Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas Gift Guide

Why not let me make gift giving that little bit easier for you. Below is a few gift for your beer fanatic loved one. I’ve chosen items I would love to receive myself this year.


  • Monthly Subscription to The Beer Club It’s the gift that keeps on giving. A box of beers to drink away while discussing the aromas and tastes during a twitter hour on Tuesday nights hosted by us! You can purchase a monthly box that will be delivered right to their door. Why not surprise them by signing them up for three, six or even twelve months? They also have put together some pretty nifty looking hampers.
  • Speaking of subscriptions, take a look at this incredible one the guys at Yellow Belly Beer have on offer. This includes some awesome exclusive beers and swag. Not to mention an invite to a brewday with them!!
  • No Christmas is complete without something sweet right? Well look no further than Kate O’Ds. She makes the most amazing truffles. I can assure you they go down a treat. We’re particularly fond of her stout truffles!
  • Why not treat the beer lady in your life to a fabulous piece of jewelry? Wayne purchased me a beautiful hop pendant from Feral Strumpet. It came packaged in a beautiful organza bag with dried lavender. This was a lovely early Christmas present.
  • Have they ever been on a brewery tour? Many of our wonderful Irish breweries offer such an experience. They get a guided tour around the brewery itself. Then afterwards an opportunity to sample the beers. We’ve been on many tours like Mc Gargles and Brehon Brewhouse. Both have impressive tasting areas.
  • One that has been on our list for quite sometime is a trip along the west coast. I’m not only talking about the States, but our very own Ireland. Plan a trip to include all the breweries with this handy guide Wild Atlantic Way Breweries
  • Beer festivals are always fun. They are a great way to meet fellow beer buddies, talk to the brewers and of course try new beers. Tickets are now available for next years  Alltech Craft Brews & Food event. This is held in the convention centre in Dublin and its great craic.
  • You can also purchase a case of this stunning beer 57 The Headline from  This is limited so be quick. Also why not visit them for some quality beers and grub!


Homemade GrapeFruit Radler

Homemade GrapeFruit Radler

Ever since I tried it at a recent beer event I’ve been obsessed by the humble radler. What is it you ask? A radler, is a low alcohol beverage made 50/50 of lager or pilsner and sparkling lemonade. After a quick google search i found it dates back to 1912 and originates from Germany. However, as the story goes it was created by an Inn Keeper in 1922, Franz Xaver Kugler, who realised he didn’t have enough beer to serve to his regulars who were cyclists. He mixed his remaining beer stock with fresh citrus lemonade and they loved it. Probably for the same reason I do, its thirst quenching ability.


This type of drink is more commonly known here in Ireland as a Shandy. Growing up I remember my Father drinking this. To this day my Father in law would be a fan of it. Our version would be half a pint of Heineken or Carlsberg mixed with 7up.

The beer event I mentioned was an introduction to an Austrian Brewery, Stiegl , that are being imported by O’ Haras. You can read more about that here thanks to SimonSaysBeer. I fell in love with their grapefruit radler. It was so full of flavour and so easy to drink at 2% abv. I’ve been hoping we’d see more of this by now.


More recently, on a shopping trip to Lidl I noticed they sell Perlenbacher in cans and bottles. We purchased a few to see what it would be like. We were pleasantly surprised. It was light and refreshing with a zingy lemon punch to it. My Sister happened to visit and I gave her some to try and she enjoyed it too. Since then I’ve been hunting down a grapefruit one. It wasn’t until Wayne mentioned it, that i made my own! He found this recipe and off I went.


I had all the ingredients already so I was set. The first step was to make the fresh grapefruit soda:

  • Juice one whole grapefruit (room temperature) pour into a seal-able container and refrigerate.


  • Cut up juiced rind into chunks, place in a large plastic mixing bowl, add sugar and cover tightly with clingfilm.
  • Let this stand at room temperature stirring every 45 minutes until sugar is dissolved. I’d plenty of time so i did this over 4 hours. You can leave it up to 12 if you prefer. I didn’t start it early enough for that.


  • Measure reserved grapefruit juice, and juice remaining grapefruits to get 300 ml
  • Add to sugar mixture with lemon juice and mix well
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer or piece of muslin cloth into a glass container. this can be stored for up to a week.


I of course didn’t wait that long and used it immediately. It was a hot sunny Sunday after all and we were thirsty. So to make the radler:

  • When ready to serve, add soda water to the fresh grapefruit syrup. Adjust to taste. I made mine quite tart.
  • For each radler add your chosen beer to a glass and mix with the grapefruit soda. I served mine in a pint glass.


It was great fun experimenting with this recipe. I had two different styles to work with. The first was Cotton Ball Brewing Mayfield 5 lager. This working incredibly well. The lager is really refreshing and crisp and carried the grapefruit syrup really well. The oohs and the gasps from Wayne confirmed it was indeed a success. The second was a bottle of Stiegl wheat beer. This was still nice but lacked the refreshing thirst quenching character of the lager. Have a go yourself and see what you come up with.




MCBF 2017

MCBF 2017

The second weekend of July saw the return of The Midlands Craft Beer Festival. Now in its third year, held in the beer garden of Don’s Bar in Moate and organized by Simon of Simon Says Beer fame. This year they had a sponsor in Specsavers of Athlone, who provided coupons for a free eye test. Entry in was only five euro and beer tokens were €2.50 each which were also used for food.

It kicked off at 3pm and being the eager beavers we are, we were practically first paying customers in. Straight away I noticed they’d done a lot of work improving what was already a great beer garden. Plenty of comfy chairs, tables and picnic benches surrounded the stage and the marquees which hosted the breweries.

First beer of the day was a can of Whiplash Beer saturate shared between us with me having the more generous serving as poor Wayne was designated driver as usual. I think by now we all know our love of this beer, so no words are really necessary! You may be thinking that’s a strong start, but there was a slight issue with electricity which led to the coolers not being on so the beer pouring was warm. That was sorted out pretty swiftly by Dave from Trouble Brewing.

Next to the lads of Whiplash was Olan from Dan Kellys Cider. He had all three variations of their cider in bottle form. Wayne sipped their single variety while I enjoyed their original version.  While drinking this beautiful cold liquid we enjoyed a chat and plenty of laughs with Olan, Alex and Alan.

We skipped on over to the other side which housed St. Mels, Rascals and newcomers Dead Centre Brewing. Rascals were pouring Yankee, their white IPA and their strawberry vanilla shake. We chose the later, I was feeling a bit iffy about it as I never really enjoyed it before. But after tasting it again for about the fourth time I was pleasantly surprised by it. Whatever you guys did to improve the recipe really worked.

Trouble Brewing were pouring their India Pale Lager called Remix but it was their American Amber, Stagediver I went for. It’s been a while since I had a beer from these guys and this beer didn’t disappoint. Just made me want to revisit beers from them again. Dying for a bit of sabotage!

Time for food! The offerings were pizza, cheese burger or a pulled pork bap. Wayne devoured the cheeseburger while I salivated over the pulled pork. Both were extremely tasty. The BBQ sauce on the pork was absolutely gorgeous and the chef wouldn’t share his secret no matter how much I asked. They were super friendly guys and we had great craic talking to them.  I will admit, the pizzas did look good too.

At this stage I grabbed a pouring of whiplash body riddle pale ale and sat down to enjoy the music and chat to some friends. There was a great atmosphere created by the musicians that were playing, but also the people in attendance. It was great to catch up with so many beer folk we know. We shared many a laugh and enjoyed some great chats!

Next up I sauntered over to Liam from Dead Centre Brewing as I noticed a crowd gathering around him. He was pouring for the very first time and the beer was absolutely beautiful. His oatmeal pale ale called That Magnificent Beast! A very fitting name and needless to say it went down a treat and didn’t last very long. This is one to look out for guys! Definitely a highlight of the day for me.

Another new beer pouring at the festival was from St Mels. Their black IPA is called A New Dawn so I went for a glass. It was very tasty indeed! They were also pouring their pale ale which is also a great beer.

Another highlight for me was pulling a few beers for whiplash, while the lads had a bit of craic themselves. Got to have lots of fun with people and have a few samples myself. Plus the Mc Gargles lil bangin was on top form too!

All in all, it was a great event. Congrats to everyone involved. If you didn’t get to make it, I’d suggest putting it in your calendar for next year! I’ll be booking a b&b for next time!

O’Briens Naas Craft Beer Fair

O’Briens Naas Craft Beer Fair

It was a cold wet Saturday afternoon in May, a Summer month, but we experienced all four seasons in this one day. After Wayne arrived home from his round of golf, we took off for the afternoon. We decided to go visit O’Briens in Naas as they were hosting their annual craft beer fair. This particular branch is known for its support and range of craft beer, especially with our fellow beer enthusiasts, so we thought it’d be a great opportunity to check it out.

When we arrived there was a great buzz in the store, each table adorned with beer bottles and cans ready to be tasted while manned by the brewers ready to share their story. So up first for us was Dot Brewery from Dublin. It was an absolute pleasure for me to finally meet Shane. We’ve been massive fans of his beers since the beginning of his journey. He had samples of his core range, the new saison and something new. Of course I had to opt for the latter, turns out it was a barrel aged white peach and rum amber. It was absolutely beautiful. Can’t wait for more of that! Sharing a table with Shane, was Whitehag From Sligo. I sampled their american amber ale while Wayne had a sip of their black boar. Both very enjoyable. Check out their website for information on their impending third birthday celebrations. Promises to be a great night.

Over to Cam from Eight Degrees ,based in Cork, to taste their latest releases. Their core range was available to taste, but it was all about new beer for me. Retribution, a limited edition black rye IPA in collaboration with Terrapin Beer Co.was first. This was a gorgeous beer, plenty of sweet fruit aromas with a well balanced fruity flavour turning into a lasting dry pepper finish. If you see it, pick it up. Lemon Drop single hop IPA is their latest beer. Its very refreshing with hints of green tea with a smack of lemon bitterness. Cam was seriously generous with his time and we really enjoyed talking the ear off him.
I spotted Paddy owner/brewer of 12 Acres Brewing from Laois cradling a bottle of their rye IPA and I sauntered over to grab a taste. It has taken the spot of their pale ale as my favourite. Wayne enjoyed sampling the lager. After a brief chat its exciting to hear new beers are in the planning from these guys. Just watch this space.

Michael from Manor Brewing in Wicklow was on hand proudly showing two very interesting looking mini kegs and their newly packaged Mont Pilsner. This was a surprise, a beer that has improved greatly since its first release. This pilsner is now so refreshing and crisp that I would’ve happily drank a pint. In the mini kegs were two new beers we just had to sample. The first was Black is the new orange, an orange infused black lager which was really good. The other was Tall Poppy Syndrome, a belgian ale. Both of these are festival specials and will be available at the upcoming Killarney Beer Fest.

 Making our way to the next table, in the corner of my eye I saw new beer from Brehon Brewhouse. It was their pale ale suitably called Fiesta. It was so easy to drink, I think this is going to be a hit. A great citrus aroma with a lovely light mouth feel to it ending in a subtle bitter aftertaste. It makes you dive back in for more. The beer wasn’t available to purchase yet, but we were kindly given a couple of bottles to bring home. Also on offer was their core range. Next to them sharing a table was Wicklow Brewery. I enjoyed a chat with Colm while tasting their weisse beer. They also offered the Hopknut pale ale, which Wayne enjoyed. This was the first time he tried the can version.

We had the pleasure of chatting to Stephen & Gabriel from Treaty City Brewing based in Co Limerick next. Here they were offering samples of their four beers. Two we’ve tried and tested before, but were underwhelmed by a bad bottle at the time. It’s a delight to tell you their IPA and Pale Ale have come on leaps and bounds since they were first released. Their new beers are a lager and a red ale. For me personally the red ale was a little bit sweet and thin but the lager was refreshing and crisp. It really was great fun chatting with these guys. I see more of the IPA in my future.

Brian from Lagunitas happily poured some cappuccino stout into a glass for me. I really enjoyed the smoothness of this beer. Wayne enjoyed a mouthful of brown shugga, i found this a little sweet. We got cans of the new beer, 12th of never, to bring home and try. Cheers to Brian for those. There were a couple of other beers on offer that we had before, Wilco Tango Foxtrot, the ipa and lil sumpin’. Sharing a table with him was Rick from Kinnegar based in Co Donegal with a great selection of bottled beers. We sampled Great Arch, a kölsch style Summery dry-hopped hybrid and Bucket & Spade, their session Rye IPA. They were the only two out of the selection we hadn’t tried before.

We stopped off at Hope Beer from Co Dublin next. I was dying to try their new summer session beer and boy it didn’t disappoint. Possibly the beer of the afternoon for me.I also had a sip of the oatmeal IPA which was a hit back at the Alltech festival. It was great chatting to the guys and cheers for the awesome bottle opener. Next to them sharing a stand were the guys from Killarney Brewing pouring their new Saison that Wayne was raving about, I enjoyed a sample of their IPA, scarlett pimpernel more. The guys were having serious banter with customers and it really added to the atmosphere.
Before heading home and after tasting all the beautiful beers, I spotted some gin! One I both hadn’t heard of or tried. Bonac 24 gin was beautiful and one I’ll happily add to my growing collection of good gin.

All in all it was a super fun afternoon. A really well put together event by the guys from O’Briens. It was great craic engaging with the brewers while sampling the beers. We even bumped into some friends and fellow beer enthusiasts. Check out The Beer Hopster for his thoughts and Craft Beers of Ireland on facebook for his. Roll on next years event.



Beer Cocktails

Beer Cocktails

The seed was planted  a couple of years ago, at my very first visit to the Brewdog AGM, to experiment with beer as a mixer in cocktail making. This came about when I was looking for something different. You know when you’ve just had enough beer and you’re looking for an alternative, be it whiskey, a cocktail or whatever your preferred drink may be? Well that is how I stumbled upon my first experiment.

I know there are quite a few bars and restaurants that have perfected some amazing beer cocktails, but back then it was a revelation to me. At the AGM, held in the arena in Aberdeen, it was very much set up as a festival. Quite like your typical concert here in Ireland, the stage area with bars set up around the perimeters. I had reached my beer limit and had my epiphany when I remembered I was carrying a bottle of Irn Bru in my bag. I sought out a half pint of Dead Pony Club and mixed it with the Irn Bru. Much to my delight it was gorgeous. Wayne was pleasantly surprised too.

This all stemmed from when we attended the ABVFest in 2015. It was my first professionally made beer cocktail perfected by Gary. This was when we first met @TheGazzz who we were both following on twitter. He developed the beer cocktails that were available at the festival. Not only that but he also developed the beer cocktails for Brewbot in Belfast too. So if you’re attending the festival this year, go check out his cocktail creations, you won’t be disappointed.

Locally however, trying to find a bar that has a decent beer selection is like hens teeth. We live in a big enough town with a main street that houses plenty of bars. However a handful of pubs have a small craft beer bottle range with them having one tap for micro brewed beer. There is only one dedicated craft beer pub, Brú House Navan, so you can imagine the difficulty trying to get a proper beer cocktail.
This brings me to what was a regular Friday night at home with Wayne enjoying a couple of beers, I sent a simple tweet:

That’s when we decided to take Thomas up on his suggestion of mixing beer and gin. Being the curious cats we are, and as we were already drinking it, I said how about using whitehags lemon sour Púca. So off to the drinks cabinet Wayne went and after a few minutes he comes back with his creation. He used Boyles Gin mixed with the lemon púca and garnished with slices of lemon. The resulting taste resembled lemoncello. It went down very well. Boyles gin is a small batch distilled specifically for Aldi Ireland. We picked up a couple of bottles for €24.99 each.

Next was my turn to come up with something. I used Glendalough wild spring botanical gin, the 2016 version. This is a seasonal gin using locally foraged ingredients to produce a very limited batch. We were lucky enough to pick up a bottle from The Winehouse in Trim.

Being a big fan of Waynes cocktail, I decided to stay with Púca, only the berry hibiscous and ginger version. I prefer this to the original dry hopped lemon flavour. It is just as face scrunchingly tart but a little sweeter which I enjoy more. I chose mint as my garnish and it was beautiful.

While we were on a recent visit to Simon Lambert & Sons in Wexford, for a day with Yellowbelly, we enjoyed some seriously tasty beer cocktails. These were created by Danny using beers by Boundary Brewing. Wayne enjoyed “King Bong”, a citrus infused gin, white lemonade, fresh orange which was topped up with Boundarys Imbongo Tropical IPA. It was really good. However mine was “Dirty Filthy Animal” Dingle Vodka, Espresso Coffee, Tia Maria, Sugar blended with Boundarys “Filthy Animal” chilli porter. It was absolutely amazing.

Photo courtesy of @yellowbelly

Thanks again to the power of twitter, I’ve discovered a few places that serve beer cocktails in Dublin. Idlewild Bar in Dublin have a Magic Rock porter martini and an ipa margarita on the way with a new beer cocktail menu. The Hill Pub in Ranelagh have created a gin and grapefruit based cocktail topped off with Brewdogs Elvis Juice. Brickyard Gastro pub have also tried and tested a few cocktails and are also creating their Hoptail menu. I’m quite happy to know there are a few places serving them. It’s a start at the very least.

Stocking Fillers

Stocking Fillers

Ever wonder what to get the craft beer lover in your life? Well here at IrishBeerSnob we’ve come up with a few nifty ideas for you. Here is a list they are bound to love.

Glassware is a great choice. From a specialized IPA glass to a glass especially for stout you can’t go wrong. The majority of independent off licences have Spiegelau glasses on sale. Prices start from €6.99 for a single glass up to €19.99 for a set of three as seen in Mc Hughs.

Can Koozies are fun. Ever heard of you beer lover talking about bus/train beer? Well these are a great way of keeping your beer cold and preventing your hand warming up your beer. Also works as a novel way of disguising the evidence in public. We’ve a few of these and they’re great. I particularly like this one from BrewDog for approx €5.

Branded merchandise is always a favourite in our household. Why not look up their favourite brewery and buy a t-shirt? Personally for me I love beanie hats and have started collecting them. Whereas Wayne loves T-Shirts like this eight degrees one for €15.00.

Sick of seeing or picking up bottle caps? Or are you saving them in a pint glass not knowing what to do with them. Well why not get a bottle cap map? A great way of saving and displaying those caps. Just like this Ireland Map available for £18.00.

Personalised coasters are a great idea. Not only can they hold your beer glass but they can also decorate your coffee table. So why not design your own with starting at €2.95. Or check out this gorgeous handmade set made out of bamboo by man of beerd. We have a set and I love them.  While we’re talking about decorations, get their favourite beer bottle turned into a candle holder with Pauls Attic Crafts. I surprised Wayne with these last year.

Of course Christmas isn’t complete without a book. First up is Beer and Food by Mark Dredge priced at £14.38. A simple book guiding you on pairing food with beer. Beer School is an introduction into craft beer written by Jonny Garrett priced at £14.95. Brooklyn Breweries Head brewer Garret Oliver wrote Brewmasters Table :Discovering the pleasure of real beer with real food available for £9.99.

Not forgetting the actual beer, there are so many to choose from so why not pop into your local off license and ask for help in choosing a hamper? They’ll have something to recommend for every budget. Make sure to ask for Christmas specials that are being released. But be quick as some of these are popular and will sell out! Most off licenses have put hampers together such as Martins in Fairview, also the beer club and Bradleys in Cork. The guys in O’Briens also have some great gifts available.