Monday, April 29, 2024

On the craft trail with Mescan, Western Herd and Bullhouse.

On the craft trail with Mescan, Western Herd and Bullhouse


Western Herd Blue Jumper IPA, 6.2% ABV, 440 ml can

The bright amber colour and all those little bubbles of this Western Herd IPA is quite a come-on. The beer’s name is apparently a Father Ted reference: “Do you remember when you were drinking Blue Jumper?”

There’s a citrus and tropical fruit presence in the aromatics, plus a hint of pine and resin, even a little dankness as well. And that vibrant hoppy edge continues all the way. After all, as the brewery indicates, India Pale Ale, or IPA is a bigger, hoppier version of a pale ale. 

This one certainly

is and that background bitterness is with you right to the finish, quite a good finish as it happens, with the malts having a say in the outcome ensuring that it is not all about the hops. But make no mistake, this a hoppy beer.

Another excellent beer from Western Herd and Very Highly Recommended. 

Brewer’s note on IPA: India Pale Ale, or IPA is a bigger, hoppier version of a pale ale. It is commonly believed that this beer was originally brewed for the East Indian market in the 1800’s, and therefore hopped more heavily and brewed to a higher strength to help preserve the beer’s freshness during the shipping. The colour ranges from pale yellow to amber with a malt flavour meant to balance the firm bitterness and very forward hop flavour

Geek Bits

Style Indian Pale Ale

Colour/Appearance Amber in appearance with a clean white head

Aroma Orange and other citrus, pine, and light peach

Flavour Candied orange and a background bitterness

Hops Citra, Idaho 7, Centennial

Malts Pale, Stout Mix, Caramunich I, CaraPils, White Wheat

Yeast LAX

Original Gravity 1.059

ABV 6.2%


Mescan Westport Blond, 4.8% ABV, 330ml bottle No 21 Coburg Street 

Our Westport Blond pours a lovely golden colour and is rather hazy with quite an eye-catching white head that tends to linger. First impressions are excellent. And so it continues. Hops are modest but have enough to perfectly balance with the malt flavours and it is harmony all the way (even if the fruitiness is slightly ahead of the bitterness) with this clean, crisp and flavoursome beer, so very well made.

One of the most refreshing beers around, its soft fruit and floral notes combining so well with the modest hops, all getting on very well with the malt in the background. Harmony reigns through the crisp and clean finish. They recommend serving at between four and six degrees - take heed!

Blond or Golden Ales “are the ultimate European session beer and a great opening to the pale ale pathway” according to Craft Beer for the People. Yet many of these are more than easy-drinking and this Westport is one of the outstanding ones.

Very Highly Recommended

This blond was the first beer from Mescan’s Cillian and Bart and has become a firm favourite with the public. Blond beer, with its accessible character, combines well with most dishes. Mescan recommends steaks, burgers, chicken, sausages, also  noodles, pasta Bolognese, and Salade Niçoise.


Bullhouse Pie Face West Coast Pale Ale, 3.7% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

This West Coast Ale from Belfast has a clear mid-gold colour, zillions of micro-bubbles and a soft white head. Hops lead the aromas that include a good streak of dankness. “Classic West Coast hops” have been packed in and the IBUs are “bumped up”. 

Those hops are very evident on the palate which is crisp with notes of pine. In the end though,  this ale is not as satisfying as other examples of the style but should go well enough with the suggested pizza. Excellent Irish examples of the style include Blacks Kinsale Pale Ale and Siege by Western Herd and, internationally, the pioneering Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

No comments: