A Quart of Ale± #62. On the craft journey with a mixed session: IPA, Wheat Beer, Saison and Berliner Weisse

A Quart of Ale± #62

On the craft journey with a mixed session: IPA, Wheat Beer,  Saison and Berliner Weisse

Blacks Coast to a double

Blacks Wild Atlantic West Coast IPA 4.5%, 330 can

Colour is a pale orange, hazy of course, with a soft white head (dip a finger in and taste the citrus-y hops).  Aromas too proclaim the hops, a big hitting quarter of Citra, Cascade, Mosaic and El Dorado. And the hop muscle is again evident on the palate. But you’ll soon note the balance here between the various elements as we end up with a superb crisp beer, quite a thirst quencher as well.

Another little can with a big and pleasant bang from the crew at Blacks! And the beer title is also pretty much bang on the money. So there you are, both coasts covered by two small cans.

Blacks Ace of Haze DDH Cryo Hazy Session IPA 4.2%, 330 can

Hazy, of course, a foggy gold, soft white head. Citrusy in the aromas. And that citrus, along with the hops of course, shows up as well on the palate, lots of long lasting flavour, lots of good stuff in a little can.

Blacks always aim to produce “beers with passion, personality and lots of hops” and hit the bull’s eye here with this hazy juicy and sessional New England style, brewed with extensive whirlpool hops and double dry hopped with Idaho 7, Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic cryo hops. Food pairings suggested are: Eggs Benedict, Asparagus Risotto.

The Blacks are Sam and Maudeline.  Not too many guys get a home-brew starter kit as a Valentine's Day present. But that’s exactly what Clonakilty girl Maudeline presented to Sam some years back. And the Farm Lane brewery was founded in 2013. 

Not too sure Maudeline expected that Sam would soon start borrowing kit from the kitchen. The hair-drier has been used to heat surfaces so that labels can be applied  and a food mixer has also been pressed into brewery use. Blacks now have a distillery on the premises, turning out their own gin and Ireland’s first rum and have also laid down their whiskey. Watch this space - as always.

Rising Sons Mayhem Hoppy Wheat Beer 5.2%, 440 can Bradleys

A hazy pale gold is the colour of this Cork City beer, no shortage of carbonation, a soft white head. Bananas feature most in the aromas, clove not so much. The palate, where you get a mix of citrus and banana, is immediately refreshing.

The label describes it as a hoppy wheat beer and that seems accurate enough. The Facebook post, announcing the canning of Mayhem, differs a bit, calling it “our most requested seasonal” and “a hoppy saison”. In any event, it is a refreshing well-made beer. Enjoy. 

Geek Bits

Malts: Lager, Wheat, Munich.

Hops: El Dorado, Hallertau Blanc

By the way, all their beers (apart from Midaza ) are available to take away in 32oz cans - you heard right - nearly a litre of beer! And they fill the growlers directly from the bar so that you can enjoy it as fresh as can be.

Wide Street House Saison 5.5%, 440ml can Bradleys

A hazy light gold is the colour of this saison from Wide Street in County Meath. It had been “elected’ to their core range, the punters obviously liking the mild banana aromas and flavours, and a touch of peppery spice;  the bitterness factor is mid-range.

They say this is a  “classic representation of the Belgian Saison style” and is “Fermented with Saccharomyces cerevisiae var diastaticus saison strain”. The hop Saaz also plays a key role in all of this. The malt is Vienna which is well suited for relatively pale coloured beers. Typical application is to enhance the colour and aroma of light beers.

By now,  the soft white head has almost entirely disappeared and I’ve still to make up my mind. As a beer, it; it is not bad at all, quite interesting. Not your usual saison. Think I may have to do a direct head to head with a Dupont.

Info on the label: Unfiltered, unpasteurised and can conditioned, containing yeast sediment.

Brú Blurry Furry Berliner Weisse 3.8%, 440ml can Bradleys

Colour here is a close to orange, a slight haze and a light fluffy head that soon vanishes, bubbles galore though.

They say: A modern interpretation of the classic Berliner Weisse style, Blurry Furry is a tart wheat beer with an injection of sweet fruit flavour. Delightfully sour and intensely refreshing, it’s both fruity and tart, making it a perfect choice for the hot days. Showcasing a stunning and meaningful illustration of a sloth, we are inviting you to slow down and enjoy this easy-drinking beer.. 

Aromas show the sweet side but you meet the tart side with the very first sip. Not the tartest intro ever, mind you.  It is clean, crisp and refreshing and a decent drink these summer days

Healthy doses of Passion Fruit, Orange and Guava, listed in the ingredients, contribute to the sweet side of this Berliner Weisse and you get the mild spiciness from the weizen yeast. 

Blurry Furry is part of their Urban Jungle range that celebrates the brewery’s adventurous side. “Find your spirit animal with Urban Jungle.”