Third Barrel Stop the Clocks Pilsner Lager, 4.8% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys
“Our take on a traditional pilsner. This clean crisp and refreshing lager is brewed with Irish Malt and hopped with a hefty dose of German Saaz.” That’s the intro from Third Barrel.
The colour is bright gold with a soft foamy white head, and lots of bubbles rising. Floral and citrus notes in the aromas. And it is crisp and clean on the creamy palate where the famous Saaz hops (a noble variety) give it mild pleasant hoppy notes of hay and herbal. Easy drinking and seriously refreshing. As Third Barrel themselves say: “Nothing says summer like a good glass of Pils in the sun.” And this Stop the Clocks says it as well as any lager and better than many.
Very Highly Recommended.
Saaz, with its distinctive and classic aroma, is well known for its use in middle European lagers. And it also has a long association with Stella Artois
Torc White Tail Kerry Lager 4.5% ABV, 500 ml bottle Carry Out Killarney
“Sure to suit all palates, our classic style smooth Lager is brewed using Irish Pale Ale Malt and speciality German Carapils Malt.” That’s the confident introduction to their White Tail Lager by the folks of Kerry’s Torc Brewing.
It has a lovely gold colour and fountains of rising bubbles, rising though a thin film of haziness (it is unfiltered). The aromatics are a little on the shy side, with light caramel and biscuity notes. And there’s a hint of caramel and sweet biscuit also as it hits the palate and immediately a cleansing tide of refreshment. Excellent balance here and a good dry finish.
Torc says it pairs beautifully with seafood, pasta, pizzas, curries, burgers and salads.
The lager is named after the White-Tailed Eagle which was reintroduced into the Killarney National Park in 2007, having become extinct in the late 19th century. Before going extinct this magnificent bird of prey called Killarney its home, and returning this species to Irish skies is a significant step in restoring our natural heritage.
SRM: 3.1 •
IBU: 13.5 •
Style: Lager •
Hope Munich Helles Limited Edition No 27 5.3% ABV, 440 ml can No 21 Coburg St
Enjoy it in the garden, or with salty pretzels and bratwurst. That’s the advice from Hope. Amber is the colour of their Munich Helles Lager, with a soft white head and bubbles by the zillion.
Helles is one of Munich’s popular lagers (another is the darker Dunkel), bright and light with a crisp finish. Quite a crisp and refreshing finish here also, even though the body is richer than usual and there’s an almost creamy mouthfeel.
The malts certainly have an edge and no surprise since Hope tells us that their Helles “holds back on hops and bitterness to allow the sweet and full bready flavours of malt take centre stage”.
This Munich-style Helles Lager nonetheless has a noticeable hop presence from the traditional German Hallertau used in the kettle and the whirlpool, which lend this lager subtle herbal and floral aromas.
Although the balance falls slightly on the malty side, the rich body and full mouthfeel do not inhibit this beer's drinkability, and the finish is soft and crisp. Enjoy it in the garden, or with those salty pretzels and bratwurst. Should also pair well with salads, shrimp, or fish.
By the way, would you like to see how this lager is made? Hope would love to you to join them “for the best micro-brewery tour in Dublin! Our brewery tours take place in our state-of-the-art German brewery in North Dublin where all aspects of the brewing process will be covered on the tour and will take approximately 25 minutes. Then the really fun part! You’ll enjoy a beer tasting of our core range of craft beers while enjoying a great view of the brewery floor.” More details here
Very Highly Recommended.
I had an interesting head-to-head between this Hope and the To Øl 45 Days Mexican (in bottle). The verdict is very much in favour of Hope, a clear winner over the Danish effort in flavour and finish.
Helles is just one of a long list of German lagers (with no shortage of variations).
Perhaps the best-known are:
Dortmunder Export Lager,
And a few more, including Rauchbier (smoked).
Rothaus Märzen 5.6% ABV, 500ml bottle Bradleys
Traditionally brewed during the winter, Rothaus Märzen is a seasonal favourite now enjoyed all year round by German beer lovers.
Give this German a robust pour and you’ll get a decent white head that hangs around for a spell. The important bit comes after that, the glowing gold body and the zillions of micro-bubbles in the ever-rising fountains. Herbal notes crowd the aromas, nothing too intense. The smooth body is more malt (rich and bready) while the German hops yield a modest bitterness. Still, this is quite a balanced soft-textured beer, supremely drinkable, with a very clean finish, and an enjoyable companion at either lunch or dinner. Or even better in a crowded noisy beer hall.
It is a full-bodied, luscious beer with the unique barley malt from southern Germany bolstering its character. Fresh brewing water as well as the famous hops from Tettnang and the Hallertau make the taste experience more or less perfect. So well done to the Rothaus master brewers who have produced a top-class beer that has been a favourite for centuries.
So where did Marzen come from? Beers of this type of brewing are traditionally more heavily brewed, as brewing was only allowed in the months from September to April. A beer with a longer shelf life was thus produced in March, which survived the five months and was produced just in time for Octoberfest.
According to the Beer Connoisseur, the Märzen style is a malty, amber, European-style lager that can trace the roots of its modern variants all the way back to 1841, when Spaten created the first recipe for the style. Märzen become the official beer of Munich’s Oktoberfest in 1872, a tradition that lasted over 100 years when it was replaced by the lighter-bodied, golden-coloured Festbier in the 1990 Oktoberfest. Yet many Oktoberfest beers are still technically Märzens.
As you possibly know, I go almost exclusively for Irish beer. But it is always good to see what else is out there and this Rothaus is a worthwhile detour. Another, according to Jeff Alworth in The Beer Bible, is the Paulaner Oktoberfest “that billows clouds of the stuff (fluffy heads!). “the beer itself is toasty, almost a little plummy, and sprinkled with palate-cleansing cedary hops.”
You can talk forever about malt and hops and ingredients but one that Aldworth highlights is called “rasa” a sense of celebration. “Marzens are infused with the spirit of festgoing….both the result and cause of merriment…drunk at a time when people are still hanging on to the relaxed mood of summer.” Hadn’t thought of that kind of ” ingredient”.