Showing posts with label Dungarvan Brewing Company. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dungarvan Brewing Company. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #23. Craft Pale Ale with Whiplash, 9 White Deer, West Kerry and Dungarvan Brewing

CorkBillyBeers #23

Craft Pale Ale with Whiplash, 9 White Deer, West Kerry and Dungarvan Brewing


Dungarvan Brewing Mine Head American Pale Ale, 5.5% ABV, 500ml bottle The Local, Dungarvan

Here we have a classic West Coast style American Pale Ale from the south coast of Ireland. Dungarvan say: This is a classic American style pale ale made using only cascade hops, and also dry hopped with Cascade to impart fresh hop aromas. Released in summer 2014, this is now a full time part of of our core range and available in keg, bottle and .. in can year round.

The dry hopped process means adding whole leaf hops into the fermenter. This gives more of a hop aroma to the beer, and a fresh initial hit of the hop flavours.

And it is citrus all the balanced way, a teeny touch of marmalade sweetness later on and nothing really bitter at that stage. A pleasant and harmonious bottle indeed, enjoyed at The Local in Dungarvan itself. 

Best served lightly chilled, from 8-12°C, and you’ll find it versatile at the table,  working well with lighter fish or with earthy meats such as lamb or beef. Also excellent with spicy Thai or Vietnamese food, or keep it American with a burger! Great with a creamy camembert-style cheese or a tart sheeps cheese.

Highly Recommended

Geek Bits - 

Style: American Pale Ale

ABV: 5.5%

Hops: Cascade

IBUs: 38


Whiplash Under Ground DDZ Pale Ale, 5.4% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys

DDZ means Double Dry Zested. And the Whiplash crew mean it. Lemon zest is one of the ingredients. And then there’s Lemondrop hops. The producers say: Lemondrop hops offer strong citrus, floral, fruity, herbal, lemon, mint, green tea, light melon aromas.

Colour is pale, a slightly hazy lemon. Aromas are not overly strong at all but lemon does seep through. It is a velvety presence in the mouth, much smoother than anticipated (thanks in some measure to the oats). While the lemon doesn’t dominate the palate it is quite the lead act, a very pleasant one, velvety with no sharp edges. Quite a lip-smacking thirst quencher at the end.

Here’s what the brewers say: When we say DDZ we mean it, it's packed with delicious, refreshing lemon zest that cuts through beautifully. The base comes from Pilsner, oat and wheat for some very velvety vibes, backed up with additions of Cascade and Lemondrop.

Geeks Bits

Malts - Pilsner, Oat, and Wheat

Hops - Cascade, Lemon Drop, Lemon Zest.

Adjunct - Lemon zest.


Highly Recommended

9 White Deer Stag Bán 4.5% ABV, 500ml bottle

I’ll let the brewers introduce this pale ale themselves:

This classic pale ale was our very first beer and we remain extremely proud of it. We wanted to brew something that felt uncomplicated, direct and true .

But there’s a real subtlety to it - and unlike some other pale ales, Bán is never bland. As with our entire range, it’s also EU certified gluten.

It has a beautiful gold colour, a myriad of tiny bubbles rising towards the top. There are moderately intense aromas, slightly malty. And the palate is along the same lines. It is crisp and refreshing, even lip-smacking, with a gentle spice and mild citrus influence from the hops.And a satisfactory clean finish.

Another excellent beer from the Ballyvourney brewery. 

Highly Recommended.


West Kerry Béal Bán Golden Ale, 5.0% ABV, 500ml bottle, Carry Out Killarney

A dark, slightly hazy gold is the colour of this magical ale from West Kerry. Creamy rather than crisp (hinted at by the malty aromas), yet light and refreshing with malt prominent earlier on, the hops making a show at the finish. A distinctive beer indeed, very impressive. One to be sipped and savoured, no rush.

I drank this in 2012 at Blair’s Inn and also during a visit to Tigh Bhric where the brewery is based. It was then being described as a pale English style bitter. It was then, still is, a light and refreshing golden ale with a slight malty sweetness and a bitter finish, imparted by a generous helping of hops. Indeed, one could see why an English aficionado would feel at home here.

My last encounter got me spouting lyrical, maybe doggerel.

You savour the minutes you spend drinking this Golden Ale. It’s the languid time in summer: you have a glass in your hand and the sun is going down. Not quite there yet. Hanging on. Between pale and dark. Those golden moments. When the Blaskets and its seagulls are in silhouette. 

Sip and savour and put your arm around his or her shoulder. And whisper: “This is the best golden ale in the world”. And, if she or he is sipping the same paradisiacal beer, there’ll be no argument. For what you both are enjoying in these magic peaceful twilight minutes is truly the umami conjured up by the goddess from the Ballydavid brewery of the wild peninsula. Béal Bán, an beoir órga is fearr ar domhain. Draíocht an Daingin.

Béal Bán is one of their core range and like the others, Carraig Dubh (porter) and Cúl Dorcha (red ale), is called after local place names.

Very Highly Recommended.


Monday, May 1, 2023

360 Town Stay Excellent Base For West Waterford Trip

 360 Town Stay Excellent Base 

For West Waterford Trip

Baker's Table in Lismore

In the heart of Dungarvan town, 360 Town Stay offer a selection of studios and apartments. We stayed in one of the apartments during a recent mini-tour of the West Waterford area. Even though we didn’t meet a single human at 360 - everything is done online or via code - it worked out very well indeed.

The 360 house is entered from the large car park St Augustine’s/Scanlon’s Yard in the town centre, perhaps not the most promising of entrances on a dull day. Used our code to get the key from the black box and made our way up some fifty steps (not as difficult as it sounds).

360 front entrance

The apartment is spacious and comfortable. An average sized bedroom and separate bathroom had all we needed. Then we were into the living space. Sofas and armchairs to relax in if we wanted to watch the large TV (we didn’t, even though it had Netflix).

Mount Congreve, with the Suir in background

Around the corner was the kitchen with fridge/freezer and cooker and lots more besides, and in another space was a fine dining table and chairs. You could easily stay here for a couple of days. And they also have a restaurant nearby. Check it all out for yourself hereWe made good use of it before we had to depart, using that code again to put our key back. Still no human!

Our mini-tour had started with a visit to Mount Congreve Gardens which is of course nearer to Waterford city than Dungarvan. The house and gardens, café also, are well worth a trip, particular now that they are so much improved following a seven million euro re-furb. See post link below.

That evening, we had the most enjoyable meal in The Shamrock, a every short walk from 360. Really good local food and a very friendly atmosphere. All generations seem to dine here. Not fine dining that you get in the Old Bank for instance but good stuff and it is very highly recommended. See post link below.

Petit Fours at Cliff House

At The Local
We did of course have our spot of fine dining and that was a splendid Seafood Tasting Lunch at the Michelin starred Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore. The lunch was part of the West Waterford Festival of Food. It was a spectacular display by Tony Parkin and his team, very enjoyable indeed. See post link below.

After our meal at The Shamrock, we strolled the few yards to the square and ended up in The Local, also newly renovated. And it was busy, mostly with serving food. The willing and smiling staff were on their toes, serving food and drink, even charging mobiles for customer. Besides, they had a selection of the local Dungarvan Brewery beers (in bottle) and here we enjoyed their Mine Head American Pale Ale.

The following morning we were up on the Vee for a fairly early walk. We went up through Cappoquin and then on past Mount Melleray. We more or less had the sunny pass to ourselves and enjoyed the views and got some good photos as well before we headed back down to Lismore for brunch. See post link below.

Mount Melleray

Our venue here was the Baker’s Table. It was sunny but also cold as we strolled to the cafe and went on to enjoy a relaxed and excellent meal. See post link below.

Sunny out but fire on inside at The Bakers, Lismore

Vinilo is another baker in the town and we called in there. They have a table or two inside where they serve coffee and pastry. But they are most busy with customers calling for bread and cakes and also takeout coffees. We bought a sourdough loaf and it was quite a good one as well. 

Vinilo sourdough

So that was about it for this trip to West Waterford, every bit as enjoyable as before. We’ll be back.

On this trip

Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden

The Local, Dungarvan

The Baker's Table of Lismore

Vinilo, Lismore

Marvellous Sunny Morning On The Vee (Waterford/Tipperary)

360 Town Stay, Dungarvan

The Shamrock

Seafood Delights at Cliff House Hotel Festival Lunch

Friday, February 3, 2023

The Very Highly Recommended Beers for 2023

The Very Highly Recommended Beers for 2023

(in no particular order!)

January 2023

Strong Blond Ale: Mescan Westport Extra

Porter: West Kerry Carraig Dubh.

IPA: Cotton Ball Fury

Session: Whiplash Rollover.

Barrel Aged Beers: 9 White Deer Stag BA Export Stout; Brehon Oak & Mirrors BA Imperial Porter.

Lager: Kinnegar Brewers at Play #27 Black Lager


December 2022

Ales with Wild Yeast: Black Donkey Underworld Rua Amber Ale; Black Donkey Underworld Allta Farmhouse Ale; Black Donkey Underworld Savage Farmhouse /Saison Ale.

IPA: Third Barrel Electric Eyes Idaho & El Dorado IPA

Witbier: Whiplash Alma Witbier 

Stout: Cotton Ball Lynch’s Stout; Dungarvan Coffee & Oatmeal Stout; Lineman (with Craic Beer Community) Pulse Irish Extra Stout; Whiplash The Wake Export Stout; 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #4. Craft journey with IPA, including Cotton Ball’s first can, a Whiplash session , the famous Thornbridge Jaipur and Duvel Tripel Hop.

CorkBillyBeers #4

Craft journey with IPA, including Cotton Ball’s first can, a go-to session from Whiplash, and the famous duo of Thornbridge Jaipur and Duvel Tripel Hop. 


Cotton Ball Fury Tropical IPA, 5.4%, 440ml can sample.

This is a Hazy East Coast style IPA, brewed with Irish malt, hopped with Galaxy (Australia), Columbus (USA) and “our favourite” Amarillo (USA) to give a tropical flavour and aroma. That’s the intro from the Cotton Ball Brewery for their Fury, the first of their beers to be canned (Dec 12th 2022) at the brewery, which is attached to the late 19th century pub in the north-east Cork suburb of Mayfield.

Colour is a dense orange with a fine bubbly white head. Aromas feature citrus, herbal notes too, even a hint of dank. The palate is a pleasure, more of the citrus, plus grapefruit, peach and a hint of resin, all in super balance, all before a very satisfactory finish. Very drinkable indeed.

The Cotton Ball is quite close to me and I often pass it while out walking the dog of a morning. On one of those jaunts, I met Eoin Lynch and he told me, that after a few minor tweaks, they went ahead with the canning of this, just a tiny batch as the machine is no bigger than your average sized kitchen table. He was happy with the outcome and I was happy when he handed me a can to sample and even happier now having sampled it!

This hazy IPA style has, over the past ten years or so, become one of the more popular beer styles in the world, thanks to the juicy exotic aromas and its smooth almost creamy texture, not to mention its bold fruity flavours and low bitterness. The Fury sits comfortably in the range.

Quite a few Irish examples at this stage, including Black’s “Ace of Haze” and Rascals’ "Hazy In Love” and the Heaney New England IPA. An American worth considering would be the Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing.

Very Highly Recommended.


Whiplash Rollover Session IPA 3.8% ABV, 330 can Bradleys

Looking for a decent session beer? No shortage but my go-to is this Whiplash Rollover. Murky orange is the colour - no way you’re going to see through this haze - and it boasts a big foamy white head! Aromas are packed with ripe citrus-y fruits. It was our session beer of 2020 and this most recent tasting confirmed it’s as gluggable able as ever.

The quartet of hops dominate the palate. Amazing that this juicy beer has so much hops and still weighs in at less than 4.00% ABV. Quite a concentration of hops then, but all soft and smooth before a lip-smacking finalé.

They say: Same hop rate as our DIPA’s, less than half the alcohol. A very heavily hopped Session IPA: this comes at you with buckets of Simcoe, Ekuanot, Citra and Mosaic hops with a light touch of malts and an easy crushable body. Unfiltered, hazy, hoppy and juicy – Rollover is a New England inspired IPA without the heavy alcohol in tow.

With its burst of aromas and flavours and low ABV, this is what a session beer is all about and is Very Highly Recommended.

Very Highly Recommended


Duvel Tripel Hop Citra Belgian IPA, 9.5% ABV, 330ml bottle Bradleys

This Belgian beer pours a cloudy light gold, with an attractive white head. Looks like an IPA and smells like one too, citrus mostly with hops there also. Rich concentrated flavours, mostly tropical, flow across the palate, a subtle bitterness in the mix, and a hint of the high alcohol, yet all the elements combine in a very pleasant harmony indeed. An unanimous thumbs up for the folks at Duvel! They sure can make a devilish beer.

The Brewery says they noted the “trend towards more hoppy beers - thanks to our first brews in 2007 and 2010 - was set to continue. This Duvel Tripel Hop will please special beer lovers, while we will continue to ensure that the intrinsic characteristics of Duvel are preserved.”

It was in 2016 that Duvel went in search of the ultimate Duvel Tripel Hop. More than 5,000 fans tasted and voted, and Citra was clearly the favourite. And so they added Citra to the Saaz-Saaz and Styrian Golding already used in their regular strong ale.

Duvel is a natural beer with a subtle bitterness, a refined flavour and a distinctive hop character. The unique brewing process, which takes about 90 days, guarantees a pure character, delicate effervescence and a pleasant sweet taste of alcohol. The Beer Bible lists the Tripel Hop Citra as one of a handful of essential “beers to know” if you are trying to get a handle on IPAs.

The Duvel story though goes back well beyond 2007. It all began when Jan-Léonard Moortgat and his wife founded the Moortgat farm brewery in 1871. Around the turn of the century, Moortgat was one of the over 3,000 breweries operating in Belgium and is still going strong. The beer is still brewed with profound respect for the original recipe and the time it needs to mature. More details here .

Geek Bits

HOPS: Saaz-Saaz, Styrian Golding & Citra

Dry Hopping: Citra (Yakima Valley, Washington, USA)

TASTING PROFILE: Grapefruit and tropical fruit

EBU: 40

ALC: 9.5%

SHELF LIFE: 18 months


Thornbridge “Jaipur” IPA, 5.9% ABV, 330ml can Bradleys

This beauty from the UK brewery, with six hops aboard, wears its complexity lightly and you’ll have no problem sipping your way through. 

It has a fairly cloudy pale yellow colour and hoppy aromas (whiffs of citrus and pine). Smooth on the palate, hoppy, citrus notes too, and a beautiful balance all the way to the lip-smacking hoppy lingering finish. Not too much more to say except that this is more or less the perfect IPA.

Match with Thai Curry, they say. No problem, I say, I love my massaman!

Thornbridge, based in Derby, are regarded by many as Britain’s leading 21st century brewery. Not surprised that their award tally worldwide has soared to over the one hundred mark

The complexity of this multi award winning American style IPA is down to no less than the six hops used: Chinook, Centennial, Ahtanum, Simcoe, Columbus and Cascade. Low Colour Maris Otter is the malt used.

They say: Jaipur is our flagship beer, and the one that really put us on the map back in 2005 when we were just starting out.… We are often told “this is the beer, that got me into beer” and we are always very proud to hear this. It’s usually recognised as the first UK craft IPA, and was brewed with a huge amount of US hops at a time where this was very unusual.


December's Very Highly Recommended Irish Beers

IPA: Third Barrel Electric Eyes Idaho & El Dorado IPA

Witbier: Whiplash Alma Witbier 

Stout: Cotton Ball Lynch’s Stout; Dungarvan Coffee & Oatmeal Stout; Lineman (with Craic Beer Community) Pulse Irish Extra Stout; Whiplash The Wake Export Stout; 

Ales with Wild Yeast: Black Donkey Underworld Rua Amber Ale; Black Donkey Underworld Allta Farmhouse Ale; Black Donkey Underworld Savage Farmhouse /Saison Ale.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

CorkBillyBeers #2. Enjoying a black Christmas on the Craft journey with Cotton Ball, Dungarvan Brewing, Lineman, Whiplash.

CorkBillyBeers #2

Craft journey with stouts from Cotton Ball, Dungarvan Brewing, Lineman, Whiplash

Enjoying a black Christmas!

Four smashing stouts to enjoy in mid-winter (not that you have to confine yourself to any one season!)


This is the second post in CorkBillyBeers, a new series (we got to over 130 post in the previous series A Quart of Ale) and again will be trying to get beers from all over the country, including from small breweries who may not be able to produce specials every week, so lots of core beers to be included. 

Some weeks, the focus may be on one brewery, another week may concentrate on a style - like this one on stout. Again, it will be mostly Irish beer but I will throw in a "visitor" from time to time!

Just let me know your stockist(s) in Cork where I can buy them. I know some of you have terrific boxes for sale online but I don't need six or twelve of the same beer; as a regular blogger, I need six or twelve different beers!


Four smashing stouts to enjoy in mid-winter (not that you have to confine yourself to any one season!)

Cotton Ball Lynch’s Stout, 4.3% ABV, 500ml bottle O’Donovan’s

Black, a very definite opaque one, is the colour here with a soft tan head. The ABV of 4.3 is very much in the 4% to 6.5% of the style and the finish is dry, not sweet, so no bother in calling this a dry Irish stout. Roasted malt (including coffee)  lead the aromas. They are also found on the palate along with caramel and cacao plus a streak of light fresh fruitiness. And yes, it does finish dry, and long. Indeed that finish, along with its flavour and smoothness, combine in an excellent stout.

Humphrey Lynch, an American Civil War veteran and a cotton mill foreman, returned to his native Cork in 1874 to set up his own public house which he called the Cotton Ball. It is still here today and the current generation are brewing a selection of craft beers named after their great great grandfather who left the West Cork countryside as a teenager. The brewery was founded in 2013.

Hand crafted from five malts and traditional flaked barley, moderately bittered and late hopped with US and New Zealand hops, they say: “This stout is as dark as our great grandfather Humphrey’s black humour and has a warm and mature flavour. With a phenomenal marriage of coffee roast, caramel lush, balanced by a clean bitterness exploding into a tangerine, mandarin aromatic delivery.`’

They reckon it’s a great accompaniment for hearty meat dishes, stews and steaks. But, with a shameless piece of name dropping, they say that the ultimate food pairing is our Famous Cousins’ Clonakilty Black pudding! Might as well let you know that I’m a neighbour of the Cotton Ball. Not a frequent visitor (at least not as frequent as I once was) but my order is always for the Lynch’s Stout.

Very Highly Recommended


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

Really excellent seasonal. No bells and whistles. Nothing added to  this well made stout but a single origin coffee.

This is a regular Christmas stout from Dungarvan, now into its second decade. Oatmeal though has been used in stout since the late 1800s according to Mark Dredge’s Beer. “It was brewed and marketed as a nourishing drink for convalescents and invalids.” 

When I was growing up, an adult would stick a hot poker into a mix of stout and milk and give it to an ailing child as a tonic. A few years on and, after a hard night's training, the club officials would have a pint of milk and stout as a pick-me up. Never won anything with that club though!

They say: This classic oatmeal stout is made with oats from Flahavan’s Mills in Kilmacthomas and infused with a single origin coffee - the annual release generally signifies the beginning of the yuletide season for many. Yuletide is a term I’ve rarely heard around here, except in Christmas songs!

Dungarvan brewer Tom says “there’s usually a bit of trial and error as we try to find the sweet spot. The beans that produce a nice cup may not necessarily work well in the stout blend."

The current Dungarvan seasonal is black with a foamy tan head. Smell it and also stick your finger into the head for an early sweetish taste! I’ve been a fan of this Christmas stout since its first appearance. It is as smooth as ever with citrus and berry notes from the coffee giving a lift and adding a rich warmth to the roasted dryness. 

More malty sweet than hops bitter, a smooth and lovely companion for the weeks ahead as it’s great with earthy casseroles or desserts. It is great to cook or bake with as it doesn’t have the same bitterness as other stouts.  Goes well with blue cheese as you need something that will hold up to the strong flavour of the cheese. Also works with smoked hard cheddar and other fuller flavoured cheeses.

Can conditioned - so expect a harmless yeast sediment.

Down Waterford way they have their own way of doing things. Anyone fancy a large bottle? For instance. No large bottle of this stout but they have a surprising enough serving tip too: Ideally this stout should be served in the traditional south eastern way which is ‘off the shelf’ — ie. at room temperature.

Geek Bits

Style: Irish Stout

ABV: 4.7%

Hops: Challenger

Malts: Roasted Barley

IBUs: 41

Allergens: Contains Barley and Oats

Calories: 215 per 500ml

Very Highly Recommended


Lineman (with Craic Beer Community) Pulse Irish Extra Stout, 5.8%, 440 ml can Bradleys

“The Community Brew Project invites Craic members to decide what beer styles they'd like to see brewed most. Stout was the overwhelming winner this time around, so we approached our friends in Lineman who we knew would be the perfect brewery for the job!” A good choice and this very acceptable Pulse Irish Extra Stout is the result!

It is of course black. And has a lasting tan head. And the aromas are of toasty malt, caramel included. Like the freshness of this one, the caramel and coffee in the complex palate, full of flavour right through to the dry finish. The labels sums it up as “a full-flavoured stout that will leave you wanting more”. Hard to argue with that.

Craic champions independent Irish beer, and showcases the amazing talents of brewers all across Ireland. The aim of Craic is to provide a welcoming space where beer fans can chat, learn about beer, and connect with others. Join us to expand your beer knowledge, engage with our community of beer fans, and have a bit of craic while you’re at it. Connect with us through our community platform, on social media, and via our podcast.

Very Highly Recommended.


Whiplash The Wake Export Stout, 7.0%, Whiplash on line

Black, like newly laid tarmac, with a soft tan head that’s slow enough to shift. Aromas of lightly roasted coffee and chocolate may be mild but they are persistent. And what follows on the impressive palate is not a million miles away, flavours of lightly toasted bread, plus a lick of cherry across those lips, coffee is never that far away as this quite hefty stout waltzes smoothly on its way to a merry, dry and rather marvellous finalé. May I have the next dance also, please!

That’s my immediate reaction to The Wake, (hardly a dancing occasion, getting my metaphors mixed up). The Whiplash crew, rarely slow to offer advice, are a tad shy here: “… while we don’t want to tell you how to drink your beer, we’d highly recommend this one on a cold evening in front of an open fire.” That could be arranged as could a case of this black beauty.

Thanks you Whiplash. Enjoy The Wake and Happy Christmas.

Very Highly Recommended