Showing posts with label Stone Barrel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stone Barrel. Show all posts

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Beer of the Year 2022. The September Long List

My Favourite Beers of the Year 2022

Best of September Long List


Hope Limited Edition No. 27 Munich Helles;  Third Barrel Counter Culture Modern Style Pils; Wicklow Wolf Toto Sorachi Italian Pils.



Hope Limited Edition No. 28 Double Rye; Rye River Miami J;  Rascals X Yeastie Boys Krush Groove; Bradleys with Dot Nice One; Blacks Mango & Mosaic.


Third Barrel Day Drinking Part Deux Citra Strata; Larkin’s Tiny Sesh IPA 4.0%,  Stone Barrel Boom Session IPA 4.5% ABV; Post Card Ha’penny Bridge Pale Ale, 4.2 ABV.

Belgian Style Pale Ale: 

Wide Street Sound by Design 

Pale Ale:

Lough Gill Sligo Bay American; Hope American.


Contenders to end of August


August:12 Acres Pale Ale

July: Wicklow Wolf Locavore Summer 2022 Foraged Elderflower Saison

June: Wicklow Wolf Mescan Wit or Without You Belgian Wit

May: Wicklow Wolf Locavore Spring 2022 Barrel Aged Farmhouse Ale

April: Whiplash True Love Waits Dry Hopped Pils

March: Lineman Schadenfreude Schwarzbier

February: Wicklow Wolf  “Apex Cherry” Black Cherry Oatmeal Stout.

January: Whiplash Dry the Rain Double Decoction Dunkel

December: Lough Gill Mac Nutty Macadamia Nut

Monday, September 26, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #125. On the craft journey with Dot Brew, Bradleys, Lough Gill, Blacks, Stone Barrel, Yards & Crafts

A Quart of Ale± #125

On the craft journey with Dot Brew, Bradleys, Lough Gill, Blacks, Stone Barrel, Yards & Crafts


Bradleys with Dot Nice One IPA, 6.00% ABV, 440ml Can 

Colour is a nice light gold, topped by a white bubbly top, one with a bit of stamina. Aromas of grapefruit and granadilla sweetness plus a hint of pine resin. Much the same on the palate, the fruit and pine still there plus a touch of peach and apricot right the way to the satisfying finish. 

Quite a combination, nothing out of synch here, good mouthfeel too. Excellent on all counts. Just might restore my faith in collaborations!

Geek Bits: Barley, Oats (flaked and malted), and Wheat are all included in the ingredients. And you have a healthy helping of US hops Simcoe and Amarillo.

Michael at Bradleys tells me they are now working with a new Irish delivery courier who use zero emission vehicles: “So whether it's the latest craft beer, fine wine or luxury whiskey, you can shop our online store and have it delivered anywhere in Ireland for just €5.” 

Lough Gill Sligo Bay American Pale Ale, 4.6%, 440ml can Bradleys

Colour is a light gold, hazy, with a soft white head. Aromas are moderate, led by citrus. Well balanced, as the makers indicate, between hops and malt, refreshing with a dry finish.

Lough Gill are happy with this one: “This American Pale Ale has a stunning bright golden colour. We've brewed it with a mix of cereals & American hops for a hop-forward yet malt-supported flavour. A bit special!”

The independent family run brewery is nestled close to the shores of Lough Gill, Co. Sligo and was established in 2016 by James Ward. Since opening their doors, the team have continued to produce high quality, exciting beers, ranging from bold stouts to brave sours.

The water, along with the name, come from nearby Lough Gill and that was also the name of the old brewery. It is not the first brewery for James and wife Valerie. Their initial venture, the White Hag, was the first brewery in Sligo for the best part of a century. After a couple of years, he sold it to its investor group and launched Lough Gill, with Anderson’s Ale, in November 2016.

Stone Barrel Boom Session IPA 4.5%, 440ml can Yards & Crafts

Colour is a mid-gold with a big soft white head.  Aromas are citrusy, with more exotic notes as well, such as Mango. The exotic flavours from the American hops are immediately apparent in the mouth all the way to a satisfactory smooth dry finish. Haven’t seen the hops detailed anywhere though they do mention on the web shop that they’ve used a “blend of American hops balanced by the delicate yet complex malt bill”. 

Stone Barrel beers are brewed by Third Barrel in Dublin. So, who are Stone Barrel?

“Well, what can we say, we’re two home-brewers who brew bigger.

Niall Fitzgerald and Kevin McKinney are the founders, brewers and driving force behind Stone Barrel Brewing. We both have a huge passion and appetite for all things in craft beer, from making to drinking and everything in between.

We launched Stone Barrel in November 2013 with one simple aim, to brew the kind of craft beers we love drinking. The good thing is that we love them all!

Like most home-brewers, we dreamed of one day opening a brewery. So, after a lot of planning, stress, blood, sweat, tears and hugs, we’re here. We’re living the dream and dreaming of beer!

It’s all good!”

Blacks Mango & Mosaic IPA, 5.0% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys

Summer drink with a summer colour, shiny gold, and a white crown. Fruit aromas, with mango (which is included as an ingredient) heading the exotic posse. And so it goes onto the palate, those mango flavours surfing across with the Mosaic catching up towards the finish to give you something of a refreshing crisp and bitter finalĂ©. Not a bad outcome at all! If you like Mango a lot. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #29 Moving on over to craft. Lager Variations

A Quart of Ale± #29

Moving on over to craft.

Lager Variations

Kinnegar's Rachel knows her Rye! - Brewery pic.

Cotton Ball “Mayfield 5” Pilsner Lager 5.0%, 500ml bottle via Cotton Ball off licence

Mid amber colours, fountains of little bubbles, white head hangs around for a good spell. A modest touch of hops in the aromas. The refreshment factor immediately appears on the smooth palate, spot on balance between hops and malts. A thirst cutting clean bitterness rounds off an excellent lager experience.

They say: This beer sure does have character! The classic brew to compliment party food.This inviting pilsner goes down smoothly with gourmet burgers, pizzas or wings. A perfect hit at BBQs and a great choice for alfresco dining. Now available in cans.

My local brewery

In their Brewery Room, the family pay tribute to the bar founder, one Humphrey Lynch, who left Ballyvourney at 15 years of age and settled in an American town known as Byefield which he later used in naming his Cork estate house. 

After working for two years with Joseph Longfellow, cousin to the famous poet, he worked for a year in the shipyard at Newburyport until the American civil war broke out. 

He was one of the first to enlist in the 4th U.S regiment light artillery battery and served through 27 general engagements principally in the army of the southwest and along the Mississippi valley. Then he worked for 14 years as a foreman of the picker room in Newburyport cotton mill. 

This would later give him the name for the public house (where you’ll now find the small brewery) he purchased in now Mayfield after returning to Ireland in the 1870’s. Nowadays, each bottle bears an image of American Civil War veteran Humphrey paying tribute to the man who showed the way. 

12 Acres Pallet Jack India Pale Lager 5.0%, 440 can via Ardkeen QFS

While the hops shine in the aromatics, it looks very much like a lager, golden, bright and bubbles galore.  Soft head has a fair bit of staying power. Hard to beat their own summation on the label: a hoppy Pilsner style lager, light, crisp and fruity, with an excellent mouthfeel. It is indeed and quite refreshing too.

They say, on the website: “Pallet Jack” is a 5% India Pale Lager. A clean crisp fruity Pilsner style Lager beer with the hoppy bitterness and flavour of an IPA. Not too sure I’d agree with that bit: flavour of an IPA. Strong hints of it for sure but this is still more lager than IPA and a pretty decent lager, a very decent drink, at that. 

They say: 12 Acres Brewing company is the first craft brewery in Ireland that can provide traceability for its malting barley. This is possible due to our long-standing relationship with their local malting company. We are also brewing with our own spring water, which originates from a source deep beneath the same land.

Stone Barrel “Get Some” India Pale Lager 4.6%, 440 can via Bradley’s

Another hybrid with elements of ale and lager in your mid amber coloured glass. It is an American hopped lager, double dry hopped with Loral, which has been noted as good for sessional and lager-type beers.

The base is lager, clean and crisp. Aromas and flavours have a punch of pepper, citrus notes too along with some floral wafts as well, all followed by a dry finish. Quite a decent beer, approachable and balanced, though I think my local brewery’s Indian Summer is perhaps the best of this hybrid type. You could say I’m biased!

Niall Fitzgerald and Kevin McKinney are the founders, brewers and driving force behind Stone Barrel Brewing. “We both have a huge passion and appetite for all things in craft beer, from making to drinking and everything in between.We launched Stone Barrel in November 2013 with one simple aim, to brew the kind of craft beers we love drinking. The good thing is that we love them all! Like most homebrewers, we dreamed of one day opening a brewery. So, after a lot of planning, stress, blood, sweat, tears and hugs, we’re here. We’re living the dream and dreaming of beer!”

Kinnegar “Brewers at Play “10” Rye Lager 4.4%, 440 can via Bradley’s

Rye. Brewery pic.

Colour of this excellent lager from Letterkenny is a light gold and if you look closely you’ll see lots of little bubbles (not bunnies) rising through the cloudiness. In the mouth, it is immediately refreshing, crisp and clean as most classic lagers with a little spicy zest coming through from the rye along with a distinctive flavour. Good sharp-edged finish on this well-balanced one. It is a once-off by the way!

They say: The Brewers at Play series presents new beers designed to keep our brewers on their toes and our customers on tenterhooks. Kinnegar’s love affair with rye began with our iconic Rustbucket. With No.10 in the Brewers at Play series we find out what happens when we continue the adventure with a rye lager.

I often mention the head when talking about beers here. It is not of course a really crucial part but it does make the beer look better especially if it stays for a while. Sticking your finger into the head and sucking can sometimes give you a clue as to what you can expect when you start drinking (it may also get you some curious stares), as I was once shown by the Belgian beer sommelier Marc Stroobant.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Elbow Lane Brewers Have the Wisdom

Elbow Lane Brewers Have the Wisdom

Didn’t quite expect it when I started this Irish session, didn’t expect that I’d end up proclaiming the Cork City ale as my favourite of the bunch.

I’ve been drinking it from time to time in the Market Lane restaurants, most recently in Goldie, their fish and ale spot across from the mothership and indeed just across from the micro brewery as well. And it always goes well with food. Enjoyed it without the food this time just as much and probably took a bit more notice of its quality without the grub.

All the beers here, with the exception of the Elbow Lane, came from Bradley’s. I bought the Wisdom via Neighbourfood but Bradley’s have the Elbow beers available as well. As you may know, they are all named after lanes in Cork City.

By the way the White Hag Lager is excellent as is the Black’s Mosaic. The other two, if you’re open to experiment, as I was, are worth a try. You just might just find a favourite there!

The White Hag Helles Style Lager, 4.5%, 440ml can

Light gold is the colour, a host of bubbles rising. Very pleasant in the mouth, easy drinking and well balanced to the finish. Light and refreshing they say. Light and refreshing it is.

The Helles style originated in Bavaria (Germany) apparently and this is one of the best Irish efforts that I’ve tasted.

Sligo based White Hag are a modern independent craft brewery from Sligo, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. “We brew innovative and ground breaking beers, inspired by ancient and classic styles.” They produce quite a range of beers, most of them in can.

Blacks Brewery Mosaic IPA, 6.5%, 330ml bottle

This little bottle from Blacks showcases the Mosaic hops, giving the beer an American style (I suppose any beer with blueberry muffin aromas has to have US influences!). The hops, with its tropical aromas and juicy palate, is the main man here. This, in its small bottle, is well balanced though and another excellent and loveable brew from Kinsale.

They say: A West Coast Style IPA, packed full of tropical aromas, juicy big flavours and absolutely no nonsense. The malt character also shines through with freshly baked pastry and a whiff of blueberry muffin lingering in the background. On the palate, medium in body with a soft texture, mouthwatering acidity and a balance of bitter and sweet flavours.

Stone Barrel (brewed by their Third Barrel Brewing) Cabin Fever Enigma IPA, 7%, 44cl on can (but it’s a 33!).

Long time friends and brewers, Stone Barrel Brewing and Third Circle Brewing, decided to combine their experience, resources, love for brewing and absolute passion for beer and create one of Ireland's most cutting edge breweries.” 

Tropical fruits and white grapes (they say) in the aromas; I’m thinking there’s something  "ferment-y" in the background too, like a sourdough starter. Maybe there is too much Enigma hops here as the brewers say. Not bad at all on the palate and a good hoppy finish as well. It is well balanced and the higher alcohol is hardly noticeable.

They say: Brewed with a lovely blend of Irish base malt, oats and wheat with a strong focus on the dry-hop hops. Big tropical and white grape aromas balanced with a slightly sweet finish.

Larkin’s Quadditch 10.5%, 440ml can

Quadditch is the Larkins’ take on a classic Belgian quad. “With whole plums added to the mix, a deep, rich beer, with complex dark fruit notes, awaits you. A warming beer”. Hop varieties used are Hersbrucker and EKG.

A cloudy muddy brown. Aromas more or less anonymous. This hulk of a beer comes into its own on the palate, deep and rich with fruit flavours, pretty complex for sure. A touch of sweetness is present and the high alcohol is just about noticeable. Probably best with food and recommendations for the Belgian equivalent are Roasted Duck, Aged Gouda and Bread Pudding. Tried it with creamy Gubbeen cheese - needs must. The pairing's not too bad but not a must-do either (though I never refuse a chance to eat the iconic Gubbeen). Serve in a Tulip glass at about 12 degrees.

Elbow Lane Wisdom Ale 5.2%, 500ml bottle (and draught in their restaurants).

Dark, between amber and brown, nice frothy head. Caramel is perhaps the most prominent of the aromas. Good balance of hops and toasty malt on the smooth palate. The Elbow Lane team produce beers to match the food in the various Market Lane restaurants and they certainly succeed.

Goldie, the latest of five restaurants in the group, shows the words Fish and Ale under the main title. And the beers come from the Elbow Lane Micro Brewery, also across the street. Brewers Russell and Davide have specially formulated the ales to suit food and, as customers of the restaurants will tell you, they have been very successful in that regard. And excellent without the food too!

They say: This medium bodied amber ale is brewed with a selection of specialty malts that impact rich, toasty and caramel malt character, balanced by a firm yet pleasant hop flavor and aroma. This ale is excellent with many foods and uniquely satisfying as a stand alone pint.