Showing posts with label Coffee House Lane. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coffee House Lane. Show all posts

Sunday, December 5, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #80. Craft journey with a session of Dungarvan, O Brother, and Brehon Brewhouse

A Quart of Ale± #80

Craft journey with a session of Dungarvan, O Brother, and Brehon Brewhouse


Dungarvan Coffee and Oatmeal Stout 4.7%, 440ml can, Bradleys

Coffee is promised and Dungarvan Brewing deliver with this latest edition (the first to be canned) of their always much-awaited seasonal Coffee and Oatmeal Stout. Coffee is in the short-lived tan coloured head. Smell it and also stick your finger in for an early sweetish taste!

If you were in the brewery during production, you might well have been thinking of taking a nose dive into the100 litre pot of the Coffee House Lane Ethiopian, the coffee used for the 2021 edition.

I’ve been a fan of this Christmas stout since its first appearance. And still very much a fan after my initial few sips of this one. It is as smooth as ever with citrus and berry notes from the coffee giving a lift and add a rich warmth. 

Now that I've finished it, I'm delighted to say that this is one of the very best of the style. Lots of big bad stouts out there with alcohol muscle ripping into the double figures. But this one is the prize. Keep your senses on it, its sleek smooth elegance, the gorgeous aromas and flavours and the sheer pleasure of its easy-going company. Make a Christmas date with Dungarvan!

No pairing done here yet but they suggest it’s great with earthy casseroles and dessert. It is can conditioned - expect a harmless yeast sediment (I didn’t notice any).

Malts - Pale, Chocolate, Munich, Oats. Hop: Challenger; Adjunct: Coffee.

They say: Our head brewer, Cormac O’Dwyer believes that it takes quality ingredients, time, care and attention to detail to create the perfect brews and this is the methodology that he employs when brewing our Dungarvan beer.

All the beers are traditionally brewed and bottled, canned, kegged and casked on-site in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford made using only four ingredients – barley, hops, yeast and water. No chemicals are added to the beers, they are unfiltered, unpasteurised and vegan-friendly.

Over 330 years ago, in 1690, Coffee House Lane, adjacent to the then busy trading port of Waterford, had what is long believed to be Ireland’s first ever coffee house. Green Coffee was traded at the port, then roasted, brewed and sold at John Aikenhead's Coffee House on what became, Coffee House Lane of Waterford. Nowadays, the Bergin Family have a strong reputation in coffee roasting in the South East and carry on the Coffee House Lane tradition. More here.  

O Brother “Sipping Soma” Single Hop El Dorado IPA, 5.6%, 440 can Bradleys

O Brother Brewing “is all about brewing full-flavour beers..”, they declare.

This single hop is El Dorado, quite a versatile one, excellent as a bittering hop and also brings bright tropical fruit flavours and aromas of pineapple, pear, watermelon, and stone fruit. No wonder El Dorado has become a fan favourite in hop-forward styles, according to growers Yakima Valley Hops.

Colour here is a hazy lemon with a frothy enough white head that hangs about a bit. Aromas are fresh and fruity. Fresh and fruity too on the palate, juicy tropical stuff. Oddly enough, after the build-up of El Dorado’s qualities, there is no pronounced bitterness. But there’s a decent enough finish.

The brewers are well into their glasses and they have an impressive set available on their website; must say I rather fancy the middle one below. 

They say: “One glass to rule them all. For any beer lover, this versatile Teku stemmed glass replaces a tacklebox worth of niche glassware - and they look good doing it. Save cabinet space and provide the proper stage for any beer to shine. Designed to functionally concentrate aromatics with enough versatility to support an array of flavours. This is the way.”

Brehon Brewhouse Killanny Red 4.5%, 440 can Bradleys

This red ale from Brehon is a very dark red indeed, close to black. Aromas of the malt are evident. And it is malt that also dominates on the palate. Pretty well balanced too to be fair, as a tart touch plays a role towards the end. Not bad at all!

The label indicates that this “traditional Irish ale…. hopped with Magnum and Williamette….is great on its own and just perfect with BBQ red meats, lamb, stew, roast beef, black pudding or mature cheddar”.

Brehon Brewhouse Blonde 4.3%, 440 can Bradleys

This white-topped blonde has an attractive gold colour. Aromas are on the weak side, weak hints of citrus. More assertive on the palate, quite refreshing with a malty biscuity finish, dry on the lips. 

This has been hopped with Magnum and Saaz, neither of which is noted for its bittering qualities. Brehon recommend their Blonde with white fish, shellfish, BBQ chicken or food from the Mediterranean, but equally as enjoyable on its own.

They say: Oh, to be an Irish clansman. From the sixth century, Brehon law decreed that every local kingdom have a brewery, and every brewer have “a never-dry cauldron, a dwelling on a public road and a welcome to every face”. They were to be open 24 hours a day, offering food, drink and song. At Brehon Brewhouse we’ll not turn you away. Come visit


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Viking Feast at Walsh's Bakehouse. Gastro Gays Demo Scandi Skills

Viking Feast  at Walsh's Bakehouse
GastroGays Demo Scandi Skills

It wasn't the best of days as we drove to Waterford last Saturday but the perfect antidote was waiting for us in the shape of a Viking Feast at Walsh’s Bakehouse. 
Dermot Walsh welcomes one and all

After a warm welcome at the door, we were in for an eye-opener: tables already laid out with colourful inviting food. “Sit where you like”, invited Avril and so we did, eagerly.

We resisted temptation during the short speeches by Michael and Dermot Walsh. The GastroGays, Patrick and Russell, who were the brains and the cooks behind the feast were introduced. All the while, that food was untouched!

Russell (left) and Patrick

And then, wisely perhaps, the signal to eat was given, the demos could wait! And we were off on the first of seven “courses”, the Gastro version of Gravadlax: Irish salmon cured the Scandinavian way (lemon, dill, beetroot) with a Blackwater Gin twist. Raw grated beetroot gave the fish an extra colour, Patrick told us during the later demo.

The platters were now moving up and down the tables, our plates filling. The Köttbullar, Swedish meatballs with Lingonberry Jam, were well appreciated. “These are iconic in Sweden, every family has its recipe”.

Every now and then something extra, including plates of salads, was introduced to the table. Janssons Frestelse was perhaps the most tempting. It isn’t called Janssons Temptation for nothing, this creamy potato, onion and pickled sprats bake.

Walsh make a series of Blaas, including a mini and this was the vehicle for Skagenröra or Toast Skagen, the not so little breads topped with shrimp. Delicious.
Hot Dog, Nordic style, with onions two way (soft and crisp)

Walsh also make a terrific brioche and that was put to good use in the Pølser or Pylsur. These are favourites at the Danish Pølsevogn (food trucks) and the GastroGays take on Hot Dogs, Nordic style, was yet another winner. As were those eye catching Knekkebrød, open crispbread sandwiches.

By now, the generous offerings of the first phase had been dispatched and the plates and cutlery were cleared away. Coffee, supplied by Coffee House Lane, was being poured. Dawn Meats and local brewery Metalman (with a special limited edition Blaager) also contributed to the excellent event.   

Mini Blaa with shrimp

While all this was going on, Patrick and Russell were doing a few demos and explaining some of what we had already eaten.  They also showed us how they preserve red onions and courgettes (they prefer these to the usual cucumber) in brine. 

The whole lunch-time experience was quite an eye-opener into how ideas in food can cross from one culture to another, how we can learn from other countries to make the best of what we have, how we can preserve and cut down on wastage. And have a good time while doing so. Big thanks to Russell and Patrick for bringing and spreading the message and the techniques.

And they were ready for the grand finalé, the unique Semblaa! In Sweden, in the run up to Lent, they gorge themselves on Semla buns. And, now in an exclusive collaboration between Walsh’s and GastroGays, we had the sweetest finish, a Waterford take on the Swedish classic, the Semblaa, packed to the detached (and then reattached) top with almond cream, more cream, all over jam, all under a coating of sugar enthusiastically applied by Russell. Munchious!

And there was one for everyone in the audience. Actually two for everyone as we all got one on the way out. The Walsh’s are a generous family indeed and it was great to meet them and their lovely staff. And thanks a million to Avril, who looks after Sale and Marketing, for the invitation.

The Semblaa Sensation!

Note on the Blaa
Over the centuries, there has been something of a religious twist in the story of the Blaa with both the Huguenots and later Christian Brothers involved. It is still something of a religion in Waterford with between ten and twelve thousand Blaas eaten each day.

In 2013, the Waterford Blaa Bakers Association succeeded in getting PGI designation for the Waterford Blaa. PGI *** stands for Protected Geographical Indication, which essentially means that only Blaas made by specialist bakers in Waterford city and county can be called Blaas. This guarantees an authentic heritage product, based on the traditional methods and the unique skills of the bakers. Waterford Blaas are now supplied by traditional family bakers operating since the 1800’s. The same time honoured recipe has been handed down from generation to generation.

Red onion in brine