A Quart of Ale± #36. Moving on over to craft with a quartet of Pale Ales. Blacks. Crafty. Dungarvan. Rascals.

A Quart of Ale± #36

Moving on over to craft with a quartet of Pale Ales.  

Blacks Kinsale KPA Pale Ale 5.0%, 500ml bottle via O’Donovan’s Mayfield

A mid gold with unceasing fountains of bubbles rising are what you see when you pour a bottle of Black’s Kinsale Pale Ale. Flavours are masterfully balanced here with both the hops and the malt getting a chance to shine. But I knew all this as the Kinsale KPA has been a favourite of mine since the start.

In the first quarter of 2020, I enjoyed a pint (or two) at the Celtic Ross….

I was sipping a Blacks Brewery KPA in the bar at the Celtic Ross Hotel the other night. It is one of my favourite ales. Blacks usually get it right and they have had this spot on from the beginning. It is consistently excellent, the perfect balance.

And it is that balance between malt and hops the I find attractive. Some brewers go too heavy on the malt for their pale ales but this recipe allows the hops, a mix of Centennial, Cascade and Citra, to shine through, with the grapefruit and lime and other citrus elements, while the malt too plays its part not least in giving a delicious mouthfeel. And there’s a good crisp finish there as well.

This 5% American style ale is indeed perfectly balanced just like the guy from the band who is putting in a very athletic solo display of Irish dancing on the bar floor. Don’t think I’d ever had that kind of timing and balance - I've always preferred a different kind of tap. By the way, will we all be dancing solo for the months ahead?

That was written last March…back to the present now. Going by that last sentence above, perhaps I should take up prophesy. Maybe I’ll just repeat it for the months ahead in 2021! And hope I’m wrong.

They say: An American style Pale Ale bursting with hoppy tropical and juicy citrus fruit flavours, masterfully fused with biscuit and caramel malt aromas to produce a fantastic taste sensation. Medium in body with perfect carbonation, this beer will zip around your mouth reaching a beautiful clean finish.

American Pale Ale - Top Fermented

Centennial, Cascade, Citra

2013 release

Pair with: Burgers, Steaks, BBQ Meats

Crafty Hopster Brewing “All Hail” Pale Ale 4.0%, 330ml can via Ardkeen QFS 

A small can with a big fluffy head that lasts a fair bit, over a hazy mid-amber body well populated with micro-bubbles. Citrus aromas prominent - it is packed with Citra hops. No shortage of hoppy citrus-y flavours on the juicy palate either, with a balancing malty presence entwined. And there’s a lip-smacking finish as well. The malt, by the way, was grown locally in the Hook Peninsula (Wexford), a terrific place to visit.

They say: It is great with pizza, great with burgers, and let's be honest, pretty great with just about anything! Brewed and canned in Waterford for Crafty Brewing Waterford.

Dungarvan “Main Sail” Pale Ale <0.5%, 500ml bottle via Bradley’s

Dungarvan’s “Main Sail” is a light gold, plenty of bubbles rising. The white fluffy head quickly reduces to a thin disc. Hoppy aromas and a fair old hoppy punch too on the fruity palate, the citrus you’ve met in the aromas again resident here. No alcohol but still Ireland’s first non alcoholic ale has quite a bit of character, both in the mouth and through the finish. Ireland’s first micro-brewed alcohol free beer and one of the better ones. Was a favourite here Christmas 2019 and repeated the trick (smaller audience though) in 2020.

They say: This beer has been developed to give a refreshing hoppy flavour without the alcohol content. Coming in at 0.4% abv it is defined as an alcohol free product and can be enjoyed in place of a regular beer. Plenty of hops give a lively, refreshing citrus and herbal flavour to this light bodied pale ale.

Beer Info:

Style: Pale Ale

ABV: <0.5%

Hops: Amarillo, Challenger

Malts: Munich, Caramalt, Crystal Malt, Cararoma

Allergens: Contains Barley

And where did the name come from? From the Pogues’ “When The Ship Comes in”

Rascals “Fruitropolis” Pale Ale, 4.3%, 330 can via Bradleys

Light gold is the colour of this Pale Ale from Dublin’s Rascals who love their fruity ales, with a head that puffs up clean and white, looks attractive for a mo, and then vanishes like the air from a punctured balloon. No worries though. What’s left behind in the glass is excellent, unless you’re a dedicated hophead. Tropical, zingy and fresh, is the web banner for this and they are telling the truth! More exotic fruits than you can shake a lei at. Say Aloha and let the moment linger as the waves wash that distant shore.

So lots of fruit (orange zest and tropical fruit purées are adjuncts here) but it also has a refreshing dry finish as this little beer is pretty well balanced. 

For the Geek!

Malt: Pale, Crystal, Wheat.

Hops: Magnum, Amarillo, El Dorado, Mandarina Bavaria.

Yeast: WLP001

Other: Orange Zest, Tropical Fruit Purees.

ABV: 4.3%

Unfiltered. Unpasteurised. Keep Cool. Drink Fresh.