Showing posts with label Porterhouse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Porterhouse. Show all posts

Monday, April 10, 2023

Craft Delight With 13 Brewers At Franciscan Well Easter Fest. CorkBillyBeers #22.

CorkBillyBeers #22

Craft Delight With 13 Brewers At Franciscan Well Easter Fest

Busy days for Sean at the Black's of Kinsale taps.

A baker’s dozen of Ireland’s craft breweries set up camp at the Franciscan Well and turned their well and truly revived Easter Beer Fest into a convivial carnival featuring the best of craft over the holiday weekend. Hard to resist some of the stars here, some beautiful pours over the two days, including a debut for the delicious Locavore Spring 2023, a Honey Hefeweizen, by Wicklow Wolf.

I did have a Plan A when I arrived in the busy venue on Saturday afternoon but that didn't last long. Nor did Plan B or indeed any notion of a plan. No seat available but I did get my aging back up against a solid object and relaxed.

Spot the difference? One of these is a lager, one's a stout. Answer at end.

Lots of chats too of course, none of it too serious. We were here for the craft and the craic. Actually, black (rhymes with craic!) was on Plan A and I did get a couple in. Had a good chat with Sean from Black’s of Kinsale. I was familiar with all three of his taps, including the marvellous Red Rye Redemption. 

My eyes wandered to his right and I spotted a dark lager at Lineman. Enjoyed their Schwarzbier last year so I tried the Undertone - a Czech Dark Lager (4.5%), dark with hints of red in the depths, smooth caramel, a touch of toast but all smooth and clean just like a lager should be! The Undertone, a little less roasty than a Schwarzbier, is making a return to the Lineman portfolio and is sure to get a terrific welcome.

That goes on to my shopping list for Bradley’s. In fact, all the beers mentioned here will be going on to that list. Some good weeks ahead then!

My first real black came from Phil, at the Kinnegar stand.  He poured me a glass of their long-standing favourite Yannaroddy (4.8%). Long-standing maybe but you never get tired of class and this rich and creamy porter, made with love, has Donegal expertise in every sip.

Keith McCarthy at the Wicklow Wolf taps and his Lough Gill colleagues.

My second black came later on, the Chocolate Truffle Stout from Porterhouse. This limited edition (4.2%) surprised me - I’m always a little suspicious of nitro - but very few can say no to chocolate. Very smooth of course and delicious but not too sweet at all.

More potential sweetness next, but very well balanced. Wicklow Wolf tell us their Locavore Spring 2023 is “a Honey Hefeweizen brewed with heather honey supplied by our friends at @openhivehoney. The bees worked hard in the Wicklow mountains to gather the nectar to make beautiful heather honey for this brew.” Their 2022 edition, a barrel aged ale, was one of my beers of the year and, being a big honey fan anyhow, I’ll be looking at this one more closely soon! ABV is 6.0%.

Original 7 Red
Had been hoping to try the Cutback New England IPA by Lough Gill but it wasn’t available at the time I called. So I switched to next door to the “home” brewery, the Original 7, who have been expanding their range and availability in local pubs since their relatively recent founding and their Steve Guiney says they will have a beautiful surprise for fans late in the summer.

While looking forward to that, I absolutely enjoyed their Wonderland Red Ale. Quite a mix here, according to their notes - caramel, blackcurrant, raspberry and cherry - but a well judged balance and a lovely red and a truly session-able beer with an IBU of 22 and 4.2% ABV.

So we moved from Keith (at the Wolf stand) to Simon at Galway Bay. Started with their classic Helles, the Slow Lives (5%). Next from the west was the Sister Cities (6.2%), a Sour IPA with citrus, apple, a touch of elderflower and a balancing acidity. Very drinkable indeed and looking forward to a few in a the garden in the better days ahead! Thanks Simon! And thanks to all the people we met and sorry we missed out on a few. Next time!

Pompeii Pizza: Feeding the troops

Picture quiz above: stout (Porterhouse) is on the left, Lineman  is the lager.

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.


Thursday, June 16, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #109. On the craft journey with Whitefield, Rascals, Porterhouse, Lough Gill and Kinnegar

A Quart of Ale± #109

On the craft journey with Whitefield, Rascals, Porterhouse and Lough Gill


Whitefield “Eastwood” Irish Pale Ale 5.8%, 500ml bottle Bradleys

Whitefield’s Irish Pale Ale is more red than pale when poured from their usual bottle. It has a pillowy off-white head that hangs about for a while. The aromas are malt driven. It is immediately refreshing on the palate, nicely balanced between the Tipperary barley (from Tim Connolly’s farm) and Slovenia hops (from Blaz Bosnar’s farm).

Whitefield say:  “This pale ale brings out the best of our philosophy. Tradition, terroir and time.” Add in the long and creamy finish and I’m tasting a really beautiful beer, full of character. A big thumbs up for this one from Tipp.


I was reading on their website, looking for a bit of background on this beer (including why it is named Eastwood), and found there is quite a story behind the gear at this brewery: The brewery was commissioned by Paulaner in 1996 for a brewpub in Singapore. The Asian crisis meant the brewery had a very short life of less than six months.

It was then purchased by the Kiley brothers from Kinsale.  So, the brewery undertook it’s second journey all the way to Ireland and was commissioned in a beautiful building in Kinsale town in 2002.

 No reflection on the owners however as the Irish market was difficult nut to crack in the hay-days of the Celtic tiger and it was idle again by 2004. The brewery lay dormant for the next 4 years after 2 false starts.

Whitefield (then White Gypsy) purchased the brewery in August 2008 just as another crisis loomed! It all worked out well this time, according to Whitefield: "They say it’s a long way to Tipperary, well it is when you start in Germany go to Singapore then on to Kinsale and end up in Templemore. She has a loving home now and fingers crossed she’ll see her retirement here.”


Rascals Hazy In Love IPA 5.0%, 330ml Bradleys

It’s a case (for me it’s a can) of love at first sip! Rascal’s are obviously very happy with this one and it is now part of their core range.

It is not that overly hazy as you can see streams of bubbles rising in the amber/orange colour. Aromas are tropical with Mango heading the posse. And all that exotic fruit, along with some citrus, shows up well on the juicy hoppy palate and there’s a smooth mouthfeel as well. No wonder they’re happy, as well as hoppy of course, in Inchicore. The bitterness in the beer is more or less middle ranking and prepares the palate for the next sip.

They say: This is a hazy IPA hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Ekuanot. Not only does it have all the flavour and aroma profile you’d expect from those world-class hops, but we’ve added wheat and oats to give a lovely hazy appearance and smooth mouthfeel. … Cloudy, juicy, hoppy, crushable: it’s a beer that delivers!

Quite happy to agree with that!

Geek Bits:

Malt: Pale Malt, Flaked Oats, Wheat Malt, Torrified Wheat, Naked Oat Malt

Hops: Mosaic, Citra, Ekuanot

Yeast: US-05

ABV: 5%

Ingredients: water, barley, wheat, oats, hops, yeast

By the way, because you may well ask, the tropical flavours found in hoppy beer can include Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Mango, Lychee, Kiwi, Jackfruit, and Papaya.

And another by the way. It may well be worth your while visiting Rascal’s Inchicore (Dublin) headquarters. “We’ve a world class pizza restaurant with the freshest beer pouring on tap.” You can also check out their off-licence, do the brewery tour and enjoy the taproom of course. Details at 


Porterhouse XXXX Full-On Stout 5.9%, 440 ml can Ballymaloe May Fair

Glossy black colour and a foamy tan head are what you see on this Porterhouse stout. But what do you get? Exactly what they say - a full-on dry crisp flavourful stout, introduced by a classic aroma. Hops have their say in the aromatics but it is the malts that drive the flavour on the palate before the hops, with a fruity citrus streak, take over again in the the dry and bitter finish

They say: XXXX refers to the alcohol level and the depth of flavour in this stout. Our kettle hops drum up a fabulous aroma, flaked barley delivering big time on texture and the darkly roasted grain building a flavour as solid as a rock. Not for the faint hearted. Can you handle it?

They certainly seem to have struck an excellent balance between the fruit and bitterness of the hops and the darker roasted qualities of the malts. Having spent a few hours the previous day drinking one of the main stream stouts, this Porterhouse was different class.

Geek Bits

Malts: Pale Malt, Flaked Barley, Roast Barley, Black Malt

Hops: Nugget, Galena, East Kent Goldings

IBUs: 50


Lough Gill I’ll Be Late Oat Cream IPA 7.2%, 440ml can Bradleys

Craft brewed in Lough Gill, an independent brewery in Sligo, this Oat Cream IPA, has a mid-orange colour, a soft foamy head and cloudy haze. Aromas are fruity (citrus and exotic). The palate comes on strong and complex, all those exotic fruit while the oats and lactose help give it a creamy feel.

Geek Bits

Style: DDH Oat Cream IPA 7.2% ABV

Hops: Citra, Galaxy and Idaho 7

Malts: Golden Promise, Flaked Oats, Wheat and Dextrin Malts

Format: 440ml Can

They say: Dry Hopped with 18g/L of Citra, Galaxy & Idaho 7, this IPA is an explosion of Citrus, Grapefruit, Passionfruit and Apricot which bring out bright tropical fruit and peach aromas followed by a little dankness. 



Wednesday, June 8, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #108. On the craft journey with Whitefield, Whiplash, Porterhouse, O Brother

 A Quart of Ale± #108

On the craft journey with Whitefield, Whiplash, Porterhouse, O Brother


Whiplash “Prisoner of Love” Cascade Pale 5.2%, 440ml can Bradleys

Colour is a hazy mid-orange colour with a soft slow-sinking wheat head. Nose is fruity (citrus), floral notes too and a background touch of pine. It is certainly very drinkable, more grapefruit on the fruity palate but little enough bitterness evident until the lip-smacking finalé. Indeed, there is a slight sweetness in the juicy mouth.

This beer goes down well with Whiplash, and their customers: “A relatively new beer in the history of Whiplash, but one that's earned its spot as a team favourite. Prisoner of Love is an all Cascade Pale Ale that we just have to slip into the schedule every year now. These hops are bright & lemony with complimentary floral and herbal notes and that translates beautifully in this beer.”

Geek Bits

Malts: Maris Otter, Wheat Malt, Oat Malt, Caramel

Hops: Cascade

Whitefield “Bradley’s Row” Dortmunder Style German Lager 5.3%, 500ml bottle Bradleys

Lots of crafty beer out there for the hop addicts but this one is for the malt heads.

The Dortmunder style is a pale lager but this has a bit more colour, closer to a dull amber. The bubbled head is soft and sticks around a bit. As well as a “malty finish” it also has a malty start which comes through on the aromas. And indeed it is malt led all through. 

The Whitefield label tells us their Dortmunder style German lager has a malty finish with a complex hoppiness. “Brewed with 100% German Brake Pilsner Malt, a variety of barley grown throughout the 80s in Germany and became synonymous with the German style lagers we all grew to love. Brewed with water from our own well, master barley, hops and yeast.”

The Beer Bible says the Dortmunder is “not a style  of enormous character” and that “the style’s future looks uncertain”. 

There are, for some reason, a few Welsh words on the label and Google translates as “there is a black sheep in every flock”. 

As you know the Templemore brewery was previously called White Gypsy. The rebranding also led to changes in their beer names, now being called after local landmarks. But their website doesn’t always keep up with their new beers so I can’t tell you what the ‘Bradley’s Row” refers to. I think though you can take it it refers to a local landmark rather than to the famous Bradley’s off licence, a beer landmark in Cork’s North Main Street.

Don’t think I’d be going out of my way to find a Dortmunder style. But I did appreciate this one and, so if you are a malt person rather than a hop person, then you will certainly like it.


Porterhouse Rambler Juicy Pale Ale 4.6%, 440ml can Ballymaloe May Fair

The Rambler has a light orange colour (and haze) in the glass, with a white head. “One for the juice heads,” say Porterhouse, based on the three hops used at whirlpool and hop. Well, it is juicy, moderately hoppy also, with a good dry finish.

The three hops added to the basic Magnum are: El Dorado (Apricot, tropical, citrus), Enigma (Grape, Berry, Melon), Eukanot (Mandarin, Melon, Mango). Their individual characteristics are in the brackets so you can see how they contribute to the result with a mild enough citrus and mango to the fore. Crisp and refreshing to the finish.

Dextrin, Ale, Wheat, Oats, and Crystal keep the malt end up, noticeable in the fuller body and a touch of caramel. Quite a delicious and easy drinking fruity ale to be fair, well made, and worth a try for sure.

They say: Rambler pours a light orange colour with a tight white head. We have used 3 hop additions of El Dorado, Enigma, Eukanot at whirlpool and dry hop. This combo contributes flavour & aromas of orange peel, watermelon, citrus and white grape for drinkability of smooth fresh juice with low carbonation.

Geek Bits

Malts: Ale, Wheat, Oats, Dextrin, Crystal

Hops: Magnum, El-Dorado, Eukanot, Enigma

ABV: 4.6% IBUs: 10


O Brother Singularity IPA 6.3%, 440ml can Bradleys

This IPA by the brothers has a hazy light orange colour with a big soft white head that sinks but slowly. There’s a kind of sweet tangerine peeping through in the mostly tropical aromas including a hint of coconut. 

Quite a complex melange on the palate (a smooth one - they have oats in the ingredients), tropical for sure including mango (strongest), pineapple and a touch of coconut, not forgetting the citrus. They’ve struck quite an impressive balance here and the beer is all the better for it, nothing off the scale at all. Sure to find quite a few admirers, I’d say, including myself!

Hard to find much on the web about this one other than that the hops are Mosaic and Sabro.

But, while searching, I found out on the O Brother site, that craft beer didn’t reach America until the 1970s when air travel became cheaper. “As Americans sampled the hoppy delights of countries like Belgium and Germany many were hooked by their superior quality and began brewing similar beers illegally back in the U.S. As the craze didn’t appear to be slowing down, home brewing in the United States was legalised in 1979. A great decision we think!”

Very interesting indeed, but I would like to see a little bit more, not necessarily every little detail, about their individual beers.