Showing posts with label Brú. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brú. Show all posts

Monday, August 28, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #40. Craft IPA with Torc Brewing, White Hag, Brú and O Brother.

CorkBillyBeers #40

Craft IPA with Torc Brewing, White Hag, Brú and O Brother.


Torc Kerry Natterjack IPA 5% ABV, 500 ml bottle Carry Out Killarney

In Castlegregory, County Kerry, there is a bar/restaurant called Natterjacks. It is named after the toads in the county. Both the bar and the toad can be happily noisy occasionally. This IPA is named for the toad who has a very loud and distinctive mating call amplified by the single vocal sac found under the chin of the male.

The toad has a yellow line down the middle of the back. The Torc beer is more orange than yellow with a soft white head. It is fairly hazy but you can just about see the fountains of bubbles rising towards the top.

Aromas are fairly delicate, mostly floral and resinous with a touch of citrus also. Flavours are piney and fresh, with a refreshing punch to it, and an excellent balance between malts and hops (bitterness is mid-range). If you want an IPA with a difference, this is well worth trying.

Very Highly Recommended.

Torc says: Our IPA packs a flavour punch, brewed using Irish Pale Ale Malt, Irish Wheat, and speciality Caramunich Malt. This blend, combined with select hops, results in a well-balanced India Pale Ale…. Ideal food pairings include pork, steak, BBQ, and spicy dishes.

And about those natterjacks? Well, the label tells us they are an endangered species in Ireland.  Their natural range is restricted to the coastal zones around Castlemaine Harbour and Castlegregory in Co Kerry. In Spring, when the male is most active, the loud croaking call can be heard from as much as one kilometre away.”

Geek Bits

SRM: 4.3 • IBU: 83 • ABV: 5%
Style: Indian Pale Ale • Released: 2023

Malts: Irish Pale Ale Malt, Irish Wheat, and speciality Caramunich Malt


White Hag Atlantean NEIPA 5.4% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

This hazy pale orange ale comes with a white foamy crown that soon dissipates. It is, of course, meant to be cloudy as that is part and parcel of a New England IPA. Aromas are of the tropics, nothing too strong though.

“Drink the beer as fresh as possible, when all the Alpha & Beta oils from the hops are the most powerful.” And I did just that and got a creamy rush of refreshment, a velvet glove equipped with a big, juicy, fruit punch. I’ll take a count and go again.

The White Hag has expended “copious amounts’ of American hops in this one. But the bitterness you might have had expected has been subdued by the use of oats and lactose that add a rich creaminess. It is not that unusual for New England IPAs to exhibit a tropical, juicy sweetness rather than the classic bitter.

  • The ABV is 5.4%, which is on the lower end for a NEIPA. This makes it a bit more sessionable.
  • The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized.
  • The beer is best enjoyed fresh, as the hop flavours will fade over time.

Very Highly Recommended.

Breweries can come up with amazing yarns. This is the one on the Atlantean label: Atlantean is inspired by mythological sea journeys that took curious voyagers beyond the ninth wave in search of the magical Otherworlds and the secret treasures they held. For this IPA our inspiration has travelled back from the other lands of New England across the cloudy foam of the Atlantic.

Ingredients: water, lactose, barley, wheat, oats, yeast, hops


Brú Urban Jungle Citrus IPA 5.5% ABV,

“Amarillo, a pioneer of American hops, is blended with Ekuanot. This mix has created a vortex of fresh fruity flavours, above all the citrus side with a hint of pineapple sweetness.” That’s the intro to this IPA from Brú.

Colour is mid-gold, slightly hazy with a soft white head. The aromatics are moderate, mostly on the Citra side: lemon, orange and lime. The two hops combine well and give a complex mix on the palate, that “vortex of fresh fruit flavours” according to the brewery. Above all, it is refreshing, with a decent bittering at the finish.

Fruity and refreshing then and Highly Recommended.

Geek Bits

Hops: Amarillo, Ekuanot

Malts: Carapils, Golden Promise, Oat Flakes, Pale

Brú is proud to champion local ingredients. “We’re engaged with our community, working alongside local producers to bring our customers the best examples of Irish food and drink.

As an Irish company, we’re committed to supporting local charities and the communities around us. In brewing, our Irish partners include:

• Loughran Family Malt
• Wicklow Hops Company
• Malting Company of Ireland"

Brú, established in 2013 in County Meath, nowadays offer two core ranges “driven by the same brewing spirit”: BRÚ core and Urban Jungle. “BRÚ Brewery brews beer for all tastes, whether you’re a seasoned craft beer drinker, or just looking for a familiar quality pint.” The beers are widely available and well worth checking out.


O Brother Ikigai Oat Cream IPA 6.1% ABV, 440 ml can No 21 Coburg St

Some similarities between this and the Atlantean above. Colour is common, a hazy pale orange, though Ikigai has a larger head, soft and longer lasting. Aromas are subtle, citrus, grassy and grapefruit. These along with citrusy, spicy and herbal notes follow through just about to the palate, with hints of sweetness thanks to the lactose, and the expected creamy feel (from the oats) barely materialises as the beer seems to lose its way.

They say: “Ikigai is your true purpose in life or reason for being. We know what gets us up in the morning and keeps us going through the challenging times: Finding new and exciting ways to make delicious beer, meeting and working with like-minded independent souls who are pushing the boundaries of their fields and bringing it all together to create an elevated beer experience for all our thirsty beer drinkers. Beer is our Ikigai.”

Geek Bits

Label: Citra, Comet

Ingredients - Water, Malted Barley, Oats, Lactose, Hops, Yeast

Thursday, June 23, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #110 On the craft journey with Lineman, Brú and Dot Brew

 A Quart of Ale± #110

On the craft journey with Lineman, Brú and Dot 

Lineman Green Light West Coast IPA 7.0%, 440 ml can

A hazy bright light gold is the colour of this West Coast IPA. It has a lingering soft white head. More importantly, it has been “packed with a large hop load”. 

And that load makes its mark first on the pungent aromas. Well balanced though on the dank palate. No shortage of flavour with pine and grapefruit prominent and bitterness galore, the hop load delivering all the way to the impressive finish. Impressive finish, impressive beer.

Not surprisingly, they’ve picked a trio of US hops for this one: Columbus (also known as CTZ), Centennial and Idaho7.

So what is a West Coast IPA? It started off as an IPA made on the west coast of the US. Nowadays, the style may be made anywhere in the states, anywhere in the world. The most important elements, according to the current Beer Bible, “are enhanced bitterness and a pronounced citrus or pine flavour”. On that basis, Lineman’s gets the green light here. I’m good to go again!

Lineman Stopover Blond Ale 5.1%, 440 ml can Bradleys

It is widely acknowledge that we owe much to Belgian brewers, not least for Amber and Blond Ale inspiration. As you can see , Lineman used a a Belgian yeast strain in their Stopover. 

And they also used Golding and Saaz hops. And in what other beer do you find those two? Well in the Duval, which gets the nod “as the world’s most beautiful beer” in the Beer Bible. Author Jeff Alworth tells us the Duval Yeast is legend… and the secret to Duvel is its balance. Would be nice to compare the Belgian and this Lineman side by side!

Lineman, an independent Irish microbrewery based in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin, consistently produce quite excellent beers and this Blond Ale is one of the most recent.

It has a gorgeous gold colour and soft white head, regularly reinforced by upward streams of bubbles. No shortage of hops here and they’ve been generous with the Golding, Saaz and Hallertau. But they’ve also used a Belgian yeast strain that also contributes to the fruit as well as adding some spice flavours. And the malts also play a role here in a crisp and refreshing beer that is a bit different to the norm.

Available in cans and draught.

Brú Howling at the Sun West Coast IPA 5.7%, 440 ml can Bradleys

“Part of the Urban Jungle series that celebrates the brewery’s adventurous side. A classic West Coast Pale Ale, Howling at the Sun delivers bitterness alongside a big hit of juicy tropical notes.”. That’s the brewery intro to Howling at the Sun. 

It’s a very hazy mid-orange, the haze hinting at east coast rather than west. Head is foamy, soft and white. The power of the hops jumps up from the glass. And your first sip confirms bracing bitterness, a bitterness that outguns the flavours right to the end.

No doubt, hop aficionados will go for this one. Can’t take a shine to it though; I prefer a bit more balance and its lack leaves me howling at the moon😉. 

Dot Brew General Population IPA 6.5%, 440 ml can Bradleys.

Dot Brew’s General Population, a New England IPA apparently, has a light orange colour with a pillowy white head that’s slow to sink. The hops, two from Australia and one from the US, head up the aromatics. First thing I noticed on the palate was the softness, probably down to the oats. And there’s quite a bit of fruit, mostly tropical such as Passion Fruit and Pineapple and some from nearer home like Peach and Grapefruit. A hint of sticky stuff from the pines too that those of you who have ever sawed evergreen trees into firewood, when times were tougher, may remember. Good balance though and easy-drinking.

Geeks Bits:

Ingredients: Barley, oats (expect creamy), hops, yeast.

Hops: New England IPA w/ Aus Galaxy (Passion fruit, Peach, Citrus), AUS Vic Secret (Passion fruit ResinousPineapple) & USA Amarillo (Grapefruit, Peach, resinous) Easy drinking, soft and pillowy

Sunday, November 21, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #78 On the craft journey with a session of Trouble Brewing, Brehon Brewhouse and Brú.

A Quart of Ale± #78

On the craft journey with a session of Trouble Brewing, Brehon Brewhouse and Brú.


Trouble Brewing Lights Out DIPA 7.6%, 440 can Bradleys

Trouble Brewing latest DIPA comes in an opaque orange colour, when the lights are on. And there’s a strong measure of tangerine in the aromas.That vibrant fruit (and other exotic ones) just doubles up in the mouth, strong, smooth, rich, yet balanced and fresh. Bitterness is mid-scale, soft and present into the finish. 

This very impressive Double IPA is brewed with Sabro, Mosaic & Columbus and is available in cans with very limited availability on draught. My next aim is to get some of that draught! Perhaps an Asian dish on order from next door.

Trouble Brewing was founded in 2010 by three friends: Paul, Tom and Stephen. Tom had been home-brewing for years and insisted on sharing the fruits of his labour with Paul and Stephen.  On nights out, he dragged them to drink pints of various styles and flavours at pubs like the Porterhouse and the Bull and Castle beer hall, both Mecca’s for great beer in Dublin.  

Paul soon developed an interest in brewing himself, and it wasn’t long before he realised making beer was a relatively inexpensive process and buying it was quite the opposite.  With this in mind he approached Tom and Stephen with the idea of setting up a brewery of their own…. Then they set about putting together a functioning brewery.

Trouble Brewing Little Monster Pale Ale 3.5%, 440 can Bradleys

Colour of this Little Monster is a light orange, brilliant white head and shoals of bubbles rushing towards the top. Aromas are citrusy and tropical, plus a hint of pine. Flavours are unexpectedly intense for the abv and follow the aromas closely enough (with mango and pineapple among the tropicals). In addition, there is quite a bitter element from the use of the El Dorado hops. Refreshing with a lip-smacking dry finish. Quite a handful for a 3.,5% and would more than hold its own in a session. Ingredients include oats, wheat and rye.

Trouble launched the Little Monster on Facebook on October 18th last: Little Monster is heading out into the world this week! A 3.5% Pale Ale brewed with Sabro, Mosaic. Azacca & El Dorado. Available in cans, and very limited availability on draught over the next while.

Brehon Brewhouse Bright & Light Session Ale 3.5%, 440 can Bradleys

This Brehon Light and Bright is an Irish craft beer with a light texture, mild flavour and low ABV. “Our new low Abv ale is dedicated to the life story of my Grandparents James and Roseanne  McMahon,” says Seamus McMahon, brewer, farmer and drinker at Brehon.

Colour is a light golden/amber, with a slight haze through which you see the bubbles in action on their way to the white head. Aromas are of light intensity and with citrus notes. Citrus too on the zingy palate. No shortage of refreshment though and there’s a subtle touch of bitterness at the finish.

Very pleasant and excellent company, just like James and Roseanne.

Hopped with Saaz & Magnum with lager malts.


Brú Hop Bomb #4 IPA 5.5%, 440 can Carryout Ballyvolane

This is a hazy orange colour. Aromas are mainly citrus-y but on a layer of tropical fruits. On the palate, the fruity element continues with quite a mix including mango, passionfruit, citrus, plus a touch of pine. Fruity and refreshing.

This Brú Hop Bomb, part of their urban jungle series, was produced using Strata and Simcoe hops while the malts were Lager and Carapils.

This is Hop Bomb #4 but others will have different hops! “An IPA packed with aromas and flavours from an ever-changing blend of hops, meaning that Hop Bomb is always evolving. No matter what the recipe, it will be generously dry-hopped to get the most intense aromas possible. A simple malt base ensures that the hops take centre-stage, right where they belong. Any bitterness is balanced with sweetness from the malts, coming together for a juicy beer..”

Brú Head Brewer, Francesco, describes what makes this beer series unique:As a brewer, I love to describe this product as a didactic IPA: the malt base is even easier than the BRÚ Lager (90% Lager malt!), plus a touch of dextrin and some barley flakes. But the fun in this beer is that for every single batch, we choose a different blend of powerful hops and add them generously at the end of boiling, flameout, whirlpool and in dry hopping. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #58. On the craft journey with a mixed session from Mescan, Brú, O'Hara's and Whiplash..

A Quart of Ale± #58 

On the craft journey with a mixed session from Mescan, Brú, O'Hara's and Whiplash.

Mescan “Westport Blond” 4.8%, 330ml bottle O’Briens Wine

Not my first time enjoying a Westport Blond (without the “e”). And like the first time, it’s the golden colour that first impressed and there’s a lingering soft head as well. You know what they say about first impressions. 

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.

Blonde 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 is one of the outstanding ones. Recommended serving temperature is between four and six degrees.

This blond was the first beer from 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.

So a superb beer from a couple of veterinarian friends who started off as amateurs on their beer journey in 2010. Then, Bart  (a Belgian) welded together their first brewery -  a 50 litre set up. "For three years, we brewed each week in Cillian's garage, creating recipes and learning from our mistakes. The real work started when we set about converting a farm shed on Bart's farm,  building a 1000 litre brewhouse from scratch. All great until all the paperwork hit:  warehousing legislation, VAT, Excise and setting up companies. Many expansions later, we’ve now lost most of our hair, but, on a good day, we wouldn't swap it for anything.”

Brú Cheep Flirt Session IPA 3.8%, 440 can Bradleys

Colour of this County Meath IPA is lemon, a hazy one with a good up-flow of bubbles and lots of hoppy aromas (it has been dry-hopped) even as you pull the tab. Nice frothy head that doesn’t vanish immediately. Citrus and floral notes in both the aromas and the palate. Refreshing and satisfying and well geared for a session in the sun. Sun or no sun, I reckon I’d get on very well with this well-built well-flavoured Cheep Flirt (vegan-friendly).

They say:  A hazy session IPA that’s lower in alcohol but packs a flavour punch. Cheep Flirt showcases three star ingredients: Golden Promise malt, oats and Centennial hops, which come together for a nutty and biscuit backbone, a silky and full mouthfeel and an abundance of citrus and floral notes.

Brú, who have been popping up in my selections quite regularly, are using this Urban Jungle series to celebrate their “adventurous side” with bold, modern beers while their Core range showcases traditional and classic Irish styles with a contemporary twist. I was recently very impressed by their Red Ale.

O’Hara’s Double IPA, 7.5%, 500ml bottle via Radical Drinks

This is a complex piece of work from O’Hara’s. Colour is between amber (day) and copper (night). Intense aromas are a melange of fruit and floral. Generously hopped and dry hopped the complexity continues on the palate, rich of flavour, orange, floral, a caramel sweetness with the malt making its mark right to the finale. Lots of elements here, yet harmony has been achieved. And yet, I wouldn't want more than one of an evening. Perhaps too much has been packed in here for my taste yet I have little doubt that double IPA aficionados are more than happy with this O’Hara’s effort.

They say: A full-bodied, full on Double I.P.A. combining caramel and malt flavours with a well-balanced and substantial bitterness.  Light carbonation allows the full flavour of this Double IPA to shine through. At 7.5% abv, the high alcohol content is balanced with a caramel sweetness and a full bodied malt character. Generously hopped and dry hopped, it is a true treat for fans of the style.

Geek Bits

Bold Double IPA



Plato °:





Top fermentation


Keg (carbonated), Bottle 50cl (Oct 2013) (occasional 41L cask)

Serving Temperature"


Food Pairing:

Perfect with spicy foods such as Thai or Indian. Excellent with strong cheeses.


O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beer conical glass.

Whiplash Midnight Dipper Pale Ale 5.2%, 440 can Bradleys

A soft fluffy head crowns the hazy lemony body of this Pale Ale, the brewery’s “latest love letter to Idaho 7”. Aromas are quite intense with exotic fruit such as mango and guava in the melange. The mouthfeel is quite plush. As you drink, and if you are taking note - you may well be chatting (and why not) - you’ll note those exotics again, all in beautiful harmony, no jarring extremes here. Get it. Quick.

They say: Our latest love letter to Idaho 7, a hop we prize for its versatility and how well it gels with other varieties. 

Details: Vienna Malt, Melanoidin Malt, Wheat Malt, Oat Malt, Idaho 7 hops.

Here's a little more about the Whiplash brew crew:

We were lucky enough to celebrate five years since our first ever commercial release in March, five years since Scaldy Porter was let loose on the world. In that time we have released 68 more beers and grown from a team of 2 to a team of 12. We were also really proud to be awarded International Independent Brewery of the Year 2021 by HonestBrew members. This win coming a few years after we won Best Breakthrough Brewery really made it all the more special.

We wish we could have celebrated this big birthday with the sesh to end all seshes, maybe a tap takeover here and there so you could meet the team, but for obvious reasons that wasn’t a runner. Hopefully we can mark the occasion (maybe for our 6th birthday!), but in the meantime we snapped some portraits and interviewed the team for our social media channels.

More info and lots of pics here..

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #56 Another session on the craft journey with Lager, Pale and Dark Ale and Stout.

A Quart of Ale± #56

Another session on the craft journey. 

O’Hara’s Nitro Stout 4.3%, 440ml can Bradleys

Great visuals with this one. After the sound effects of the widget, you pour, at the 45 degrees of course and slowly, and then it clears, upwards, from a muddled mess to a shiny black mass with a steady and creamy head. The roasted aromas confirm the familiar feeling. Am I back in the bar or what? The magic continues on the palate, full bodied and impressively smooth and all the while that superb roast flavour, a hint or two of smoke there too. And then that traditional dry finish. 

Like the few words on the label: Chill Pull Pour Pause Enjoy. Pretty accurate! By the way, we finished (rather than started with this beauty!)

So what’s this nitro? Nitrogenation was used in stouts to approximate the smooth carbonation typical of cask conditioned ales and has become the norm for kegged Irish stout, giving a smooth creamy texture to the head.

And stout itself? While the term stout is reputed to have been applied to higher abv porters in Britain, it is said that the “stout” style that evolved in Ireland originates from the use of heavily roast malts introduced in Irish breweries after the famine in hardened economic times. While not strong in terms of abv the stronger roast flavoured malts lends a more robust flavour to the style giving a dry finish – hence the term Dry Irish Stout.

Geek Bits 

Plato °





Top fermentation


 (nitrogenated), Keg 50cl and 33cl, occasional 41L cask Can 44cl

Serving Temperature


Food Pairing

Excellent with seafood particularly shellfish and smoked salmon. Also pairs well with strong flavoured cheeses and dry cured meats such as Parma ham.


O’Hara’s tulip glass

Brú Lager 4.2%, 330ml can Bradleys

Very clear light gold colour.  Aromas are malty and on the palate it is the malt that comes through more than the hops (their website describes it as their love song to malt). It’s a light and refreshing lager, certainly more for recreation than meditation, more for a multi-person session than a solo hour. Enjoyable.


Hops: Tradition

Malts: Lager, Carapils, Munich, Crystal

They say: You can find BRÚ beers on the shelf or at the bar across Ireland in many pubs and restaurants and in your local independent off licence. We’re also stocked nationwide in some of Ireland’s finest retailers.

Lineman Electric Avenue #2 Extra Pale Ale 5.3%, 440ml can Bradleys

Treat this one fairly roughly at the start and you are rewarded with a big white head, with a bit of staying power. Colour is an almost totally clear light gold with many fountains of bubbles finding their way upwards. Take a sniff over that slowly shrinking head and you get the freshness of the hops. Dip your finger into the foam and you get a hint of what’s to come, a bit of bitter orange, as if you’d eaten a piece of the peel. That orange is still there on the palate but now there is a balance, a crisp and refreshing harmony all the way through to the finish. The label promises a bright crisp Pale Ale designed to let those delicious hops sing. I reckon they got it spot-on. By the way, after all that smelling and tasting, the head is still there but barely half a finger’s worth - no matter.

This March issue is the second in the Electric Avenue series which uses the freshest hop combinations on a base beer that allow them to shine. Hops used here are Talus and Hallertau Blanc. Talus is a new proprietary hop from the USA. 

They say: Hallertau Blanc has been a firm favourite here at the brewery but we hadn't got our hands on Talus before now. It didn't disappoint. We think this is a great pairing.

A relatively simple beer. Simply superb.

Their story: Lineman had been a long-planned project of founder/owner/brewer Mark Lucey. Having been obsessed with beer and heavily involved in homebrewing for all his adult life, it was always an ambition to open a brewery or have a commercial brewing project that would allow him to produce a diverse range of beer: Stouts, Belgians styles, IPAs and Mixed Fermentations.

It soon became a proper husband and wife team when Vivienne joined shortly before the first beers were released. Being a graphic designer with lots of commercial experience she was able to bring the look for Lineman together just in time for their beers to be released. Vivienne produces all the artwork and looks after the marketing side of things.

West Kerry “Cúl Dorcha” Dark Ale 5.0%, 500ml bottle Bradleys 

The name Cúl Dorcha comes from a local shore and means dark back (probably no lightbulb out the back). Dark red is the colour of this Kerry beer with its soft white head that reduces soon enough.

All’s dark then. Roasted malts on the nose, hints of smoke. The malt runs deep, caramel, chocolate, smoky peat; complex palate also has a sourish aspect and slightly bitter too towards the finish.

It is indeed a distinctive beer as we’ve come to expect from West Kerry where sculptor Adrienne is also the owner and brewer at Tig Bhric, the public house where the West Kerry brewery is based.

They say: Cúl Dorcha is a dark ale, with a deep maltiness that includes hints of dark chocolate. Hopped with English hops for an easy-drinking beer with a slight spice note to the finish.