It’s that time of year when we try to recall and relive our favourite beery moments through a rip roaring 2017. For the podcast this year it was a challenge to maintain our frequency due to my college course that I was doing until the summer time. It is our intention to return to more frequent recording from mid – late January 2018. I also want to be writing more.
We’d so many highlights over the year, and as always it’s so difficult to pick them all out but we will try our best to get through all our categories.
Best Irish Keg Beer:
W – we’ve been spoiled this year with so many brewers coming on in leaps and bounds in terms of quality and innovation, and I know i’ll always plump for it if I see it, and that’s YellowBelly Citra Pale ale, but the best beer I had by an Irish Brewer on keg this year was Ambush by Trouble Brewing. Now also in Cans, but this beer never disappoints. A truly juicy pale ale. Special mention to the lads in O’Brother who nailed it with Nightcrawler, a lovely Nitro Stout that came on the scene late in 2017.
J – having tried the freshly kegged and maybe not fully carbonated Rainmaker by O’Brother Brewing at the RDS festival, I knew it was going to be special so when I got to taste it but when I got to taste it fully carbed up, it was a thing of beauty, and one i’ve revisited many times. Also special mention to Whiplash for Body Riddle, such a tasty beer.
Best Irish Cask Beer
W – Not something we see a lot of her, as many brewers don’t do a huge amount of it, but kudos to those that do, and there has been some great cask ales produced, my favourite of the year though was Trouble Brewing’s Walk on the Mild Side, which was everything I wanted in a Mild. Special mentions to both O’Brother who have a steady supply of their casks in Porterhouse, and The Chancer is always kept well, and also the Yellowbelly lads too.
J – Not had a huge amount of cask beer this year, but really enjoyed Yellow Belly – Snooze Button on cask recently.
Best Irish Bottled Beer
W & J- Sometimes overlooked, this category, but there were some cracking bottles through out the year. One for me was Galway Bay – 200 Fathoms 2017 edition, given an extra six months in the bottle, this matured into a lovely sipper, a luxurious impy stout. Special mentions to St Mel’s – A New Dawn, a cracking black IPA from a brewery perhaps known more for their traditional styles.
Best Irish Canned Beer
W – Now, the cat among the pigeons, more and more breweries are packaging in to cans, it’s a larger canvas to show off their branding, but it’s the liquid inside that counts right? I really can’t look beyond Whiplash Beer – Saturate Mosaic DIPA, but every thing that followed, Let It Happen, Fantasm Planes, and Gravity’s Rainbow. All bangers in every right. Honourable mentions to Yellowbelly – Citra Pale Ale, and Hopped in Space, Trouble Brewing – Ambush.
J – For me, Rascals Brewing – Foggy Juice. A great beer and hopefully we see more of it in the future. Honourable mention to Yellowbelly – Are you not entertained? , and also to Westmeath’s Dead Centre Brewing – Marooned Oatmeal IPA
Best Overseas Draught Beer
W – This is a hugely difficult one, we’ve been over to the UK a fair bit, and had so many tasty beers, I really need to start using untappd more. 😂 I think i’d have to say the pintage we had down in the Magic Rock Tap room with Steve from Hopinions has probably some of the standouts, Cannonball was a thing of beauty, fresh from the source. Also Modernisme and Time Quake. As we don’t see it here much, Cannonball was my pick. Brewdog – had a couple of big ones too in Paradox Rye, and Born to Die 13.05.17
J – One from Darkcity for me, Cloudwater – Speyside Chocolate BA Imp Stout, was amazing, also loved Northern Monk – Sticky Toffee Strannik. On cask had the Walnut Brown by Old Chimneys and that was lovely.
Best Overseas Canned / Bottled Beer
W – So many amazing can’s are making their way to us now in Ireland, but only one winner for me and that’s Chubbles by Cloudwater / The Veil – a Triple IPA that was so juicy, and didn’t drink it’s ABV, also we’ve been spoiled by the Northern Monk beers, especially some of their collabs, such as I like to moob it moob it.
J – We’ve had some amazing beers coming in from Lervig and one of my favourites, was Tasty Juice, did exactly what it says on the tin. Also really like supersonic and the 3 Bean Stout by Lervig too
Best Overall Beer
W – For me, it’s trying to pick one from the many amazing beers that i’ve enjoyed over the year, but the one I probably drunk most of was Whiplash – Saturate – absolutely love Mosaic, and this hides its ABV really well.
J – All about the sessionability for me, Whiplash strike again with Body Riddle. Have it every time I see it.
Best Branding / Pump Clip
W & J- Yellowbelly have done an amazing job with their branding yet again, and we were even immortalised for our collaboration Juice Wayne. But with an increase in output and a range of amazing IPAs, it has to be Whiplash for me, the work by Sophie Devere, is gorgeous to look at and looks great on the cans.
W&J – To our friends Geoff and Maire, 57 The Headline again epitomises the best of pubs in Ireland, great range of beer, whiskey’s and gins, matched to a thoughtful food menu which is great any day of the week. Especially those Sunday Roasts. Keep up the good work guys. Honourable mentions to P.Macs and Bar Rua which offer something for everyone. PS the Halloumi fries in P.Macs are awesome.
Best New Pub / Bar
W&J – When Paddy Delahunty and Barry Kavanagh announced they were opening a bar, beer geeks across the city rejoiced. A constantly rotating taplist, which is live online (here) that has enough to keep everyone interested. A cosy space on Dame St, with meat and cheese boards now too plus spirits etc there was never going to be anywhere else getting the nod from us. It has to be Underdog
Beer Festival of the Year
W & J – Spoiled for choice this year, first up early in the year we had Alltech Brews and Food, tickets are on sale already for 2018 edition, then we’d the Killarney Beer Fest in May, which was a lot of fun. Also had the the Brewdog AGM. But the bar was set very high by White Hag’s Hagstravanza which brought a whole new meaning to a piss up in a brewery, we’re really looking forward to next years. We also had a great time up in Belfast at the ABV Fest which is a truly unique festival which i’d like to see something similar in Dublin, and of course Dark City back in November. Winner is Hagstravaganza
W – Has to be the Beer Nut for me (again I hear you cry) John has a sharp wit, and is great to have a pint with.
J – I really enjoy Crafty Beer Tweets twitter account, he’s a sound bloke too.
Best Irish Brewery
W & J – not often we’d agree on something, but it’s a unanimous decision, our Brewery of the Year 2017 is Whiplash – not only are Alan and Alex two of the nicest folk you’ll meet, they’re also two of the biggest beer geeks ever. They’re literally bringing out beers they want to drink and have a ton of fun doing it. Moving into their own digs with Larkin’s brewery for 2018 we’re expecting more of the same awesomeness. Honourable mentions to Trouble Brewing, Rascals, Yellowbelly, who have been knocking out great beers all year, and have really been great.
We left off a couple of categories for brevity, thanks for reading, and Happy New Year. May 2018 be a prosperous and great beery year for you all.