A Quart of Ale± #115. On the craft journey with Wicklow Wolf, Whiplash, Lough Gill, O Brother and Kinnegar.
On the craft journey with Wicklow Wolf, Whiplash, Lough Gill and O Brother.
Wicklow Wolf Locavore Summer 2022 Foraged Elderflower Saison 6.5%, 440 ml can Bradleys
In introducing Locavore Summer 2022, Wicklow Wolf tell us it is a Foraged Elderflower Saison brewed with elderflower foraged right on the hop farm and our very own malted barley and wheat.
There is a slight and short-lived white head and the colour is a clear amber/gold. The Elderflower is immediately noticeable in the aromatics with herbal and floral notes, and hints of resin in the background. Quite a current of tropical fruit and orange comes through on the palate of this light and crisp beer, deeply refreshing and with a lip smacking finish. Pretty unique and another worthy effort from the Wolf pack, another cub to be proud of.
And that uniqueness owes much to Wicklow. The brewers: “In early June we made a trip to the hop farm to forage some elderflower for this year’s Locavore Summer 2022.For our Summer Locavore release, we forage the wild landscape of Wicklow for flavours that will allow us to experiment and champion the local terroir. We hand picked some vibrant elderflower from the hedgerows that border our hop farm. It is these native Irish hedgerows that provide a picturesque backdrop, increases biodiversity and that will give this Elderflower Saison a taste of the Wicklow hills.
|Pic by Wicklow Wolf|
For the brewing of this season’s locavore release, we brewed a saison using our very own malted barley and wheat. The elderflower was hand picked and added straight to the brewhouse at 15g/l. Our Locavore Project epitomises the core philosophy that Wicklow Wolf was founded upon, provenance and pride. The Locavore Project allows us to celebrate the terroir of Wicklow, our home and champion it with small batch, local, experimental beers.”
Hops: Mosaic, Centennial, plus15g/l Foraged Elderflower
Malts: Wicklow Wolf Pilsner, Wheat & Munich Malt
Whiplash Ephemeral Table Beer 2.6% ABV, Whiplash Online
Whiplash’s first table beer comes in a hazy lemon colour with a soft white head that sinks slowly enough. It has an ABV of just 2.6, hence the table beer designation. Don’t let that put you off. There’s a genius at work here, well in Dublin 10.
I did the old foam finger test (as I was once shown by the Belgian beer sommelier Marc Stroobant) and what do I get but basil or “bays-il” as one prominent chef terms it. There is much more of course, after all the ever inventive Whiplash crew are driving this one. As well as basil, they have added lemon zest and that too comes through on the pleasing palate.
You’ve got a full team of malts here and Whiplash rely on the Hersbrucker hops to add noble spice notes. And you certainly get that. Indeed, there is quite a lot going on here, so much that you (well, “I”) don’t notice the modest ABV or should I say the lack of a higher rate. Fine by me. At a table this summer, indoors or out. Worth a check for sure!
The Brewery say: Introducing our first Table Beer, Ephemeral. Traditionally, this style is for everyone at the table, low ABV, great with a meal and something to take you through the evening & beyond. However, the exact style would have differed from place to place. We've gone for the continental interpretation. It's then fermented on our Belgian yeast with fresh lemon zest and basil added for a brief time before crashing and canning. The sum of all these parts results in a beautiful beer that's just perfect for sipping on these long summer nights.
|Pic via Lough Gill|
Lough Gill Wild Irish Gose 4.0% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys
Poured this into a glass that is shaped like a can. And the “can” helped show off the nice big soft white head over a mid-gold colour and lots of bubbles racing up towards the top.
The added ingredients, salt and coriander, can be detected in the aromas. The head has just about vanished as I take the first sip; vaguely salty now but most definitely refreshing, tartily so, as many of these goses are.
Should be good with oysters! Refreshing for sure but I don’t think I’d be calling for a second can on the night but would have no problem starting the next night with one and a couple of Harty’s oysters.
Gose is a sour beer, usually soured with the lactic bacteria that is included here. It is a German beer, traditionally brewed in Leipzig and named after a local river.
Ingredients: Lough Gill Water, Malted barley and wheat, hops, yeast, sea salt, coriander and Lactobacillus Plantarum.
O Brother Social Proof Amarillo Mosaic IPA 6.5%, 440 ml can Bradleys
The O Brother philosophy: Take the first step and you’ve the hardest part done. OBB started with 3 lads who left their jobs to pursue a passion and we haven’t looked back since! A person’s journey toward their dream can begin at any time, you just need to take that leap of faith.
Top tip: Enjoy a nice cold one now and again to calm the nerves, it helps.
The first step here is to take a look at this IPA in the glass. It’s a murky orange with a soft and fairly quick shrinking head. Aromas are on the citrusy side with hints of resin in the background. Tropical flavours abound on the palate, stone fruit too (such as peach and nectarine). Quite a strong showing in the mouth before a good dry finish.
WORLD BEER CUP AWARDS PRESENTATION
Understandably not many European breweries make their way to America for the World Beer Cup Awards ceremony in May. The American Brewers Association very nicely throws a party for them a little while later in conjunction with the German Brewers Association annual Brauertag, held this year in Berlin. This was a sweet coincidence for Kinnegar’s owner duo, Rick and Libby, who spent the best part of a decade in this fascinating city directly after the fall of the Berlin wall. Returning to their old stomping ground to collect a 2022 World Beer Cup gold award for Black Bucket was a very proud moment.
The above, including pic, is just a little extract from the current Kinnegar newsletter, one of the very best I've come across.