Showing posts with label Rising Sons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rising Sons. Show all posts

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Peckish? Parched? Arthur Mayne's got you covered, outdoors for now.

Peckish? Parched? Arthur Mayne's got you covered, outdoors for now.

Once upon a time, customers used to troop into the Pembroke Street chemist in search of a cure for bellyaches and headaches and all the aches of a previous century. The current crew of customers are seeking an outdoor place to wine and dine as the venue is now a wine bar cum restaurant, part of the ever expanding collection of Cork Heritage Pubs being “curated” by the indefatigable Benny McCabe.

While they have some outdoor seating on both Pembroke Street and Phoenix Street, the main batch is between Mayne’s itself and Crane Lane (another McCabe house). It is narrow, fairly well enclosed and pretty well protected with high sides and above you’ll have a blue (hopefully) sky. Cork Heritage Pubs have decided not to operate indoors until all the staff are vaccinated.

Pork Belly

We met some of the staff when we called for an evening meal during the week and a lovely bunch they are, efficient and helpful, know their drinks and food and they helped make our visit a very pleasant one indeed.

And another bonus of calling to Heritage pubs is that you’ll get to enjoy craft beer as they have their own brewery over on the Coal Quay. I’m always happy to quaff a can or a glass from the Rising Sons and we enjoyed both the Changeling Pale Ale (best ale in the world up to 5% in 2018) and the Sunbeam Lager during our meal.


They have quite a range of choice on the food menu as well and it all looks fairly priced. And they serve breakfast (from 10.00am), lunch (up to 3.00pm) and evening meal (up to 10.00pm) here everyday plus brunch (10.00am to 3.00pm) on Saturday and Sunday.

We started our evening meal by sharing a helping of mussels served in a bowl of broth and served with a Rustic Baguette (8.95). The mussels were excellent. The baguette didn’t look much on arrival but then I found out it was warm and semi-sliced I tucked it and it certainly proved a generous and tasty add-on to the mussels.

There is no division between starters and mains here as such, so you can pick and choose as you wish. There are quite a few obvious small plates such as Chicken Liver and Brandy Pâté Served with Toasted Crostinis & Quince Jelly and Hummus Served with a Rustic Baguette. And there’s a handy side or two such as Rustic Potatoes €6.95 (Twice Cooked Potatoes with a Spicy Aioli Topping & Bravas Seasoning). You might feel like sharing - there’s a cheese board, a meat board, and a combination of the two.

For my mains, I picked the Surf & Turf Slow Roasted Pork Belly & Grilled Scallops with Black Pudding Crumble, Asparagus & Apple Cider Sauce (€13.95). This was definitely mains, packed onto an oblong plate. Great sauce, lovely spicy black pudding and a very enjoyable piece of belly, crispy on top. On the other hand, the Coxinha (9.50) didn’t quite do it for us. The Pepper Salsa was about the best part of these Pulled Chicken Croquettes (filled with a cheese-y chicken).

Finished off with a couple of well made desserts, each generously sized, at six euro apiece. The Dark Chocolate and Cherry Tart was the “heavy” one, tasty and filling. The Passionfruit Mousse with Biscotti was the lighter one of the pair. Happy out after all that as we strolled out the back door onto Phoenix Street - you enter via Pembroke Street!

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #62. On the craft journey with a mixed session: IPA, Wheat Beer, Saison and Berliner Weisse

A Quart of Ale± #62

On the craft journey with a mixed session: IPA, Wheat Beer,  Saison and Berliner Weisse

Blacks Coast to a double

Blacks Wild Atlantic West Coast IPA 4.5%, 330 can

Colour is a pale orange, hazy of course, with a soft white head (dip a finger in and taste the citrus-y hops).  Aromas too proclaim the hops, a big hitting quarter of Citra, Cascade, Mosaic and El Dorado. And the hop muscle is again evident on the palate. But you’ll soon note the balance here between the various elements as we end up with a superb crisp beer, quite a thirst quencher as well.

Another little can with a big and pleasant bang from the crew at Blacks! And the beer title is also pretty much bang on the money. So there you are, both coasts covered by two small cans.

Blacks Ace of Haze DDH Cryo Hazy Session IPA 4.2%, 330 can

Hazy, of course, a foggy gold, soft white head. Citrusy in the aromas. And that citrus, along with the hops of course, shows up as well on the palate, lots of long lasting flavour, lots of good stuff in a little can.

Blacks always aim to produce “beers with passion, personality and lots of hops” and hit the bull’s eye here with this hazy juicy and sessional New England style, brewed with extensive whirlpool hops and double dry hopped with Idaho 7, Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic cryo hops. Food pairings suggested are: Eggs Benedict, Asparagus Risotto.

The Blacks are Sam and Maudeline.  Not too many guys get a home-brew starter kit as a Valentine's Day present. But that’s exactly what Clonakilty girl Maudeline presented to Sam some years back. And the Farm Lane brewery was founded in 2013. 

Not too sure Maudeline expected that Sam would soon start borrowing kit from the kitchen. The hair-drier has been used to heat surfaces so that labels can be applied  and a food mixer has also been pressed into brewery use. Blacks now have a distillery on the premises, turning out their own gin and Ireland’s first rum and have also laid down their whiskey. Watch this space - as always.

Rising Sons Mayhem Hoppy Wheat Beer 5.2%, 440 can Bradleys

A hazy pale gold is the colour of this Cork City beer, no shortage of carbonation, a soft white head. Bananas feature most in the aromas, clove not so much. The palate, where you get a mix of citrus and banana, is immediately refreshing.

The label describes it as a hoppy wheat beer and that seems accurate enough. The Facebook post, announcing the canning of Mayhem, differs a bit, calling it “our most requested seasonal” and “a hoppy saison”. In any event, it is a refreshing well-made beer. Enjoy. 

Geek Bits

Malts: Lager, Wheat, Munich.

Hops: El Dorado, Hallertau Blanc

By the way, all their beers (apart from Midaza ) are available to take away in 32oz cans - you heard right - nearly a litre of beer! And they fill the growlers directly from the bar so that you can enjoy it as fresh as can be.

Wide Street House Saison 5.5%, 440ml can Bradleys

A hazy light gold is the colour of this saison from Wide Street in County Meath. It had been “elected’ to their core range, the punters obviously liking the mild banana aromas and flavours, and a touch of peppery spice;  the bitterness factor is mid-range.

They say this is a  “classic representation of the Belgian Saison style” and is “Fermented with Saccharomyces cerevisiae var diastaticus saison strain”. The hop Saaz also plays a key role in all of this. The malt is Vienna which is well suited for relatively pale coloured beers. Typical application is to enhance the colour and aroma of light beers.

By now,  the soft white head has almost entirely disappeared and I’ve still to make up my mind. As a beer, it; it is not bad at all, quite interesting. Not your usual saison. Think I may have to do a direct head to head with a Dupont.

Info on the label: Unfiltered, unpasteurised and can conditioned, containing yeast sediment.

Brú Blurry Furry Berliner Weisse 3.8%, 440ml can Bradleys

Colour here is a close to orange, a slight haze and a light fluffy head that soon vanishes, bubbles galore though.

They say: A modern interpretation of the classic Berliner Weisse style, Blurry Furry is a tart wheat beer with an injection of sweet fruit flavour. Delightfully sour and intensely refreshing, it’s both fruity and tart, making it a perfect choice for the hot days. Showcasing a stunning and meaningful illustration of a sloth, we are inviting you to slow down and enjoy this easy-drinking beer.. 

Aromas show the sweet side but you meet the tart side with the very first sip. Not the tartest intro ever, mind you.  It is clean, crisp and refreshing and a decent drink these summer days

Healthy doses of Passion Fruit, Orange and Guava, listed in the ingredients, contribute to the sweet side of this Berliner Weisse and you get the mild spiciness from the weizen yeast. 

Blurry Furry is part of their Urban Jungle range that celebrates the brewery’s adventurous side. “Find your spirit animal with Urban Jungle.”

Friday, June 4, 2021

Favourite Beer of The Year 2021-The candidates, so far! + May Favourites

Favourite Beer of The Year 2021-The candidates, so far! + May Favourites

Monthly Favourites

May: Dungarvan “Mahon Falls” Rye Pale Ale

April: Heaney New England IPA

March: Whiplash “Melodie Noir” Baltic Porter

February: Eight Degrees “The Pilgrim’s Path” Lager

January: Lineman “Vesper" Pale Ale

May Favourites

White/wheat/wit: Heaney Irish White Ale

Rye Ale: Dungarvan “Mahon Falls” Rye Pale Ale

Lager: Western Herd "Loop Head" Pilsner 

Red Ale: Brú

Amber Ale: Kinnegar Devil’s Backbone 

IPA: O’Hara’s 51st State IPA

Session: Rising Sons “5th Horseman” session IPA 

Overall: Dungarvan “Mahon Falls” Rye Pale Ale

April Favourites

Sour: Wide Street “Peach Berliner” Sour or Wheat?

Brown Ale: Whiplash “The Ocean Wide” 

NEIPA: Heaney New England

Session: Blacks The Session IPA 3.5%

German style IPA: Rascals Wunderbar IPA

IPA: O’Hara’s Tropical IPA,

Stout: O’Hara’s Irish Stout,

Overall: Heaney New England

March Favourites

Lager: Wide Street “Mill Pils”

Session: Eight Degrees Bohemian Pilsner Lager

Red Ale: O’Hara’s Irish Red Traditional Ale, 4.3%

Baltic Porter: Whiplash Melodie Noir Baltic Porter

Overall: Whiplash Melodie Noir Baltic Porter

February Favourites

Lager: Eight Degrees “The Pilgrim’s Path”

Pale Ale: Blacks Kinsale KPA

Session: Rascals “Fruitropolis” Pale Ale, 4.3%

Overall: Eight Degrees “The Pilgrim’s Path”

January Favourites 

Pale Ale - Lineman Vesper

IPA - Hopfully Graciosa

Session: Whiplash Northern Light

Lager: Kinnegar Brewers at Play Rye Lager

Porter: Elbow Lane “Liberty”

Overall: Lineman Vesper

Not quite the same attention to detail paid to the lists for 2020 but the “favourites” were:

Stout: Brehon Brewhouse “Ulster Black” Oatmeal Stout 5.0%

Belgian Tripel: Eight Degrees Devil's Ladder Belgian Tripel 11.5%

Golden Ale: West Kerry Brewery “Béal Bán” Golden Ale, 5.0%

Imperial Stout: Lough Gill Dark Majik Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout 11.0%

Pale Ale: Trouble Brewing Ambush Juicy Pale Ale, 5.0%

Session: Whiplash Rollover Session IPA 3.8%

Lager: White Gypsy Munich Lager, 5.8%

American IPA: Kinnegar “Crossroads” American Style IPA 6.2%

Saison: Third Circle “Unsocial Creatures”  Dry Hopped Saison 4.4%

White/Wheat: Mescan “Westport White” 5%

Cider: Highbank “Proper Irish Cider” 2016 6%

Sour: Yellow Belly Castaway Passionfruit Sour 4.2%

Red: The White Hag “The Fleadh” 6.8%

Hybrid: Hope Underdog Hoppy Lager 4.8%

Non Alcoholic: Highbank’s “Drivers” Cider

Overall: Eight Degrees Devil's Ladder Belgian Tripel 11.5%

Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #53 On the craft journey with a handy quartet of IPAs.

A Quart of Ale± #53

On the craft journey with a handy quartet of IPAs. 

O’Hara’s Irish Pale Ale,  5.2%, 500ml bottle via Radical Drinks

Colour of O’Hara’s Irish Pale Ale is a light and bright copper with a soft white head that soon thins down. It may be an Irish Pale Ale in title but their description is “A Contemporary style IPA with an Irish twist. Combining the balance of European IPAs with the generous dry hopping of American pale ales (APAs), this beer is everything an IPA should be and more.”

Aromas, a mix of floral and fruit, are fairly intense. And that citric zestiness is more pronounced in the palate. Excellent body and the refreshing bitterness persists all the way through to the satisfactory finish. Quite a beer with inputs from both sides of the ocean, rich, smooth and balanced, one that I very much enjoyed. Mid-Atlantic? 


Most of you probably know how IPA came about but just in case:

The term "pale ale" originally denoted an ale that had been brewed from pale malt. During the British colonial period in the late 1800s demand grew for export pale ales and a strongly hopped pale ale was developed, hops being a natural preservative and a higher abv lending the beer style better suited to the long voyages, particularly to India, hence the style name IPA.

For the geek:


Contemporary Style IPA



Plato °





Top fermentation


Keg (carbonated), Bottle 50cl and 33cl (occasional 41L cask-conditioned)

Serving Temperature


Food Pairing

Works incredibly well alongside the BBQ, with spicy food and shellfish.


O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beer conical glass

The Brewery:

Carlow Brewing Company, also known as O’Hara’s Brewery, is an independent, family-owned business established in 1996 and one of the pioneers of Irish craft brewing. Located in the heart of Ireland’s traditional malt and hop-growing “Barrow Valley” region which has strong historical linkages to the Irish brewing industry, “we are proud to have been at the forefront of the new wave of Irish craft brewing for 25 years. As a craft brewery we brew our beers true to the tradition – with taste and flavour.”

O’Hara’s 51st State IPA, 6.0%, 500ml bottle via Radical Drinks

Colour of this “attack on the senses” is a mid-gold, with a long-lasting white head. Bubbles galore rise through a light haze. Aromatics are intense, exotic fruits leading the way. The big aromas continue with the big flavours in a smooth sensation right to the finish. Citrusy and soft and very very quaffable indeed.

They say: Bursting with bold tropical flavours of grapefruit, passion fruit, apricot and peach, this unfiltered IPA, which takes its inspiration from the New England IPA style, is an attack on the senses. A carefully chosen hop blend provides an intense citrus aroma while adding a well-balanced yet mild bitterness. Malts are combined to deliver a smooth mouthfeel.

The addition of lots of different hop varietals late in the boil help achieve the big aroma and flavour. Further enhanced by later dry hopping with Citra and Amarillo while “generous additions of wheat, crystal and caramalt make this beer very smooth on the pallet (also on the palate!)”. They also make a session version of this, with a 4% ABV.

For the geek:

Style - IPA


ABV - 6.0%


Plato ° - 15.0°


IBU - 40


Fermentation- Top fermentation


Availability- 30L Keg (carbonated) and 50cl Bottle

Serving Temperature - 6-8°C


Food Pairing- Perfect for matching with spicy chicken dishes, steak, Eton Mess and Stilton cheese.


Glass- O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beer conical glass

Dundalk Bay Brewmaster Irish IPA 5.6%, 440 can O’Donovan’

Amber is the colour of this one, couldn’t even tell you about the head as it vanished so quickly. Checked it with a robust second slash later on and it is (barely) off white and with some little lasting power.  Aromas are reticent, a vague hint of tropical fruits. It is soft in the mouth and soon you know you have a pleasant ale, one without extremes. Passionfruit and grapefruit flavours are moderate and there’s a slightly bitter finish but the balance is superb, harmony all the way.

I like this one, an excellent beer for an evening when the conversation is pleasant, not boisterous nor cranky, the kind of evening most of us like.

Food suggested by the maker: Pair with salty or fried foods. Recommended with red meat.

They say: At Brewmaster we develop unique recipes with a modern brewing style to create sessionable and refreshing premium quality beers. Dundalk Bay Brewery and Distillery is a family company that started from a vision and passion for building breweries and distilleries. The idea came about when one day we decided to take a leap of faith and build our own showcase living and breathing brewery and launched our premium Irish beer, Brewmaster.

The journey has continued since when they developed a Gin Distillery and subsequently Ravenrock Premium Distilled Irish Gin was born in January 2020. The expansion continues…

Rising Sons “5th Horseman” session IPA 3.8%, 440 can Bradleys

Light gold is the colour of the 5th Horseman, a session IPA from Cork City centre brewery The Rising Sons. Nice white head’s not for staying and you’ll see plenty of bubbles rising in the slight haze. The aroma signalled that this is decently hopped and so it proved and the lower strength does not mean less flavour. Aromas (fruit and hints of pine) are rather intense and the palate follows suit more or less, lots of flavour (citrus, melon) in a lively background, the finish also good and hoppy. A very friendly beer indeed and should take you through a session comfortably. Glad they’re selling their beers in cans. While they have a dozen or pubs scattered across the city, not always easy to get down and sample the draught.

They say: 5th Horseman is a low ABV session IPA. Hopped with Amarillo, Centennial, Huell Melon and Idaho 7 hops. Notes of pine , orange , lemon and grapefruit

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #46 On the craft journey with IPA, hazy, tropical and session.

A Quart of Ale± #46

On the craft journey with IPA, hazy, tropical and session.

Blacks The Session IPA 3.5%, 330can Bradleys

It’s a light yellow colour and the haze seems well populated by bubbles. Aromas are floral from the hops. And it is refreshing immediately on the palate. Light and crisp, excellent play between malt and the hops, citrus character and good dry finish. They recommended trying it with Spicy Chicken wings. Reckon it could do much more than that.

And for sure, you’ve got to put this on your session shopping list, ideal for those relaxing spells in the back garden or the beer garden. As they say themselves, “A taste of summer that’s available all year round!”

Between lockdowns last year, we had been driving around West Cork and were feeling the July heat. A cool glass of water, from reception, helped immediately on arrival at the Celtic Ross Hotel and our order for a couple of Blacks Brewery Session IPAs was soon delivered to our room and we enjoyed them! Revived, we took a short walk in the direction of The Warren. Enjoyed that beer and enjoyed this one as well.

They say: Packed full of hoppy goodness, and at 3.5% abv, it’s the ideal beer for days when you’re in the mood to drink a few. A Session Ale that’s light and crisp in character with a streamlined malt structure, and the addition of new world hops bring floral, grassy and orange zest aromas to life. 

IBU 60

Hops: Cascade, Citra

Released: 2014

Available: 500ml bottle, 330ml can

Rising Sons Fandango Hazy IPA 5%, 440ml can, The Poor Relation hatch

I’d possibly be missing out on the cans from Rising Sons but for the hatch outside the Poor Relation pub on Parnell Place. Down town the odd weekend evening to collect Take-outs, it is easy to spot the hatch (and not too easy to pass by). As Rising Sons and Poor Relation share ownership, they sell the cans here and it was here that I got my Fandango.

It is the third of the brewery’s beers to be canned and is a 5% hazy oatmeal IPA. Colour is a yellow/gold and, through the haze, you can see quite a lot of bubble activity. The white pillowy head is not very long-lasting. Citrus seems to lead the aromas which are quite modest. Flavours in the palate are more exotic and include passionfruit and grapefruit along with smooth and juicy mango. This well balanced beer has a lovely soft mouthfeel and it is very easy drinking, a very pleasant drink indeed.

Brewery GM Judy tells me they’ll have added the 5th Horseman, a low ABV session pale ale, by the time you read this. And the initial quartet will be joined in mid May by the return of Mayhem, a hoppy saison. Think you’ll be seeing me at that hatch again!

  • We reviewed Changeling and Dreamcatcher, their first two cans, here.   Of course, the two were bought at that hatch!

Whiplash Ratio IPA, 6.2%, 440ml can* 

Very hazy lemon is the colour of this Whiplash and the bubbly head is short. Quite a bitter nose on this one, including citrus and pineapple, even savoury hints.

Flavours follow along the same lines on the pretty dense palate and, in addition, “the dry hopped to hell” Sultan and BRU-!bitterness, kicks in. Quite a mouthful, not to be rushed, as a sip will go a long way with this complex customer. Leave the last sip or two though - some lurking sediment! Their beers are unpasteurised, unfiltered.

They say: Not like us not to pepper your week with some big hoppy bangers so here’s Ratio. We’re pushing our mash filter to its limits here, packing this grist out with 50% Oats and Wheat while leaving just enough room for some Barley to really fluff and cream this silly thing up. Heavy additions of Columbus, El Dorado and Chinook in the Whirlpool, fermented on peachy and soft bodied London Ale III then dry hopped to hell with some favourites of ours – Sultana (formally Denali) and BRU1 at 20g/L….It’s a belter of an IPA. 

Geek Bits:

ABV 6.2%

440ml Cans

Artwork by Sophie Devere

Maris Otter, Wheat Malt, Oat Malt, Carapils, Sultana, BRU-1


O’Hara’s Tropical IPA, 7.2%, 500ml bottle via Radical Drinks

Amber’s the colour of this hazy IPA from O’Hara’s, an IPA with a 7.2abv.  Lots of hops here and you’ve also got oats, wheat and barley malts. Aromas have citrus and mango and more. And the palate overflows with flavours of citrus, mango, tangerine and papaya, as the beer lives up to its name, with a superb balance. And the finish is long, fruit and floral notes contributing all the way.

There’s the usual density associated with high ABV beers but this is no black hole, smothering everything. It has been well made, well orchestrated, allowing both malts and hops to star together, not the Planets by Holst exactly, more like Harmonies by O’Hara! No clashing extremes here, not with that superb balance.

They say: A golden, hazy, yellow coloured beer with a malt base due to the addition of oats, wheat and barley malts that is brewed using plenty of our favourite hops including Mosaic, Azaca, and El-Dorado. A juicy, malt,  sweetness is complimented by additional flavours from dry hopping with Citra and Mosaic hops.

Geek Bits

Style- IPA
ABV- 7.2%
Plato °-17°
Fermentation- Top fermentation
Availability- Bottle 50cl
Serving Temperature 6-8°C
Food Pairing- Works incredibly well with Tomato and Sourdough Salad and Blue Cheese.
Glass - O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beer conical glass


* sample