Showing posts with label Bradleys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bradleys. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Beer of the Week. Wide Street Plush Pale Ale

 Beer of the Week

Wide Street Plush Pale Ale 4.3% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

This turned out to be quite the ambush, not at all what I was expecting. A very pleasant surprise indeed and Beer of the Week.

Pale gold is the colour of the Plush Pale Ale by

Esporão 2022 Alentejano. A taste of Alentejo sunshine at an affordable price.

Esporão 2022 Alentejano (IG), 14% ABV

€17.95 at Bradleys

A taste of Alentejo sunshine at an affordable price.

This deep ruby organic red boasts a captivating bouquet – aromas of ripe plums and cherries merge delightfully with a floral and herbal nuance. The first sip is a revelation.  Full-bodied yet surprisingly fresh, the wine offers a cascade of juicy red fruit flavours, beautifully balanced by a hint of spice and silky, well-integrated tannins. The finish is long and persistent, leaving you wanting more.

Offering a taste of the Alentejo sunshine at an

Friday, May 3, 2024

A red-gold rarity. This Kloster Sud from Germany is a very special beer! Drink of the Bank Holiday Weekend!

Drink of the Bank Holiday Weekend. Special…

Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe Kloster Sud 

5.4% ABV, 500ml bottle Bradleys 

A red-gold rarity

Amber to dark red is the colour of our beer from the Kloster Sud (the South monastery). Aromas of Lightly toasted malt aroma.  The expected malt sweetness is experienced on the palate. Indeed it is richly richly malty, with caramel and notes of light spice. It is straight-up refreshing, totally satisfactory right through to the lingering bitter-sweet finish. 

An amazing beer, this Kloster Sud is brewed according to the Märzenbier tradition. But don’t call it a lager or Märzen. It may be bottom-fermented like a lager but thanks to the rare so-called three-mash process and a long ageing process it has a distinctive character with a balanced malt sweetness, fruity acidity and a subtle tartness.. The brewery suggests it is suitable for strong roasts, steaks, smoked meats and even desserts.

It is full and soft and is called a Franconian Red (not to be confused with Belgian reds). This is a historical and renowned southern German style. If you like Märzen, you’ll probably like “red beer.”

Thought I might see Rothbier (German for Red Beer) on my label but the brewery, the Weisenoher Klosterbrauei, do have Spezial Bier on the neck and I can certainly agree with that.

It is a staff favourite in Bradleys and that is where I was tipped off about it. Danke Bradleys!

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Beer of the Week. Galway Bay Lush Extra Pale Ale

Beer of the Week

Galway Bay Lush Extra Pale Ale, 4.3% ABV, 

440 ml can Bradleys

This new Galway Bay beer has a beautiful gold colour with micro-bubbles racing towards the soft white head. Mosaic and Citra hops blend perfectly, creating a mixture of citrus notes, pine, and tropical flavours. 

Built on a light base of Marris Otter and Pale Malts, with a touch of wheat, the beer is well-balanced and easy to drink. The brewery has declared it as one of their core beers and a new permanent fixture in their range.

I had an initial wariness of the name Lush (I thought it may be too fruity), but the beer is crisp, citrusy, and hoppy, with subtle bitterness and juicy flavours. It falls between their West Coast and hazy beers and is a great session beer at 4.3%. 

Very Highly Recommended and my Beer of the Week.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

The picturesque Luberon deserves to be better known here in Ireland for its wines. This one is an excellent introduction.

Famille Perrin Luberon (AOC) 2021, 13% ABV

€14.95 at Bradleys.

The Luberon deserves to be better known here in Ireland for its wines. This one is an excellent introduction. Highly Recommended

Gordes, one of the hilltop villages in the Luberon (by jacqueline macou from Pixabay)

Our Luberon blend, strikingly limpid in the glass, has a light gold colour. Famille Perrin proposes it as an aperitif wine or to accompany simple cuisine, a great everyday white wine! 

Citrus notes of lemon and lime abound in the aromatics along with a whiff of white flowers. The zesty fruits continue to the palate where the wine is endowed with freshness, elegance and balance with a knockout punch of acidity.

Vines below the
village of Ménerbes 2011

  The varying weather - ranging from frost in April to rain at the relatively late vintage - kept the vineyard teams on their toes. But they got their reward, one that we can share!

The Perrin family have been winemakers in the Rhone Valley for five generations. Their wines illustrate a strong knowledge and a deep attachment to these exceptional terroirs. The blend is:

Bourboulenc : 30%

Grenache : 30%

Ugni blanc : 30%

Roussanne : 10%.


It is excellent as “an aperitif wine or to accompany simple cuisine, a great everyday white wine!”

8°C with a starter or a cold buf

The Luberon is a trio of mountain ranges and associated valleys in the middle of Provence in the south of France. It is rather well known in these islands largely because of the writings of Peter Mayle. His books included A Year in Provence (made into a TV series).

My holiday pic of hilltop Bonnieux (2011)

A Good Year brought him even more notice. It was transformed into an easy-to-watch film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe. It was shot in the Luberon and some of the scenes, including the cafe ones, were filmed in Lacoste, one of the many picturesque hilltop villages in the region. Others include Gordes, Lourmarin, Roussillon (reddest town in France!) and Ménerbes. 

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Beer of the Week. A Superb Balance Of Juicy Fruit and Tart Bitterness, Hopfully's IPA ShineBright.

 Hopfully Shine Bright IPA, 5.5% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

Beer of the Week. A Superb Balance Of Juicy Fruit and Tart Bitterness, Hopfully's IPA Shinebright.

Shinebright comes in a hazy golden colour and a white bubbly head. It gets its aromas mostly from the Citra hops that may also contribute some of the tropical (eg Mango) notes on the juice itself. The other hop used is Comet, also from the US. It too is noted for its citrus flavours but is also used for bittering. Here it is well utilised to balance the tropical fruit and help the beer to a soft and silky finish.

Quite an impressive beer from Hopfully, nowadays based in Waterford. My kind of IPA.

Very Highly Recommended.

Geek Bits:

Malts: Maris Otter, Flaked Oats, Wheat & Dextrin

Hops: Citra & Comet.

Artwork - Staselé Jakunskaité

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Whitefield's "Banker" is Beer of the Week. From a brewery that was made to make wheat beer! .

Beer of the Week 

Whitefield The Banker Wheat Beer, 5.2% ABV, 500 ml bottle Bradleys

Tipperary's Whitefield Brewery was made to make wheat beer!

Believe it or not, the brewery kit in Templemore’s Whitefield Brewery was made to make wheat beer. Really! 

Brewer Cuilan:  “Our brewhouse was originally commissioned by Pauliner, so it is designed as a wheat beer brewery. The fermentation tanks are low, wide and flat-bottomed to help maintain a consistent flavour profile while using a volatile yeast. So it comes as no surprise that our best sellers in both draught and bottle are Weiss beers. This makes it tricky to brew drier hoppy beers, so we focus on the malty styles of beer with plenty of sweetness.”

Colour here is a mid-amber and you can see fountains of little bubbles rising to the soft white head. Aromas are on the modest side, with hints of spice and rye. On the palate, there is no shortage of flavour, banana and clove included. An excellent supple malty drink with flavours continuing to a refreshing finish.

Cuilan again: “A slight twist on the German classic wheat beer the addition of rye malt gives a drier, lighter flavour profile and is very refreshing on warm summer days. Yes! I know we live in Ireland.”

No doubt the brewery kit (and brewer) worked their magic here and The Banker is Beer of the Week. Very Highly Recommended.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Beer of the Week: The White Hag Silver Branch Apple Sour 2023

Beer of the Week

The White Hag Silver Branch Apple Sour 2023

5.0% ABV, 375 ml bottle Bradleys

The Silver Branch Apple Sour, a complex sour beer, has a mid-amber colour and a thin white head. You certainly get the orchard aromas from the wild fermentation Irish Cider. And it is tart on the palate where the apple juice and the Golden Ale base combine to good effect. If you really pay attention,  you'll find slight notes of malt. Brewers White Hag have once again done a great job here and this complex sour beer, with a refreshing finish, is well worth your attention!

The brewery says that Silver Branch “is perfect served with some Tart & Fruity Desserts”. Didn’t have anything handy, other than a regular supermarket apple tart, a pretty decent one as it turned out, but I do think these two were not made for each other.

The White Hag, as most of you know, are well into their myths and legends. It is no different here: “In Irish mythology, the Silver Branch of the apple tree represented a passport to the Otherworld of Tir na nÓg. The effect of the apple in this beer can also be considered a gateway to magic and rebirth.”

Here’s how the magic came about. “For this one, we reached out to our friends at MacIvors and put our heads together. We made a Golden blond and blended it with wild fermentation Irish Cider from MacIvors. We started with our very own locally harvested wild yeast; brewing a beautiful golden sour ale, then blended to create an ancient Celtic ale made with spontaneously fermented Bramley apple juice from MacIvor’s cidery, aged in French Chardonnay Barrels.”

(Check our updated Beer of the Week Index here)

Silver Branch is now available from the brewery webstore and these stellar beer outlets around Ireland 







Wednesday, January 17, 2024

A special beer! Chimay Brown Ale

 Une bière spéciale

Chimay Brown Ale, 7% ABV, 330 ml bottle Bradleys

The Authentic Trappist Product label certifies that this Belgian ale is brewed in a Trappist abbey and that the majority of sales income is intended for social aid. Chimay Red was brewed for the first time in 1862. Chimay is the best-known of the Trappist Breweries. Did you know that their brewers "surprisingly prefer American hops" and "interestingly, it uses not whole hops but extract"? (Source for quote:The Beer Bible by Jeff Alworth).

The Chimay Red, a brown ale, gets its name from the colour of the label. The colour of the beer is a multi-hued copper-tinted brown (from copper to deep ruby) with a tan head that sinks down slowly to a thin disc.

Malty aromas, fruity and toasted, invite you onto the palette where you meet them again in the flavours. Fruits such as orange, peach and apricot now meld with sweet honey, nougat and baguette from the malt. And yet, there’s a delightful balance from first to last, minerality, aromas and flavours all combining to bring a super conclusion as the aftertaste lingers.

The perfect pairing for the Chimay Red is with Chimay cheeses but particularly with the Grand Chimay. You'll probably find it easier to get your hands on the likes of Gubbeen, Durrus or Wicklow Bawn.

Trappist beers are among those that age gracefully. Brew Dog's Great Beer for the People list three requirements: high ABV, low hops, and bottle conditioned. Trappist beers tick those boxes and “they get softer, sweeter and fruitier.  …… They age beautifully.”

Ingredients: water, barley malt, sugar, wheat starch, hop, spices, yeast, 

Friday, January 12, 2024

A terrific Picpoul from where dinosaurs romanced

A terrific Picpoul from where dinosaurs romanced

Font-Mars Picpoul De Pinet (AP) 2022, 13% ABV.

This is a match made in heaven with a fresh plate of seafood

€16.95 Bradleys, North Main Street, Cork.

If Albarino isn’t available on a particular night, I’d go for a Picpoul. And vice versa!

“In the Languedoc region at Font-Mars, our vineyards are situated on soils, in which fossilised dinosaur eggs are found.”

No egg shells behind that lovely light gold colour, with green highlights. Aromas are tempting, floral (rose) and also fruits such as citrus and peach. The initial attack is lively, almost tart, but then more exotic fruit develops. Best served, between 12° and 14° C, with seafood and shellfish or as an aperitif. By the way, the  reason why Picpoul de Pinet is splendid with seafood and shellfish is that it neutralises the salt and iodine.

Retailers Bradleys like this one: This small domaine in Picpoul is showcasing just how delicious wines from this region can be when made with care and attention. The wine has a surprisingly good texture and very pretty fruit with just a touch of pear drop on the finish. This is a match made in heaven with a fresh plate of seafood.

Picpoul is an ancient grape but the disease Phylloxera almost did for it until the French discovered it could thrive on sandy soil. Hence its renaissance in the Languedoc. It is no surprise, then, that Picpoul is to be found in coastal vineyards such as those which surround Pinet and the Etang de Thau (lots of oysters here, conveniently!), just west of Montpellier.


Check my growing list of top wines


Check out my Good Value Wine List here


The Font-Mars winemaker is Jean-Baptiste de Clock: “Our wines express this Mediterranean nature perfectly, protected by a family, whose history is intimately bound to the vineyard and wine since 1679, and to the Languedoc region since 1864.

Reckon they know what they are doing. Very Highly Recommended.

By the way, if I couldn't get my hands on an Albarino on a particular night, I’d go for a Picpoul. And vice versa!