Showing posts with label Trouble Brewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trouble Brewing. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #112. On the craft journey with Third Barrel, Kinnegar, Clonakilty and Trouble Brewing

 A Quart of Ale± #112

On the craft journey with Third Barrel, Kinnegar, Clonakilty and Trouble Brewing

Third Barrel Day Drinkin Simcoe Session IPA 4%, 440 ml can Bradleys

Day Drinkin is the first of a series of “summer slammers” by Third Barrel. It’s a hazy lemon colour with a soft bubbly head that loses volume slowly. And with Simcoe taking the solo hops role, you can expect aromas of citrus and pineapple. 

And it starts with the nose, pineapple and orange zest popping out of the glass. And more of the duo on the palate as the engagement gets a little more serious (in a good way!). No letting go now, as Wayne Wonder might have sung. Well he did sing it:

Got somebody she's a beauty

Very special really and truly

Take good care of me like it's her duty

Want you right by my side night and day.

Not too sure about night and day but Day Drinkin, at the 4% abv, would certainly make for a good session, night or day. As they say themselves: “be sure to pick up a few for your next bbq, camping trip or even just sitting on your own in the kids paddling pool.”

Kinnegar Brewers at Play #24 Summer Ale 4%, 440 ml can Bradleys

Colour is close to lemon, topped by a soft foamy head that sinks slowly. And a soft citrus breeze wafts up from your glass. This is summertime and the soft and supple citrus continues its merry way on the palate.  

You deserve refreshment at the end of a hard hot day and this Donegal Summer Ale opens the door to a relaxing interlude whether in the newly opened Kinnegar taproom or in your own back garden. And, at four per cent, you and your buds could well have a summertime session. It’s a won won situation as someone might say.

One thing that is not immediately apparent, not that anyone is trying to hide it mind you, is that this beer, number 24 in the excellent Brewers at Play series, is a wheat ale. But be aware too that this is a once off. You get one chance. Jump aboard and sip in that rounded citrus experience.

They say:“Brewers at Play presents new beers designed to keep our brewers on their toes and our customers on their tenterhooks.” I say: “Keep ‘em coming!”

Ingredients: Water, barley, wheat, hops, citrus peel, yeast. 

(No bergamot then?)

Clonakilty Foxy Red Ale 5.0%, 500ml bottle O’Donovan’s

Clonakilty’s “fierce” independent brewery are the producers of Foxy, a Red Ale. They have stopped short of proclaiming it as an Irish red ale. 

Colour is a murky red brown with a bubbly white head that won’t keep you company for long. Aromas are pleasant and mildly malty; they have oats in here as well as barley. And it continues on its modest way on the palate, smooth of texture and smooth of flavour, the malt, with the slightest hint of sweetness, leading the way to a refreshing and satisfactory conclusion. One to note, methinks.

Ingredients: Well water, Irish malted barley and oats, hops, yeast and lots of passion.

Just one hop used, the East Kent Golding, brewer Frank Fredriksen told me. 

He had bad news: It’s was a seasonal beer last autumn, only did a few batches of it, you might still find it a few places, but we're not stocking it at the moment. 

And he had good news: Might brew it again in a few months though as many are asking for it.

They say: We are passionate about making beer with no compromise, brewing small batches with big personality. Using locally sourced grains, the best hops and water from our own well, our beers are handcrafted with care in our Brewhouse in Clonakilty by head brewer ‘Thirsty’ Frank Fredriksen and his team.

Clonakilty is at the centre of such a positive mix of beautiful scenery, amazing food, interesting characters, quirky local stories and strong town spirit. We consider ourselves hugely lucky to be able to make our beer here and become part of the tapestry of this place. It also pushes us to brew beer that stands with the best and make the town proud of what we do.

Trouble Brewing Trick Of Light IPA 6.3%, 440 ml can Bradleys

This recent Trick of the Light IPA from Trouble pours a hazy orange in the glass and there’s a soft white head that stays around for a spell. Tropical aromas rise up to greet you. And there’s a tropical posse on the palate also, along with the none too subtle spice of the rye, no shortage of citrus either, as all the hops contribute. Quite a forceful palate actually before a lip smacking finish.

The Kildare brewery, who also added oats here, say: “…Trick Of Light, a 6.3% IPA that has been dry hopped with Azacca, Cascade & Idaho 7 to deliver a big fruity blast of orange & grapefruit pith. The Idaho 7 gives a hint of pine that balances beautifully with the spiciness of the rye malt.”

Trouble Brewing was founded in 2010 by three friends: Paul, Tom and Stephen. Tom had been homebrewing for years (there’s always one!) and insisted on sharing the fruits of his labour with Paul and Stephen.  On nights out, he dragged them to drink pints of various styles and flavours at pubs like the Porterhouse and the Bull and Castle beer hall, both Mecca’s for great beer in Dublin.  

Paul soon developed an interest in brewing himself, and it wasn’t long before he realised making beer was a relatively inexpensive process and buying it was quite the opposite.  With this in mind he approached Tom and Stephen with the idea of setting up a brewery of their own. It could provide an income for the three and get them out of the unfortunate situation of working for “the man”. They gathered up all the money they could (about €45k between them) and borrowed the same from the bank with the help of a well prepared business plan. Then they set about putting together a functioning brewery.

And they are functioning very well indeed, thank you!

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #90. On the craft journey with Franciscan Well, Killarney Brewing, Trouble, Whiplash,Hope, and Wicklow Wolf.

A Quart of Ale± #90

On the craft journey with Franciscan Well, Killarney Brewing, Trouble and Wicklow Wolf. 

Killarney Scarlet Pimpernel IPA 6%, 500ml bottle Bradleys

There is a statue of a priest, dressed in an older fashion, at an entrance to Killarney National Park. He is striding out, a man in a hurry. They seek him here, they seek him there - he is O’Flaherty, the Scarlet Pimpernel. And this IPA is named in his honour.


It has a deep red colour. “Best served with a thick frothy head so pour with vigour.” I missed that bit of advice so my head, a bit like the Pimpernel, didn’t hang about. Got “rough” with the second one and a better longer-lasting head was the result.

Built “on a smooth malty base”, it is not a million miles away from our Franciscan Well. Aromas are moderate, citrus and pine. There’s a light caramel sweetness on the palate. Overall, a good balance is found, hop bitterness is moderate, and they boldly recommend it as “a perfect partner for full flavoured dishes”.

During WW2, Rome based Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty  saved over 6,500 people by hiding them in monasteries, farms, and other locations. After the war, he was awarded the US Medal of Freedom and Commander of the British Empire.


Franciscan Well Chieftain Irish Pale Ale 5.5%, 330can O’Donovan’s

Franciscan Well Chieftain IPA, then described as “a great stepping stone into the land of big and bitter”has proved quite a popular beer since launched by the Cork brewery. Colour is amber, not a million miles away from their Rebel Red. Indeed, when I posted an early photo of the IPA, a reader challenged me saying I got it wrong, that is the red in the pic.

Certainly hoppy in the aromas, a burst of tropical.There’s a malty theme there too and both continue onto the palate. Citra, Tettnanger and Magnum are the hops and they make their presence felt here, with Pine and Citrus, but the malts (Ale Malt, Crystal Malt) ensure a flavoursome balance, meeting the brewer’s aim of “casual enjoyment” for the drinker rather than the “intense hoppiness” that some IPAs deliver, sometimes to the consternation of the casual craft drinker.

Serve at 6 degrees and pair with fried chicken. Mature Irish cheeses and cured meats are also recommended.

By the way, Franciscan Well is looking forward to the coming year. ‘ It’s been a long road for everyone over the last couple of years. Our focus has been on surviving but now we want to bring memorable moments and experiences back to the centre of what we do, ’  says Kate Clancy (right), marketing manager of the Franciscan Well bar. More details here, even the promise of a beer festival.

Trouble Brewing Nocturne Milk Stout 5.5%, 440ml can Bradleys

This limited release looks well in the glass. Black with a creamy tan head that is unhurried. A big whiff of coffee in the aromas. And the coffee again, with sweet chocolate notes now, on the smooth palate. Sip away all that delicious creaminess to a very satisfactory ending. Smooth and easy all the way. No Trouble at all!

Ingredients – Water, Malt, Oats, Wheat, Lactose, Cacao Nibs, Hops and Yeast

Founded over 10 years ago Trouble Brewing is a 100% Irish-owned and independent brewery, located in Kill, Co Kildare. “Everything we do is driven by the desire to produce the highest quality, best tasting beer for our fellow beer lovers. …We mainly brew hop forward, session beers to be enjoyed by all, but we’re always happy to experiment — only a few ideas are too dumb.”

Wicklow Wolf Moonlight Non Alcoholic Hoppy Ale 0.5%, 330can Bradleys

The search for a really good Irish non alcoholic beer continues.

Geek Bits

Hops: Cascade, Hallertau Blanc, Citra

Malts: Melano, Cara Gold 

Brewery News

Fidelity's Back

Holy moly it's actually happening! Fidelity, our beer festival, is returning to Dublin's Round Room at the Mansion House this July and tickets are flying out with the Saturday session just about sold out. 

The first brewery announcement is landing next week and we don't expect tickets to last once that killer lineup drops so now if you want to join us in July, grab those tickets!

The festival takes places on July 15th & 16th and each session will have a completely different lineup of beers. Tickets are €69.61 and includes all your beer and your festival tasting glass. 



Hope Tours Return!

With restrictions lifted we're excited to announce our brewery tours are back.

Come visit our state-of-the-art German brewhouse where one of our team will cover all aspects of the brewing process and at the end you'll enjoy a tasting of our beers in the tap room.

A tour is €18 per person and requires a minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 15. Tours are available on Thursdays and Fridays at 5pm and Saturdays at 4pm.

Book a Tour

Wicklow Wolf

Joining the Pack as number 24 and 25 in the Endangered Species Series are Apex Cherry, a Black Cherry Oatmeal Stout and Canis Rufus, a Red Rye IPA. Available nationwide this week in all good independent off licences and at the Wicklow Wolf Taproom! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #87. On the craft journey with a session of Whiplash, Journeyman, O Brother, Trouble Brewing

A Quart of Ale± #87

On the craft journey with Whiplash, Journeyman, O Brother, Trouble Brewing

Whiplash Immolator Triple Decoction Smoked Dopplebock 8.6%, 440ml can Whiplash Online

This lager, for that’s what it is, has a red colour, thanks in part to the treble decoction. Treble what? Look decoction up here. And this dopplebock is also smoked! And that means you get quite a bit of bacon in the flavours! According to the ever enthusiastic, ever inventive crew at Whiplash this is the lager you need but don’t deserve this winter! Not your common garden lager. One to enjoy though.

That smokiness is down to the Beech Smoked Malt, straight from the German town and beer pilgrimage site of Bamberg. 

I’ll let the Whiplash gang tell you the story: A simple base of Light Munich and Beech Smoked Malt straight from Bamberg, this one is a homage to a Bamberg classic. We’ve brought our own flair to the party by lashing this one into our dedicated decoction vessel not once, not twice, but thrice. The benefit of which has added colour and caramel malt richness to this one without incorporating any cloying sweetness. A touch of Magnum in the boil, a ferment on our house lager yeast WLP833, and a very long cold maturation has delivered something that’s both huge and strangely nuanced and all the while is like living in smokehouse, supping big German lagers in the middle of a bacon fight.

Geek Bits

Malts: Smoked Malt, Munich Malt.

Hops: Magnum

Yeast: WLP833 (house lager yeast)

Artwork: @izzyrosegrange

After opening on the red colour, you may well sniff out a little bacon in the modest aromas. Modest then goes out the window on the intense palate. Intense but not at all overly so. That caramel malt richness is certainly there.  And the bacon is there but not a dominating factor. Overall, there’s a good balance, a Marzan style richness, between the main actors, the malt and smoke, right through to the finish. Be sure and try one for this is a beer to shift you from the routine.

Better again, try this along with Kinnegar’s Rauchbier, Galway Bay’s Marzen to the Fire Smoked Marzen and Wicklow Wolf’s Ranchero. Could be quite a session especially if you add the Bamberg classic Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen (fairly widely available in Ireland).

Wikipedia describes an immolator as “One of a sect of Russian fanatics who practised self-mutilation and sacrifice”. Would the lash of a whip have anything to do with that self-mutilation? Don’t see anything on the can’s small print emoticon!!! In any event, I’m up for a can of this Whiplash anyway!

Journeyman Session IPA 4.5%, 500ml bottle, X-Mas present

Pale orange colour, a hazy one, but lots of bubbles visible. Nice soft head is not for hanging around. Aromas are fresh and tangy, citrus led, hints of pine. Fruity enough on the palate and here too the malt shows up well and then a bitter-sweet finish. Refreshing with good balance, easy-drinking and well fitted out for that session.

Based at the Station Works in Dundalk, the Pearse Lyons Brewery is known for The Foxes Rock range of Irish Craft Beers. Foxes Rock is produced alongside well known Irish brands such as our Journeyman and Brown Bear. Lots of brew specials hit the bars and shops throughout the year. Station Works and the Pearse Lyons Distillery (near St Jame’s) are part of the family owned Alltech Beverage company that is also brewing and distilling in the USA.

O Brother The Chancer APA 5.4%, 440ml can O’Briens Wine

“The Chancer is our American-style pale ale, a bold and fresh one.” 

It has a straw/orange colour, a soft white head with little staying power. More pleasant than bold in the aromas with citrus leading the way, pine notes in there too, the hops having their say.  And the grapefruit flavours, now with more exotic companions, are found on the palate but quite a bit of balance there too thanks to the light malt base of Irish Pale and Cara Malt. All in all quite a refreshing thirst quencher, with a clean crisp finish. Go on and take a chance!

The hops are Galaxy and Cascade. The American Cascade gets much of the credit for the Grapefruit and floral notes while the Cascade (from Oz) shows its paces with Passionfruit and Peach and also some citrus.

Trouble Brewing Park Life, Helles Lager 4.9%, 440ml can O’Briens Wine

Light amber is the colour of this Helles Lager from Kildare’s Trouble Brewing; the white fluffy head is quick to vanish. Aromas are light, just a touch of citrus. It is though full-bodied on the palate with malty biscuity-flavours, very refreshing. Pretty true to type and one of their core beers.

Helles is a type of lager, traditionally produced around Munich in Germany. The Trouble version was originally brewed in collaboration with The Taphouse in Ranelagh

Ingredients – Water, malted barley, hops & yeast

A little bit on Trouble, in their own words: When we started making beer ten years ago, there were less than ten craft breweries in Ireland. From the get-go we set ourselves apart by brewing styles that no one else was producing. Take our now legendary Pumpkin Ale, a first for Ireland and brewed with pumpkins grown by our founder Paul’s mom Deirdre. We were also at the forefront of bringing the east coast pale ale style to these shores and we continue to push the boundaries with new styles. We mainly brew hop forward, session beers to be enjoyed by all, but we’re always happy to experiment — only a few ideas are too dumb.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Beer of the Year 2021 - the long list!

 Beer of the Year 2021 - the list!

Brehon Brewhouse Oak & Mirrors Two Stacks Whiskey Cask Aged Imperial Porter 7.5%

Dungarvan “Mahon Falls” Rye Pale Ale

Eight Degrees “The Pilgrim’s Path” Lager

Eight Degrees Irish Oak-aged Barleywine 12.2%

Galway Bay NZ Pils Motueka Dry Hopped Pilsner

Heaney New England IPA

Hope “Limited Edition No 25“ Classic Gose

Land & Labour Crimson Kriek Framboise

Lineman “Vesper" Pale Ale

Mescan Brewery Old Brown

O’Hara’s Irish Stout Nitro

Trouble Brewing Lights Out DIPA

Western Herd Flora and Fauna 10 Hop DIPA
Whiplash “Melodie Noir” Baltic Porter

Yellow Belly “Red Noir” Dark Red Ale

- Will be "working" on this long list of my favourite beers in 2021 over the Christmas break. Soon, a short list will be published and then my champ!

Will also name a selection across the various style.

December (short list)

Coffee and Oatmeal Stout: Dungarvan

Cask-Aged: Brehon Brewhouse Oak & Mirrors Two Stacks Whiskey Cask Aged Imperial Porter 7.5%

Porter: Whiplash The Sup

Session: Eight Degrees Seisíun IPA 4.5%

Rauchbier: Kinnegar 20÷2 Anniversary Rauchbier 5%

Barleywine: Eight Degrees Irish Oak-aged Barleywine 12.2%

Sunday, November 21, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #78 On the craft journey with a session of Trouble Brewing, Brehon Brewhouse and Brú.

A Quart of Ale± #78

On the craft journey with a session of Trouble Brewing, Brehon Brewhouse and Brú.


Trouble Brewing Lights Out DIPA 7.6%, 440 can Bradleys

Trouble Brewing latest DIPA comes in an opaque orange colour, when the lights are on. And there’s a strong measure of tangerine in the aromas.That vibrant fruit (and other exotic ones) just doubles up in the mouth, strong, smooth, rich, yet balanced and fresh. Bitterness is mid-scale, soft and present into the finish. 

This very impressive Double IPA is brewed with Sabro, Mosaic & Columbus and is available in cans with very limited availability on draught. My next aim is to get some of that draught! Perhaps an Asian dish on order from next door.

Trouble Brewing was founded in 2010 by three friends: Paul, Tom and Stephen. Tom had been home-brewing for years and insisted on sharing the fruits of his labour with Paul and Stephen.  On nights out, he dragged them to drink pints of various styles and flavours at pubs like the Porterhouse and the Bull and Castle beer hall, both Mecca’s for great beer in Dublin.  

Paul soon developed an interest in brewing himself, and it wasn’t long before he realised making beer was a relatively inexpensive process and buying it was quite the opposite.  With this in mind he approached Tom and Stephen with the idea of setting up a brewery of their own…. Then they set about putting together a functioning brewery.

Trouble Brewing Little Monster Pale Ale 3.5%, 440 can Bradleys

Colour of this Little Monster is a light orange, brilliant white head and shoals of bubbles rushing towards the top. Aromas are citrusy and tropical, plus a hint of pine. Flavours are unexpectedly intense for the abv and follow the aromas closely enough (with mango and pineapple among the tropicals). In addition, there is quite a bitter element from the use of the El Dorado hops. Refreshing with a lip-smacking dry finish. Quite a handful for a 3.,5% and would more than hold its own in a session. Ingredients include oats, wheat and rye.

Trouble launched the Little Monster on Facebook on October 18th last: Little Monster is heading out into the world this week! A 3.5% Pale Ale brewed with Sabro, Mosaic. Azacca & El Dorado. Available in cans, and very limited availability on draught over the next while.

Brehon Brewhouse Bright & Light Session Ale 3.5%, 440 can Bradleys

This Brehon Light and Bright is an Irish craft beer with a light texture, mild flavour and low ABV. “Our new low Abv ale is dedicated to the life story of my Grandparents James and Roseanne  McMahon,” says Seamus McMahon, brewer, farmer and drinker at Brehon.

Colour is a light golden/amber, with a slight haze through which you see the bubbles in action on their way to the white head. Aromas are of light intensity and with citrus notes. Citrus too on the zingy palate. No shortage of refreshment though and there’s a subtle touch of bitterness at the finish.

Very pleasant and excellent company, just like James and Roseanne.

Hopped with Saaz & Magnum with lager malts.


Brú Hop Bomb #4 IPA 5.5%, 440 can Carryout Ballyvolane

This is a hazy orange colour. Aromas are mainly citrus-y but on a layer of tropical fruits. On the palate, the fruity element continues with quite a mix including mango, passionfruit, citrus, plus a touch of pine. Fruity and refreshing.

This Brú Hop Bomb, part of their urban jungle series, was produced using Strata and Simcoe hops while the malts were Lager and Carapils.

This is Hop Bomb #4 but others will have different hops! “An IPA packed with aromas and flavours from an ever-changing blend of hops, meaning that Hop Bomb is always evolving. No matter what the recipe, it will be generously dry-hopped to get the most intense aromas possible. A simple malt base ensures that the hops take centre-stage, right where they belong. Any bitterness is balanced with sweetness from the malts, coming together for a juicy beer..”

Brú Head Brewer, Francesco, describes what makes this beer series unique:As a brewer, I love to describe this product as a didactic IPA: the malt base is even easier than the BRÚ Lager (90% Lager malt!), plus a touch of dextrin and some barley flakes. But the fun in this beer is that for every single batch, we choose a different blend of powerful hops and add them generously at the end of boiling, flameout, whirlpool and in dry hopping. 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

A Quart of Ale± #67. On the craft journey with Ballykilcavan, Trouble Brewing and White Hag.

A Quart of Ale± #67

On the craft journey with Ballykilcavan, Trouble Brewing and White Hag.


Ballykilcavan Blackwell Stout 4.4%, 440 can CraftDirect

This prize contender is black, black as a moonless night in the deep wood. And there’s a soft fluffy milky-coffee coloured head of the slow sinking variety. Coffee and chocolate in the aroma plus toasty stuff as well. And it’s pretty traditional on the creamy palate also, coffee and caramel and toasted notes too plus hints of smoke and spice in the background. Good dry finish in this pretty faultless stout, redolent of ages past - remember those threshings - but well capable of holding its own on the current palate. IBU: 45

The Griffin is the symbol of the Walsh family, who have been farming at Ballykilcavan 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.” And the brewery is one way of doing that. Already, they are exporting.

The brewery is installed in the original stone grainstore for the farm, which was built in around 1780. In previous centuries, the building was used to store barley and oats after harvest, and then to mill them for bread making, feeding animals and maybe even making beer. Like most of the buildings in the 240-year-old farmyard, it is too small for modern farm equipment, but it is the perfect size to fit a small craft brewery.

The brewery have been boosted by some good news on this stout: “Great to see our Blackwell Irish stout has made it into the @BlasNahEireann final. All eyes on Dingle on the first Sunday in October.

Ballykilcavan Clancy’s Cans #5 Farmhouse Ale 4.8%, 440 can CraftDirect

This farmhouse ale comes in a deep opaque pink with a white head. Aromas are, not surprisingly, fruity. After all, it does contain adjuncts of Hibiscus and Grapefruit. It is light and bright on the palate, a beer for the summer, one to start a session perhaps. Fruity all the way until the dry finish.

This limited edition can series is named after the five generations of the Clancy family who have worked at Ballykilcavan Farm. As it happens, this is the 5th in the series and was issued last May. Serve between 7 and 11 degrees.

Trouble Brewing Love Below Micro IPA 3.2%, 440 can CraftDirect 

The hazy orange body is topped by a frothy white head that hangs about a bit. No shortage of hops as you can smell from the aromas, where tropical fruits are prominent plus a touch of pine. Perhaps a bit light on the body (feather-weight, they say themselves) but it does pack a hoppy flavour punch, crisp, refreshing and then very dry on the finish.

Hops used are Citra and El Dorado and the brewers recommend enjoying it with barbecue skewers, fish and chips or prawns. Not in the top rank of IPAs but a very noteworthy one at this abv and one for which there will be plenty of opportunities, including at sessions.

White Hag Keltoi Kolsch Style Ale 4.8%, 330 can CraftDirect

Light gold is the colour of this Kolsch style ale from White Hag. And millions of little bubbles weave their way quickly towards the soft white head that slowly sinks. Floral and fruit aromas are subtle rather than intense. Clean and crisp on the intro, the body somewhat heftier than you’d expect, the malt making an impact on the way to a very refreshing finish indeed. Quite an impressive beer.

They say: Keltoi is one we’ve made once before, with our friends from Mont Hardi, in Brittany, France making a double collab at both breweries last spring. We swapped some samples to understand the differences, and we sent some of the spare beers out to our Clann subscribers for feedback. They loved it, and demanded it be put back on the schedule – so here we are!