Showing posts with label Hopfully. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hopfully. Show all posts

Thursday, June 20, 2024

On the Craft Trail with Hopfully, Eight Degrees, Kildare Brewing and Chouffe


On the Craft Trail with Hopfully, Eight Degrees, Kildare Brewing and Chouffe.



Hopfully Eyecatcher Session Pale Ale, 4.8% ABV, 440 ml can 

Bradleys


Hopfully welcome a new brewer and a new beer.


Pale orange, close to lemon, is the colour of this session ale by Hopfully. It is also hazy as might expect from a New England style. Juicy stuff on the palate where exotic fruits lead the way before a dry and slightly tart

Monday, June 10, 2024

Beer of the Week. Hopfully with Bradleys Leeside NEIPA. Delightful blend of juicy flavours

Beer of the Week


 

Hopfully with Bradleys Leeside NEIPA 6.5% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys


delightful blend of juicy flavours

Bradleys and the small Waterford brewery Hopfully have pulled together to give us this “delightful blend of juicy flavours”. Hopfully, who recently

Monday, March 25, 2024

Recommended Craft Ales from Killarney Brewing, Hopfully and Wicklow Wolf

Recommended Craft Ales from Killarney Brewing, Hopfully and Wicklow Wolf 



Killarney Full Circle IPA, 5% ABV, 500 ml bottle, O’Donovan’s


The colour is close to amber, a little darker than you might expect. All American hops are used here and the aromas make that clear from the moment you flip the cap. 


The soft head collapses soon enough onto the slightly hazy body. The hops are not identified on the label but the ensemble brings quite a current of deep flavour with dry bitterness (IBU is 42) clearly displayed at the finalé. Easy to see why it is now part of their core range. No pairings seen but I found it very compatible with a mature cheddar.


Highly Recommended.

Full Circle? “Emigration has forever been at the heart of Irish history.  From the mid 1800’s onwards, generations left these shores destined for the land of opportunity.  Over a century on, life’s journey has come full circle and their progeny are returning home.  This is a story illustrated by our Head Brewer Mike, who with his wife and daughter, have brought back to Kerry this USA branch of their family tree.”


The big news though is that tours are now possible at the impressive new facility (brewery and distillery) out in Fossa. “The team are working hard .… As Tim O’D, one of our founders, would say, we haven’t been drinking a lot of beer, just a lot of coffee!’


The new building includes salvaged red brick imported directly from the Windy City of Chicago. If they could talk, no doubt an Irish accent could be heard in the original laying. They now take pride of place in the main stairwell of the new visitor centre.


Plan your visit and tour to Killarney Brewing & Distilling Co in Fossa, Ireland’s largest co-located and independently owned Brewery, Distillery and Visitor Centre. Visit the new brewery, learn how the beers are made, see the brewing team making the magic happen, enjoy the aromas of the day’s brew and finally visit the tasting room to sample the product. 


For groups of 10 or more please contact muireann@killarneybrewing.com. Otherwise, book here.  


The original and very popular Taproom on Muckross Road, quite close to the town centre, operates on a walk-in basis, Wednesday through Sunday, 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm.



Wicklow Wolf Sugarloaf Juicy IPA, 4.3% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys


Wicklow Wolf commandeered a heavy-hitting quartet of tropical hops for their Sugarloaf (you’ll know where the name comes from). The tropical notes and flavours dominate though you’ll also notice citrus and pine in there. 


The colour of their new core beer is a hazy yellow and there’s a creamy mouthfeel, with a barely noticeable bitterness. But it is well-balanced and the tropical fruits are nicely rounded. Still, this is one for you if you’re a fruit head! Another well-made beer from the Wicklow aces and definitely one for your shortlist.


The relatively low ABV of 4.3% certainly puts this it into the Session category where it sits as an outstanding example. Highly Recommended.


Geek Bits

Hops - Idaho 7, Chinook, Sabro and Citra.

Malts - Pale, Wheat Malt, Oats, Cara Ruby




Hopfully Inside Out Pale Ale, 5.0% ABV, 440 ml can Bradley


In its early days, Hopfully was known as a gipsy or contract brewery, making beers wherever they were welcome to borrow an established brewery’s kit. Metalman in Waterford was one such “host” and nowadays, with the Deise brewers retired, you’ll find Hopfully fully at home in that very brewery.


Hopfully has been more than generous with the amounts of Mosaic and Strata hops used in the pale ale and they are very happy with the results: ”lovely notes of bright juicy tangerine, citrus, and pine aromas”.


It is a hazy yellow colour with the expected aromas. Mosaic was used in the whirlpool while the two hops were combined for the dry hopping. For all that, the bitterness level is modest and this smooth fruity beer proves an easy drinker.


It is an honest straightforward Pale Ale deserving of your attention. Highly Recommended.


Geek Bits

Hops - Mosaic & Strata.

Malts - Maris Otter, Flaked Oats, Wheat, Vienna & Dextrin

Art work - by Stasele Jakunskaite’

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, August 10, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #117. On the craft journey with Rye River, Galway Bay, newcomers Outer Place, Porterhouse, Wicklow Wolf, Crew Limerick, Hopfully,

 A Quart of Ale± #117

On the craft journey with Rye River, Galway Bay, newcomers Outer Place and Porterhouse, Wicklow Wolf, Crew Limerick, Hopfully,

*********


Rye River (collab.with Old Street) Die Hundstage Köter Kölsch 5.0% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys



This seasonal small batch beer is a collaboration between Rye River and East London’s Old Street Brewery. It has a pleasant light gold colour, tonnes of bubbles and a bubbly white head. Aromatics are fresh and fruity as you’d expect, more or less, from the hops. On the palate, it is crisp and clean, dry, with a sweet shot of fruit. Totally refreshing for sure.


Rye River: “Introducing our paw-some new Rye River Seasonal brew... Die Hundestage Köter Kölsch! A collaboration brew with our good friends over at Old Street Brewery in East London, this Kölsch is *chef's kiss* perfect to knock back on a hot summer's day. This one is for the dog days of summer!Part of a seasonal range we developed as a way to explore our passion for our craft. Each beer is never like the last..”



Callista and Tango were used for the dry hops. Callista, as you may know, is from Germany and noted for its fruity qualities such as Melon, Strawberry and Apricot.


Tango, also German, is a relative newcomer, and is following in the footsteps of its grandmother “Hallertauer Tradition” while being the pacemaker into the future. It is also very versatile, something of an all-rounder. In kettle hopped beers: hoppy fresh aroma notes similar to Hallertauer Tradition and Perle − in late and dry hopped beers: fresh and fruity aroma (especially passion fruit) − pleasantly mild bitterness − excellent drinkability. What’s not to like?


This collaboration looks like a win win for Rye River though I’m sure they also played a full role in Die Hundestage Köter (The Dogs Days). 


Kölsch is the signature beer of Cologne, Germany, and has a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). “At first glance, kölsches seem to be doing a fine pilsner impersonation,” according to the Beer Bible. But there are delicate subtle differences, more yeast, more minerality. If you are drinking at source, The Bible recommends Gaffel, Früh (I got this in Bradleys 2021) and Reissdorf as top Cologne examples.


Otherwise, try the 9 White Deer one (gentle hops and malt character, it is easy-drinking, full flavoured with fruity hints and a crisp and lager style character); Rye themselves make the excellent Grafters Clocking Off Kölsch (available in Dunnes).



Galway Bay Goodbye Blue Monday Oatmeal IPA 6.6% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys



Goodbye Blue Monday was first brewed in 2013.. in collaboration with Chicago’s Begyle. Galway Bay: “This oatmeal IPA is brewed with Irish Malt and lashings of Irish oats. Hopped continuously in the kettle with Citra and Columbus, then dry hopped several times with more Citra. A fan favourite on both sides of the Atlantic.”


That’s the story behind this trans-Atlantic collaboration. Quite a success story for this hazy light orange coloured IPA. Aromas are modest but, importantly (thanks to the Columbus) firm hints of dankness abound. And those hints are confirmed on the complex palate, lots of it and lots of citrus also, on its smooth journey to a dry and bitter finish. A fully grown up beer. Take heed of their own shout:  Super super stuff this year! Grab some while you can.




Outer Place Interstellar Pale Ale 5% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys




Outer Place promote this as “a sip of sunshine in a can”. Colour is a light orange, hazy with a fluffy white head that soon starts to sink. Aromas, of moderate intensity, are of tropical fruits. Mouthfeel is smooth enough but hop reinforced flavours are anything but, so you get intense flavours, deep and refreshing. Not too sure about the “dank weedy goodness” that the producers claim but it is a characteristic of the Strata hops (used in the whirlpool and dry hop).


It is an excellent debut by Outer Place, a new Irish Craft brewery in Kildare, who are focused on hoppy styles of beer. And they began selling their beers in April 2022.“Interstellar is our new Pale Ale. It's a sip of sunshine in a can. Clocking in at a session-able 5% ABV this one is made for sunny days and summer nights. ….. Lashings and lashings of new 2021 crop Cascade and Strata in the whirlpool and dry hop.” 


The story of Outer Place begins at the home of Mark Clarke and Vivien Lough. Mark has home-brewed for years as a hobby and has always dreamed of opening a brewery to satisfy his desire for hoppy beer. Now is the time.

“For now we are going to create beer with friends and collaborators in breweries around Ireland and beyond.

Our vision is to create a destination brewery that is fiercely independent, ethically inclined and sustainable.

Our goal is to create modern, progressive, delicious beers inspired by friends, family, art, music, nature and whatever else takes our fancy along the way.”


Porterhouse Slvr Skin Barrel Aged Coffee Stout 13% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys






“Our latest collab with the crew in @silverskin_coffee_roasters Is a 13% barrel aged, Imperial Coffee Stout cut with cold Brew coffee for an extra kick…..We don’t add any ‘extras’ – no additives, no enhancing chemicals. Just simple, pure ingredients.”


That’s the intro to Slvr Skin Coffee Stout by Porterhouse. It is a very dark brown verging on black with a tan coffee head that doesn’t hang about. Aromas are rich and coffee dominated, hints of vanilla too. And the same combo get to play on the palate as well, smooth, well rounded, yet with quite a punch (coffee and bourbon) and it lingers sweetly. Boy, does it linger. Terrific stout with amazing balance. Just about 7,000 cans were produced. I’ve got mine. You better get your hand up quickly!


It’s been Barrel Aged in Bourbon casks and the result is claimed as the first “Barrel Aged Imperial Coffee Stout in Ireland made with cold brew”.


The advice from the brewers is to serve it chilled and “savour the rich, distinctive flavour”. After fermentation, the resulting beer was matured for nine months in Dingle Distillery Bourbon casks and following this ageing process a second addition of coffee was made, this time as a cold brew into the conditioning tanks before canning”.


All the hard work and precision yields an increased flavour profile and the result is an imperial stout full of rich flavour. Quite a treat!

*********


Wicklow Wolf continue on the sustainability trail...

This year we have taken our commitment one step further, we have commissioned the installation of over 120Kw of solar panels, covering the entirety of our 17,000 sq ft brewery roof to become the First Solar Powered Craft Brewery in the Republic of Ireland.

More here

*********

News from Limerick's CREW


The Crew's Ale Talk series continues in August with a representative of Hopfully Brewing coming to share some beers and stories. You might know Hopfully from some of their belters like Inside Out, Boo, and their No Cars gose selection. Limited tickets are available from the bar for €20, which gets you a seat at the event including four cans of delicious Hopfully beer. More at @crewbrewco on Facebook.



 



Sunday, November 28, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #79. A craft session of Brehon & Hopfully with cider from Stonewell & Mac Ivors.

A Quart of Ale± #79

On the craft journey with a session of Brehon and Hopfully and cider from Stonewell and Mac Ivors.






Stonewell Cask Irish Craft Cider 9.5% abv, 75cl bottle Bradleys


“It’s not often that one gets to indulge in two of one’s passions, for me that’s cider and whiskey,” says Daniel Emerson as he introduced his latest cider.


“I have added cider for 6 months in fresh whiskey barrels, kindly lent to us from a distillery in East Cork, then blended it with a select bittersweet ferment to create this woody tannic cider with whiskey overtones. It is effervescent, opulent, viscous and rich in character, but not for the faint-hearted.”


The amber colour is that bit darker than normal. Aromas are of moderate intensity but very much of the orchard. The whiskey cask makes its presence felt on the palate, adding a slight toasty flavour. It is smooth and delightful, with a bitter-sweet finalé, an amazing amalgam of the orchards, the cidery and the distillery. Very Highly Recommended (unanimous here - not always the case!). Go get it!


The Stonewall and Nohoval listing already contains quite a few innovative ciders from Daniel and wife Geraldine. As they say themselves, it takes courage to only use apple juice to make cider and more courage to take it a step further as they have done here. Their apples come from orchards in Waterford, Tipperary and Laois.


Starting this year, when you buy a bottle of Stonewell Cider, Stonewell will make a donation to the Irish Bee Conservation Project (IBCP).


These funds will go towards the general activities of the organisation, including the creation of pollinator trails, the construction of bee lodges and raising awareness of the plight of the Irish Bee species. 


Mac Ivors Traditional Dry Cider 5.6%, 50cl bottle Bradleys


Mac Ivors, inspired by the aromatic ciders of Northern France, made this Traditional Dry Cider, an elegant blend of over ten different apple varieties. “Our crisp Armagh Bramley apples balance the fragrant flavours of traditional dessert apples and bittersweet cider apples, giving a deep and dry cider style.”


It is a much lighter colour, as you’d expect, than the Stonewell. Aromas are yeasty, a little sourness there. And on the palate it has deep apple flavours (thanks to the slow, cool fermentation), and is dry with a lip-smacking finish. One tarty tipple for sure, the tannins drying those lips.


They also do a Medium Cider, a Plum & Ginger, a White Reserve Cider, a Non Alcoholic version, and a Juicy Session Cider.


Armagh is well known as “The Orchard County”. It is here that Mac Ivors Cider has its roots.

“Our farm was established in 1855 in the townland of Ardress. Our cider takes its name from our Cider Maker, Greg Mac Neice’s grandmother Annie Mac Ivor.

Annie, her husband Matt Mac Neice and their nine children had a passion for apple growing. Her son Sam and her grandson Greg continue that tradition, farming over 100 acres of prime Armagh orchard, packing and processing the apples grown and now making great craft cider too!”

The 2013 Cider Celebration was held at the Apple Farm in Cahir and a great day it was too with cider makers from all over the country displaying their produce! Good day for Mac Ivors as their sweet won the Best in Show in that category. Would love to see that Celebration revived!.



Brehon Brewhouse Ulster Black Oatmeal Stout 5.0%, 440 can Bradleys


Beware The McMahons”
It wasn’t the Vikings you had to fear, it was the McMahons. Or at least that’s how they tell it in this part of Ulster. We were the notorious ruling clan for centuries, raiding the Pale for whiskey and beer. These days, we brew our own….. once we’ve finished milking the cows. Always ready for a quiet pint.”


And this Ulster Black Oatmeal Stout is a winner. At least, it was my favourite beer in 2020 and this current version smells and tastes just as good. It is not be hid under a bushel; it is a star in this particular firmament. 


Black as a wet sod after a rainy week in the bog. The fleeting head has some of the colour of a well-dried sod. Aromas also from the dark side: coffee and dark chocolate. And that theme continues on the palate. 


But it is not exactly like other oatmeal stouts, not over-rich. There is a balance, a harmony, that lifts this toasty stout well above the normal. All before a lip-smacking finish. Try it out for yourself! Best served around 8 to 10 degrees. That’s more or less what I wrote last year. No need to change much, I’m delighted to say.


They say: “A sweet, toasty Oatmeal Stout with a dark chocolate and coffee finish. Bottle conditioned with strong notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt and liquorice. Hopped with magnum.  Full bodied and full of flavour, this cozy stout always hits the spot. Ideal with game or strong red meat, smoked meats and hearty stews. Also great with desserts such as chocolate, caramel or dark fruits.”


Hopfully Tangerina  DIPA 8.5%, 440 can Bradleys


“Here’s our new and ‘very limited’ edition small-batch brew, Tangerina Double IPA 8.5%,” said Hopfully back in September.


It has a slight murky orange colour and the white head doesn’t last too long at all (despite the fact that Dextrin is one of the malts used). It is packed with “a gorgeous amount of whole tangerine purée” and you do get it in the aromas. And very much so on the palate, thanks to the addition of the purée. And then it seems to fade out at that - just wondering if that addition was over-generous. Tangerine for sure so it does what it says on the tin. Dry at the end.


The label names the malts; Pale, Oats, wheat, Vienna and Dextrin. “Drink fresh - do not age.” Hops are Simcoe, Cascade and Centennial hops into the whirlpool and “dry-hopped this beauty with Citra, Galaxy, Simcoe, and Centennial”. 


This artwork is a master piece by @staselejakunskaite and is part of her SWAP project in which parts of common images or situations are swapped with each other creating new somehow unusual and surprising senses and ideas. Staselė is a Lithuanian visual artist and illustrator working in fields of conceptual illustration, advertising, publishing, indie print projects, and murals. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #61. On the craft journey with a mixed session, rounded off by a superb Yellow Belly "Red Noir"

A Quart of Ale± #61


On the craft journey with a mixed session, with this superb Red Ale the final can of the four. 



Yellow Belly “Red Noir” Dark Red Ale 4.5%, 440ml can Bradleys


They say it’s a dark red and it is, very dark, more black than red with a slim milky-coffee coloured head (shortlived). Aromas, caramel and toasted malt, are pleasant, if modest. You get much the same but more intense on the palate, caramel, chocolate prominent here. It is very smooth, very flavourful, very dark. Just wondering have Yellow Belly come up with a new style here, the dark Irish red ale?


They say: How a Red Ale is supposed to taste. Mild aromatics of sweet toasted malt and light smoke entices the drinker to this dark decadent red ale. What follows is a velvety smooth beer with a complimentary combination of chocolate and dark forest fruit flavours on the tongue. 

Style: Dark Red Ale


The Wexford brewery didn’t quite realise that it had a big hit in this one in its earliest incarnation, regarding it as a seasonal if not a one off. But popular demand has its way and, since early this year, they responded to demand and now Red Noir is part of their core range. I can understand why and very happy that the Belly took notice! Tending more toward the simple than the complex yet simply superb!


Geek Bits 

Malts - Irish Pale, Cara Gold, Wheat, Roast Barley

Hops - Cascade, Huell Melon.


Mescan “Seven Virtues” Lager 4.9%, 330ml bottle O’Briens Wine


It’s got the nice golden lager colour and billions of bubbles rising up to the soft white head. A bit of citrus and grass (not that grass!) in the aromas. On the palate, it is a bit more than your usual lager - it is after all dry-hopped. But it is crisp and refreshing, easy-drinking. Well worth a try!


They say: Virtues lager is the first in a series of one-off brews. Crisp and slightly dry hopped, a nod in the direction of both tradition and innovation.  Serving Temp 2 - 4 °C. Note that serving temperature, somewhat lower than usual.


Mescan always pay attention to matching their beers with food and last year even invented the Mescan Food-Pairing Wheel, designed to take the angst out of matching beer and food. It’s an easy way to pair each Mescan craft beer with the foods that complement it. It’s available on the website and is easily printable from a pdf format. It’s a useful resource for all the home chefs who are exploring new options in their kitchens during the pandemic.


The Mescan Food-Pairing Wheel was developed by Inge Roels, a Belgian expert in food-pairing who has worked with the brewery since its early days. She has produced a guide for nine Mescan beers so far – Mescan Blond, Westporter Stout, Mescan White, Mescan Red Tripel, Mescan Extra, Mescan Saison, Mescan Special Reserve, Seven Virtues Lager and Seven Virtues Lambik.


“Mescan craft beers are exceptionally suited to enjoying with food”, said Cillian Ó Móráin of Mescan Brewery, “We were inundated with queries as to the best pairings from consumers and from restaurants and bars. We wanted to create something simple yet effective that would help people enjoy our beers with the optimum foods – hence the Mescan Food-Pairing Wheel was born”.


Check it out here to see what goes with this lager. 



Rascals with Hopfully “Siamese Dream” Pale Ale 4.5%, 440ml can Bradleys



This Pale Ale collaboration between Rascals and Hopfully brings you a bagful of Far Eastern flavours, specifically coconut, pink guava and lime zest (all listed as ingredients).


There’s a hazy yellow colour. Aromas are rather modest. But it certainly delivers on the palate reaching, as promised, every corner with aromatic sweet pink guava, lime zest and coconut. A delicious easy-drinking ale, nicely-timed for the summer!



They say: The beer is brewed with Sabro and Sorachi Ace hops. The latter is a Japanese hop known for its lemon, coconut and even bubblegum properties. Meanwhile, Sabro hops offer fruity and herbal flavours and aromas, with noticeable coconut, sweet citrus and tropical fruit characteristics. Overall you’ll get a nice coconut hit up front, followed by a gorgeous tropical sweetness from the guava, and then in the finish there’s a spirited citrus payoff from the lime zest. Oat malt and Vermont yeast ensure a smooth mouthfeel and enticing hazy appearance.


For the geeks

Malt: Pale Malt, Torrified Wheat, Oat Malt

Hops: Sabro, Sorachi Ace

Yeast: Vermont

Other: Lime Zest, Coconut, Pink Guava Puree

ABV: 4.5%



Otterbank Brewing “Mates Rates” Tart Session IPA 4.9%, 440ml can Bradleys 



Poured this a little too vigorously and got myself quite a head, a head that was slow enough to sink. Actually a fingerful of that head gave me the clue that citrus would be a factor. Light gold is the colour and there’s no shortage of carbonation activity. And citrus is a key feature on the palate; refreshment’s another. A sour for sure but a well balanced one. Sour is not my favourite style but the balance here keeps me onside.


Otterbank are described as a brewing and blending outfit and the brewer is none other than Declan Nixon of Yellow Belly, themselves known for their sours. Otterbank is a bit on the side. By the way, this was brewed at Third Barrel by and for Otterbank who are based in Muff, Donegal.


The label also informs us that the malts are Pils, Cara, Clair, Wheat, and Oats while the hops are Pacifica and Citra (used in the dry-hopping).


By the way, Session is also used on the label. I’d have thought that the abv would have to be at 4.5 or under to earn that tag. What do you folks think?