Showing posts with label The White Hag. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The White Hag. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Beer of the Week: The White Hag Silver Branch Apple Sour 2023

Beer of the Week

The White Hag Silver Branch Apple Sour 2023

5.0% ABV, 375 ml bottle Bradleys

The Silver Branch Apple Sour, a complex sour beer, has a mid-amber colour and a thin white head. You certainly get the orchard aromas from the wild fermentation Irish Cider. And it is tart on the palate where the apple juice and the Golden Ale base combine to good effect. If you really pay attention,  you'll find slight notes of malt. Brewers White Hag have once again done a great job here and this complex sour beer, with a refreshing finish, is well worth your attention!

The brewery says that Silver Branch “is perfect served with some Tart & Fruity Desserts”. Didn’t have anything handy, other than a regular supermarket apple tart, a pretty decent one as it turned out, but I do think these two were not made for each other.

The White Hag, as most of you know, are well into their myths and legends. It is no different here: “In Irish mythology, the Silver Branch of the apple tree represented a passport to the Otherworld of Tir na nÓg. The effect of the apple in this beer can also be considered a gateway to magic and rebirth.”

Here’s how the magic came about. “For this one, we reached out to our friends at MacIvors and put our heads together. We made a Golden blond and blended it with wild fermentation Irish Cider from MacIvors. We started with our very own locally harvested wild yeast; brewing a beautiful golden sour ale, then blended to create an ancient Celtic ale made with spontaneously fermented Bramley apple juice from MacIvor’s cidery, aged in French Chardonnay Barrels.”

(Check our updated Beer of the Week Index here)

Silver Branch is now available from the brewery webstore and these stellar beer outlets around Ireland 







Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Cool Cube for the Craft Curious. The White Hag Mixed 4-Pack.

 The White Hag Mixed 4-Pack. 

Cool Cube for the Craft Curious.

A cool cube that is easy to solve. Just open and enjoy!

Craft curious? Then this White Hag Mixed 4-Pack may be just the job. “These beers best represent our style of brewing, and are almost always available in most great beer outlets.” The neat and very portable ( as well as being very potable) pack contains their wildly popular Little Fawn IPA. All four beers are in 330ml cans.

White Hag Little Fawn Session IPA, 4.2% ABV

White Hag Magic Mist Juicy Pale Ale, 5.0% ABV 

White Hag Ninth Wave New World Pale Ale, 5.4% 

White Hag Atlantean New England IPA, 5.4% ABV

The Little Fawn, known to wander well outside its native Sligo area, may be found on draught home and away. Its ABV is a sessionable 4.2% and it features grapefruit aromas balanced with 100% Irish malt. Clean and fruity (from the Mosaic hops); not too hoppy though as you see from the mild lingering finish. As they say themselves, “an easy-to-drink American-style session IPA” and a good one to start with anytime.

Next up is the Magic Mist Juicy Pale Ale and it comes with lots of juicy tropical fruits and a hazy body. No doubt about it being fruity and juicy, more so than the Little Fawn,  but the White Hag brewers have this burst of fruit pretty well balanced and there’s enough bitterness there and so any tendency towards sweetness is kept in check. Another very made beer indeed that may be included in your session.

Where do they get those names? You may well be asking. The Magic Mist goes back to the Tuath de Dannan who had the knack of enshrouding themselves in a mystical fog that rendered them invisible to the enemy. You can get more on the names of the beers on the website here or on the cans.  

On now to the New England IPA called Atlantean. New England IPAs are beers that are purposely made hazy or cloudy, which can give these brews a smooth, creamy mouthfeel with little to no hop bitterness at the end utilizing hops that impart a tropical, juicy sweetness rather than the classic bitter. 

It is indeed creamy and cloudy. White Hag has used “copious amounts of American hops to add a big, juicy, fruity punch. Oats and lactose ( a sugar present in milk) add a rich creaminess that subdues the bitterness, making this beer similar to a hop shake”. 

White Hag advise drinking this beer as fresh as possible when all the Alpha and Beta oils from the hops are the most powerful.” With a best-before date towards the end of the year, this was probably as fresh as it gets in can and very enjoyable for sure. Yet, if you are starting in craft beers, I would recommend the first two. But don't worry - you can graduate quite quickly!

Finally, we have the Ninth Wave, a New World Pale Ale. It boasts a beautiful tropical character with a light toast finish. It is darker, close to amber, but clearer than the Atlantean (which is the fruitier of the pair). It is “stuffed with American hops, added in different stages of the fermentation” and you can smell that in the aromas and taste it on the palate. It is not devoid of fruit flavour (citrus mostly) and is refreshing and quite a thirst-quencher.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #47. Craft with White Hag, Wicklow Wolf, Lacada (with Brehon) and Hofbräuhaus Traunstein.

CorkBillyBeers #47

Craft with White Hag, Wicklow Wolf, Lacada (with Brehon) and Hofbräuhaus Traunstein.


All Good Here!

The White Hag Ninth Wave New World Pale Ale, 5.4% ABV, 330 ml can Bradleys

Hard to believe that the IBU number here is 15 IBU, a lager like reading while, by the way, that of the well-known and loved Sierra Nevada Pale Ale equivalent is 38.

Colour is a mid-amber, cloudy, and topped with a short-lived white head. Aromatics are mild also, apricot, mango and citrus, all from the hops, in there. No sparing the hops that are added at various stages in the production of the brew creating some really bright tropical fruit flavours but always with a strong undercurrent of hops. 

Quite a greeting on the palate, creamy feel and insistently fruity (citrus to the fore) from the American hops, but all is kept in check as this balanced effort makes its way towards a very satisfactory finalé indeed.  Lively, flavourful and very drinkable. Another for that second glass, or should that be second can, designation!

Easy drinking, refreshing and thirst-quenching. And Very Highly Recommended.

They say: “We are a modern independent craft brewery from Sligo, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. We brew innovative and groundbreaking beers, inspired by ancient and classic styles.” 

They brew a lot of them! The able and masterly brewers here ensure they are good.

The White Hag are deep into their myths and this New World Pale Ale is named after the “Ninth Wave” that formed a formidable barrier for anyone wishing to cross over to New York and Boston. 


Wicklow Wolf Raindrop Mixed Berry Sour, 4.2% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

This summer’s “extension” provided some extra time for sours and our Raindrop from Wicklow Wolf was one. “A lip-smacking sour” according to the message from the Den. “A refreshing sour ale that will leave you wanting more.”

You can't miss it, this melange of raspberry, blackberry and blueberry, in its vibrant red colour and ripe fruit aromas. And those fruits also appear on the palate, as part of a crisp and refreshing tartness. A sour yes, but not one of the extreme ones.

I picked this up in error as I meant to try their Raindrop 0.5%, the non-alcoholic version. But no big deal, this is very drinkable, lip-smacking as they say, and Highly Recommended. Will just have to call again to Bradleys and pick the correct one!

Geek Bits

IBU: 10

Hops: Bravo

Malts: Pilsner, Chateau, Flaked Oats, Carapils


Lacada (with Brehon) Dunseverick West Coast IPA, 5.5% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

Lacada is a community-owned Co-Operative brewery based on the world-famous North Coast of Ireland. That’s also where you’ll find Dunseverick Castle, after which this West Coast IPA is named.

Dunseverick, the beer that is, has a gold/amber colour and a soft white head that has a fair bit of longevity to it. Gave it the old finger-dip test and got a bit of resin back. The aromas also have hints of pine. There’s an impressive trio of hops lurking here and you get the robust results on the palate, deep and bitter, but there is also a good balance present.

That is key and I give it a big thumbs up. Very Highly Recommended.

Lacada Brewery has its origins in a love of beer and brewing, a love of place, and a love of people. It began with a father and son brewing together and grew to become a group of co-operative minded, good beer-loving aficionados.

Both Lacada and their collaborators on Dunseverick, the Brehon Brewhouse from County Monaghan, are happy with the results. As it is a limited edition, you may find it difficult to get your hands on a can or a keg.

The castle by the way is just east of The Giant's Causeway which dates back to the 5th Century. One of the five great royal ancient highways of Ireland, Slige Midluachra, had its Northern terminal point at Dunseverick Castle.


HB Bayerisches Pils, 5.1% ABV, 500 ml bottle Bradleys

Looks so inviting in the tall glass. A light golden colour with battalions of bubbles streaming upwards into a soft foamy white head of medium longevity. You can smell the hops, Even get an early fresh and bitter taste by dipping your finger in the foam and taking a little suck. Or just dive straight in, and enjoy the dry and refreshing palate, the light sparkling body and that hoppy finish.

Many German brewers followed the example of Pilsner pioneer master brewer Josef Groll who, in 1842, developed the beer in Pilsen, Czech Republic, a beer that would gain popularity across the world. But, the brewers say, this Bavarian Pilsner by Hofbräuhaus Traunstein is milder, more balanced and easier to drink.

They say: “We have set up our own storage cellar for our Pils, tailored precisely to its needs, where it can ferment in peace until it is perfect - elegant and bright, with a subtle malt body….. a taste experience for connoisseurs who love a balanced hop note.” 

This bottom-fermented beer from Traunstein (Bavaria) comes in a brown bottle with an IBU number of 28. Carbonation has been analysed as high and it is regarded as mild, balanced, tasty, balanced hoppy, elegant, subtly malty, fresh, sparkling, .… Pretty much your go-to everyday beer.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #42. Craft with four of the best: White Hag, Heaney, Wicklow Wolf and Dupont

CorkBillyBeers #42

Craft with four of the best: White Hag, Heaney, Wicklow Wolf and Dupont.

Session. Saison. Pale Ale. Stout.


White Hag Little Fawn Session IPA 4.2% ABV, 330 ml can Bradleys

I’ve come across Little Fawn quite a bit over the last few years on draught across the country and I’m always glad to see it, always glad to see any White Hag beer in a pub or restaurant. Its wide availability confirms its status as a classic Indian pale ale and, also because of its lower-than-usual ABV, as a go-to session beer.

The White Hag are rightly proud of its modern independent craft brewery from Sligo, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. “We brew innovative and groundbreaking beers, inspired by ancient and classic styles.”

They certainly hit, and continue to hit, the bull’s eye with this one, an easy-to-drink American-style session IPA. Brewed with 100% Irish malt for a pale, very clean base.

An easy-to-drink American-style session IPA. Brewed with 100% Irish malt for a pale and layered with Mosaic hops, famous for their ever-changing fruity aroma. The colour is a light gold with a slight haze. No shortage of bubbles rising to a soft white head. Citrus-y in the aromas with a hint of something softer as well. The flavour is fruity hops with aromas of blueberry, passionfruit, grapefruit and more. Well balanced, with a mild lingering bitter finish. Lip-smacking stuff!

Very Highly Recommended.

They use ancient tales in selling their many and varied beers including this Little Fawn yarn. He was discovered “as a child on the slopes of Ben Bulben by Bran & Sceolan, this young and sprightly warrior spent his summers foraging and hunting the mountains and woodlands. These local flavours are reflected in the taste experience.”


Heaney Notifications Off DDH Nelson Sauvin Pale Ale 4.7%, 440 ml can Carry Out Killarney

“Switch off and enjoy this double dry-hopped pale ale, bursting with grapefruit, gooseberry and tropical fruit, brewed and canned by Heaney Farmhouse Brewery at The Wood, Bellaghy. Co. Derry.”, exhort the Heaneys.

They are talking about their relatively new Pale Ale, crammed with Nelson Sauvin Hops from New Zealand, “Tradition refreshed.”

The colour is a weak orange, quite murky, almost opaque, with a fluffy white head. Aromas are fruity and their tropical nature bursts out as the liquid roams the palate before a lip-smacking finish. 

The Nelson Sauvin hop has been regularly compared to the superb local wines made from Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand, and there are similarities. That hint of gooseberry is one (grape and passion fruit are other characteristics of the hop) and there’s a bracing acidity as well. The beer is perfectly balanced, quite a thirst quencher on sunny days and also on not-so-sunny ones.

Very Highly Recommended. Another good one from the Heaney brewery.


Wicklow Wolf Apex Oatmeal Stout 6.5% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

“A full-flavoured stout that will leave you wanting more.” That’s the message from Wicklow Wolf.

The stout is black with a coffee-coloured head. Coffee in the aromatics as well. And also on the palate, intense stuff with a slightly sweet creamy smoothness. And yes, more is the request!

Apex champions a heavy malt bill, brewed with only the best flaked Irish Oats, specialty chocolate and coffee malts. No wonder this stout is the base for quite a few Wicklow Wolf variations.

Very Highly Recommended

Geek Bits

Hops: Bravo

Malts: Pale, Chocolate, Roast Crystal, Brown, Carafa, Oat, Cara


Saison Dupont 6.5% ABV, 33 cl bottle Bradleys

A Standard. A Classic. The Best.

I’ve been enjoying it every summer for the past six years. I've enjoyed quite a few others as well but none comes near. If there were a Saison World Cup, then the Dupont team would be favourites and would win. As Michael Creedon of Bradley’s told me a few years back “if you don’t like this, you don’t like saison”.

Beer has been brewed here in Belgium’s Hainaut for centuries, though it is only in the last 20 years or so that the Dupont Brewery has become a global reference for saison. 

Farm beers of this type – light, rather dry but fruity – were traditionally brewed during the winter, ready to quench the thirst of the seasonal field workers (saisoniers) during the summer to follow.

It is a cloudy mid-amber, with fountains of micro-bubbles. Aromas of citrus. Light and fruity, zesty and refreshing, yet no shortage of hearty flavour. Reckon any labourer, even a keyboard one, would be happy with this impeccable beer. Superb finish also with the bitterness now at the forefront. Nothing quirky, nothing extreme other than extremely good.

They say: Saison Dupont was first brewed in 1844. This copper-blond beer yields amazingly delicate aromas paired with pronounced hop bitterness. The house yeast and the local hard water, drawn from a well, play an important role in the creation of this beer. An in-bottle refermentation makes a major contribution to the development of this complex and highly aromatic beer.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

My Favourite Beers of the Year 2022 Announcing the October winner. Wide Street Coolship.

My Favourite Beers of the Year 2022

Announcing the October winner: 

Wide Street Coolship

Contenders to end of October:

October: Wide Street Coolship Spontaneously Fermented Ale

September: Bradleys (with Dot Brew) Nice One IPA

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

October. The Final List

Spon: Wide Street Coolship Spontaneously Fermented Ale

Stout:Brehon Shanco Dubh Porter

Red Ale: Sullivan’s Maltings Irish Ale

Session: Lineman Group Therapy Session IPA, 4.6%

Pils: Farringtons Bohemian

October Short List


White Hag Little Fawn Session IPA 4.2% 

Outer Place Mini Mini Session Disco IPA, 4.4% ABV 

Farringtons Clever Plucker Session NEIPA, 4.5% 

DOT Brew Spin Off Series Session IPA, 3.2% 

Lineman Group Therapy Session IPA, 4.6%


White Hag West Coast to West Coast. 

Blacks Pineapple & El Dorado 


Brehon Shanco Dubh Porter, 7.7%


Farringtons Bohemian Pils 


Wide Street Coolship Spontaneously Fermented Ale  

Red Ale: 

Sullivan’s Maltings Irish Ale, 5%

Craft on Draught:

The Maritime, Bantry: 9 White Deer Kölsch

The Lake, Killarney: Ale and Lager by Killarney Brewing Co.

Merry’s, Dungarvan: Wicklow Wolf Ale and more

The Shelbourne, Cork: Beamish and more

The Cotton Ball, Cork: Lynch’s Stout, Indian Summer and more

Mellet’s Emporium, Swinford: Reel Deel Jack the Lad, Mescan Seven Virtues Lager.

Keenan’s, Tarmonbarry, Co. Roscommon: White Hag Little Fawn; Kinnegar’s Scraggy Bay.

Finín’s Midleton: Black’s KPA

Franciscan Well: Original 7 Weisse and more

Elbow Lane: Angel Stout and more

The Mad Monk by Quinlan’s, Killarney: Killarney’s Casey Brothers Extra Stout and Golden Spear Blonde

Castlerosse Hotel Bar, Killarney:  Killarney’s Golden Spear Blonde

Celtic Whiskey & Larder, Killarney: Tom Crean St Brigid’s Lager and Rascals Black Horse Stout 4.4% and more

Café Pigalle Cork: White Hag’s Atlantean NEIPA (also White Hag lager)

Spooky Beers??

Black Donkey Have You Covered.

"Samhain Season is upon us ,

It is a time for welcoming the harvest and ushering in the dark half of the year. Samhain holds a special place in our memories as our Underworld series was born from this darkness.

The Underworld series of native Irish beers was born out of our quest for adventure, our sense of history and our respect for tradition. If you haven't tried the three Underworld beers yet, you are missing out on Ireland's only beers fermented with a native Irish yeast.

On October 31st, 2017, we embarked upon the Wild Yeast Chase and harvested a yeast we named Morrigan from Oweynagat cave. The cave is considered to be the “Gate to Hell” or entrance to the Underworld and the origin of Samhain. You have been warned!

Sergeant Jimmy 2022 is on its way, scheduled for a late November release. 
And something sour, barrel conditioned and special this way comes in the next month or less, stay tuned!

Forever and always, we ask you to support local wherever you can. This support helps small independent brewers like ourselves to keep brewing."


Rye River Celebrate Again

World's Best Helles/Münchner!

Celebrations are in order! Our Bidin' Time Irish Lager has been officially named the 'World's Best Helles/Münchner' at the World Beer Awards 2022. Yes, that's right, the world's best! And it didn’t stop there. We picked up a further 40 awards to be named the World's Most Decorated Brewery for the 3rd consecutive year.