Showing posts with label Wicklow Wolf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wicklow Wolf. Show all posts

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Have you tried the Spailpín Saison? On the craft trail with Killarney Brewing and Wicklow Wolf

On the craft trail with Killarney Brewing and Wicklow Wolf

Have you tried the Spailpín Saison?

Killarney Spailpín Saison 6.0% ABV, 750 ml bottle at the brewery

When you pour the Spailpín Saison (from its large bottle!), you will notice an abundance of tiny bubbles rising through the golden amber liquid and the soft white head. The aroma is mostly floral, with a light wheat note and a hint of spice. Refreshing and easy to drink, it is one of the better Irish saisons. Very Highly Recommended.

I wouldn't mind comparing it, head-to-head, with the

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Wicklow Wolf Locavore BA Farmhouse Ale with Brettanomyces. Beer of the Week. A Symphony of Sour Complexity. Beer of the Week.

Beer of the Week

Wicklow Wolf Locavore BA Farmhouse Ale with Brettanomyces, 7.2% ABV, 330 ml bottle, Bradleys

Wicklow Wolf Locavore BA Farmhouse Ale: A Symphony of Sour Complexity

Crack open a bottle of Wicklow Wolf's Locavore BA Farmhouse Ale, and you're greeted by a stunning golden hue, hazy yet still revealing a persistent stream of lively bubbles rising to a fluffy white head. The aroma is an enticing melange of grassy hops and wild yeast, complemented by a subtle yet intriguing funk with a whisper of sourness that promises a delightful adventure on the palate.

And that adventure sure arrives! The first sip explodes with a symphony of flavours. Refreshing tartness mingles with hints of barnyard funk, while subtle notes from the 16 months spent ageing in Chardonnay barrels peek through. Each sip reveals hidden layers of complexity, showcasing the brewer's patience and dedication to crafting an exceptional beer. The mouthfeel is crisp and dry, leaving a clean finish that invites another sip.

This 21st instalment in the Locavore series is a testament to Wicklow Wolf's commitment to local ingredients and innovative brewing techniques. The wild yeasts from their hop farm weave their magic in a truly unique and unforgettable sour farmhouse ale. Patience truly pays off, and this Spring 2024 release is a beer you can savour well into the summer (if the Irish weather cooperates, that is!).

With its exceptional quality and delightful complexity, the Wicklow Wolf Locavore Barrel Aged Farmhouse Ale is Very Highly Recommended for any adventurous craft beer enthusiast. This Locavore series is all about local and the quality of the individual beers has generally been very high over the years. This, our Beer of the Week, is no exception.

Geek Bits

Style: Barrel Aged Farmhouse Ale

IBUs: 35

Hops: Mosaic, Centennial

Malts: Pilsner, Wheat Malt, Munich Malt

Monday, March 25, 2024

Recommended Craft Ales from Killarney Brewing, Hopfully and Wicklow Wolf

Recommended Craft Ales from Killarney Brewing, Hopfully and Wicklow Wolf 

Killarney Full Circle IPA, 5% ABV, 500 ml bottle, O’Donovan’s

The colour is close to amber, a little darker than you might expect. All American hops are used here and the aromas make that clear from the moment you flip the cap. 

The soft head collapses soon enough onto the slightly hazy body. The hops are not identified on the label but the ensemble brings quite a current of deep flavour with dry bitterness (IBU is 42) clearly displayed at the finalé. Easy to see why it is now part of their core range. No pairings seen but I found it very compatible with a mature cheddar.

Highly Recommended.

Full Circle? “Emigration has forever been at the heart of Irish history.  From the mid 1800’s onwards, generations left these shores destined for the land of opportunity.  Over a century on, life’s journey has come full circle and their progeny are returning home.  This is a story illustrated by our Head Brewer Mike, who with his wife and daughter, have brought back to Kerry this USA branch of their family tree.”

The big news though is that tours are now possible at the impressive new facility (brewery and distillery) out in Fossa. “The team are working hard .… As Tim O’D, one of our founders, would say, we haven’t been drinking a lot of beer, just a lot of coffee!’

The new building includes salvaged red brick imported directly from the Windy City of Chicago. If they could talk, no doubt an Irish accent could be heard in the original laying. They now take pride of place in the main stairwell of the new visitor centre.

Plan your visit and tour to Killarney Brewing & Distilling Co in Fossa, Ireland’s largest co-located and independently owned Brewery, Distillery and Visitor Centre. Visit the new brewery, learn how the beers are made, see the brewing team making the magic happen, enjoy the aromas of the day’s brew and finally visit the tasting room to sample the product. 

For groups of 10 or more please contact Otherwise, book here.  

The original and very popular Taproom on Muckross Road, quite close to the town centre, operates on a walk-in basis, Wednesday through Sunday, 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Wicklow Wolf Sugarloaf Juicy IPA, 4.3% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

Wicklow Wolf commandeered a heavy-hitting quartet of tropical hops for their Sugarloaf (you’ll know where the name comes from). The tropical notes and flavours dominate though you’ll also notice citrus and pine in there. 

The colour of their new core beer is a hazy yellow and there’s a creamy mouthfeel, with a barely noticeable bitterness. But it is well-balanced and the tropical fruits are nicely rounded. Still, this is one for you if you’re a fruit head! Another well-made beer from the Wicklow aces and definitely one for your shortlist.

The relatively low ABV of 4.3% certainly puts this it into the Session category where it sits as an outstanding example. Highly Recommended.

Geek Bits

Hops - Idaho 7, Chinook, Sabro and Citra.

Malts - Pale, Wheat Malt, Oats, Cara Ruby

Hopfully Inside Out Pale Ale, 5.0% ABV, 440 ml can Bradley

In its early days, Hopfully was known as a gipsy or contract brewery, making beers wherever they were welcome to borrow an established brewery’s kit. Metalman in Waterford was one such “host” and nowadays, with the Deise brewers retired, you’ll find Hopfully fully at home in that very brewery.

Hopfully has been more than generous with the amounts of Mosaic and Strata hops used in the pale ale and they are very happy with the results: ”lovely notes of bright juicy tangerine, citrus, and pine aromas”.

It is a hazy yellow colour with the expected aromas. Mosaic was used in the whirlpool while the two hops were combined for the dry hopping. For all that, the bitterness level is modest and this smooth fruity beer proves an easy drinker.

It is an honest straightforward Pale Ale deserving of your attention. Highly Recommended.

Geek Bits

Hops - Mosaic & Strata.

Malts - Maris Otter, Flaked Oats, Wheat, Vienna & Dextrin

Art work - by Stasele Jakunskaite’

Thursday, October 26, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #51. Craft with Wicklow Wolf, Hofbräu, and Lacada

CorkBillyBeers #51

Craft with Wicklow Wolf, Hofbräu, and Lacada


Wicklow Wolf (with Devil’s Peak & Fierce Beer) Tryfecta Hazy Pale Ale, 4.5% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

“Tryfecta is a hazy pale ale double dry hopped with New Zealand hop Motueka. This refreshing pale ale pours a hazy golden hue with tropical and citrus fruit flavours and aromas.”

That’s how Wicklow Wolf sums up their recent collaboration with Fierce Beer (Scotland) and Devil’s Peak (South Africa), a beer put together with an eye on Group B (the so-called group of death) of the World Cup in rugby where all three countries are fighting for just two quarter-final places.

The message from the den: We were delighted to welcome our friends, Fierce Beer from Scotland back to Wicklow and this time we also invited our friends in Devil’s Peak from South Africa for our latest Crossbreed Series Collab.This beer is a celebration of friendship and competition, as Ireland, Scotland and South Africa all played each other at this year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

So what better way to celebrate the games than brewing a beer that we can all enjoy together win or lose. Tryfecta is a 4.5% Hazy Pale Ale double dry hopped with New Zealand hops, providing a wonderful burst of tropical fruits.

It is a murky orange colour with a white head that doesn't hang about too long. The aromas are hoppy for sure - the All Blacks haven't been left out of the picture and could well skip off with the trophy when the dust settles in Paris this weekend. Quite a beer though, with that burst of tropical fruit as promised, and one of the better collaborations of recent years.

Very Highly Recommended.

BB: 21.08.2024. Bought: 25.09.23


Hofbräu Original Helles, 5.1% ABV, 500 ml bottle Dunnes Stores

“A beer with character for connoisseurs with character.”

Colour is lovely gold/yellow with bands of sparkly bubbles rising non-stop towards the soft white head. The aromas are slightly sweet malty, a hint too of hops.  It is full-bodied, really mature, a superb grown-up lager with the excellent balance required.

Pairings recommended by the Munich brewery are sausage and cheese, salads, roast pork, pasta and steamed fish. But the best pairings are to be found in a beer hall in Munich, sitting together on long wooden benches, enjoying pretzels and hearty snacks and treats, feeling that Bavarian hospitality and camaraderie, the perfect service donned in smart-looking traditional costume…”


Geek Bits

Available all year round. 

Bottom fermented. 

Serve at 6-7 degrees. 

Hops: Herkules, Perle, Magnum, Select.

Malts: light barley malt, Munich malt

Brweing: infusion method

Bitterness: 24 IBU


BB: 05.03.2024. Bought: 20.09.2023

We had another German lager on here (in #47), the HB Bayerisches Pils, recently. The bottles are fairly similar, both use the letters HB in blue and both beers are bottle-fermented but the other HB is in Traunstein about an hour and a half from Munich. Both brewers are long-standing, HB (Munich) was founded in 1589 and Hofbräuhaus in Traunstein in 1612.


Lacada Screw Steamer California Common, 5.0% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

California Common is a beer made by fermenting lager yeast at warmer ale yeast temperatures. Also known as a “steam beer”

The latter name comes from the 'Screw Steamer / SS' ships. One such famous ship was the SS Hazel which was a steam packet ferry that ran between Ardrossan, Scotland and Portrush in the early 1900s. And that is where the name of this Portrush-brewed beer comes from.

It is malty in the aromas. Colour is a reddish-orange. Quite pleasant on the palate with a light caramel maltiness, and rustic, woody notes from the Northern Brewer hops (often used in California Common for its woody, piney and minty essence). You’ll also find this hop in Lambic, Porter, European Ales, and Stout, on the darker side in other words.

The Rising Sun’s “Common Eileen”, another California Common, was malty with a decent bitterness, with traditional old-style American hops, came out about four years ago. Good name but short-lived, I think. This Portrush effort has more going for it but not sure that it will have a lasting impact.

Worth a try though. Recommended.

BB: 31.01.2024. Bought: 25.09.23

Friday, October 13, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #48. Craft with Bullhouse, Rascals, Lough Gill and Wicklow Wolf.

CorkBillyBeers #48

Craft with Bullhouse, Rascals, Lough Gill and Wicklow Wolf.

Nothing over 5% ABV in this foursome


Bullhouse Frank The Tank Hazy IPA, 5.0% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

Mosaic makes the difference! 

“The Fruity Hop That Changed Craft Beer.”

Colour of this Belfast-brewed IPA is pale, more or less lemon, and it is indeed hazy, like a foggy night on the docks. Frank seems quite the character and is not shy about promoting itself: "Once it hits your lips, it's so good!” It is that extra pale base “to showcase the aromatic, tropical and stonefruit flavours of our Mosaic DDH”.

No kidding with Frank. It is indeed pretty damn good, packed with just the one hop Mosaic and giving up slightly sweet flavours of tropical fruit and a whole lot of hoppy backbone in a complex mouthfeel. Good refreshing finish also.

Bullhouse is emerging, in this house at least, as a brewery to note and Frank the Tank’s IPA is Very Highly Recommended.

California-based Kegerator, well known in home brewing in the US, say their aim is “To provide beer aficionados with the best selection of dispensers, brewing supplies, and home bar accessories.”

They know their hops. The Mosaic hops that Bullhouse have used here - it is just over 10 years old -  is highlighted by Kegerator who call it “The Fruity Hop Variety That Changed Craft Beer.”

“The hop variety was an instant hit and, according to For the Love of Hops by Stan Hieronymus, the variety gained a reputation even before it was named or fully released onto the craft brewing scene in 2012.

The name Mosaic was given to the variety because of the complex and broad aromas it imparts. This complex profile is backed by a clean bittering, which makes it especially remarkable in single hop ales.”

They confirm that it is as versatile as Bullhouse indicate: “Mosaic hops cover all three corners of hop usage pretty well. A fact that becomes obvious when you see the amount of single-hopped IPAs being churned out with this variety. It could also be used in the aroma and flavour department backed by a clean bittering hop like Magnum or Galena. Because of its fruitiness, Mosaic plays well with other fruity or citrusy hops.”


Rascals Session IPA, 4.4%% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

This Session IPA is one of the brewery’s Outbreak Series,  one of “three seriously classy IPAs, each with a particular inspiration”..…

And this is “blissfully citrus and delightfully tropical”. “At 4.4% we're making it an easy-going beer to be sipped, shared and ideal for any bag-of-cans enthusiast: spruce up your sesh with our Session IPA!”

The colour is pale, more or less lemon, with a slight haze. Sweet tropical fruits (mango, lychee, passion fruit) in the aromas. Flavours are quite complex, a blend of floral, tropical, fruity, and earthy characteristics. But it never gets to cross to the sweet side, the balance provided by the hops’ bittering qualities. 

A small ABV yes but a serious session contender. Nice bit of work from the Rascal brewers.

And they know it! “This beer really benefits from the flavour and aroma intensity of using hop oils in the brew. There’s an instant ‘wow factor’ the minute you get a nose – and mouth – full of what’s on offer. There’s a crisp green grape and ripe lime finish, making our Session IPA a proper hoppy belter.”

Can’t argue with that. Very Highly Recommended.

Hops used were Citra T90, Galaxy and Mosaic.


Lough Gill Shaka Session IPA 3.8% ABV, 440 ml can No 21 Midleton

This lemon-coloured IPA comes from the excellent Lough Gill Brewery in Sligo. It is murky, with a soft white head and, at 3.8% ABV, slips comfortably under the session bar. Aromas are moderate, are of the tropical kind and very pleasant. And so it continues on the palate with a smooth citrus flavour and a mouthfeel that “has been amped up with the addition of oats and Dextrin malts”. 

Another well-balanced beer with a refreshing finish and well suited to a session.

Highly Recommended.


Wicklow Wolf Raindrop, 0.5% ABV, 330 ml can No 21 Midleton

“Introducing 'Raindrop 0.5', number 39 in our Endangered Species series. A beer inspired by our Mixed Berry Sour, Raindrop - our brewers were excited to brew a non-alcoholic version of our favourite sour.”

This 0.5% Raindrop comes in an unmissable vibrant red colour. Aromas are fruity, sweetly so. No lessening of the fruit on the palate but here there’s a sour backbone. But it is very refreshing indeed, this mix of jam-packed flavours of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.

One of the more interesting non-alcoholic beers on the market and that includes the imports. But, there’s always a but, this is a limited edition, one of Wicklow’s endangered species. Worth a try if you can get your hands on one, or more than one.