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

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.

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 12, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #43. Craft with Wicklow Wolf, Galway Hooker, St Bernardus and Community Brew Project

CorkBillyBeers #43

Craft with Wicklow Wolf, Galway Hooker, St Bernardus and Community Brew Project.


Wicklow Wolf Eden Session IPA, 3.8% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

Deliciously juicy, easy-drinking dry-hopped ale

The colour is hazy orange with a soft white head. Aromas of resin and grapefruit. Citrus is also prominent in the juicy palate where there’s quite a tropical presence as well, and again there’s a hint of pine. Well-balanced though all through with the malts having their say and the freshness of the hops combining in a satisfactory finalé.

Deliciously juicy, this easy-drinking dry-hopped ale, carrying just 3.8% ABV,  is a banker for a session, another winner from the Wicklow Wolf.

Very Highly Recommended.


They introduced it in 2019, saying: “An easy drinking Session IPA brewed with a shed load of the freshest El Dorado, Sabro & Chinook hops….We are obsessed with hops. Deliciously juicy, Eden is dry-hopped to give an abundance of tropical and stone fruits with a hint of piney bitterness. The malt bill provides a creamy & well-rounded balance. Malts: Pale, Oats, Cara Blond, Cara Clair


Galway Hooker Irish Pale Ale, 4.3% ABV, 500 ml bottle Centra Victoria Cross

Established in 2006, Galway Hooker produced the original Irish Pale Ale – now the most popular style of craft beer in the country.

And this bottle is indeed marked “the Original”. Colour is a mid-gold, a bit on the hazy side but that doesn't prevent you from seeing the bubbles rising up to the soft white head. Aromas are a mix of citrus and floral. It is crisp and zingy and the flavours are deep on the palate with both malts (Caramel) and hops (Cascade) getting an influential look-in. Quite a refreshing beer with a dry finish.

Perfect, they say, with barbecued meats, seafood and mature farmhouse cheeses. Very Highly Recommended.

Hooker tells us it is created in small batches to make the perfect balance of slowly developed malt and Hops flavours. “The result is a tangy flavour to savour with a light citrus aroma. It combines European and American hops with Irish malt to produce a truly unique blend of old world subtlety and new world taste.”

“Our ethos is to brew natural, full-flavoured, high quality and preservative-free beers. The results are beers that have received numerous awards, including Gold Medals at the Irish Food Awards and the World Beer Awards”.


St Bernardus Wit, 5.0% ABV, 330 ml can Bradleys

St.Bernardus Wit is a traditional unfiltered Belgian wheat beer produced in Watou. It was developed in collaboration with Pierre Celis, the legendary master brewer who was the driver of the resurgence of white beer in the 1960s.

It has a pale orange colour, quite hazy with a dense white head. The aromatics are quite complex though clove stands out for me. There follows a masterclass in balance in the mouth. The herbal notes (coriander), the spice (clove), the fruit (orange, lemon), the sweet malt and the creamy texture (from the wheat) all combine marvellously well with a superb result.

It is a very refreshing beer but quite versatile at the table (which almost goes without saying when you have a Belgian beer at hand). 

St Bernardus are enthusiastic: “This incredibly versatile beer can be paired with almost any recipe from anywhere in the world. Its most outstanding role is perhaps that of a refreshing contrast when served with creamy dishes - a risotto for example - or in combination with shellfish and white fish. Do you serve a slice of lemon with your fish? You can echo that or a lemon sauce or dressing with this beer with its strong hints of citrus.”


Community Brew Project Fragments Red IPA, 6.5% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

How does the Brew Project* work?

“It's pretty simple... It's up to you to tell us what you'd like to see brewed by each of the breweries! We'll narrow the ideas down to a shortlist, and then vote. The beers with the most votes get brewed. We have four brilliant breweries taking part in the project: Ballykilcavan, Dead Centre, Hope and Dot Brew.”

This Red IPA is brewed by Hope. And, yes, it is reddish, pretty murky, with a cream head that slowly sinks. Hops used (“liberally”) are Citra and Amarillo and you do get a bit of citrus fruit in both aromas and flavours.  Not a great balance though and we parted ways before the end.

* More details of the project on the Craic Beer Community platform here