Showing posts with label Metalman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Metalman. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #45 On the craft journey with a mixed bunch. A Brown Ale, A Black Ale, And Two With ID problems! But Relax, All Drink Well.

 A Quart of Ale± #45

On the craft journey with a mixed bunch. 

A Brown Ale, A Black Ale, And Two With ID problems! But Relax, All Drink Well.

Wide Street “Peach Berliner” Sour or Wheat? 4.6%, 440ml via

Well, the head on this vanished faster than that of an Alka Selzter. Colour is a hazy pale lemon, a bit like Lem-Sip. Are we having the cure first?

I’m expecting fruit and I get it in the aromas as it manages to make itself known through the funky stuff. And, yes, it is sour too on the palate, superbly so. And immediately you’re thinking, summertime in the open air, either a beer-garden or a back-garden. 

The fruit, not immediately identifiable as peach (more lemon than peach, I thought), is sharp and tangy and the mouthful is refreshingly dry. Apparently that dryness comes from their house yeast.

They say: Meet Peach Berliner. More than 12 months in production and 4 of those months on 100 kg of peaches and our take on the Berliner Weisse style. The refreshing tart peach flavour and aroma combined with a large percentage of wheat with a Brettanomyces and lactobacillus fermentation to deliver a fireside thirst quencher. 

Our house yeast is a custom blend of Brettanomyces, saccharomyces and lactobacillus strains from Bootleg Biology, a yeast laboratory based in Nashville, USA. This gives our beer a distinctive dry mouthfeel and enhanced fruity flavours. Available nationwide through Alpha Beer & Cider Distribution.

So quite a different animal all the way from the wide streets of Longford. Very different indeed. Excites the curiosity a fair bit and now I am on look out for their saison!

Fruit and Veg: Tried this with a bag of Joe’s Farm Vegetable Crisps, my last bag. And was delighted to see how they paired so well! The crisps are made on the Burns farm in East Cork from their own carrots, parsnips and beetroot.

Berliner Weiss, by the way, is a cloudy sour beer. It is a regional variation of the wheat beer style from Northern Germany, dating back to at least the 16th century. Wheat (and barley) is listed in the Wide Street ingredients along with with a 100gm of peaches!

The brewery have an informative article here about Brett in cans.

Whiplash “The Ocean Wide” Brown Ale, 6.8%, 440ml can*

Brown, going on black, is the colour of this ale, a tribute to the tale of Dingle’s Fungie. The head, a touch of coffee in the colour, doesn’t stay around as long as our mammal mate did in Kerry. Coffee, and indeed toffee, both with hints of roast, fill the nose without even having to place the proboscis that close to the glass.  And you meet the pair again on the palate, some chocolate now adding to the experience. Sweetness now but how much that owes to the adjunct Maple Syrup is hard to say. Must say, well not so much must, rather I’m quite happy to say I enjoyed this one.

Whiplash say Fungie was “doing tricks for hungover brewers on a boat of a Sunday morning down in Dingle harbour”. “That’s why he was our number 1. In his memory we’ve brewed the beer we can only assume he was really into – A maple syrup infused Brown Ale. We hope this would be his tipple. We don’t know where he is now. Hopefully he’s retired to warmer waters and we wish the lad well and thank him for his time with us.”

And where did the name come from? Over to Whiplash: As his best bud Paddy Ferriter put it: He can go where he like. There’s no one going to say to him “where did you come from?”, “where are you bound for?”. No. He has the ocean wide.

Me? I like the yarn. And I did enjoy my one and only trip out to Fungie along with kids of all ages. And yes I like the beer.

So Brown Ales? The New York Times: Brown ales and like-minded styles — including straightforward lagers, pilsners and porters — to name a few, are very different sorts of beers (to IPAs). They occupy subtler realms, quenching thirst with pure flavors and perhaps a snappy zestiness in the case of pilsner and a rich depth in the case of porter. They are not flamboyant styles that wow with complexity or make themselves the centers of attention. They simply satisfy. It’s the kind of beer that gets left behind in our I.P.A. culture.

Other Irish Brown Ales (and neither very close to the Whiplash) worth looking out for are Ballykilcavan Bamrick’s and Lough Gill’s Mac Nutty, a nut brown ale (with toasted macadamia nuts).

Metalman “Moonbeam” India Black Ale, 5.0%, 330 ml can via

Black, as you’ve no doubt guessed, is the colour; the soft head has a light coffee touch about it. I’ve been on the old cocoa lately so I recognise it in the smokey aromas. And in the flavours too but here the hops rule, tropical fruits, including pomegranate, getting a chance to shine right through the dry finish. This Waterford beer is yet another hybrid. Has ambitions to be a Black IPA but, black though it is, for now methinks it’s an ale rather than an IPA. 

They say: Moonbeam is brewed with a selection of New Zealand hops and balanced with plenty of dark malts to deliver a solid cocoa backbone. Dark and luscious, but deceptively light in body and smooth on the finish.

Früh Kölsch, 4.8%, 500ml bottle via Bradleys

This German beer comes with a bright and clear light-amber hue, a slim white head, with bubbles by the thousand racing to the top. After that it is crisp and refreshing, with no lack of flavour, from this easy-drinking beer.  It is a hybrid, as its production and subsequent beer drinking experience straddles both lager beers and ale. While it can be classed as a lager, it is top fermented (besides, malted wheat is one of the ingredients), so you could also call it a wheat beer..

The beer from Cologne (hence the Kölsch) has been around for centuries and the family owned company is in its fifth generation. The “deliciously palatable beer” is the Cologne specialty - and an original still brewed today according to the original recipe by Peter Josef Früh - from the best ingredients and in accordance with the German Purity Law. With such a long history you might be expecting a beer with more heft to it but the Früh Kölsch is a relatively simple drink that’s stood the test of time. Nowadays, you can also find an alcohol free version.

They say: Almost 400,000 hectoliters of Früh Kölsch now flow out of the brewing kettles every year. Today, early Kölsch is valued as a beer specialty far beyond the borders of the Rhineland. And so you can find early lovers not only between Heligoland and Munich, but also in over 30 export countries.

* sample supplied

Thursday, January 7, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #28 Moving on over to craft. With A Variety of IPAs

A Quart of Ale± #28

Moving on over to craft. 

With A Variety of IPAs

Kinsale Black IPA 5%, 500ml bottle via O’Donovan’s Mayfield 

A hybrid beer, according to the Kinsale brewery, giving us the best of the IPA and Stout styles where West Coast US meets South Coast Cork. 

And that about sums it, this dark beer, another with a short-lived head (coffee coloured). Hints of the coffee and cocoa to come in the aromas. But the big ambush comes with the palate experience, the light touches from the IPA side, the dark deep stuff plus the creamy mouthfeel from the stout side, complex fruity elements holding their own as the coffee and chocolate notes push forward. Somehow there is a harmony right through the dry and very satisfactory finish. This has been spot-on since day one (2016), and a favourite here since first tasted.

They say: This bad boy is a beer lover’s dream come true. We have taken the amazing hoppiness of our IPAs, tuned it to perfection, and fused it together with the roasted malt backbone of a stout to create a hybrid beer that represents the best of both styles. Expect citrus, pine and berry notes to be suddenly ambushed by flavours of coffee, cocoa and liquorice. Pair with Blue cheese, Chocolate brownie. Hops used are Centennial, Citra and Vic Secret. The IBU number is 60.

Sierra Nevada “Northern Hemisphere” Harvest Wet Hop IPA 6.7%, 12 fl ozs bottle via Bradley’s

They promise hops and they deliver with a punch in a dark amber robe, an off white head quickly sinking to a lacy disc. And there are bubbles galore rising. Quite complex in the mouth, earthy and fruity and then a long and bitter finish. 

Quite a concentrated shakehands (it is 6.7% abv) from this Nevadan, one to remember. It took me a few sips to get comfortable with it but soon we were hanging like long-time buddies.

Easy enough to promise hops if your source is the Yakima Valley (Washington state) as it, according to Wikipedia, produces 77% of all hops grown in the United States. Sierra Nevada get theirs shipped to the brewery within 24 hours to “capture hop aroma and flavour when they’re most profound”.

They say: Northern Hemisphere drops you into a hop field, the beer’s profound flavor like strolling under the lush canopy. This year, we picked Centennial hops at their peak, rushing the harvest into our brew kettles the very same day to make a wet hop IPA loaded with notes of citrus blossom, rose, and pine.

Malts: Two-row Pale, Caramelized malts

Hops: Wet Centennial

Yeast: ale yeast

IBU: 67

Whiplash “Northern Light” Micro IPA 2.8%, 440 can via Bradley’s

Hazy mid-gold is the colour of this Whiplash IPA and yet another short-lived head. It may well be micro in terms of abv but nothing shy about the hops, both in the aromas and on the palate. There’s a full-on blast of the more exotic fruits thanks to the generous input of Vic Secret and Mosaic hops. Big on flavour, low on alcohol, an excellent beer and ideal for a session.

The introduction of  ‘Micro IPA’ was “one of our proudest moments of 2018”, according to the brewery. And we punters  lucky to have it. “When we dropped Northern Lights at Hop City last April we thought we’d be crucified for bringing a knife to a gun fight of 10%+ IPA’s. Instead, people came to us and said this stuff is rocking, fun, and accommodating of the sesh. We thought so too. So much was the fun of drinking our 2.8% hop bomb over those weeks that we decided, fuck it, let’s keep this beer on year round. That July we rolled out Northern Lights as a year round offering and man it’s fun to have around.”

So successful has it been that they’ve “built a brewery around being able to deliver this consistently and year round. Still packing a base of German Vienna, Wheat, Oats and a touch of super light Caramalt - this short arsed banger is tasting the best it ever has thanks to all the silly kit we’ve put in to make it sing.” 

Metalman Fracture Rye IPA 6.5%, 330ml can via Ardkeen QFS

Colour is a light amber, millions of micro-bubbles rising in the cloud. Aromas are slightly sour, perhaps that kveik yeast having its say. Fruity and lively on the palate, a tang of spice as well, and then a dry finish (almost Campari like). Probably the most impressive of the Metalman beers in recent weeks (the American style Pale Ale and the Equinox Wheat Lager were the others).

They say: brewed with a Norwegian farmhouse yeast called kveik, this rye is full of soft fruit notes, combined with the spiciness of rye and complemented by Azacca and Citra hops. Ah sure go on then! It’s not pasteurised or finely filtered, so store in the fridge if possible (but not for long).

Monday, January 4, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #27. Moving on over to craft with Pale Ale.

A Quart of Ale± #27

Moving on over to craft with Pale Ale.

Lineman “Vesper” Pale Ale 5.4%, 440ml can via Bradley’s


Colour of this Dublin produced pale ale is a light yellow, almost lemon, hazy too with shoals of micro bubbles seeking the surface. The early ones hit a big white head, latecomers just a thin lacy disc. Quite complex aromatics of the more exotic kind. And the impression on the palate is much the same, flavour galore but all’s in harmony here. So take your time and meditate on the good work of the farmer and the brewer and enjoy. No need at all to glug this dry-hopped pale down in a rush. Take it cool and easy, enjoy the fruit, let it linger.

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.

St Mel’s “I will, yeah” Juicy Pale Ale 4.0%, 440 can via St Mel’s Online

Gold is the colour here, a very cloudy one! Soft white head is something of a keeper.  It is double dry-hopped and you get the message in the aromas. And also on the palate. But glad to report, while hop lovers will be happy, there’s nothing extreme here. Just a glassful of cracking flavour, rich and intense right through to the finish. 

Superb with food and they recommend Indian and Thai cuisine, “also works excellently for washing down those spicy chicken wings”. Great balance in this one, a pretty perfect pale ale, juicy all through with a dry and bitter finish. 

Came across the name St Mel’s when (don’t ask!) I was playing colleges hurling (Harty Cup etc..) but always thought Mel was a short version of something longer. But apparently not. Mel is the full extent of the name. No shortcuts in the brewery either. They go to the limit and pay attention to detail with every single beer. The customer wins.

Metalman American Style Pale Ale 4.3%, 330ml can via Ardkeen Store

A rather delicate, and shy, head on this American style pale ale,  the American bit reinforced by the use of Cascade and Summit hops. Hop induced citrus and floral aromas, even a touch of pine, feature before the same flavours (grapefruit and mandarin), again a product of the hops, take over on the tarty palate, veering towards sour rather than bitter, refreshing though. 

It’s not pasteurised or finely filtered, so store in the fridge if possible. Available in: Keg, Cask and Can. Named Beoir Beer Of The Year 2013. Much more competition around these days.

Metalman Brewing was born in 2011 when two beer enthusiasts decided they’d had enough of the outlandishly limited selection of beer available in Ireland. ..they decided to help do something about it. Gráinne chucked in her I.T. job and went about setting up the brewery. Meanwhile Tim stayed at the day job.

They availed of contract brewing initially, finally moving across to the Tycor brewery in early 2012 and things really started to get underway. Tim joined the brewery full time in 2013. At the end of 2014,  the first canning line was installed at an Irish microbrewery, and cans of Metalman Pale Ale hit the shelves in January 2015. And it’s busy busy these days.

Wicklow Wolf Avalanche NE Pale Ale 4.0%, 330ml can via Ardkeen Store

Light gold is the colour, quite bright too and clear with no shortage of bubbles rising towards the white fluffy head, a head that is in no hurry to clear off. Aromas are mildly hoppy as is the beer itself. And nothing extreme on the palate either because it is in balance between hop and malt. A well made beer that fits easily, if unassumingly, into its stated category.

They say: A New England pale ale dry hopped with a massive amount of Azacca & Idaho 7 hops to give a fresh, juicy burst of stone fruits, papaya & sweet citrus. A subtle malt character and creamy mouthfeel makes this East Coast style pale ale beautifully balanced and easy drinking. Malts are Pale, Melano, Flaked Oat and  IBU is 25.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

A Quart of Ale± #26A. Moving on over to craft. A Variety of Lagers.

A Quart of Ale
± #26A

Moving on over to craft

A Variety of Lagers

Hope Underdog Hoppy Lager 4.8%, 440ml can via Ardkeen QFS

This modern hybrid style lager has a hazy gold colour, lots of bubbles on show, with a delicate quickly fading white head. Hops make their presence known in the nose. Very impressive introduction on the palate, with a terrific mouthfeel, malt sweetness and hop bitterness get along very well indeed. It is deeply refreshing, full of flavour and persistent. A big and pleasant surprise for me and one to note for sure.

They say: The malts and the yeast we use are traditional, but the hops are not. We use lager malt and other European malt such as Munich malt for flavour, and we use a classic German lager yeast: a strain originally isolated from the oldest brewery in the world. We also use modern American hops for flavour, such as Citra, El Dorado, and Mosaic, furthermore we use the dry hopping technique which is associated with IPAs rather than lager. Underdog hoppy lager is the result.

When it comes to food pairing it’s a brilliant all-rounder, great with BBQs, pizza, spicy foods like curries and for anybody who doesn’t like wine with their food.

Malts: Lager, Munich, Melanoidin, Carapils, Acidulated.

Hops: Magnum, El Dorado, Mosaic 

Yeast: German Lager

IBU 25

The Brewery: Hope Beer started out in 2015 when the brewery was founded by four friends with a passion for beer and business. What began as a series of late-night kitchen table discussions is now a state-of-the-art brewery, producing an extensive range of award-winning premium craft beers. All Hope beers are brewed, bottled, canned and kegged at Howth Junction on Dublin’s Northside and are crafted to be the perfect accompaniment to food.

The Story: During the American invasion of Mexico in 1846, Irishman John Riley came to the aid of the Mexicans in their hour of need. He formed the famous San Patricios Battalion and willingly joined the underdog by fighting against the odds. Ok, they lost, but they became Mexican heroes, remembered especially on St. Patrick’s Day, and on every other day of the year by their nickname: Greengo’s.

Duvel-Moortgat “Vedett Extra Blond” 5.2%, 330ml bottle Bradley’s of Cork

Thought I was buying a golden or blond ale here but turns out this one is more of a lager, a bottom fermented beer, a speciality of the Belgian brewery.

It is straw coloured, lots of bubbles rising, and a fluffy white head that diminishes slowly.  The “extra” here is because of the higher than usual abv. There is a moderate hoppy element in the aromas and on the palate, you immediately realise you have a thirst-quencher in your hand, dry and smooth with a finely balanced hoppiness and a subtle bitterness towards the finalé, always with a mild malt character in the background.

They say: An excellent companion for mushrooms, asparagus, mussels, sushi (with a hint of spiciness), fried chicken breast, calves’ liver, noodle and rice dishes, lemon grass, coconut milk, creamy cottage cheese or a goat’s cheese made with unpasteurised milk. Best served at 3 – 6 °C. 

This Vedett has been in production since the 1940s and was “refreshed” and re-launched in 2003. Brewed with 100 % natural ingredients: water, yeast, pale barley malt, rice. Saaz-Saaz and Styrian Golding hops.

Cotton Ball Indian Summer 4.7%, 500ml bottle and on draught, Cotton Ball Off-licence

Fancy the freshness of a lager, the flavours of an ale? Then check out the Cotton Ball’s Indian Summer.

I was reminded of the qualities of the Cotton Ball’s Indian Summer, produced first as a seasonal but now very much a core beer, during a visit to one of Cork’s newest restaurants in MacCurtain Street. 

A delicious pint (left). The brewery indicate Indian Summer is “a hybrid beer made with lager and crystal malts but with an ale yeast and is an excellent thirst quencher….  great with an Indian Friday night take away.” 

I had my pint in the new Thompsons restaurant (where the Cotton have a micro brewery) and it paired very well indeed with a Nduja pizza. The recipe for this hybrid may be somewhat unusual but it has impressive character, giving the drinker the best of both worlds.

They say: Our Pale Ale made with Irish lager malt, crystal malt and ale yeast while being delicately bittered using three new world hops. 

This beer gives a citrusy aroma with a light clean palate and a lingering hoppy bitterness. This beer is for sure a thirst quencher! 

Metalman Equinox Wheat Lager 4.6%, 330ml can Ardkeen QFS

A beer for a sunny day! Even if that sunny day was just above freezing as winter sneaked in.

It’s a hazy mid-gold colour with a myriad of little bubbles rising towards a white head that doesn’t hang about. Orange and lemon peel have been added for a burst of citrus, along with some ground coriander to give a hint of spice at the end. It seems to have worked well as the wheat lager is very refreshing, full of flavour and totally quaffable with a clove-y hint there too. Nice finish also.

Very satisfactory overall and good too that you are able to get it in keg, cask and can.

Pearse Lyons Brown Bear India Pale Lager 5.2%, Aldi

Something of a hybrid like the Cotton Ball’s Indian Summer. A more serious beer than I first thought and quite a satisfactory one as well. Not a big fan of the discounts but credit where credit is due, so a big thumbs up for this particular Brown Bear. Colour is more amber than gold, the aromas are hoppy and the fruity finalé is more ale than lager.

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

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Friday Fuar Fliuch! Here’s the Fix! Bubbles. Burgers. Beers.

Friday Fuar Fliuch! Here’s the Fix! 
Bubbles. Burgers. Beers.

For burger lovers, Coqbull Cork seemed to be the place on Friday evening last. It was jammers, a great buzz, a lively racket really, music in there somewhere (I heard the odd thud, thud). 

They come in the front door. They come in the back door. And somehow they all get seated. 

No doubt, Friday is a busy evening here anyhow but the attendance and the atmosphere was enhanced by the Burger Festival (Jan 22nd to 28th). There was even a guy trying to demolish the six-burger record set earlier that day by Bandon man Colin Minihane who “who demolished 6 burgers, fries & a Coqshake in 10.32 mins yes that’s 10.32”.

One would be enough for me thanks! Coqbull provide the full experience here. You can have starters, desserts, craft beers (including their own lager), cocktails (or coqtails) and choose from a list of top gins.

Our starters were their tasty cool Nachos (with shredded beef added) and the Coqbull Wings with their Blas gold award winning Sticky Asian sauce, a delicious combination. We avoided the Hot Coq sauce though, too hot for chickens they said.

Sipping away at a glass of their lager (CL) and a can of the Metalman Wheat beer, we moved on to the main event. My choice was the most popular burger of the week, and likely to make it on to main menu sometime soon, the Bacon Bomb: double cheese, double beef bacon infused burger, caramelised onion & pickles wrapped in a potato bread bun...served with our FAT BASTARD WEDGES smothered in our new Coqbull secret seasoning. A mega feed for sure, great flavour, especially of the bacon, and that potato bread bun wasn't half-bad either.

CL’s choice was another festival favourite here, the Supreme Bull with blue cheese, bone marrow butter, portobello mushroom, truffle mayonnaise and rocket.

Another interesting one, especially on the Thursday when they had the Cork Whiskey Society in for a Scotch tasting, was The Sloppy Scot, made using the best of Haggis from Mc Carthy's of Kanturk, Beef, Ballymaloe Country Relish, rocket and a whiskey pepper sauce served with neeps and tatties. 

So that was the burger done. Earlier, we had the bubbles, as an aperitivo. Every Friday, L’Atitude 51 on Union Quay have a Friday Fizz between 4.00pm and 7.00pm, featuring a different fizz each time. Last Friday’s was La Jara Rosato Frizzante - a semi-sparkling wine made from red Raboso with a delicate pink colour and wonderfully fresh aromas of red apple and raspberry and juicy peach and pear flavours. It was every bit as delicious as they promised on Facebook, really good and good value too at €5.50 a glass. Watch out for future Fizz Fridays.

Indeed, if you like your bubbles, why not check out the Imperial Hotel too. In their Seventy Six Bar, they are offering a champagne flight, three Taittinger champagnes including a rosé, at a special price of fifteen euro.

After stuffing ourselves at Coqbull, we walked out into heavy rain, heavy enough to halt our planned walk to the beer festival at Franciscan Well. Instead we headed closer to home and, with the brolly up, made it to the new Bridge Bar in Bridge Street where the counter was full and there was live music from the O.C.D. trio. Food (charcuterie and cheese) also available here.

Great to see a long line-up of craft beers here, available on draft. We ended up comparing two ales, one from Yellow Belly, the other from Beavertown. Two excellent ales. The Wexford drink had attractive aromas and flavours and the expected hoppy finish. Beavertown is a London Brewery and their ale was possibly more focussed, a brewer’s beer maybe. Not much between them in any case. May have to go back for a replay.
Lager (left), Red Ale (right). But what's in the middle? The Bridge Bar.

May have to go back for a gin and tonic adventure too. That could take a while though. This is their long long list.

MONKEY 47 10.10
CORK DRY 4.80 
BLOOM 6.20
OPIHR 6.00