Beer in Derbyshire, UK

Beer in Derbyshire, UK

This past weekend, MrsBeerSnob and I had the pleasure of attending one of our oldest friends wedding in Belper in Derbyshire.

Now, expecting a similar dearth of craft beer, as is usually experienced here in Ireland, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the hotel itself, had it’s own Ale served via handpump, and a range of bottles from local brewery Peak Ales


I tried a few of their beers, and I enjoyed the Bakewell Best Bitter, with a matching pint glass no less, and all for a very reasonable £3.80 a bottle. so approximately €4.50. No craft tax here, infact, it was cheaper than Peroni!

The house ale, Makeney Ale, was cellared a little too cool for my liking, but it had a vibrant nose, and was easy at 3.8% volume. A nice little beer, and did the job nicely. I must give the hotel credit here for supporting a locally made product. Something our own could learn a think of two from. Even my golf club doesn’t stock the locally made beer.

It’s utterly hypocritical of Publicans and Hoteliers to expect it’s patrons to “support local” when they themselves only pay that sentiment lip service. In a lot of cases they’re getting food from local suppliers and producers, but in the main the beer is usually your mainstream nonsense. Given that nearly every county  has a brewery now, why not stock their product? Even if it was bottles! Anyway, I digress. dsc01093-collage

While we were there, we discovered a lovely bar at the top of a hill called Holly Bush Inn, a very typical English country pub. A range of ales on the pumps, simple bar snacks available, such as pork pies, cheese and meat boards, and  pickles! The lounged serving food also. The beauty of this type of bar, is it’s simplicity. It just does simple things right.

Janice saw an old favourite on the bar, a Timothy Taylor Landlord, and she just had to have it. I went will a beer by Abbeydale called The Sipper. A Session IPA, or SIPA! Do you see what I did there? The Landlord was it’s usual dependable self, but the SIPA was a bit of a surprise, being an eminently sessionable beer at 3.7% it was full of flavour and definitely one you could sip on all day.


Another striking thing was that dogs were more than welcome, and MrsBeerSnob wasted no time making friends with a Pug named Penny, and a Setter called Eric.

We’d one more there before we left, basically Thornbridge, while we see their regular stuff here, these were two specials. ExAlted, a collab with Magic Rock – a modern take on a German Altbier, and Fika, a big breakfast stout, brimming with coffee & chocolate flavours.


On our way back for our flight from Manchester, we stopped in the town of Buxton in the Peak District. There was only going to be one stop on the agenda, Buxton Tap House, the tap room of Buxton Brewery. It’s long been on our agenda to get a stop there.


On a dull dreary Saturday afternoon, we got there early, we were there for 12 and there was a nice little crowd in, a mix of people taking a break from their shopping, to people sampling the alcoholic wares of the establishment.

First up for the Mrs was a lovely fresh Axe Edge, one of Buxton’s several IPAs. I’d a lovely Americano made with Hasbean Coffee. I was looking enviously at the draft list, and spotted the Omnipollo Bianca Blueberry Gose and figured i’d have a third. At a low ABV of only 3.5% this was a lovely refreshing drop. In fact they serve in 1/3 measures up to Pint, and 2/3 for the stronger stuff. It’s the stuff that Beer Tickers salivate over!  Of course from a more practical perspective, it allows you to taste more beers. Even where they suggest a half of a strong beer, you can ask for a third and be charged appropriately. Why, oh, why, do we not see a similar option here?

We sampled several of Buxton’s beers over the course of the lunch stop. Which by the way was amazing, we just had a light enough bite of Nachos and Mac N Cheese with Candied Bacon. But the show stopper of the afternoon was MrsBeerSnob’s Chocolate Ice Cream Brown Ale, which is a collab with Buxton and Omnipollo. The trick here is to ask for it with Ice cream. What they do is pour half from the tap, and the other half from a slushy machine. It sounds so bonkers it shouldn’t work. But it does. Not only do you get the chocolatey flavours from the ale, but you still get the bitterness there. A truly unique experience and one i’d love to try again.

All in all, we were most impressed by our visit, and it certainly will not be our last.

Stone Brewing Europe has arrived #DrinkFresh

Stone Brewing Europe has arrived #DrinkFresh

In this latest episode the team have a taste of mega fresh beers from Stone Brewing Berlin that have just launched in to the Irish Market.

They also catch up on the latest news from Ireland and beyond.

The video of Joseph Kearns (Head Brewer at White Hag) can be found here where he talks cans vs bottles from his perspective as a brewer.

Please don’t forget to rate and review on itunes, and all feedback / comments are welcome. 

You can find a direct link to the episode here

You can get us on @IrishBeerSnob and @Mrsbeersnob on Twitter, and you can find us on Facebook too


Podcast Episode 22 – Overkill & Mosaic IPA By Black’s Brewery Kinsale

Podcast Episode 22 – Overkill & Mosaic IPA By Black’s Brewery Kinsale

With the blazing hot sun reigning down over Ireland this weekend, we got to sample two of the new beers from Blacks Brewery and their new Discovery IPA Series, we get to sample Mosaic IPA, and Overkill, an Imperial Black IPA.

We also look at the latest news including awards for Galway Bay, and little old us being nominated in the New Media Europe Awards

Please also spare a moment for Rye River Brewing and N17 who are currently hoping to pitch for Richard Branson on the VMBVoom Awards.

The link to N17 Pitch is here
The link to Rye River is here

Don’t forget you can find our podcast on iTunes, or using the RSS in your favourite podcast app

The direct link to the MP3 file is here.

Always Sunny in Trim

Quite recently we celebrated our seven year wedding anniversary, and decided to visit the town we got married in, Trim! My original idea was to dine in the Knightsbrook Hotel, the venue of said wedding, until I engaged in some twitter activity with a nearby restaurant called StockHouse Restaurant. So on a rare sunny Sunday off we hopped on the short bus journey. We started our day off with a couple of drinks in Trim Castle Hotel. We both enjoyed a stunning pint of Rua, a red ale from local brewery Bru. This is the only craft beer option on draft, but you’ll also find bottles of their IPA Ri. 

The StockHouse Restaurant is right around the corner from the hotel so we really didn’t have too far to walk. Upon arrival I was thrilled we had a reservation as it was quite busy. After a very welcoming and friendly greeting from Tom, one of the owners, we were shown to to our table and handed menus and cocktail recommendations. I noticed on the drinks menu they pride themselves on their range of Gin. On the beer side we were delighted so see they support local with stocking a range of bottled beer from Bru Brewery along with Boyne Valley Cider

To get us started I chose “Cloudy Sky” made from Haymans sloe gin with Fentimans Ginger Beer while Wayne chose “Ten of Hearts” Tanqueray N0.10, Aperol & Rhubarb bitters. We enjoyed these very much as we looked over the menus. There was so much choice we both decided to go with the Early Bird Menu.

My “Cloudy Sky” & Waynes “Ten of Hearts”

For starters no surprises in what Wayne picks, chicken wings. In his infamous words “I judge places on their chicken wings”. I don’t remember the last time he had something different. For me I chose the black pudding salad. We were both more than happy with our choices. Wayne actually uttered the words “best wings in Meath”. They were a decent sized portion with a generous dollop of blue cheese and garlic dip on the side. My black pudding was tossed with saute potato, bacon bits, lettuce leaves with a perfectly poached egg perched on top. Personally for me I would’ve preferred it without the potato. It was a beautiful dish and I couldn’t help myself stealing some of the blue cheese garlic dip to mix in.

Waynes Hot & Spicy Chicken WIngs

My Black Pudding Salad

For main course Wayne chose the striploin 8oz steak cooked medium and served with chunky chips and garlic butter on the side. While I decided on the confit duck leg served with herb stuffing, savoy cabbage, red onion and a spiced plum sauce. I chose garlic potato to accompany mine (good thing we’re married and both like garlic). Wayne devoured the steak and really enjoyed it. My duck was so tasty it fell off the bone. Both were thoroughly enjoyable dishes. Of course we had to have a beer, Wayne chose Bru Ri as I had Bru Rua. The beers were well suited to the dishes (perhaps something to use as a recommendation on the menu).

Waynes Striploin Steak

My Confit Duck

Needless to say we were both stuffed. When offered the dessert menu we politely declined. We took our time to finish our beers before ordering two espressos. During the course of our meal I found the staff very friendly and attentive without being intruding. It’s a very comfortable restaurant with a really lovely vibe. The walls of the restaurant are adorned with photos of the historic town and county. Before we were about to ask for the bill, Mick and Tom both presented us with a beautifully decorated surprise dessert, a mixed berry Eton Mess. So much for being stuffed, we devoured it. 

This was an extremely lovely visit to Stockhouse Restaurant and very good value for money with two courses on the early bird for €21.95 and the cocktail specials starting from €8.95. For €83.20 excluding tip it was well worth it. Thank you to Tom & Mick and all the staff for a wonderful experience we really enjoyed it and are already planning a return visit.

Our day didn’t stop there, it would’ve been rude to be in Trim and not stop in to see Rodney in The Malthouse for a few beers. “We’ll stay till the 16.50 bus” ha yeah right, why stop there when you’re having fun. A few beers, laughs and a taxi home later that night saw the end to a fantastic day.

Podcast Episode 20 – #SnobsOnTour – UK Edition #Punks

In this latest episode of the Irish Beer Snob podcast, the dynamic duo recall their trip to the UK, where they visited Aberdeen, Edinburgh and London via Essex.

All the while they are supping down a Brooklyn Brewery special, Intensified Coffee Porter to celebrate their 20th Episode, and 7th Wedding Anniversary.

The gang cover our their exploits at the Brewdog Equity Punk AGM – where they met up with a number of twitter fans, and had a rip roaring good time.

Janice with @Sparkyrite, and Instagram god, @Blue__Zulu

Wayne & Janice with Paul & Sandra from Four Corners, and Bill from Victory Brewing

The details on the 2 current crowd funding operations going on at the moment in the Irish Beer Scene.
  1. Manor Brewing Company at Indiegogo
  2. Radikale at
BEFORE 11am Weds 20th April 2016 only
If you wish to invest in Brewdog Equity Punks IV – use referral code R237208
And a great group shot of us at the South Essex Bottle Share (

The SX Bottle Share Crew

And be sure to stick around for an interview with Bill Covaleski of Victory Brewing. 

Don’t forget to review our podcast on iTunes, and to subscribe to our RSS feed using your favourite Podcast App.

MP3 link to episode is here

Thanks for listening.

Huge thanks to Steve @BeerOClockShow – Pic by Michelle Daniels (@gingerdaniels13) 

CraftyDarts – An Evening with Peter Manley

Darts, the ultimate pub game. Far away from the bright lights and glamour of the huge events we see on Sky Sports every week. Fancy dress, Strobe Lights, pumping music. 

We’re proud to be involved with where we aim to bring together good beer with good darts. 

Our first event is Thursday 28th April at one of our favourite pubs in Dublin, 57 The Headline on Clanbrassil Street. We have former world number one, Peter “One Dart” Manley joining us and this promises to be a great event.

Tickets are €30 which includes food and a 5 Lamps pint. There will also be a chance to play Peter Manley, and one lucky punter could win 100 euro by hitting a bull in one dart.