Sunday, October 31, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #75. On the craft journey with a session of Western Herd, Treaty City, Heaney and Lough Gill

A Quart of Ale± #75

On the craft journey with a session of Western Herd, Treaty City, Heaney and Lough Gill

Western Herd Flora and Fauna 10 Hop Double IPA, 9.45%, 440 can Bradleys

This much hopped and hyped beer comes from the Western Herd Brewery in County Clare and is in the style of a West Coast DIPA.

It is gold in colour and you can see zillions of micro bubbles rising towards the white head. Aromas, with pine needles and pineapple prominent, are intense (some would say dank* - see below).

And that dankness is a force on the palate, leading an army of tropical flavours. Such flavours often get lost when the ABV is high but that is not the case here so major credit to the brewery. And the umami just goes on, the beer power-packed with flavour right to the very satisfactory finalé. 

They say: ..we’ve packed in the largest number of hops ever into this Double iPA. Designed to let the hops shine through, we’ve built a complex and layered flavour profile. the result is an intense fruit scent with pine, citrus and, in brewing parlance, a wonderfully dank aroma.”

Eight of the hops listed below have been used in the kettle and then they double dry-hopped it “heavily” with Nelson Sauvin and Strata.

Columbus, El Dorado, Cascade, Citra, Centennial, Nelson Sauvin,
Strata, Amarillo, Chinook

Pale, Stout Mix



Original Gravity


  • When not describing something as “moist” and “humid” like a basement, dank is a slang term describing something as “excellent,” especially marijuana. Dank can also refer to memes that are played out or extremely weird.

Treaty City Pigtown Pilsner 4.8%, 440 can (gift)

This Pigtown Pilsner was brewed by Treaty City Brewery as an exclusive beer for the September 2021 Pigtown Culture and Food Series. It is called the ‘Pigtown Pilsner’ and is a Bohemian Pilsner.

Colour is a golden blond with tints of amber while aromas (fruity and floral) are mild. There’s an immediate refreshing bite from this one, nothing over the top, and it is more malty than hoppy. It has a pretty full body and is clean and crisp, with a mild bitterness, and is very drinkable indeed.

As you might expect, the main ingredients are all geared towards a Pilsner (or Lager) finish. Floor malted Bohemian Pilsner Malt has been used and the three hops  - Aurora (spicy, herbal and moderately bittering), Hallertau (mild aroma, slightly fruity and spicy, flowery, and even hay-like), Mittelfruh ( has a mild bittering potential), are all well-suited to the style.

Heaney Look! No Hands IPA, 7.0%, 440 can Bradleys

A very murky orange is the colour of this “true farmhouse” beer from Bellaghy, Northern Ireland. 

Fruity aromas, including pineapple. Earthy flavours along with fruit (mostly tropical) on the palate all the way through to the dry and bittered finalé. It has been dry-hopped with Vic Secret (well known for its clean pineapple flavour) and Ella (spicy, floral character like star anise). They tell us to expect a well-balanced hit of hazy pine, pineapple, grapefruit, and floral flavours with a dry spicy finish. Not quite hitting the bullseye for me but pretty close.

They say: A true farmhouse brewery from Bellaghy, Northern Ireland! The brewery was founded by Mal McCay and his wife Suzanne, who is a niece of the late poet Seamus Heaney. Since opening their doors, they are writing a new chapter in the history of The Wood – one all about grain, hops, and pure Bellaghy spring water.

We feature Heaney’s regularly here and are big fans of their Irish Stout, the Big Little IPA, the New England IPA, the “Way Over Yonder” Saison (with a few dried apricots at hand) and their Irish White Ale.

Lough Gill Five Candles Extra Special Bitter, 5.0%, 440 can Bradleys

A slightly murky orange/red is the colour of this Five Candles from Lough Gill, a celebration of their fifth birthday: “A traditional beer brewed for the perfect marriage of Malt & Hop bitterness.This is an updated recipe of Thieving Bastards, our first beer brewed here”.

Hints of orange from the aromas. Some light fruit too on the palate and a light roastiness also that hints of darker ales. The warming beer, a slightly biscuity ale, should go well with the birthday cake. 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Blarney Castle Grounds. A foggy morning walk.

 Blarney Castle Grounds

 30.10.2021. A foggy morning walk.

The remains of black-eyed Susan flowers support webs.

Cover is getting thin on bamboo archway.

Spider web (taken at home)

fog, pond, waterfall (also in video below)

Friday, October 29, 2021

Countdown is on for Ballymaloe Craft Fair. Hot food, mulled wine and cider will keep you warm while you browse

Countdown is on for Ballymaloe Craft Fair.  Hot food, mulled wine and cider will keep you warm while you browse

Busy scene in the Grainstore from a previous craft fair.


This year’s event will see 250 stall holders in total across two consecutive weekends in November



The Halloween decorations might still be on display but in Ballymaloe Grainstore in East Cork, final preparations are underway for the anticipated return of the much-loved Ballymaloe Craft Fair


For the first time ever, this year’s Ballymaloe Craft Fair will take place across two consecutive weekends in November. Previously high numbers in attendance in pre-COVID-19 times led the team at Ballymaloe to adjust this year’s event, spreading it across two weekends; Friday 19th to Sunday 21st November and Friday 26th to Sunday 28th November allowing shoppers to peruse the wonderful variety of stalls in as safe and comfortable a setting as possible.


The 2021 Craft Fair will see the fabulous Ballymaloe Grainstore transform into a magical market, with over 150 different stalls each weekend showcasing and selling artisan products from Ireland’s finest food producers, artists, designers and craft brewers and distillers. The event, which is suitable for the whole family, will be open from 5-9pm each Friday evening, while there will be ample opportunity to browse and buy on Saturdays and Sundays, with the Craft Fair open from 10am to 5pm.


Locally sourced items that are Irish made, many of which are sustainable, will be on display available for purchase across the two weekends.


Commenting on the return of Ballymaloe Craft Fair was Bree Allen of Ballymaloe Grainstore, who said: “We cannot wait to welcome everyone to this year’s Ballymaloe Craft Fair as we’ve recently confirmed there will be over 150 different stall holders across the two weekends. We will have a diverse selection of art, glassware, sculptures, leather goods, woodwork, jewellery as well as artisan food, Ballymaloe accompaniments and last but certainly not least, a stunning collection of Christmas decorations. We’re also very proud to be supporting the wonderful work of St Vincent de Paul South West Region as Craft Fair attendees will be able to purchase a €5 raffle ticket for their annual Car Draw Fundraiser”.

Visual Artist Aoife Banville with one of her light installations.


As the festive season is fast approaching, the Craft Fair will see a very special guest in attendance across the two weekends; Mrs. Claus (Alice Barry from Noggin Theatre) will be in situ and will be asking the boys and girls at the Craft Fair to help her think of an appropriate name for a brand-new reindeer recruit for Santa! Tickets (€5) will be available to purchases at the entrance to the fair on the weekends and children will be given a packet of homemade biscuits.


Recognising the continuous but rewarding work of St Vincent de Paul, Craft Fair organisers wanted to help raise funds for the charity and so decided to partner up for their annual Christmas appeal. Those that are browsing the stalls in search for the perfect Christmas gift will also be able to support St Vincent de Paul if they so wish.   Attendees of the first weekend, Friday 19th to Sunday 21st November, will be offered a return ticket at a discounted rate of €5 for the second weekend Friday 26th to Sunday 28th November, should they wish to return and experience the delights of the Craft Fair all over again, but with a completely different selection of stalls to choose from! 


The Ballymaloe Craft Fair takes place in indoor, undercover and outdoor areas, making it a perfect day out for all the family. Free parking is available on site, while admission costs just €6, with free entry available to children under 12. With live craft demonstrations, children’s activities, countless stalls, hot food, mulled wine Ballymaloe cider, and live music, this is an event not to be missed. 


Every guest attending the Craft Fair will need to present proof of covid vaccine or immunity (through having had covid 19 in the last 6 months) or a valid certificate showing they are covid free.


To find out more about Ballymaloe Craft Fair, visit or call 021 4757200. To enquire about room rates and reservations at Ballymaloe House, visit Follow the conversation on Facebook @thegrainstore, Instagram @ballymaloe_grainstore, Twitter @thegrainstore.  

press release





Thursday, October 28, 2021

Celebrating the launch of Dingle Single Malt Batch 6

Celebrating the launch of Dingle Single Malt Batch 6

Dingle Distillery 2016

“That's an Irish suntan,” said Dingle Distillery’s Master Distiller Graham Coull as we looked at Sample B from the Bourbon Cask. It looked pale in comparison to Sample C which had enjoyed full maturation in Port cask. “They have the same level of maturity,” Graham continued. “Don't let colour be everything, you don’t need a fake tan to make a whiskey.” And that was well proven as we tasted them together. Many among the online audience gave the thumbs up to the Bourbon, many to the Port.

Of the final three samples, the Bourbon had the least amount of cask influence. But there was much to enjoy and this 46.5% abv had excellent character and Graham hinted that we could see more Bourbon from Dingle in the future

As it happens, the final release in the Single Malt Batch Series is this whiskey that has been matured entirely in Tawny Port Casks. This will be the first such release from Dingle. Bottled at 46.5% and non chill filtered, Batch 6 is a great example of the interaction between Single Malt spirit and Fortified wine. A whiskey with multiple layers of sweetness and a well-balanced depth of flavour. An amazing whiskey indeed .

Dingle Distillery is proud to launch 15,000 bottles of the liquid and with an additional 1,000 Cask Strength bottles available. Batch 6 is priced at €70.00 and available at,, The Celtic Whiskey Shop and across independent off licences nationwide.

Dingle Deconstruction Tasting was the title of the latest tasting from the Kerry distillery. The virtual live tasting on the Potstilled YouTube Channel was to celebrate the launch of the distillery’s sixth and final release in its Single Malt Batch Series, Dingle Malt Batch 6. The two wise men guiding us through the evening were Graham, and recently appointed International Brand Ambassador Alan Glynn while another whiskey wise man Matt Healy of Potstilled kept it moving along.

While the latest release is from Tawny Port casks, Graham hinted that in the future they will use other ports and that they tend to do full maturation in Port casks rather than just finishes. As you know they have a great relationship with the Porterhouse Brewery and will be trying different things with the barrels that the latest Around the Clock stout was matured in, including a Single Malt.


“Single malt will always be a part of Dingle and we intend to do something similar with Pot Still.” You can expect different cask finishes and he also disclosed, with a big smile, that the Dingle Peated is "maturing beautifully"! Exciting times then at the Distillery where they are awaiting a conclusion to their planning application for a new and larger distillery. “Hopefully, we’ll get the right decision as it is now the right time for Dingle.”

Alan Glynn had more immediate news: the setting up of a pop-up Dingle shop for Christmas in a Dublin location. They’ll have pop-up Dingle bars with whiskey, gin and vodka and cocktails of course. And local products from the peninsula will feature in those cocktails. It should happen in the next two weeks so keep an eye on the distillery’s social media.

Okay, we’ve dealt with Sample B & C. Let us back-track (deconstruct, maybe!) to sample A. “This is where we started,’ said Graham (himself celebrating two years in Dingle). Sample A, a new make (“where Dingle starts”) was colourless, straight from the still, no oak. It is 100% triple distilled. The nose soon let us know that new make has character. Alan: “Great to see where they start. Add water at this stage, it will open it up.”

I did and I totally agree with him, amazing what a few drops of water can do.

Now this recipe was unchanged from Day1 as Graham said.. wind the clock forward six or seven years and see what we have from the Port cask (Sample B). “We are setting building blocks for the future, for well beyond my tenure.” I think I may have had a drop of this way back in 2014 during an early tour with Joe as our guide!

On YouTube

Back for more water with Sample D, the darkest of the quartet. This is cask strength so Graham advised: "Tread carefully, needs a bit of water. But do try a neat sip first. And, if you recoil, have the water.” And he didn’t say have just a few drops. “Find your own sweet spot” was his advice.

Cask strength can also be a little more closed with the alcohol on top of the flavour. Alan told us that higher alcohol can be more aromatic but you also need flavours so the aim is to get the balance right. Quite a drink and, with the water sorted, quit a mellow finish.

So all good? Not really! The "bad" news is that the 1,000 bottles of this have all been sold. We were very lucky to get our cask strength tasting and happy to be part of the overall experience.

Clonakilty Distillery launch new Galley Head expression, a single malt.

press release

 Whiskey fans rejoice! Clonakilty Distillery launch new Galley Head expression as Whiskey sales expected to surge again for 2022

Paul Corbett, Head Distiller at Clonakilty Distillery


Pent-up demand on international export market means Irish distillery stocking up for Christmas


Today, Thursday October 28th, marks a big day for Whiskey enthusiasts all across Ireland as Clonakilty Distillery launch their brand-new Single Malt whiskey which is the latest addition to their award-winning range of spirits.


The Galley Head expression represents a new departure for the Distillery as the brand sought to create a high-quality whiskey that was accessible in terms of price but still retained the quality and finish that Clonakilty Distillery has become renowned for amongst whiskey connoisseurs.


Matured and finished at their Atlantic Ocean Warehouse, Galley Head Single Malt represents a marriage of a re-shaved, re-toasted wine cask and Bordeaux red wine casks. Customers old and new will be able to enjoy aromas of cocoa and rich fruits which has flavours of dark chocolate, red berries and liquorice with a long finish of oak spices.


Clonakilty Distillery have said they are hopeful that this new release will provide a foundation on which they can continue and develop to grow their brand, in addition to attracting a range of new customers seeking to broaden their whiskey horizons.


The production and launch is also in anticipation of a return to strong whiskey sales on the international market once again.


A recent report published by the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) revealed that 96% of Irish whiskey sales have in the past been to markets outside of Ireland, and, pre-pandemic, exports were worth an estimated €890m across both the Republic and Northern Ireland.


The IWA report also stated 2020 sales for whiskey still exceeded expectations but suffered a decline largely due to a collapse of Irish whiskey sales in global travel retail as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


With international travel markets slowly reopening, it is expected that both sales and demand will both also return to pre-2020 levels.

The Galley Head expression will be available to buy from off-licences and Supervalu and Centra stores across Ireland, as well as the Celtic Whiskey Shop, priced at RRP €39.50. At 40% ABV, the 700ml can also be purchased online at


Galley Head whiskey can be enjoyed neat, over ice or in a high-end whiskey cocktail.


Paul Corbett, Head Distiller at Clonakilty Distillery had this to say about the new whiskey, “We decided on single malt to produce a full flavoured, barley forward whiskey. We finished this single malt in two cask types, a re-shaved, re-toasted wine cask and a freshly disgorged Bordeaux red wine casks”.


“The rejuvenated wood imparts a caramel sweetness and complex spice to the whiskey while the fresh wine casks add a fruitiness that complements the cereal character of the malt,” he added.


The whiskey derives its inspiration from the Galley Head Lighthouse, which stands guard over the barley fields at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The Lighthouse, which was built in 1875, rises an imposing 53m above the roaring Wild Atlantic Ocean, just outside Clonakilty town.


The lighthouse is situated across the bay and can be seen from the warehouse where Galley Head whiskey is matured, finished, and bottled.

To keep up to date with all things Clonakilty Distillery, check out Clonakilty Distillery on Twitter @clondistillery, on Facebook @clonakiltydistillery and on Instagram @clonakiltydistillery.

Brewery Nooze🍺🍻 with Ballykilcavan, Eight Degrees, Lineman, Hopfully, Galway Bay, Kinsale Mead, Canvas, more

 Brewery Nooze🍺🍻

Cidery, Meadery too.. with Ballykilcavan, Eight Degrees, Lineman, Hopfully, Galway Bay, Kinsale Mead, Canvas, St Mel's, West Kerry, Kinnegar, Blacks of Kinsale, BeoirFest, Wicklow Wolf, Hope, Porterhouse, Tom Crean, Rascals, 


(if you'd like your brewery to be included in this weekly round-up, it is easy: DM a line or two with photo and link).

Ballykilcavan Farm and Brewery 

The first of the windows has gone into the millhouse. Lovely and cosy in there now.


You might have noticed that we love our IPAs at Eight Degrees - that's why we put together this case of IPA cans for our online shop featuring four different IPAs:
#HowlingGaleIPA #FullIrishIPA #SeisíunIPA & #CitraSHIPA

Why are we called LINEMAN?

We’re often asked about our name; we’re called LINEMAN as a tribute to my late father who worked as a Lineman for both the ESB and P&T in the 1940s and ‘50s. He stayed with the P&T (that eventually became Telecom Éireann and later Eircom) until he retired in 1996. There’s a nice lineage there as that same year Mark got his first job with Eircom until he left to start work on setting up LINEMAN in 2018. 
Read more
 A new brew!

Introducing Copacabana, a velvety and intensely tropical 6.5% NEIPA. Copacabana is juicy and smooth, brewed with Simcoe, heavily dry-hopped with Sabro and Simcoe hops, and conditioned with coconut to enhance the coconut and tropical profile of the Sabro hops.
We’ve a couple of nice barrel aged beers lined up to close out the year with. The final blend of the year has just come out of bourbon & rum barrels.
Samhain, Halloween and why you drink mead at this time of year
Large bonfires were lit as people drank mead at large feasts, making Jack-o-lanterns out of turnips with faces carved out. When the Irish diaspora settled in America, they recreated these old traditions by using the most suitable fruit found in the new world: Pumpkins! .... The festival would last for three days and three nights, although the full event was a lot more involved than just 3 days of drinking mead and lighting fires. If you want to celebrate Samhain like your ancestors, a bottle or two shared with friends and family would probably a good start.

Canvas Brewery

Oh some special Heritage Rye got sown in a trial plot, it might take some years to make it into the brewery yet that doesn't diminish the excitement...

New at St Mel's!

West Kerry Brewery & Brick's Pub


10 years ago, on 23 October 2011, Kinnegar made its inauspicious debut. In the coming days we’re going to post a few stories to set the scene and then we'll celebrate with two anniversary beers. You have about 10 days to guess what they are — we’ve had 10 years to think about it!


Canning day for the 2021 Batch of World's End Chocolate and Vanilla Imperial Stout here in Kinsale 😍
More info coming soon.. Stay tuned!


BeoirFest this coming Saturday 30th Oct

This weeks session was a long time coming. It was meant to kick off our winter sessions way back in September but for various reasons we had to postpone it. But I think the wait will have been worth it...

  • A.M.O are based in Lisbon and have built a strong reputation in the Portuguese brewing scene
  • Rascals from Dublin were pioneers in the Irish brewing scene.
  • Octo are one of just a handful of brewers in Cyprus and are busy ploughing a furrow there.

Apart from being pioneers all 3 of this weeks guests place a strong emphasis on community and we will be chatting to them about the importance that plays in the beers they brew. I think it'll be fun.

Join us at 15:00 Irish/ 16:00 CET/17:00 Cyprus for what promises to be another fun hour.


Here's a sneak peak at our new tasting area on the brewery floor, where you'll get to sample some of our favourite beers during one of our tours.

West Kerry Brewery

Around the Clock 3 - Warming, welcoming and layered with vanilla, caramel, licorice, raisin, and toasted coconut ⏰🍺

If you don't have plans for the upcoming weekends, gather up some friends and join one of our brewery tours. See behind the scenes of a state-of-the-art microbrewery plus the all important beer sampling at the end of the tour!
In the interest of staff, customers and the extended community & to comply with HSE guidelines Tom Crean Base Camp is closed due to incidents of Covid at work. The Brewery is still open for take out beers call 087-1612929 or to book your Christmas Beer Hamper. Thank you for your support throughout the season & look forward to welcoming you back. We are incorporating our Autumn break & will re-open Fri. 26th Nov..
🚨 NEW: Southern Cross 🌠
This is a bold New World IPA with an almost indecent amount of tropical and stone fruit aroma. We've used fresh harvest Nelson, Motueka, Bruce and Vic Secret. Juicy and flavoursome like you would not believe! On sale now!!🍻

Here's a sneak peak at our new tasting area on the brewery floor, where you'll get to sample some of our favourite beers during one of our tours.