Showing posts with label Yards & Crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yards & Crafts. Show all posts

Monday, September 26, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #125. On the craft journey with Dot Brew, Bradleys, Lough Gill, Blacks, Stone Barrel, Yards & Crafts

A Quart of Ale± #125

On the craft journey with Dot Brew, Bradleys, Lough Gill, Blacks, Stone Barrel, Yards & Crafts


Bradleys with Dot Nice One IPA, 6.00% ABV, 440ml Can 

Colour is a nice light gold, topped by a white bubbly top, one with a bit of stamina. Aromas of grapefruit and granadilla sweetness plus a hint of pine resin. Much the same on the palate, the fruit and pine still there plus a touch of peach and apricot right the way to the satisfying finish. 

Quite a combination, nothing out of synch here, good mouthfeel too. Excellent on all counts. Just might restore my faith in collaborations!

Geek Bits: Barley, Oats (flaked and malted), and Wheat are all included in the ingredients. And you have a healthy helping of US hops Simcoe and Amarillo.

Michael at Bradleys tells me they are now working with a new Irish delivery courier who use zero emission vehicles: “So whether it's the latest craft beer, fine wine or luxury whiskey, you can shop our online store and have it delivered anywhere in Ireland for just €5.” 

Lough Gill Sligo Bay American Pale Ale, 4.6%, 440ml can Bradleys

Colour is a light gold, hazy, with a soft white head. Aromas are moderate, led by citrus. Well balanced, as the makers indicate, between hops and malt, refreshing with a dry finish.

Lough Gill are happy with this one: “This American Pale Ale has a stunning bright golden colour. We've brewed it with a mix of cereals & American hops for a hop-forward yet malt-supported flavour. A bit special!”

The independent family run brewery is nestled close to the shores of Lough Gill, Co. Sligo and was established in 2016 by James Ward. Since opening their doors, the team have continued to produce high quality, exciting beers, ranging from bold stouts to brave sours.

The water, along with the name, come from nearby Lough Gill and that was also the name of the old brewery. It is not the first brewery for James and wife Valerie. Their initial venture, the White Hag, was the first brewery in Sligo for the best part of a century. After a couple of years, he sold it to its investor group and launched Lough Gill, with Anderson’s Ale, in November 2016.

Stone Barrel Boom Session IPA 4.5%, 440ml can Yards & Crafts

Colour is a mid-gold with a big soft white head.  Aromas are citrusy, with more exotic notes as well, such as Mango. The exotic flavours from the American hops are immediately apparent in the mouth all the way to a satisfactory smooth dry finish. Haven’t seen the hops detailed anywhere though they do mention on the web shop that they’ve used a “blend of American hops balanced by the delicate yet complex malt bill”. 

Stone Barrel beers are brewed by Third Barrel in Dublin. So, who are Stone Barrel?

“Well, what can we say, we’re two home-brewers who brew bigger.

Niall Fitzgerald and Kevin McKinney are the founders, brewers and driving force behind Stone Barrel Brewing. We both have a huge passion and appetite for all things in craft beer, from making to drinking and everything in between.

We launched Stone Barrel in November 2013 with one simple aim, to brew the kind of craft beers we love drinking. The good thing is that we love them all!

Like most home-brewers, we dreamed of one day opening a brewery. So, after a lot of planning, stress, blood, sweat, tears and hugs, we’re here. We’re living the dream and dreaming of beer!

It’s all good!”

Blacks Mango & Mosaic IPA, 5.0% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys

Summer drink with a summer colour, shiny gold, and a white crown. Fruit aromas, with mango (which is included as an ingredient) heading the exotic posse. And so it goes onto the palate, those mango flavours surfing across with the Mosaic catching up towards the finish to give you something of a refreshing crisp and bitter finalĂ©. Not a bad outcome at all! If you like Mango a lot. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #124. On the craft journey with Post Card, Third Barrel, Wicklow Wolf, Rye River, Bradleys, Yards & Crafts

A Quart of Ale± #124

On the craft journey with Post Card, Third Barrel, Wicklow Wolf, Rye River, Bradleys, Yards & Crafts

And Toto!

Post Card Ha’penny Bridge Pale Ale, 4.2 ABV, 400ml can Bradleys

A hazy orange colour here with a generous foamy head that soon settles and sinks. Aromas are modest, citrusy with a touch of pine. It certainly loses its reserve on the palate, full of deep and lasting flavours (citrus, more exotic stuff) all on a hoppy backbone and no shortage of malt either. The finish is also impressive, the dry-hopping having helped in the balance. 

The base malts used are Irish-grown, from Loughran’s Family Malt. The American hops include the pretty well-known trio of Centennial, Citra and Idaho 7.

Decent info on the label where the main visual is based on a Ha’Penny Bridge painting by Sarah Magee. When built in 1816, it was the first pedestrian bridge to cross the Liffey. Post Card beers are brewed in Farmington’s Brewery (Kildare).

Post Card Brewing Company is "a small but adventurous craft brewery. We brew our beers to both tempt the average beer-drinker and enthrall the enthusiast”.

They point out that Ha'Penny Bridge Pale Ale is not so pale “but an old school style” that will remind you of your first Pale ale all those years ago”.

Third Barrel Counter Culture Modern Style Pils 4.9% ABV, 400ml can Bradleys

Counter Culture Modern Style Pils (quite a mouthful!) comes in a golden lager colour. Malt and hops share the aromatics here and the engaging engagement continues in the mouth, a mouth full of flavour and refreshment, this clean crisp beer doing its job to perfection.

Two hops feature: German Saaz and Lorien. The latter is the less traditional one, hardly traditional at all as it is a relatively new hop from the American Indie Hops Flavor Project, a hop that has been advanced through the “development process with crisp, refreshing low-gravity beer in mind. This hop has a unique ability to let the tasty malt platform shine, yet contributes an addictive finish of citrus zest, fresh melon, sweet hay and wildflowers, all capped by a cinnamon spice that cleanses your palate and lures you back for more.”

For its part, the more traditional Saaz (this from Germany apparently, rather than Czechia) contributes aromas/flavours of hay, tobacco, and herbal. Not quite the modern magic of Lorien (which echoes some of the Saaz qualities) but still a player.

The Lorien though is certainly full of promise and the excellent lager is a good example and a welcome addition to our bottle shop shelves.

So who are third Barrel? Initially formed in 2016 as a collaboration between two gypsy brands who wanted their own space. Third Barrel has now grown to be one of the most respected brands in Irish craft beer. Brewing everything from the most wholesome Pils to Triple IPAs and everything in-between.  

Our one and only passion in life is making savage beer and we love sharing that passion with you.


Wicklow Wolf Toto Sorachi Italian Pils 4.9% ABV, 400ml can Bradleys

Wicklow Wolf tell us Toto Sorachi is brewed with Pilsner malt, Sorachi Ace hops for bittering and German hops Huell Melon and Ariana for flavour and aroma. An Italian style Pils, named after an Italian, but no Italian hops.

The Italian? Why, Toto Schillaci of course. The then little known Sicilian struck like an island pirate to snatch a quarter-final winner after a hopeful Pakie Bonner parry and send Ireland tumbling out of the World Cup of 1990 or Italia Novanta as George Hamilton revelled in pronouncing at every single opportunity.

Back to the beer then. It is, as touted, a refreshing pils with bready, malt sweetness, citrus and melon aromas and a clean, crisp bitterness to finish. Excellent then for a World Cup game and will score well in any exciting encounter.

Schillaci, sorry Sorachi, is a versatile hop, excellent in several beer styles, lager among them. It has been used here for its bittering qualities. The German hops Huell Melon (look for Melon, Strawberry, Vanilla) and Ariana (Tropical, Berry, and Jasmine) are employed for flavour and aroma. But, as with most good lagers, the Pilsner malt has quite a say in Toto. 

By the way, do you remember which beer Toto later advertised on Irish TV? Check it out here.

Rye River Miami J IPA 6.5%, 440ml can Yards & Crafts

One of a series of “Seasonal Small Batch Beer, the range developed as a way to explore our passion for our craft”.

It is a hazy mid-orange with a soft bubbly head. Lots of juicy citrus and exotic fruits in the flavours, dank here too as in the aromas. It has has quite a soft feel on the palate. Lots of promise so far but the expected delivery never quite arrives. It lacks a finish. A bit like Shamrock Rovers against Ghent on the TV. 

Rye River say: “In this edition of our beloved Miami J, we collaborated with our friends at Barthhaas X to pack their advanced hop products into this juicy IPA. Lupomax, Incognito and Spectrum have saturated this brew to accentuate all the things we love about the softer side of hops. Brace yourself!”

No doubt this collaboration will have its fans. Different strokes for different folks. I’m not having much luck with collabs this year though there was at least one memorable work between Wicklow Wolf and Mescan. If it weren’t for that and one or two others, I’d be inclined to give them a wide berth

Geek Bits

Malts: Carapils, Maris Otter, Wheat, Oats

Hops: Amarillo, Cascade, Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy.

Yeast: London Fog

Centrifuged. Unpasteurised. Natural sedimentation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #123. On the craft journey with Third Barrel, Rascals, Wide Street and Larkins

 A Quart of Ale± #123

On the craft journey with Third Barrel,  Rascals, Wide Street and Larkins 

Third Barrel Day Drinking Part Deux Citra Strata Session IPA, 4% ABV, 400ml can Bradleys

Our Citra Strata Session IPA is the second in Third Barrel’s series of summer slammers. This one is double dry hopped with Citra and Strata. The first was  called Day Drinkin and was a one hop (Simcoe) beer. That drew a great response and so they were inspired to go again. And here we are.

The current slammer is a hazy pale orange one with a soft white head. Aromas are quite citrus-y. But it is with the impact on the palate that it makes the big impression here. The citrus led fruit and the lip-smacking finish, all in a dank envelope, make this one to note.

We summed up the first Day: 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.” 

It seems the opportunities for outdoor recreation are fast fading but there’s nothing to say you can’t enjoy one or more of Part Deux inside, or maybe under an awning, even a tent. Made for a session and well made.

"Initially formed in 2016 as a collaboration between two gypsy brands who wanted their own space, Third Barrel has now grown to be one of the most respected brands in Irish craft beer. Brewing everything from the most wholesome Pils to Triple IPAs and everything in-between.  

Our one and only passion in life is making savage beer and we love sharing that passion with you.”

Rascals X Yeastie Boys Krush Groove IPA 7.0%, 440ml can Yards & Crafts

“The finest NZ hops fused into a tropical & citrus flavour bomb…it’s all peace, love and juice!” 

That is how Rascals introduce this collaboration with Yeastie Boys. Falls flat though; this flavour bomb lacks a detonator.

Let us have a look. And a taste. Orange is the colour, hazy for sure. Nice white head but doesn’t hang about. Aromas are rather modest, soft notes of citrus and also tropical. 

They have deployed a quartet of New Zealand hops here: Galaxy, Nelson, Betty and the lesser known Riwaka and expected flavours include citrus and tropical. Clearly, a lot of work from the collaborators to get here. Was it worth it? Not for me. 

What I did enjoy from Rascals recently was a pint of their superb 4.4% stout on draught at the Celtic Whiskey bar in Killarney. Big thumbs up for that one!

Geek Bits

Malt: Low Colour Marris Otter Malt, Vienna Malt, Torrified Wheat, Naked Oat Malt

Hops: Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy, Betty, Riwaka

Yeast: LAX

ABV: 7%

Larkin’s Tiny Sesh IPA 4.0%, 440ml can Yards & Crafts

This little Sesh, with a punky gorilla on the front label, could well be described in my shorthand as troppy, meaning hoppy with tropical aromas and flavours. And it’s true enough as regards the aromas, pretty big indeed. And it is quite juicy and with much the same fruits on the palate. 

So no bother in agreeing with Larkin’s Insta summation: “Our new improved session IPA with bigger aroma and body.” Well balanced beer, easy to drink and easy to enjoy.

The label claims it’s an East Coast style and, that is confirmed by tasty tropical notes, less bitterness and the hazy appearance (not so hazy that you can’t see the fountains of bubbles rise to the top). 

Ingredients are listed as Barley, Wheat, Oats, Hops, Water and Yeast. Tiny is part of the new Larkin’s core range and is available in single cans and in “a great value” 440ml 4 pack. One of those beers that might well make the jump to draught.


Wide Street Sound by Design Pale Ale 4.4%, 440ml can Yards & Crafts

Wide Street’s Belgian style Pale Ale has a light, almost lemony colour with a soft white head that persists a while over the haze. Aromas and flavours are tropical and hoppy and there is the slight clove-ish hint on the nose and on the clean and refreshing palate, the aromas and flavours coming, Wide Street say, from the freshest American hops (El Dorado and Idaho 7 in this case). 

An interesting, very dry and lip-smacking beer from the Longford brewery.

Ingredients: Malted Barley, wheat, oats, water, hops and  yeast.

Unfiltered can-conditioned and contains yeast sediment.

Best paired with your favourite music, they hint!

Monday, August 29, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #121. On the craft journey with Bullhouse, 12 Acres, Wicklow Wolf, Eight Degrees

 A Quart of Ale± #121

On the craft journey with Bullhouse, 12 Acres, Wicklow Wolf, Eight Degrees

12 Acres Pale Ale 4.6%, 440ml can O’Brien’s Douglas

Not my first time coming across this 12 Acres Pale Ale, from County Laois, with its soft white head that sinks fairly quickly. The colour has more amber than pale. And the aromas speak more of malt than hops and so it continues onto the palate. In addition to their own malt, they also use a small quantity of three European speciality malts, giving even more malt body, texture and additional caramel flavours to the beer. 

But the three Americans hops,Cascade, Willamette and Citra, help give bitterness plus citrus and tropical flavours to balance the malt sweetness. So what you get is a delicious refreshing dry hopped golden pale ale.

They say: Our award winning flagship beer, our pale ale is a take on the American Pale Ale (APA) style, with more emphasis on the malt flavour than a traditional APA. Our own spring water is the main ingredient and we add our own pale ale base malt which forms the majority of the grist, to give the fermentable sugars and flavour to our beer…By brewing with our own malted barley and Killeshin spring water from deep beneath the same land, we are producing unique Irish craft beers with traceability from our ground to your glass.”

A lot of attention to detail here and it pays off. Best served 6-8 degrees and it goes great with spicy foods.


8 Degrees Citra Single Hop IPA, 5.7%, 440ml can O’Brien’s Douglas

They, 8 Degrees, say: Citra, with its fruity, juicy aroma and flavour, is one of our favourite hops. To showcase it, we’ve used a simple, yet elegant, malt body …. This is a beer that is both sweet and tart, with a gloriously juicy mouthfeel.

Orange/gold is the colour of this Citra Single Hop from Eight Degrees, the adventurous brewery. It’s got a white bubbly head. Aromas are, surprise, surprise, citrus with a floral touch as well. The combined fruit flavours come out to play on the juicy palate and you’ll note peach, melon, lime, gooseberry, passion fruit and lychee in the mix with the malt on display. It’s a refreshing really well-balanced beer, with a nicely judged bitter finish. 

Geek Bits
2020 World Beer Awards – Gold
2019 World Beer Awards – Gold

Style: Single hop IPA
Malt: Irish pale ale malt
Hops: Citra, Citra and…Citra!
Strength: 5.7% ABV
Bitterness: 62 IBUs

Food pairings from the Mitchelstown brewery are among the best around:
The bitterness in this Citra Single Hop IPA will cut beautifully through sweet low-and-slow pulled pork served with a chilli-spiked peach relish. The beer also will counterbalance the bold flavours of barbecued chicken wings and play nicely with some grilled spicy fresh Gubbeen chorizo sausages. Try it with a not-too-sweet Key Lime pie for a full-on citrus ending to your meal.


Bullhouse Suds DDH Pale Ale 4.5%, 440ml can Yards & Crafts

Slurp down some Suds! More hops.

That’s the can label encouragement from Belfast Brewery Bullhouse. And this Double Dry Hopped murky orange coloured Pale Ale is certainly well endowed with hops  (Eldorado, Talus and Azacca) especially in the aromas, and also on the palate.  By now the soft pillowy head has slumped to mere disc but you won’t be worried as the tropical fruits and an input of citrus take over on the smooth and satisfactory ride to the finish. Well made, well balanced.

Last May, Bullhouse took delivery of a brand new (to them) 25HL brewhouse and 6 additional 25HL FVs. 

“We’ve always invested more heavily in our cold-side equipment than in any hot-side stuff, because you can make really good wort on pretty basic kit, but you can’t make really good hoppy beer with poor quality cold-side equipment.”

“We ended up going for a system from a cask brewery in England that had closed down. We now have a 50HL direct fire HLT, 40HL German made mash tun (with side manway) and a 30HL direct fire kettle.” 

The new kit means Bullhouse have the capability to “double our weekly production to 60HL with the same amount of effort”. Well if this Suds is anything to go by, the investment is well worthwhile. Best of luck.


Wicklow Wolf Jeff Bezos Hopfenweisse 6.3%, 440 ml can Bradleys

Introducing No. 30 in our Endangered Species series; Heff Bezos. This release is another example of our brewer’s passion and creativity running wild. A modern twist on the classic hefeweizen beer style, Heff Bezos is a hop forward wheat beer. 

That’s the Wicklow Wolf intro to Heff Bezos. Colour is a murky, opaque, orange with a. Soft slowly sinking bubbly white head. Aromas are a puzzle. I’m expecting banana and clove but initially getting a smoky bacon whiff but go again and it is somewhat closer to the expected combo.

On the palate, the Hopfenweisse continues to carry the banana clove combo yet is is somewhat tartier than the usual. Perhaps the yeast ( a hefeweizen yeast strain from our friends at WHC) is the disrupting factor? No shortage of flavours though with notes of citrus, tropical (including mango) and pine. And, as this first meeting comes to an end, I’m feeling very much at home with Jeff, sorry Heff!

I’m presuming the name Heff Bezos is a play on Jeff Bezos. Jeff, the multi-billionaire (ex Amazon), may be rare but hardly endangered.

Wicklow say this is a style of beer “that we have planned to brew for quite some time now, this Hopfenweisse is brewed with modern hops (Citra, Idaho 7 & Talus)  and fermented using a hefeweizen yeast strain from our friends at WHC*. You can expect a burst of citrus & tropical fruit flavours complimented by aromatic, fruity esters coming through from the hefeweizen yeast.” 

* WHC Lab is a Fermentation and Quality control company in Wicklow

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #120. On the craft journey with Lineman, Wide Street and a Treaty City double.

 A Quart of Ale± #120

On the craft journey with Lineman, Wide Street and a Treaty City double


Lineman Big Calm Brown Ale 6.0%, 440ml can Yards & Crafts


“Big Calm is our kind of brown ale,” declared Lineman when they launched the beer late last year. "…We wanted to brew a brown ale that showcased the flavours of chocolate and caramel malts at their best.”

Did they succeed? Let us check. Colour is brown, a dark one with a short-lived tan head. The aroma box may also be ticked: rich coffee, caramel too. 

And that same combo appears in Act 3, filling the stage of the palate with superb flavours. Some of these chocolate/caramel/coffee beers can be over-sweet. No danger of that here because of a streak of tartness that helps provides an excellent balance plus a lip-smacking finish. 

Suitable for vegans, they declare. Suitable for brown ale lovers, I reckon. All boxes checked then.

Wide Street Monksland Belgian Stout 5.2% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

This Belgian style stout from Wide Street pours black and tan (head), just like a stout should. The head doesn’t hang about but that shouldn’t really matter, its lack of staying power more a cosmetic issue rather than an indication of a lack of quality.

There’s a chocolate element to the fore in the aromatics. And you also meet it, with a sweet fruity touch (figs, raisin), on the palate; here you’ll come across a streak of acidity and there’s also a strong presence of roasted malt. 

A stout with a difference and one worth considering for your shortlist. For all that, there are quite few really excellent Irish stouts and, overall, I’m as strongly inclined as ever, to favour the home variety but fair dues to Wide Street for offering this interesting alternative that is well worth a try.

This is unfiltered, unpasteurised and can-conditioned and may  contain yeast sediment. Refrigerate, store upright and pour carefully. Primary fermented with a Trappist ale yeast for an alternative fermentation take on a stout containing no less than five different Belgian malts.

Treaty City Outcast Juicy IPA, 3.8%, 440ml can O’Brien’s Douglas

A cloudy session beer bursting with fruity notes. The massive hop additions during every stage..give rise to tropical fruit flavours and a citrusy aroma. That’s was the build-up from Treaty City, the brewers of this Limerick IPA.

Colour is a very pale orange, a hazy one. It has a “massive” all-American hop line-up of Idaho 7, El Dorado, and Columbus (also known as CTZ), so expect pine, tropical (pineapple), citrus, and a refreshing pungency in the mouth. That is more or less what you get with quite a bit of fruit on the palate before a dry finish. And that US hop trio certainly lend it a hefty hit, no doubting its hoppy credentials in either aromas or flavour. Overall, it is more than a satisfactory session beer.

Malts, put somewhat in the shade by the hops, are: Pale Ale, Munich, Oats, Wheat

Treaty City, the brew/pub is close to King John’s Castle, say: Treaty City Brewery started in a small two bedroomed apartment in East Vancouver, Canada. After a long night of general debauchery, plenty of merriment and many bottles of bland tasteless beer, we decided enough was enough. Something had to be done. Life was too short to drink bad beer. The next morning, while nursing a spectacular hangover we headed for the local homebrew store and purchased our very first brewing equipment….. 

Soon they were brewing at home and not too long after that they found the real home was calling and, back in the Treaty City, they carried on brewing!

Treaty City Harris Pale Ale, 5.0%, 440ml can O’Brien’s Douglas

Named after Limerick’s most famous film-star, this Pale Ale has a lovely golden amber colour with a soft white head. Aromas are mostly citrus, some floral notes and a modest touch of pine. And it proves itself hop-forward and impressively well-balanced on the palate and beyond. Again the citrus (grapefruit) features strongly in the mouth and so too does the malt. And the combination also provides a very satisfactory finish indeed.

Wrote that paragraph about a year ago when I tasted it first. And I see no reason to alter it after tasting it again. 

The Harris Pale Ale (suitable for vegans by the way) is one of the brewery’s first and is named after Richard Harris, swashbuckling on and off the screen and a man who appreciated a good drink. He performed in a huge variety of films over a number of decades including The Guns of Navarone (1961), The Field (1990) and Gladiator (2000).

The label tells us that the malts used are Pale Ale, Caramunich, Carapils. “A generous helping of Cascade hops gives this tawny colored ale a citrus/floral aroma and a grapefruit flavour with a hint of resin. A blend of the finest Pale and Caramel malts gives a complex malt character while keeping the hops in the forefront.