Craft journey with White Hag, Boundary, Wicklow Wolf and McGills
Four excellent IPAs. Worth looking out for.
White Hag Danann Juicy IPA 5.8% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys
Dark orange colour, hazy of course, topped with quite a big soft white head. Aromas are hoppy, pine and citrus. A pretty stern bitterness. There are no less than five hops employed) fronts the palate though the caramel malt sneaks in its sweet contribution to make this an intense flavour experience. Quite a beer actually, especially if you like your hops to have the edge that results in a bitterish lip-smacking finish.
They say: Our brand new Juicy IPA Danann, has unlocked a whole blast of juice from a combination of Citra, Mosaic, Columbus, Strata and Chinook hops.
From that quintet, you can expect the juicy blast they mention and flavours ranging from tropical to strawberry, plus dank notes and hints of spice and pine. Quite a melange then for their first juicy IPA but well balanced.
Enjoyed this juicy one with its hoppy spine and malty sweetness at the edges.
Very Highly Recommended.
For your Diary: Hagstravaganza 9 - August 12th 2023.
“Tickets for this annual event, which is the highlight of our year and of many of our customers, are officially on sale!
As ever, we are striving to continue setting the bar even higher for ourselves and we're aiming to make this our biggest festival yet.
On top of having some of craft beer's global leaders & plenty of top-class up-and-coming breweries, we will host the best of Irish food producers we work with, live music, the usual beer garden Olympics, and some other surprises... and of course a magical train journey to the afterparty!!”
Boundary Imbongo Tropical IPA 5.5% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys
“Imbongo is our Tropical IPA. It’s absolutely jam-packed with all of the juicy, tropical and stone fruit goodness.” So pleased are the brewery, and of course its customers, with this beer that it has been promoted to core status.
Colour is a light hazy orange with a soft fluffy head that sinks slowly. Hints of mango and apricot in the modest aromas. And more of the tropical on the palate. Bursting with flavour for sure but also well-balanced.
Boundary Brewing was established in 2014 and is a cooperative brewery, shaped and run by its own members. At the core of the brewery is the drive to produce brews inspired by both Belgian and US beers and styles. This one is certainly different to your usual tropical IPA, serious yet seriously quaffable.
Tasty and clean and Very Highly Recommended.
They strive to use only select high-grade ingredients which include Simpsons Malts and American hops. And if this doesn’t sound exciting enough, check out the cans! An IPA that apparently took 18 months to perfect. Extra pale malt and Mosaic and Azacca hops were used in the worthy and worthwhile effort.
Wicklow Wolf Tundra Tropical IPA, 5.6%, 440ml can.
“Tundra is a New England-style IPA, dry hopped with a massive amount of tropical hops.”
That is how Wicklow Wolf introduces their Tundra Tropical IPA, now one of their core beers. It has a hazy colour and a soft white head. Aromas are tropical, like mango lassi, even a little dank and resin. It is tropical, sweet and tangy on the palate, and is even more tropical here including a burst of mango and pineapple but with enough of a modest acidity to keep it all in balance. Just a slight bitterness in the finish but it is very satisfying and leaves one licking one’s lips as HM might say.
Very Highly Recommended
Best served at 8 degrees and I’ve seen pairing suggestions of Grilled sardines, a Morbier cheese or a grapefruit/peanut/spinach salad. I’m thinking it would be fine with meats and veg from the BBQ, and quite a few pizzas. A big juicy NEIPA like this will be perfect with a big juicy burger; if you're an untidy drinker or eater, then have a roll of heavy-duty kitchen paper handy. Happy Summer.
Best served at 8 degrees
Hops: Citra, Mosaic, Idaho 7 & Sabro.
Malts: Pale, Wheat, Flaked Oats, Cara
By the way, if you are a hop nut, then the White Hag Danann might be a safer bet. An unsafe bet? That would be staking your wad that New England is in the tropics even if the tropics are in New England. Confusing!
McGill’s Waterville IPA 5% ABV, 500ml bottle Centra Waterville
Up to about ten years ago, it was almost impossible to get craft beer in Kerry. But, with at least five breweries in the county, all that has changed.
MCgills are the most recent of these breweries and their beers are widely available in the county including now available at both Killarney Carry Outs. We came across it first in the Lobster Bar and Restaurant in Waterville where McGills are based. Very happy with it this well-balanced drink. That led to a spur-of-the-moment meeting with brewer Joe McGill on the following morning and we are now well into his beers.
Colour of the Waterville IPA is a mid-gold, very slightly hazy, with no shortage of carbonation. Pine and citrus feature in the aromatics. In the palate, you'll find a subtle, malt sweetness and refreshing bitterness. Smooth, really bursting with flavour.
“Like an angel crying on your tongue,” brewer Joe McGill sings its praises. Not too sure I’d go that far but Highly Recommended. Joe suggests pairing it with“ Strong, spicy food: curries, burgers, fish & chips”.
Joe says that each beer is unique to the area of South Kerry. “They reflect our local heroes, culture, and history. To give you a few examples: “Our blonde is named in honour of the famous Skellig Monks. Our Stout is named after the local Dark Sky Reserve which is one of only three gold-tier reserves for stargazing in the world. Our Red Ale is named after local woman Maude Delap who was the first person in the world to study the full life cycle of jellyfish in captivity.”