Monday, July 1, 2024

On the Craft Trail with lagers by Mo Chara and Hope and a gift from Malaga!

On the Craft Trail with Mo Chara, Hope and a gift from Malaga!


Mo Chara Lager, 4.2% ABV, 330 ml bottle Carry Out St Luke’s

A real clean and smooth 4.2% gluten-free lager

The first thing you notice is the stubby little bottle so beloved by those Australians who measure everything in stubbies. The time it takes to get to Youigahl from Cork would be a two to three stubbie trip while the line for Kylie concert tickets might be described as

a multiple of that!

The colour scheme on the bottle is not overinviting, then again this fits with the no-nonsense description also applied to this Dunbdalk lager.

Dundalk, as a town, can chalk “most of its existence down to our history and expertise in brewing and distilling.” Mo Chara continues:  “Our wee stubby is the perfect combo of tradition meets tomorrow with a special nod to Mo Chara's arched brick windows built in 1902 featured in the label shape.”

The lads from Dundalk and my Australians would really get on together. Like the Aussies, the three lads from Mo Chara, also the name of their “greatest little boozer” are not shy when it comes to their achievements.

The Dundalk trio “have brewed the most sup-able lager this country has ever seen”. “This grip and sip is the no-nonsense top-notch tasting beer you've been waiting for. A real clean and smooth 4.2% gluten-free lager with all of that flavour. This is one you're gonna want to grab a four-pack and sup a few back.”

Steady on now lads! In all fairness (as Roy Keane used to say), it is a good one, clean and refreshing. Inviting too with that light gold colour and all those micro-bubbles. The finish is also super satisfactory.

It was highly rated by the guy in the off-licence. “A great little lager”  he enthused, correctly as it turned out. Highly Recommended.


Hope Underdog Hoppy Lager, 4.8% ABV, 440 ml can O’Briens Wine

Smooth and easy-drinking, it is Highly Recommended

A really light colour, close to pale lemon. There’s a soft white head and quite a haze though not enoiugh to hide all those bubbles escaping towards the top. Floral notes plus citrus and spice feature in the aromas. Then its crisp and clean with the classic lager malt sweetness getting a shy look-in as you head towards a refreshing finish.

Smooth and easy-drinking, it is Highly Recommended. The Dublin brewers say it’s a brilliant all-rounder when it comes to food pairing:  “Great with BBQs, pizza, meats and spicy foods like curries”, the classic matches.

The Underdog story: During the American invasion of Mexico in 1846, Irishman John Riley came to the aid of the Mexicans in their hour of need. He formed the famous San Patricios Battalion and willingly joined the underdog by fighting against the odds. Ok, they lost, but they became Mexican heroes, remembered especially on St. Patrick’s Day, and on every other day of the year by their nickname: Greengo’s.

Geek Bits

Malts: Lager, Carapils, Acidulated

Hops: Hops: Hallertauer Mittelfruh, Saaz

Yeast: German Lager

Bitterness: EBU 25


Victoria Málaga Beer, 4.8% ABV, 330ml can, gift from Spain.

“Malagueña y exquisita” (“From Málaga and Exquisite”).

Image by David Vives from Pixabay

It is a light, golden colour and has a soft white head. On the palate, its perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness plus the refreshment factor invites you to try it again.

“From Málaga and Exquisite” is not just a slogan “but also the philosophy of our beer”. Victoria is named after the local saint and the brewery was founded in 1928.

The new brewery picked up much of its early know-how from Germany and the 1937 bottle first featured that typical German tourist of the time, holding his boater hat, drying the sweat from his forehead, and enjoying the local brew.

They say that exquisite flavour is down to the beer being carefully made with the traditional slow maturation process, with a minimum of 12 days, ensuring its exquisite flavor. Twelve days doesn’t seem that long. Mescan, big believers in giving beer its due time, use a long maturation process with a minimum of 3 months (up to 9 months with the stronger beers).

Geek Bits:

Serve at 4-6 degrees. 

EBU 23

Sweetness - Medium

Refreshing - High

Carbonation - Medium

Boby - Light

Bitterness - Medium

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