Showing posts with label Rye River. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rye River. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Beer of the Week. Jigsaw DDH IPL by Rye River , with help from Yakima Chief Hops

Beer of the Week. Rye River with help from Yakima Chief Hops

Rye River Jigsaw DDH IPL 5.0% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

In your glass you see a beautiful pale gold colour with millions of little bubbles racing towards the soft white top. “Piecing together what we love about lager and IPA”, say Rye River, very happy with this collaboration with Yakima Chief Hops. It is, as you’d expect, quite a hoppy beer, more so on the palate than on the nose. But this hybrid (between IPA and lager) is

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Beer Of The Week: Rye River Nocturne Export Stout

Beer Of The Week

Rye River Nocturne Export Stout, 6.0% ABV, 500 ml bottle, Dunnes

In the dark of the night, a nocturne worthy of an encore.

Rye River's Nocturne Export Stout is a midnight-hued masterpiece that blends the rich intensity of espresso and dark chocolate, laced with wisps of smoke that engage the nose. The flavours are equally intense, with rich roast caramel gently blanketing the palate and lingering long after the final sip.  It is a smooth stout with a harmony of flavours that demands to be savoured, and it's sure to leave you craving more.

One nocturne worthy of an encore. Very Highly Recommended.

The Rye River brewery also does a Eventide Irish Stout at 4.5% ABV. I haven’t had an opportunity to try this one so far.

Much of the flavour comes from the speciality malts used: Carafa Special 2, Chocolate Malt, Munich 2 Malt, Pale Malt, Special W, and, yes, Smoke Malt.

Rye River uses just one hop, the American Columbus. This is not at all unusual. Quite a few breweries use it solo for a range of beers from IPA to Barley Wine. 

See Beer of the Week Weekly Index here.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Our latest Beer of the Week, the impressive lil’ sibling of the Big Bangin’

Beer of the Week w/e 20.01.24

Rye River Lil’ Banging Session IPA, 3.8% ABV, 500 ml bottle

Introducing the impressive lil’ sibling of the Big Bangin’

This is the little sibling of Rye River’s Big Bangin’, coming to you, unpasteurised and centrifuged, at a smooth and sessionable 3.8% ABV (compared to 7.1%).

Aromas are ripe fruits, with a touch of sweet sherbet. There’s a posse of hops in there, all from the USA, so no surprise to find the more exotic fruits (tangerine included) on the palate. But don’t worry - it is not over the top, nowhere near it.

The colour is a golden straw, with a hazy background. This little IPA is well-balanced. And Very Highly Recommended. Be sure to serve it chilled.

Geek Bits:

Malt: Caramalt, Malted oats, Maris Otter, Wheat.

Hops: Amarillo, Cascade, Columbus, El Dorado, Mosaic, Simcoe.

See 2024 Beer of the Week Index here

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

CorkBillyBeers #53. Craft with Rye River, Rascals, Whitefield and Camba

CorkBillyBeers #53

Craft with Rye River, Rascals, Whitefield and Camba.


Rye River Upstream Pale Ale, 4.5% ABV, 500 ml bottle Dunnes Stores

Rye River sums this up neatly: ..Dry hopped classic pale ale…..bitter, citrus and malty.

Amber gold is the colour with a white head that doesn’t hang about, at least when poured from the bottle straight from the fridge. As the label indicates, it is really well balanced, the citrus aromas being matched by the hop bitterness with the malt keeping any potential hop extremes in check.

It is light and very drinkable, yet there is a good bite to it and it is also refreshing. You may well have had this previously under its original name of "Rosie's Pale Ale”. This is my first tasting of it and it is Very Highly Recommended.

Geek Bits

Best Before 07.24 (bought 05.10.23)

Pairs with: Grilled meat, spicy sausages, dishes with garlic,

Hops: Chinook, Columbus, El Dorado, Mosaic, Vic Secret

Malts: Carapils, Honey Malt, Pale Malt, Vienna Malt

IBU: 37

Format: Draught, bottle, can

2022 World Beer Awards:  Bronze Medal


Rascals The Phoenix Dark Autumnal Ale 5.3% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

“Savour the taste of Autumn with our subtly smoked dark ale. Warm your bones with this medium-bodied cold-fermented smoke brown ale.”

That’s the invite from Dublin brewery Rascals. The colour is indeed a dark brown/black with a slight fleeting head. Aromas are smoky, not overly forceful, with a hint of bacon frying in the next room.  And yes, it is nuts and chocolate combined on the palate to give a dark sweetness. The balance is pretty good all through to the smooth finish.

Highly Recommended.

Rascals say: The Phoenix Dark has been cold fermented for a nobler taste and fuller body. It’s a real fireside beer for the evenings drawing in and kicking up leaves on autumnal walks in the park….. Dark autumnal ale with a delightful palette of flavours, nice body, and smooth finish.

Geek Bits

Malt: Beech Smoked Malt, Melanoidin, Cara Blond, Dark Crystal Malt, Chocolate Wheat, Oak Smoked Malt, Lager Malt.

Hops: Hops: Hallertau Mittelfrüh, 

Yeast: LAX

ABV: 5.3%


Whitefield Brewery Morning Dew Saison style, 6.0% ABV, 500 ml bottle Bradleys

Realised I was a good bit late coming to this one as I read the label from the Templemore brewery: “Ah Spring! Finally, the spirits start to lift, the birds begin to sing and the hope of a long good summer is just around the next bend. To celebrate we’ve brewed a beer with a variety of traditional grains in the French Saison style.”

The summer was long. But not so good. Having waited all summer, I just had to wait a bit longer as that head took its time to settle down. Malt makes a smokey impact on the aromas. And there’s no shortage of malt in the flavours either. The taste though is light and refreshing, and a hint of clove adds interest. Just the job for refreshment after work on a summer's day and not too bad either on a wet October night with Storm Babet for company!

Very Highly Recommended. The beer that is, not the storm. I’m thinking this Saison from Tipp is up there with the best of them, including the Dupont. Whitefield says: “it is a seasonal beer brewed with traditional grains in a French saison style”.

Geek Bits

Brewed with water from own well. 

Ingredients: Malted barley, spelt and rye, hops and yeast.


Camba Märzen 5.8% ABV, 500 ml bottle Bradleys

“It is the love for the craft of brewing, the desire to discover and a unique landscape shaped by nature and culture in a variety of ways that make every Camba a special taste experience: a beer with character.”

Most of the German beers we come across in Ireland are from breweries whose history reaches back over multiple centuries. Not Camba! "Camba Bavaria" was originally founded in 2008 as a showroom for the brewing equipment manufacturer BrauKon in Truchtlaching. 

Founder Markus Lohner wanted to show customers from all over the world how his brewing systems work and the variety of beers that could be brewed with them. His sample beers tasted so well that in a short few years, Camba has carved out a place for itself in the beer industry with a range of traditional and international beers.

This Marzen has a darkish colour, red in the gold, and a soft white head. There are sweet malty notes in the aromas. There is an immediately noticeable if slight, bitterness on the palate along with the nutty tones from the malt. Somewhat fuller than regular lagers, this is a smooth and well-balanced beer, refreshing too.

They may well be a “young” Bavarian brewery but, like their older siblings, they have food recommendations for this bottom-fermented beer and they are roasts, home cooking or roasted chicken.

Geeks Bits

Type of beer: Marzen

Alcohol Vol: 5.8%

Bitter units/ IBU: 16

Malt: Pilsner, Munich, caramel malts

Yeast: Bavarian lager yeast

Hops: tradition

Ingredients: water, barley malt, hops, yeast

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #45. Craft with ales, pils & stout from Rye River, Ballykilcavan, Yellowbelly and Bavik

CorkBillyBeers #45

Craft with ales, pils & stout from Rye River, Ballykilcavan, Yellowbelly and Bavik.


Rye River Nocturne Export Stout, 6.0% ABV, 500 ml bottle Pettitt’s SV Athy

In the dark of the night.. a nocturne worthy of an encore.

Rye River's Nocturne Export Stout is a midnight-hued duet of espresso and dark chocolate, with a hint of smoke that lingers like a tremble on the nose. The flavours are equally intense, with rich intense roast caramel gently blanketing the palate and extending into a lengthy finish. This is a stout that demands to be savoured, and it's sure to leave you wanting more.

This is one nocturne worthy of an encore. Highly Recommended.

Geek Bits

Malts - Carafa Special 2, Chocolate Malt, Munich 2 Malt, Pale Malt, Special W, Smoke Malt. 

Hops - Columbus

They say:  We love beer, so when we started out it was our plan to make great tasting beer that people loved. We've grown a lot since then, taking on more brewers and beer lovers, experimenting, tasting, talking, trying, failing, trying again, and succeeding.


Ballykilcavan Millhouse Session IPA, 3.5% ABV, 440 ml can Pettitt’s SV Athy

Ballykilcavan promotes this as a light, refreshing session ale - “our favourite barbeque beer! Low in alcohol, but double dry hopped for maximum flavour.”

Colour is a light orange, very hazy indeed with a small-bubbled white head. Aroma is a forward citrus. It is double hopped so the hoppy influence has the edge on the palate, light and crisp with refreshing citrus and a piney backbone.

Ingredients are Water, Malted Barley, Wheat, Oats, Hops, and Yeast. The Barley and Water are sourced from their own farm where the family has been since 1639. The hops used, all from the USA, are Citra, Amarillo and Mosaic. The brewery says that the organic oats from the neighbouring farm, The Merry Mill, contribute to the “lovely balance”.

It is available in cans and kegs with an IBU of 48. Highly Recommended.


Yellowbelly Citra Pale Ale (APA), 4.8% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

I hadn’t come across a Yellowbelly beer in a long while until I recently picked this up in Bradley’s of Cork. They had a few cans of this popular pale ale in stock but that was it as regards Yellowbelly and it is also the only beer on the brewer’s website shop.

It has been “dry hopped to the gills with Citra” and it shows immediately both in the aromas and on the palate. The other hop used is Huell Melon and the malts are Pilsner, Munich, Wheat.

Brewed with the finest German and Belgian malts, fermented with a super clean American ale yeast, the resulting beer should be enjoyed as fresh as possible to appreciate the grapefruit and pine aroma and clean finish.

Hazy yellow is the colour here, and a white head (size and length depending on how you pour, probably best if on draught). The mix of ingredients here is really well-judged resulting in a really well-balanced beer where the Citra hop takes centre stage.

Not too surprised that this American Pale Ale from the southeast is still around. They regard it as a flagship beer. Citra Pale Ale can be enjoyed year-round on draught or in can from your favourite bars, restaurants and off-licences. It was voted Best Beer in Ireland  in the 2019 Beoir Awards


Bavik Super Pils, 5.2%, 330 ml can Bradleys

Highlighting its World Beer Awards Belgium Gold at the top of the label, Bavik continues in like vein: “..only one Pilsner remains uncompromised, brewed for quality and consistency. No adjustments. Never pasteurized. Slowly Brewed. Cold Maturation. Crystal clear. It’s Bavic Super Pils or nothing!”

Looks good though in the glass, a bright light gold  (it has been filtered until clear) with a soft white head. The aromas are hoppy, modestly so, nothing overpowering. Once it hits the palate, you feel the softness and appreciate the crisp character. Full-bodied for sure and deeply refreshing as the delicate and refreshing taste of hop bitters embellishes the beer at the finalé.


This little red can, a retro style of theirs, certainly delivers. One for your shortlist.

They say: “Bavik Super Pils obtains its unique taste and aroma from its exceptional brewing process. Our pilsner has not been diluted, we only use aroma hops, guarantee a long and cold maturation process, and pasteurization is out of the question. Those four elements result in this unique pilsner. Never compromise on taste! Moreover, we brew Bavik Super Pils in perfectly hygienic conditions, so pasteurisation is not an option. This way Bavik Super Pils keeps its unique light hoppy taste. Win win!”

Unsurprisingly, this pils continues to scoop awards. Brewers De Brabandere have stuck to its traditional recipe for five generations and, as always, time and quality prove the most important factors in producing a good beer.

Monday, May 1, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #21. Craft Wheat beer with Rye River, Tom Crean, Whitefield, Ballykilcavan.

CorkBillyBeers #21

Craft Wheat beer with Rye River, Tom Crean, Whitefield, Ballykilcavan


Rye River Backwaters American Wheat, 6.2% ABV, 500 ml bottle Supervalu

Beers brewed in this American Wheat style do not exhibit the clove or high levels of banana-like esters that are hallmarks of the Bavarian wheat beer styles. And this is the case here. Regular European wheat beers use special strains of yeast that produce notes of banana and clove as by-products of fermentation.

Backwaters has the clear golden colour you’d expect from a wheat beer. Dank aromas rise from the glass in a diplomatic kind of way, nothing extreme, plus mild aromas of passion fruit and citrus. The hops, Cascade and Strata, bring bright fresh fruit. 

With the darker colour and malt prominent, you are inclined to think lager rather than wheat beer. But everything’s fine in this beer garden from start to a very satisfactory clean and crisp finish, hops and malts combining more or less perfectly.

And that dankness? Well it comes from the Strata which has been described as “Passion fruit meets pot.” Along with the exotic fruit comes this herbal note of drifting cannabis (the dankness)


Cascade is one of the best known hops and has been described as the hop  “that made hops famous”. Bursting with zesty grapefruit flavour and aroma, Cascade, with its bright citrus and some soft floral and spice, is a real treat and is credited with the making of American Pale. In this wheat beer, it also plays a crucial role. In fairness, Rye River have used their ingredients well and we have a good one in our hands.

Very Highly Recommended.

Geeks Bits




Tom Crean Druid’s Wheat Beer, 4.2% ABV, 440ml can, Carry Out Killarney

Druid’s, the wheat beer, “celebrates the landscape”,  according to the brewery. “… a beer that gives acknowledgement to our rich local ancient history, we used delicately smoked oak malted barley, the reduced hop bill allows the full wheat and yeast flavours to dominate.” 

Colour is a hazy pale lemon/yellow with a soft white head that soon loses height. The delicately smoked barley and the yeast has its say as seems to have been the intention here. Finishes with a refreshing tartness.

Not your classic wheat beer, but not a million miles away either. Brewer Bill Shepherd has his way of doing things.  He has his fans. In Christmas 2021 the Independent’s Aoife Carrigy recommended this as one of her 10 great Irish beers to pair with festive food.


Bill was born in Chester in the northwest of England. He worked as a firefighter in the London Fire Brigade and later graduated from Chester University with a degree in Archaeology.  He has retrained as a brewer and is turning out quite a range of Tom Crean beers, everything from the 1% Last man Standing to the Six Magpies Stout with lots of ales (pale and red and IPA) in between.

With a wide range of beers and ales brewed on the premises, including prize winners, their brewery bar is the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing pint and soak in the atmosphere. Head over to the brewery page here  for more info…

For a recent post on the brewery go here.  



Whitefield The Banker Weissbier, 5.2% ABV, 500 ml bottle No. 21

Whitefield’s Cuilan tells us about this beer: A slight twist on the German classic wheat beer the addition of rye malt gives a drier, lighter flavour profile and is very refreshing on warm summer days. Yes! I know we live in Ireland.”

The brewery kit in Templemore was made to make wheat beer. Really. “Our brewhouse was originally commissioned by Pauliner, so it is designed as a wheat beer brewery. The fermentation tanks are low, wide and flat bottomed to help maintain consistent flavour profile while using a volatile yeast. So it comes as no surprise that our best sellers in both draught and bottle are Weiss beers. This makes it tricky to brew drier hoppy beers, so we focus on the malty styles of beer with plenty of sweetness.”

Colour here is a mid-amber, no haze and you can see fountains of little bubbles rising. The head doesn’t hang about. Aromas are on the modest side, hints of spice perhaps, rye perhaps. On the palate, there is no shortage of flavour, banana and clove included. An excellent supple drink with flavours continuing to a refreshing finish.

Highly Recommended.

Recent detailed post on Whitefield here.


Ballykilcavan Robinson's Revenge Raspberry Wheat Beer 5.00% ABV, 440ml can CraftCentral

In the winter of 1861, after a bitter quarrel, the famous gardener William Robinson stormed out of Ballykilcavan opening all the greenhouses to kill the plants in them. This American Raspberry Wheat Beer gets his name from that vengeful act. That’s the story, at least one side of it, behind the beer’s name.

Colour is a darkish amber/orange, murky (enough to enable dastardly acts). Aromas are modest with hops taking a firm grip early on. And never really letting go though the raspberry (listed in the ingredients) gets a turn in the mouth before the US hops closes its grip again.

Ingredients: Water, wheat, Barley, Oats, Raspberries, Hops, Yeast.

The producers: “Ballykilcavan Farm has been the home of our family for 13 generations. We have lived and worked here since 1639, and diversification has always been important to keep our farm viable for future generations. When I took over Ballykilcavan from my father in 2004, my motivation was to try to sustain it so that someone else would be able to take it over from me.”

Ballykilcavan is an amazing place. We recently published a post on the brewery there and you may read it here