Showing posts with label Beers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beers. Show all posts

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sail Away with a Galway Hooker

Sail Away with a Galway Hooker
Galway Hooker, Irish Pale Ale, 4.3% abv, Hooker Brewery, Roscommon.

Thanks to a recent Twitter competition win, I’m getting the chance to sample some of the craft beers being distributed by Galvin Wines

First on the agenda was the Galway Hooker. This nicely judged balance of malted barley and malted wheat, with the other usual natural ingredients, gives a good rounded body and a fresh feeling in the mouth, smooth rather than sharp.

With its relatively full flavour, this is not just a summer thirst quencher but a beer for all seasons. So, do take the time to savour. Might even go well with a bit of “peasant” grub, something like bacon and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, mussels...

Maybe make up a full dedicated menu as they do in some of the “cidreries” in the Basque Country that I’ve just visited. Start off, say, with a couple of tasty sausages, followed by a big bowl of mussels, a fish course, meat course and dessert, all accompanied by the tasty Hooker!

I had something like that in Hendaye a few weeks back, a string of courses and as much cider as I wanted for about €32.00. If they can do that on the shores of Baie Chingoudy why not on Galway Bay? Maybe even on a hooker!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Walking the Dog. aka The Beer Session

Walking the Dog: The Beer Session

Dungarvan Brewery Helvick Gold (4.9abv) and
Dungarvan Brewery Copper Coast (4.3 abv)
The Helvick Gold is a blonde ale but far from bland. It has a fruity aroma and a good balance of flavour and acidity.
I had been impressed with the Copper Coast at a recent meal in Fenn’s Quay and was happy to find myself still impressed at this home tasting. It is smooth and fruity and its definite caramel character is balanced by the use of crystal malt.
This is just about my favourite of the two Dungarvan bottles and a worthy and serious contender in this international “competition”.

Heineken’s Newcastle Browne Ale (4.7 abv)
This is the only one of these four to come in a 550ml bottle; all the others are the standard 500. Apparently the trick here is to serve it in a smaller glass to enable frequent top-ups to maintain the frothy head. It is a bitter and has a lovely smooth flavour.

The label has some of the Geordie wit even if the beer is now brewed in Yorkshire. I always thought “going to see a man about a dog” or "taking the dog for a walk" (especially if you had no dog) meant have a piddle in the bushes but in Newcastle it means going to the pub for a couple of these beauties.

Fuller’s London Pride Premium Ale (4.7 abv)
Fuller’s make a range and this is their most famous with its distinctive rounded flavour, possibly the best ale I’ve ever tasted, flavoursome, smooth and balanced. So that came in at number one in this round with the Copper Coast and the Newcastle sharing second spot.

This little contest came about when I spotted a deal in the local branch of O’Donovan’s, the four bottles (some others also available) bundled for eleven euro. Reckon that dog could do with another walk!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Beer and cheese. And the blues!

Organiser Barrie Tyner (with the large bottle) at the Beer/Cheese event at the
Midleton Farmers Market today Saturday

Monday, April 11, 2011



Estrella Damm Inedit is a creation of Ferran Adria and the team at El Bulli’s, a unique never-been-done-before beer blend. This creation is meant to go with food but I found it goes perfectly well without it also. It is one of the best, if not the best, beers that I’ve tasted.

Inedit – as you know, there are other varieties of Estrella - was created to pair “with the most exquisite and challenging foods. Foods that contain: citrus and oils...Bitter notes:...Asparagus, Artichokes...Oily textures: salmon, tuna, fatty cheese.”

Built a meal around those challenges, salmon and asparagus on the main course, and the beer, served in wine glasses, was a splendid match. It is cloudy, is lightly carbonated, has a creamy texture and the soft full body leaves a long and lasting finish.

Next challenge doesn't appear on the shortlist. This was a

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Supervalu Beers

Supervalu in the old Roches Stores in Merchant’s Quay is not the place I’d normally think of when looking for beers with a difference. But time was short and I tried and found a decent enough selection there from both sides of the Atlantic.
Stuck with the Europeans though. Got the Budejovicky Budwar (€2.78) - was this the one transferred across the Atlantic? - from the Czech Republic, plus two from Bavaria , Paulaner Hefe-Weisbier ( €2.32) and the Erdinger Weissbrau (€2.78), all in 500ml bottles.
Just a note on last week’s trio (from Bradley’s). They were Pilsner Urquell (€2.99), Rick Stein’s Chalky’s Bark Open (€2.99) and, from Oz, Hahn Premium (€1.89). All very enjoyable and I found it impossible to put them in a 1-2-3 order. Pleasantly surprised with the Chalky’s Bark as I was a bit apprehensive about the ginger element.
I must say that I didn't enjoy my Supervalu trio as much. The Erdinger, a dark beer, flattered to deceive. Rather enjoyed the first mouthful but gradually the sweetness got to me and I didn't finish it.
The Pualaner, which also produced an abundant head, looked promising but there was something about it, noticeable in the nose and just when you finished the swallow, a kind of clove like whiff. Not for me.
The Budwar saved the day! Better colour, better body, better all round that the pale watery American version, it was a decent beer, more or less on a par with the three from the previous week

Check out my review of Supervalu - I am cork - on Qype