Walking the Dog: The Beer Session
Dungarvan Brewery Helvick Gold (4.9abv) and
Dungarvan Brewery Copper Coast (4.3 abv)
The Helvick Gold is a blonde ale but far from bland. It has a fruity aroma and a good balance of flavour and acidity.
I had been impressed with the Copper Coast at a recent meal in Fenn’s Quay and was happy to find myself still impressed at this home tasting. It is smooth and fruity and its definite caramel character is balanced by the use of crystal malt.
This is just about my favourite of the two Dungarvan bottles and a worthy and serious contender in this international “competition”.
Heineken’s Newcastle Browne Ale (4.7 abv)
This is the only one of these four to come in a 550ml bottle; all the others are the standard 500. Apparently the trick here is to serve it in a smaller glass to enable frequent top-ups to maintain the frothy head. It is a bitter and has a lovely smooth flavour.
The label has some of the Geordie wit even if the beer is now brewed in Yorkshire. I always thought “going to see a man about a dog” or "taking the dog for a walk" (especially if you had no dog) meant have a piddle in the bushes but in Newcastle it means going to the pub for a couple of these beauties.
Fuller’s London Pride Premium Ale (4.7 abv)
Fuller’s make a range and this is their most famous with its distinctive rounded flavour, possibly the best ale I’ve ever tasted, flavoursome, smooth and balanced. So that came in at number one in this round with the Copper Coast and the Newcastle sharing second spot.
This little contest came about when I spotted a deal in the local branch of O’Donovan’s, the four bottles (some others also available) bundled for eleven euro. Reckon that dog could do with another walk!