's collaboration with Poland's Pinta brewery, called Lublin to Dublin. It's a 6.5% ABV oatmeal stout and has all the fullness and smoothness you'd expect. In fact, it's all about the texture; the flavour is a sideshow. Not that there's anything wrong with the flavour: mild roast, cocoa, a little putty and some beautiful summer fruit topnotes. It's wonderfully sinkable and so finely balanced you could nearly lose sight of it. I hope they'll be making more.

Meanwhile, The Larder restaurant on Dublin's Parliament Street has teamed up with Galway's Independent Brewing Company to produce a range of house beers under the "Dublin Brewer" brand, cheekily subverting the city crest by swapping one of the castles for a beer mug. First out of the blocks is their Irish Pale Ale at 6.1% ABV. It arrives a hazy dark orange colour, the bottle conditioning leaving a modest skim of yeast on the bottom of the bottle. The aroma is all apricot and mango but the flavour is more intense, with big grapefruit bitterness, spiced up by the use of rye in the grist. Alongside the hops there's a beautiful thirst-quenching tannic quality, resulting in a lemon tea effect in the finish. This is an invigorating pale ale, with a squeaky teeth-cleaning bitter intensity which paired perfectly with The Larder's ribeye steak.

And because one of these posts wouldn't be one of those posts without a Galway Bay beer, presenting Mare Incognita, latest in the brewery's pilot series. It is, as the tap badge helpfully explains, a NZ-hopped saison of a relaxed 4.8% ABV. There's a little bit of a split personality here, as the earthy, gritty dry crispness created by the voracious saison yeast strain battles epically against a strong acid hop bitterness. It's actually not that pleasant a sensation at first but gradually the two elements separate from each other and can be appreciated on their own merits: the refreshing bite of the highly attenuated body and the more subtle mandarin and grape roundness from the hops. No cattiness from these Kiwis either, I am pleased to report. At a fiver for a 2/3 pint it's not the sessionable summer beer I was kinda hoping it might be at that strength, but it's definitely an interesting experience, for hop fans and saison enthusiasts alike.

That's it for the moment. No Mescan, Carrig, Poker Tree, Farmageddon or Munster Brewing? I hear you cry. What kind of half-assed Irish beer blog is this? you wail. In due course, dear reader. Hopefully the upcoming Easter Beer Festival at Franciscan Well and the Craft Beer & Spirit extravaganza which starts today across The Porterhouse estate will plug a few of those gaps.

10 comments:

  1. Second batch of Lublin to Dublin is happening soon apparently as most of the first batch was sent to Poland.

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  2. Sounds like they got the name backwards, then. Good news, though. I look forward to having to decide between it and Leann Folláin.

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  3. Excellent stuff, I downed a few of them at Paddyfest and it didn't last long before it was sold out.

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  4. "most of the first batch was sent to Poland." Great to see it been popular nocer there

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  5. I can help plug the Mescan + Farmageddon gaps next week...

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    1. I could plug the Mescan gap by going to Redmond's right now, I'm just too lazy. All in its own good time.

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  6. Sounds as if I'll have to go on a brewery tour the next time I travel to Galway and Longford!

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  7. Roll on next week at the Franciscan Well!

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    1. Oh yes! I've heard a few brewers promise surprises lately.

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  8. Anonymous11:23 pm

    Ireland-Poland. Sure. It was an old hop rute of sailors.

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