A Quart of Ale± #35
Moving on over to craft with a variety of IPAs, inc. 2 Big Bangers.
Salt “A Different World” No Coast IPA 5.4%, 440ml can via Bradley’s
From a brewery that is roughly equidistant between the west coast and the east coast of England, comes this No Coast IPA. But the No Coast on the can refers to the US and the beer purports to bring the best of both American styles together.
Colour is a light amber and you’ll see - you’ll have to peer through the cloudiness - loads of bubbles streaking up towards a rapidly vanishing head. Aromas are citrusy. The first sip is quite promising and the promise is maintained as the citrus is balanced by a finely honed bitterness.
Enjoyed this superb beer, like the feel of it, its flavours, and the results of the balance between hops and malt. Probably impossible to reconcile the two main US styles but this is indeed a worthy attempt. And, in any case, the result is an excellent beer in its own right. Is there any Irish brewer doing something similar. By the way, is there a Mid-West style?
They say: SALT is a micro-brewery on a mission to unify heritage and modern brewing. Our homeland, the UNESCO village of Saltaire, was built by a super-progressive pioneer of workers' rights in the 1800s. We adopt the same progressive spirit through our modern brewing styles. The inspiration of our forefathers can be seen in our name, throughout our brewery, and the textiles used to name our beers.
Quite a few SALT beer names are associated with textiles, including Seersucker, Alpaca, and Ikat.
Hops (Kettle and Dry-Hop): Mosaic, Citra, Amarillo, and Centennial.
Malts: Pale, Oats.
12 Acres The Far Side Hazy IPA 5.1%, 440ml can via Ardkeen Store
Colour is a mid-orange, hazy as you’d expect from the name. Soft white head keeps up appearances for quite a while as micro-bubbles gush upwards. This “New England” style contains some oats and there’s a creamy mouthfeel. It is heavily hopped though with Simcoe, Mosaic, Citra and Amarillo, yet the results seem toned down so the fresh hops, from the late additions, are not very obvious. Banana seems to be the main tropical fruit. Not bad but not my favourite IPA from the brewery. I’d prefer the Make Hay.
They say: The by-products of the brewing process are the spent malting barley grains, spent hops and excess yeast. All of these by-products will be used as animal feed on our farm, resulting in zero solid waste from the brewing process and a full life-cycle of our ingredients. This ensures a sustainable environmentally-friendly process from ground to glass.
McGargles Francis’ Big Bangin’ IPA 7.1%, 500ml bottle via O’Donovan’s
Francis comes to your glass in a bright mid-gold colour, streams of bubbles rising towards a head that has little staying power. This “modern take” on the US West Coast IPA style has been “hopped to hell” in genteel Kildare with US hops Mosaic and Simcoe and so “tropical fruits” are more or less guaranteed and they appear first in the aromas.
The tropical character continues on the palate where the Marris Otter malt also shows up well. And a fruity yet dry finish follows. Quite a good finish, quite a good beer but do note that high alcohol count. It’s not called Big Bangin’ for nothing.
What’s in a name? This is my first McGargle. I ignored these beers for years, thinking it was a Trojan horse from one of the majors, a mockeyah (a good old Cork word for pretender) craft beer. However, it is produced, along with other lines (such as the Crafty series that you’ll find in Lidl), by Rye River Brewing which is listed in the Beoir directory. Must say though that while this IPA appeals to me, the McGargle name does not (nor for that matter does Crafty - haven’t bought one yet). First impressions and all that.
They say: Tropical assault, restrained malt, gentle balance, fruit finish, unfiltered, unpasteurised, natural refermentation may occur, best served chilled.
Dot Brew “Throw Away Play” DIPA 8.2%, 440 can via Bradley’s
Pull the tab on this one and you get a message: Hops be here. The aromas are full of them. Colour is a murky amber, not much to seen in there. Pretty dense too on the palate with the hops, Citra and Vic Secret, keeping their secrets close in a concentration of complexity.
Thought I might get a hint or two on their website but nada there other than a request for €300.00 of your euro “to join the fun”. They are based in Dublin but, being guerrilla brewers (apparently), can turn up anywhere. This is a quote from them, on fourcorners.ie: “We are adopting maturation and blending techniques from the Whiskey and Wine industries and applying them to break the boundaries of beer production.”
The label gives some info: “Full and fruity - Vermont Ale Yeast, Malted and flaked oats and double dry hopped with a healthy amount of Citra and Vic Secret.” I did see somewhere that they do a session beer, might try that next if I can find it.
They use a lot of barrels and do lots of collaborations. Redmond’s of Ranelagh, Bradley’s of Cork, Wicklow Wolf, and Brú Brewery, were among recent partners. And it seems as if most of these collaborations are high in ABV. As is this “Throw Away Play”.