Sunday, October 30, 2022

My Favourite Beers of the Year 2022 Announcing the October winner. Wide Street Coolship.

My Favourite Beers of the Year 2022

Announcing the October winner: 

Wide Street Coolship

Contenders to end of October:

October: Wide Street Coolship Spontaneously Fermented Ale

September: Bradleys (with Dot Brew) Nice One IPA

August:12 Acres Pale Ale

July: Wicklow Wolf Locavore Summer 2022 Foraged Elderflower Saison

June: Wicklow Wolf Mescan Wit or Without You Belgian Wit

May: Wicklow Wolf Locavore Spring 2022 Barrel Aged Farmhouse Ale

April: Whiplash True Love Waits Dry Hopped Pils

March: Lineman Schadenfreude Schwarzbier

February: Wicklow Wolf  “Apex Cherry” Black Cherry Oatmeal Stout.

January: Whiplash Dry the Rain Double Decoction Dunkel

December: Lough Gill Mac Nutty Macadamia Nut

October. The Final List

Spon: Wide Street Coolship Spontaneously Fermented Ale

Stout:Brehon Shanco Dubh Porter

Red Ale: Sullivan’s Maltings Irish Ale

Session: Lineman Group Therapy Session IPA, 4.6%

Pils: Farringtons Bohemian

October Short List


White Hag Little Fawn Session IPA 4.2% 

Outer Place Mini Mini Session Disco IPA, 4.4% ABV 

Farringtons Clever Plucker Session NEIPA, 4.5% 

DOT Brew Spin Off Series Session IPA, 3.2% 

Lineman Group Therapy Session IPA, 4.6%


White Hag West Coast to West Coast. 

Blacks Pineapple & El Dorado 


Brehon Shanco Dubh Porter, 7.7%


Farringtons Bohemian Pils 


Wide Street Coolship Spontaneously Fermented Ale  

Red Ale: 

Sullivan’s Maltings Irish Ale, 5%

Craft on Draught:

The Maritime, Bantry: 9 White Deer Kölsch

The Lake, Killarney: Ale and Lager by Killarney Brewing Co.

Merry’s, Dungarvan: Wicklow Wolf Ale and more

The Shelbourne, Cork: Beamish and more

The Cotton Ball, Cork: Lynch’s Stout, Indian Summer and more

Mellet’s Emporium, Swinford: Reel Deel Jack the Lad, Mescan Seven Virtues Lager.

Keenan’s, Tarmonbarry, Co. Roscommon: White Hag Little Fawn; Kinnegar’s Scraggy Bay.

Finín’s Midleton: Black’s KPA

Franciscan Well: Original 7 Weisse and more

Elbow Lane: Angel Stout and more

The Mad Monk by Quinlan’s, Killarney: Killarney’s Casey Brothers Extra Stout and Golden Spear Blonde

Castlerosse Hotel Bar, Killarney:  Killarney’s Golden Spear Blonde

Celtic Whiskey & Larder, Killarney: Tom Crean St Brigid’s Lager and Rascals Black Horse Stout 4.4% and more

Café Pigalle Cork: White Hag’s Atlantean NEIPA (also White Hag lager)

Spooky Beers??

Black Donkey Have You Covered.

"Samhain Season is upon us ,

It is a time for welcoming the harvest and ushering in the dark half of the year. Samhain holds a special place in our memories as our Underworld series was born from this darkness.

The Underworld series of native Irish beers was born out of our quest for adventure, our sense of history and our respect for tradition. If you haven't tried the three Underworld beers yet, you are missing out on Ireland's only beers fermented with a native Irish yeast.

On October 31st, 2017, we embarked upon the Wild Yeast Chase and harvested a yeast we named Morrigan from Oweynagat cave. The cave is considered to be the “Gate to Hell” or entrance to the Underworld and the origin of Samhain. You have been warned!

Sergeant Jimmy 2022 is on its way, scheduled for a late November release. 
And something sour, barrel conditioned and special this way comes in the next month or less, stay tuned!

Forever and always, we ask you to support local wherever you can. This support helps small independent brewers like ourselves to keep brewing."


Rye River Celebrate Again

World's Best Helles/Münchner!

Celebrations are in order! Our Bidin' Time Irish Lager has been officially named the 'World's Best Helles/Münchner' at the World Beer Awards 2022. Yes, that's right, the world's best! And it didn’t stop there. We picked up a further 40 awards to be named the World's Most Decorated Brewery for the 3rd consecutive year. 

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Marina Market Munch Lights Up Grey Autumn Day

 Marina Market Munch 

Lights Up Grey Autumn Day

Latke with salmon

Q - So, what kind of food can you get in the Marina Market? Why is everyone going there?

A - Oh, you can get all kinds there. Hansum and maybe not so handsome. Sinless and sinful. Messy and brand nua. Deli and delights. Soul and blues…and.

Q - Stop messing. Listen, tell me what cuisines can I sample there?

Okay. No messing. Not too easy to answer though as there’s all kinds of fusion going on. For instance there’s one stall with a French name, Poulet Vous. But on Insta, they say they have Korean Chicken while, on their website it is Bold Nashville style with a Korean twist, so that’s four different nations involved in that small space: Us, US, France and Korea!

The Original by Poulet Vous

Then there is a Sicilian place, a Mexican (Burrito & Blues), Asian with sushi, Brazilian with wood-fired beef, one stall from the Maghreb, and another with Jewish style latkes. Of course, we Irish are well represented with Prátaí!

We’ve sampled quite a few in previous visits, including Nua Asador using wood and fire to give an amazing Latin American makeover to Tom Durcan’s beef. We’ve also enjoyed the fare from Taylor’s Deli (see below), serving Latkes, Jersey Rolls and “the best NY subs you can find”.  

In the earlier days we went to town on two offerings from the Wild Hogs (no longer operating here), enjoyed their pig-fest in a bun, the “Ze Octoberfest”, plus their West Cork Gourmet Sausage Bap.

White Rabbit Menu

Another visit saw us at Sicilian Delights and there we got their sensational Parmigiana. It consists of shallow fried sliced aubergine with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, then baked. We combined that with a call to Prátaí for their Nacho Fries, a base of fries topped with Bean Chilli, guacamole, Salsa and Sour Cream, one of their Loaded Chips specials. Olé.

Our visit last week began with a call to Taylor’s truck. They, and Soulful, are somewhat unlucky with their placement as their wagons are parked outside the main hall, just outside but you could easily miss them in Autumn and Winter, easier to spot though in the other seasons when many people decide to eat on the outside tables.

We wanted to try their potato pancakes called Latkes. They had three or four versions and the one we picked was “Fish In The Jailhouse": 3x Potato Pancakes, Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese & Chive. The pancakes, a bit like the Swiss rosti, can take a bit of time as they do everything from scratch but soon we ended up with a delightful box of pancakes and smoked salmon for 8 euro.

Part of the Egg menu

Our normal practice here is to share and that is not that easy with many of the meals. They are well packed into their containers and the wooden forks and knives aren’t up to much. So, the tip is to bring an old knife from home to do the dividing and it may be no harm either to bring a small plate or two! Might be easier to get one meal each.

Mostly though you’ll get by with what the vendors supply and they certainly draw in the punters. We were there last Tuesday and there was no shortage of customers, customers of all ages. And if you have a baby in tow, then there are a few baby seats around the place.

More Egg!

Our other call on this visit was to "multi-national" Poulet Vous and we could see from the menu that it looked like Korean all the way, not that I know much about Korean food other than kimchi! 

They promise: you won’t find our flavours and colours anywhere else! We serve it all hot, fresh and in a format that’s affordable and comfortable for urban Corkonians to enjoy. They highlight four on their website.


House Fried Chicken, Fries Kimchi Mayo House Pickles in a Golden Pitta


Sweet & Spicy Signature Fried Chicken Tenders


Korean Fried Chicken, Kimchi Slaw, Pickles


Honey Soy Garlic Maple Hoisin Gochujang

All interesting, though I usually steer clear of BAO buns as they themselves are fairly tasteless. Of course it is what’s in them that counts.

Trick or treat? Poulet Vous.

Anyway, we picked the top item on the menu called The Original: Korean Fried Chicken, fries, Kimchi Mayo, Shredduce (what language is that?😉) and house pickles in a golden pitta bread with sesame and chive. Not easy to make two halves of that! But it was well worthwhile, full of flavour and texture and nicely spiced as well. 

They also had an offer to make a dinner of any of their mains by adding fries and a drink for another four euro. And they don’t forget the kids with a box of Fried Chicken pieces with fries for €6.50.

Took the opportunity to do a walkabout or two and found a few menus that will result in another visit to the food market that keeps on giving!

Previous visits

Featuring Wild Hogs Food Truck 

Featuring Taylor’s Deli and Nua Asador 

Featuring Sicilian Delights and Prátaí 

Bad News...and Good

Just as I was wrapping up this post, Taylor's Deli were posting some bad news.

"We have made the very difficult decision to close our doors after this Bank Holiday Weekend.

The rising cost of everything has made it unviable for us to remain open without drastically increasing our prices which we don't want to do

We want to extend a massive thank you to all our customers who Made It Rain and kept a smile on our faces 😊 and to our amazing local suppliers

Hopefully Taylor's will find a way back.. I still have a lot of their subs and Latkes to try! Best of luck to you all.

Almost at the same time, Marina Market announced the opening of a new stall....

"Introducing Charcú 🍷

The first wine, cheese and meat bar in the Marina Market and just in time for Jazz 🎷

Try Cork's most unique new bar in a one of kind venue.... Delicious meats and cheese sourced locally and the finest wine this side of the Lee."


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

From the Rhone and Med. Two Outstanding Reds For You. Beaujolais Soirée at On The Pig's Back.

 From the Rhone and Med. 

Two Outstanding Reds For You.

Beaujolais Soirée at On The Pig's Back.

Famille Tari IGP Méditerranée Cadet de la Bégude (IGP Méditerranée) 2020, 14% ABV 

RRP €26.99 Neighbourhood Wines; Green Man Wines; Terroirs; The Corkscrew; Pinto Wines; Myles Creek;; MacCurtain Wine Cellar, Cork

This red is a blend of three grapes associated with the Mediterranean: Grenache 35%, Mourvèdre 35%, and Cinsault 30%. It is classed as a IGP Méditerranée, a wide-ranging appellation that covers most of Provence and more. Wine Searcher tells us that this Cadet de la Begude has been ratedas one of the top 5 IGP Mediterranée wines” even though it is also regarded “like a second wine for the estate”. 

Colour is mid to dark ruby. Aromas are quite intense, darker fruit, mostly cherry. And that cherry edge continues on the palate. The balances comes from a fresh acidity and you also get fine-grained tannins, plus a spicy finish. Very Highly Recommended.

I’m not the only one happy with it. The producers are ecstatic, if the almost poetic label is anything to go by: A noble terroir and the signature of the Tart family 7th generation of winegrowers, give birth to this valiant Cadet. A selection with a fragrance of freedom, respectful of its environment, carried by the Mistral wind and the light of the Mediterranean Sea.


Domaine de la Bégude was purchased in 1996 by seventh-generation winemaker Guillaume Tari, Once a stopover for travellers seeking shelter and sustenance – ‘beguda’ means ‘drink’ or ‘the place to drink’ in Provençal – the estate was abandoned and overgrown when Guillaume discovered it. He and his wife set about replanting the old terraces and restoring the buildings. Certified organic since 2006, the vineyards are located at 400m altitude above sea level at the highest point in the Bandol.

Guillaume’s focus now is on producing wines that truly reflect their origins. All the grapes are harvested manually, sorted twice, destemmed and fermented with natural yeasts. The Cadet rouge and rosé are an equal blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault and are produced from the youngest vines at the estate, which have an average age of 10 years. As the vines are not old enough, the range is classified as IGP Méditerranée instead of Bandol AOC.


Top Wines 2022. With Reviews & Irish Stockists. 


Maison Les Alexandrins Crozes-Hermitage Rouge (AOC) 2020, 13% ABV
RRP €34.99 Michael's Mount Merrion, Pinto Wines, McHugh’s Off Licence - Malahide Road,

“Of all the wines produced in France, none offer more excitingly spicy flavours than those of the Rhone Valley.”*

And that is where our wine comes from. Colour of this 100% Shiraz is a deep purple with a sustained bright hue. It is fragrant with ripe cherry, small red fruit and spicy of course! On the palate it is well-structured, juicy, intensely fruity, spicy also, and fresh, with a wonderful balance, finishing long with velvety tannins. Very Highly Recommended.

The fruit for the Domaine Les Alexandrins wines comes entirely from estate-owned vineyards in Saint Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. The Crozes-Hermitage Rouge is aged in large 55 – 80 hectolitre wooden vats for 10 months, followed by six months in stainless steel, softening the tannins and maintaining freshness.

The label indicates that the soil here - pebbles* and clay - has been made for Syrah. "Aged in wood for 12 months, our Crozes-Hermitage can be enjoyed young but will also age wonderfully.”

Crozes-Hermitage is the largest of the Northern Rhône appellations, about ten times larger than the neighbouring Hermitage, whose famous hill spreads out behind the town of Tain l'Hermitage 

Both wines are produced from Syrah and, while there are many similarities between the adjacent appellations, Hermitage scores where it counts even if you have to be patient with it as it “needs to be laid down for five, ten, even twenty years to fully open up”. Only some vintages of Croze can be laid down for long periods.  

The writer Alexandre Dumas is the famous patron of Hermitage while the best Croze-Hermitage can come up with is a bandit called Mandrin. I suspect that many of you, like myself, are glad that the less expensive Croze-Hermitage usually represents much better value. After all, some of its best vineyards are situated just behind that famous hill. You don’t have to be a bandit to enjoy.

And speaking of taking things for free….

Pebbles, brought in by the river from Switzerland in the quad-centenary period, is a bit of a misnomer here as the generally flat stones are quite large. Winemakers have to keep an eye on them: “People steal them to finish a calade (stone path) or build a pool wall. They are stealing our terroir!” More here


* from French Wines by Robert Joseph.


Best Value Wines 2022. With Reviews & Irish Stockists. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Bienvenida A Paladar. ¡Viva América! In Bridge Street

Bienvenida A Paladar

¡Viva América! In Bridge Street

The team behind Cask have launched a new colourful venture in nearby Bridge Street, brightening up a southern corner with the food, drink and music of Latin America. ¡Viva América! ¡Viva Paladar!

Co-owner Andy Ferreira (above) is famous for his innovative cocktails at Cask and that continues at Paladar but with a Latin touch of course. 

You have to try at least one. I settled on a longer glass, titled the Tropical Itch, a smooth and fruity one with Dingle Vodka, Bacardi 4 Rum, Myers Rum, Mango, Lime and Angostura Bitters.

Tropical Itch

The wine list is short but full of quality and you need to check it out, particularly the three from Chile that make up the red bottle list, as two of them were in my Top Four for 2020. One is the Pedro Parra “Vinista” Itata Chile, a young beauty from ancient Pais vines. Parra is also involved in the second Clos des Fous Cabernet Sauvignon from Itata. The renowned winemaker Aurelio Montes is the man behind the Montes “Outer Limits” Cinsault  also from the Itata. Bring a friend or two and enjoy one of these.

Check out their Cab Sauv!

There are two reds and two whites available by the glass. Both the reds come from Argentina and one, by Las Hormigas (it means the ants, but don’t let that put you off!), features the Bonarda grape that is widely planted in the country as is the Malbec, also available in glass and also by Los Hormigas.

Another Argentina associated grape Torrontes is blended with Riesling in the beautiful Amalaya wine and the Sanama Sauvignon Blanc, this from Chile, is the other option by glass.

No shortage of spirits of course in the colourful bar with the friendly staff eager to help and that is true of all the staff we met in the comfortable 55 seater venue. You may of course get up and dance when the music plays at the weekend.

Be good!

Back to the cocktails! By chance, we met Andy as we arrived and he took us through them. The left hand side of the card features names that many of us would be familiar with such as Mojito, Daiquiri and Margarita. 


Eating Out latest..restaurants cafes trucks. New reviews weekly here 


The Latin American influence, where I found my Itch, increases on the right hand side with rum and mescal featuring more often in innovative drinks that come with exotic names (mostly) such as Mescalero (Los Javis Espadin Mezcal, Aperol, Lillet Blanc, Vermouth) and Plantation Café Swizzle (Plantation 5 Year Rum, Coconut Cream, Coffee).

Prefer something simpler? Like a beer? Well, no hay problema. They’ve got 45 Dias Mexican Lager at the top of the list that also features Heineken and ciders by Stonewell and Johnny Fall Down along with a non-alcoholic hoppy beer from Brooklyn Brewery. There’s also an Estrella Daura Damm Gluten Free beer available.

Beef skewers

And, speaking of gluten free, I noticed that most if not all the food is GF. The short and interesting menu ranges from snacks (Toasted Mixed Nuts to Empanadas) to small plates (eg Ceviche, Tacos El Pastor and more).

Pork Belly
We tried a few of the Small Plates. Of course, we did! I had gathered that the Colifor was proving popular here and it is indeed a good one: Roasted Cauliflower, Green mole and grated Brazil nuts. As many of you know, moles are a variety of strong flavoured traditional sauces and marinades from Mexican cuisine.

Do you like Pork and Spuds? Sounds better here as Cerdo Con Papas. Full description is slowly cooked pork belly, molasses glaze, potatoes and Spiced Avocado. Tasty!

At this point we should probably have ordered dessert but instead decided to share the Anticuchos (Slightly smoked beef skewers, Corn Salsa and garlic oil). After one delicious skewer each, enhanced by the Salsa, dessert was forgotten, at least until the next visit!

More on Paladar (inc. contacts, opening times & menus) here.


Eating Out latest..restaurants cafes trucks. New reviews weekly here 


Andy Ferreira, Co-Owner and Oisin Wolfe, Bar Manager, Paladar, Cork (This Pic: Miki Barlok)