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

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #36. Craft Lager with Torc, Hope, Third Barrel and Rothaus

CorkBillyBeers #36

Craft Lager with Torc, Hope, Third Barrel and Rothaus


Third Barrel Stop the Clocks Pilsner Lager, 4.8% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys

“Our take on a traditional pilsner. This clean crisp and refreshing lager is brewed with Irish Malt and hopped with a hefty dose of German Saaz.” That’s the intro from Third Barrel.

The colour is bright gold with a soft foamy white head, and lots of bubbles rising. Floral and citrus notes in the aromas. And it is crisp and clean on the creamy palate where the famous Saaz hops (a noble variety) give it mild pleasant hoppy notes of hay and herbal. Easy drinking and seriously refreshing. As Third Barrel themselves say: “Nothing says summer like a good glass of Pils in the sun.” And this Stop the Clocks says it as well as any lager and better than many.

Very Highly Recommended.

Saaz, with its distinctive and classic aroma, is well known for its use in middle European lagers. And it also has a long association with Stella Artois


Torc White Tail Kerry Lager 4.5% ABV, 500 ml bottle Carry Out Killarney

“Sure to suit all palates, our classic style smooth Lager is brewed using Irish Pale Ale Malt and speciality German Carapils Malt.” That’s the confident introduction to their White Tail Lager by the folks of Kerry’s Torc Brewing.

It has a lovely gold colour and fountains of rising bubbles, rising though a thin film of haziness (it is unfiltered). The aromatics are a little on the shy side, with light caramel and biscuity notes. And there’s a hint of caramel and sweet biscuit also as it hits the palate and immediately a cleansing tide of refreshment. Excellent balance here and a good dry finish.

Torc says it pairs beautifully with seafood, pasta, pizzas, curries, burgers and salads.

Highly Recommended

The lager is named after the White-Tailed Eagle which was reintroduced into the Killarney National Park in 2007, having become extinct in the late 19th century. Before going extinct this magnificent bird of prey called Killarney its home, and returning this species to Irish skies is a significant step in restoring our natural heritage.

Geek Bits

SRM: 3.1 • 

IBU: 13.5 •

ABV: 4.5%.
Style: Lager •

Released: 2022


Hope Munich Helles Limited Edition No 27 5.3% ABV, 440 ml can No 21 Coburg St

Enjoy it in the garden, or with salty pretzels and bratwurst. That’s the advice from Hope. Amber is the colour of their Munich Helles Lager, with a soft white head and bubbles by the zillion. 

Helles is one of Munich’s popular lagers (another is the darker Dunkel), bright and light with a crisp finish. Quite a crisp and refreshing finish here also, even though the body is richer than usual and there’s an almost creamy mouthfeel. 

The malts certainly have an edge and no surprise since Hope tells us that their Helles “holds back on hops and bitterness to allow the sweet and full bready flavours of malt take centre stage”. 

This Munich-style Helles Lager nonetheless has a noticeable hop presence from the traditional German Hallertau used in the kettle and the whirlpool, which lend this lager subtle herbal and floral aromas.

Although the balance falls slightly on the malty side, the rich body and full mouthfeel do not inhibit this beer's drinkability, and the finish is soft and crisp. Enjoy it in the garden, or with those salty pretzels and bratwurst. Should also pair well with salads, shrimp, or fish.

By the way, would you like to see how this lager is made? Hope would love to you to join them “for the best micro-brewery tour in Dublin! Our brewery tours take place in our state-of-the-art German brewery in North Dublin where all aspects of the brewing process will be covered on the tour and will take approximately 25 minutes. Then the really fun part! You’ll enjoy a beer tasting of our core range of craft beers while enjoying a great view of the brewery floor.” More details here 

Very Highly Recommended.

I had an interesting head-to-head between this Hope and the To Øl  45 Days Mexican (in bottle). The verdict is very much in favour of Hope, a clear winner over the Danish effort in flavour and finish.

Helles is just one of a long list of German lagers (with no shortage of variations).

Perhaps the best-known are:




Dortmunder Export Lager,




Munich Dunkel

And a few more, including Rauchbier (smoked).



Rothaus Märzen 5.6% ABV, 500ml bottle Bradleys

Traditionally brewed during the winter, Rothaus Märzen is a seasonal favourite now enjoyed all year round by German beer lovers. 

Give this German a robust pour and you’ll get a decent white head that hangs around for a spell. The important bit comes after that, the glowing gold body and the zillions of micro-bubbles in the ever-rising fountains. Herbal notes crowd the aromas, nothing too intense. The smooth body is more malt (rich and bready) while the German hops yield a modest bitterness. Still, this is quite a balanced soft-textured beer, supremely drinkable, with a very clean finish, and an enjoyable companion at either lunch or dinner. Or even better in a crowded noisy beer hall.

It is a full-bodied, luscious beer with the unique barley malt from southern Germany bolstering its character. Fresh brewing water as well as the famous hops from Tettnang and the Hallertau make the taste experience more or less perfect. So well done to the Rothaus master brewers who have produced a top-class beer that has been a favourite for centuries.

So where did Marzen come from? Beers of this type of brewing are traditionally more heavily brewed, as brewing was only allowed in the months from September to April. A beer with a longer shelf life was thus produced in March, which survived the five months and was produced just in time for Octoberfest.

According to the Beer Connoisseur, the Märzen style is a malty, amber, European-style lager that can trace the roots of its modern variants all the way back to 1841, when Spaten created the first recipe for the style. Märzen become the official beer of Munich’s Oktoberfest in 1872, a tradition that lasted over 100 years when it was replaced by the lighter-bodied, golden-coloured Festbier in the 1990 Oktoberfest. Yet many Oktoberfest beers are still technically Märzens.

As you possibly know, I go almost exclusively for Irish beer. But it is always good to see what else is out there and this Rothaus is a worthwhile detour. Another, according to Jeff Alworth in The Beer Bible, is the Paulaner Oktoberfest “that billows clouds of the stuff (fluffy heads!). “the beer itself is toasty, almost a little plummy, and sprinkled with palate-cleansing cedary hops.”

You can talk forever about malt and hops and ingredients but one that Aldworth highlights is called “rasa” a sense of celebration. “Marzens are infused with the spirit of festgoing….both the result and cause of merriment…drunk at a time when people are still hanging on to the relaxed mood of summer.” Hadn’t thought of that kind of ” ingredient”.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #35, Highly Recommended Craft Collaborations with O Brother, Galway Bay, Whiplash, Mescan, Third Barrel

CorkBillyBeers #35

Highly Recommended Craft Collaborations with O Brother, Galway Bay, Whiplash, Mescan
 and Third Barrel


Galway Bay Sour IPA 6.2% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys 

Came across this first at the Franciscan Well Easter Fest where @SimonSaysBeer introduced us. Very impressed. With the beer. And with Simon also of course!!

Galway Bay: Another new beer snuck out of the brewery last week. When we had a visit from our great friends @begylebrewing Chicago we knew we needed to pull out something interesting, a bit of a challenge. Brewed on a pillowy light base of pilsner malt, wheat, oats and rice. Hopped with fresh Nelson Sauvin, Talus and Citra then co-fermented with an acid-producing yeast and a wine yeast. We landed on a new yeast strain that produces a soft sourness but isn't the kettle sour technique you might have seen before.

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 the garden in the better days ahead! 

The colour is more lemon than orange, somewhat on the hazy side. Citrus and yeast notes in the aromas and that sour citrus impresses on the palate, apple also, with a grape skin influence and a bit of mango and weak lychee also, tropical mainly, though you may get a hint of elderflower. Well balanced and not overly sour on the way to a pleasant finale.

Highly Recommended. This small batch may well be sold out by now, even though I got this can quite recently.


O Brother (x Bierhaus) Lionn Buidhe Bhrighde Sour 4.3% ABV, 440 ml can No 21 Coburg St

O Brother had quite a time brewing this up in collaboration with Bierhaus, a Galway pub. “it’s been a week, we need a drink, so looking forward to cracking open our latest special brew Lionn Buidhe Bhrighde. Buidhe or “bui “ meaning yellow, for its delightful colour, is a beautiful dry hopped sour, in a Berliner Weiss style”.

They further tell us that the title of the beer, “humbly provided by scholar Louis de Paor”, translates as “Bridget’s yellow ale”. It is in honour of the patron saint of brewing, and totem of the Celtic spring festival Imbolc, Saint Bridget.

Colour is light gold, a little on the hazy side. The aromatics are quite complex but mainly citrus, floral and pine, true to the characteristics of the Mosaic. Brid’s Yellow Ale is indeed sour, quite tart but also deeply refreshing, all achieved through the yeast I suppose as no adjuncts are listed in the ingredients.


In any event, it is exquisitely balanced between sweetness and acidity.

and is the kind of sour that could give the style a good name and is Highly Recommended.

We let the brothers have the last word. “We’re so proud of it, and our connection to @bierhausgalway, long may it continue. Also, shout out to @galwayswestend @thisisgalway and @jeanconsidine for the image and as always to @kate______tings for the design.”

So what is a Berliner Weisse? Functionally, it’s a wheat beer with a touch of sparkling acidity from the Lactobacillus, according to And, in Berlin, when you order a Berliner Weisse, the waiter will often say “rot oder grün?” Which simply means “red or green?” He or she is referring to which syrup you'd like with the beer. Red is usually a sweet raspberry syrup. Green is a more traditional grassy herb known as woodruff. 


Whiplash & Mescan The Climb Dry Hopped Saison 7.1% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys notes, that today, interest in ancient grains is rising, and craft brewers in Europe and the United States are starting to rediscover spelt. “Used at proportions approaching 50% of the grist, spelt malt gives mild, nutty flavors backed by tangy acidic notes.” And The Beer Bible confirms that Spelt was extremely common in saison back in the day.

Irish brewers Whiplash and Mescan have noted this also and their recent collaboration features spelt malt which is a pale, well-modified malt-aromatic product made from spelt, a hard-grained heirloom wheat.

Whiplash is happy: The first Saison to ever come out of Whiplash, and who better to collaborate with than Mescan? We used Spelt in this brew, really putting the mash filter to work. With these farmhouse-style beers, it's always nice to experiment with the grains and in this case, we've been left with a beautifully silky beer.

Mescan also: Had our first one today and we couldn't be more pleased with how this collaboration with @whiplashbeer turned out! A Saison - traditionally brewed to quench the thirst of farm workers - it's the perfect beer for this weather.

And they can count me in.

Colour is a hazy light orange. Flavours are mildly nutty backed by tangy acidic notes. there are also moderate malt notes, nutty and bready, and then lemon, orange rind and black pepper come through making for a perfect sunny-day-beer. Packed with interesting flavours, this is perhaps more for the grafters out there rather than the iPad tappers in here. 

Neither East Coast nor West Coast. Not a million miles from a wheat beer with its mild banana and clove notes although a little spicier perhaps. 

Suits me fine though. 

Highly Recommended

The Climb is available now on the webshop

Geek Bits

ABV 7.1%

440ml Cans & Draught

Artwork by @izzyrosegrange

Mescan invite - Take a spin along the side of Clew Bay, between Westport and Louisburgh, and come visit us at the brewery in the foothills of Croagh Patrick, on one of our tours - most Friday afternoons through the summer. We look forward to having you. *Prebooking required through our website*


Third Barrel Ár gCairde Cold IPA 5.1% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys

Cold on the double.

A Cold IPA?

1- “..a Cold IPA is an IPA fermented at lower temperatures than what is normally used to ferment an ale,” writes Skip Schwartz, head brewer at WeldWerks Brewing Co., in conversation with Hop Culture. Fermenting an IPA at colder temperatures means brewers often use a lager yeast or a combination of a lager and an ale yeast.

2- Sierra Nevada: A Cold IPA delivers India Pale Ale hop intensity while keeping the malt character restrained and ultra crisp — yet still hitting a respectable ABV target, like the 7% of Cold Torpedo.

The cold is not referring to the drinking temperature but to the temperature while it is fermenting.

The beer under consideration here is the result of a collaboration between Third Barrell and Mo Chara. Check them out here 

Our Cold IPA has an amber colour and a white head that doesn't hang about for too long. Aromas are quite intense, mostly from the hops, tropical and resinous. Refreshment is immediate, a lively effervescence invigorating the palate. A terrific balance of flavours plus a pleasant bitterness that lingers. This is the first Cold IPA that has come my way and I am certainly impressed.

But there is another “cold” twist. Rice is not the only unusual ingredient. The hops are Galaxy and Amarillo and one called Cryo Pop. Cryo Hops® pellets can be utilised anywhere whole-leaf hops and hop pellets are traditionally applied. Along with cost savings, it offers an enhanced contribution of hop flavour and aroma and reduced grassy and vegetal characteristics

The collaborators on Ar gCairde are very pleased: “The body of this Cold IPA is light and crisp, reminiscent of a lager, offering a clean and refreshing mouthfeel.

The finish is dry and inviting, with a pleasant bitterness that lingers, enticing you to take another sip. The overall balance of flavours is impeccable, showcasing the skilful craftsmanship of the brewers.”

“Its tropical and citrus hop profile, combined with its refreshing nature, makes it a perfect companion for sunny days or any occasion where you crave a burst of hoppy goodness.”

Highly Recommended

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #17. Craft Session with Brehon, Kinnegar, Third Barrel, Ballykilcavan.

CorkBillyBeers #17

Craft Session with Brehon, Kinnegar, Third Barrel, Ballykilcavan.


Brehon Seisún Pale Ale, 3.5% ABV, 500 bottle

The name of this brew, Seisiún, is inspired by the Irish for rousing songs, great drinks, good company and craic.  “We are delighted to bring you this light ale loaded with citrus flavours.”

Colour is a gorgeous mid to dark amber colour with red tints and a soft white head. Grapefruit seeps out of the aromas and leaps out on the palate, a dry and refreshing palate with a clean and dry citrusy finish. Even at 3.5%, this one packs quite a flavoursome punch.

Brehon tells us (and the evidence is here) that pale ales “tend to be lighter than standard beers. They tend to be malty, medium-bodied and are easy to drink. Some say they bridge the gap between dark stouts and lighter”.

Very Highly Recommended.


Kinnegar Brewers at Play #29 Session IPA, 4.0% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys

This is the first new beer of 2023 from Kinnegar and extends their Brewers at Play series to number 29!

It is a hazy pale gold with a soft white head that sinks slowly. Aromas are of the citrus variety, of moderate intensity. And so it continues on the palate where it is light and refreshingly dry. Very well made indeed, maybe not as innovative as some in the Brewers at Play Series but one that could well outlast some of the others.

They are pushing it as a good one to take us through dry January. But I see it as good company for a much longer period. Be glad to enjoy a few on an easy going summer evening, sun or no sun.

Significantly, it is less hoppy than the Third Barrel and that will suit quite a few punters.

Highly Recommended


Third Barrel Boom Session IPA, 4.5%, 440ml can Bradleys

Clean, crisp and proper refreshing, this Session IPA bursts with aromas of grapefruit and lime from a heavy does of Mosaic and centennial hops. That’s the intro to this Session IPA from Third Barrel

Colour is a mid gold, hazy, with a white head that stays a bit.  Nose is full of hoppy aromas and you meet the characteristics of Mosaic and Centennial again on the palate. Crisp and clean and happily refreshing, this is one for the short list.

This was the flagship beer “of our founding company @stonebarrelbrewing has now been taken under our wing and given a full Third Barrel makeover”.

Very Highly Recommended.


Ballykilcavan Millhouse Session IPA, 3.5% ABV, 440ml can CraftCentral

A light refreshing Session Ale, double dry hopped, for maximum taste. That’s Ballykilcavan’s intro to their Millhouse Session IPA.

Colour is a hazy gold, with a fairly short-lived white head. Aromas speak of hop bitterness -it has been double dry-hopped. And that double kick is also to the fore in the flavour and also in the finish. Yet the hops (IBU48) are not allowed to upset the balance too much, the more exotic flavours are tamer than you’d expect, and this flavoursome Pale Ale is a welcome addition to session choices.

Ingredients are Water, Malted Barley, Wheat, Oats, Hops, Yeast. The Barley and Water is 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 say the organic oats from the neighbouring farm, The Merry Mill, are also credited with the “lovely balance”. Oats are usually credited with helping give a fuller body and a silky mouthfeel, traditionally in stouts, but now in other styles as well. Hard to generalise though as there are variations. Unmalted oats - and it seems this is unmalted - are more known as a body-builder component and as potential contributor of some hazy compounds for styles.

Lots of breweries are now watching their environmental responsibilities and Ballykilcavan are no exception. Here are a couple of their alternatives to glass containers when out and about at festivals.

1- Cut out the plastic with this stainless steel, reusable, festival pint cup. Keeps your beer colder for longer and helps the environment at the same time.

2- Our replacement for single use plastic pint glasses for all the events and festivals we attend from now on. Reusable, dishwasher safe and easy on the eye, it's perfect for festivals or camping.

Highly Recommended