This year, rather than the traditional written scribe of Golden Pints, we decided to do it as a podcast.
It’s up on Itunes now, the feed link is http://redpn.jellycast.com/podcast/feed/56 for those on Android or don’t use Itunes, and the direct link to the MP3 for download is here
We broadly followed the same format as the Golden Pints, and ramble on a bit too.
So here are some of the areas we cover.
- Best Irish Beer 2014 – Keg / Bottle
- Best International / UK Beer 2014 – Keg / Bottle
- Best Beer in Can / Bottle
- Best Cask
- Best Pub
- Best Beer Experience
- Best Off licence
Having listened back to the podcast, i’ve decided to summarise here (Janice’s in Italics)
My Best Irish Beer 2014 – 8 Degrees Full Irish – a full on hop forward pale ale – deliciously drinkable. Honourable mentions to Bo Bristle Imp Red and their Double IPA
Bo Bristle Imperial Red – big malty hoppy beer that we were privileged to have at Snobfest in Navan
Best Uk / International Beer: Brewdog – Black Eyed King Imp what a great dark beer, barrel aged version of Cocoa Psycho essentially – as mad as it sounds, and tastes amazing. Honourable mentions to Gamma Ray and Black Betty by Beavertown, and Magic Rock – Cannon Ball
Beavertown Gamma Ray – on Draught and Can one of my absolute favourites
Best Can – Gamma Ray – Beavertown – honourable mention for Oskar Blues G’Knight
Same as Wayne – Gamma Ray
Best Cask – Brú Autumn Ale was fantastic, as well as their core beers. Honourable mentions to Stone Barrel with their fantastic Day Trippin’ American Pale
Brú Autumn Ale – really enjoyed this at the ICBCF
Best Pub – This year, for me
Farringtons The Norseman, have stepped it up a gear – not only do they have a huge range of craft with macro to keep everyone happy they do nice food and have a massive whiskey selection – the new website really sends them over the top. Honourable mentions – Brewdock (aka my 2nd Home) Smyth’s on the Square Navan, The Oarsman Carrick on Shannon, and PJ Kavanagh’s Portlaoise.
Smyth’s on The Square Navan – Huge Range of Craft in Bottles, and Arthur is such a great host
Best Beer Experiences, you’ll just have to listen to the podcast 🙂
Best Off Licence: Drinkstore, both for Offline and Online dealings – Superb. Honourable mentions to Smyth’s Navan, The Winehouse Trim, and Probus Wines which gave me one of the best experiences of 2014.
Carryout in Tyrellstown because they’ve a great range of craft, but the added bonus of the growler station – meaning we can enjoy some great draught only beers at home
Please share yours with us. Merry Christmas to all our readers/listeners, hope your 2014 was as good, and that 2015 is a great year
Ah summer time, a yearly tradition of decent weather. Well, not so far this year, but there are plenty of brewers out there who make beer for all seasons. Brooklyn Brewery are no stranger to this, having a regular range of seasonals.
I picked up a couple of can’s on a recent visit to Drink Store. Along with some other American Beers, which have started coming in cans to Ireland. There is a lot of debate on Canning we’ll cover this off later. Lets get back to the beer.
The beer itself is described as lighter ale, still packed with flavour from the English Malt, giving the beer a lovely bready / biscuity taste, with a subtle bitterness from German and US hops. This is a very quaffable beer, which when I saw was 5% I was surprised. It definitely didn’t taste it. This would be a great beer for the summer barbeque season, if we ever get one that is.
I’ve more reviews to follow from my haul, which includes can’s of Dale’s Pale Ale, Founders All Day IPA, and Modus Hoperandi, and will have these up soon.
As for canning, i’m amazed that not many people can, its easier for shipping, and will more than likely help a lot of styles, but not all. I took a sip of a can of All Day IPA and it tasted so fresh. Currently it is mainly the US producers canning, but its good to see that Thwaites have also started canning their Crafty Dan range.
|Shamelessly hotlinked from Beermack
Talk about leaving it to the last minute – I’ve only been blogging really for 6 months but have been consuming craft beers a long time. Its been a great year for the Irish Breweries, some fantastic innovation and product out in the market. Its great to see.
Ok, so here goes, I personally found it very difficult to whittle the categories to winners, so i’ve bottled it and am going to list my favourites!
Best Irish Keg;
The obvious choice would be Of Foam and Fury by Galway Bay, Jason and Chris really have upped the ante with their beers. It is of course an unbelievable DIPA. However we saw some great other beers, 8 Degrees had 3 Standouts this year, Amber Ella, and the Northern vs Southern Hemisphere Hop off of Cyclone and Hurricane. Since its debut at ICBCF Amber Ella was sensational. Also a shout out to my local Brewery, Bru, with their cascade hopped Red Ale, Rua, after some initial carbonation teething issues, this has gone from strength to strength. Blacks of Kinsale also impressed with their debut Kinsale Pale Ale and their Black IPA. So for me, after all that Amber Ella just shades it.
Best Irish Cask
As others have mentioned, there hasn’t been a whole lot of Irish Cask, but there are some stand outs, I haven’t tried many, but I enjoyed Coffee Porter by Franciscan Well on a recent trip south. The lads in Bru managed a Cask version of Rua, which when I tried it it was a bit young. Metalman Pale Ale on cask never disappoints, but the standout for me was Galaxy Pale Ale by Trouble Brewing – pulled with a sparkler – a rarity over here, was smooth and kept a lovely creamy head all the way down.
Best Irish Bottle
I normally stick to draught however I have some great bottled beers this year from our breweries. 8 Degrees with their Back in Black series late in the year rocked in with Zeus Black IPA was very good. Dungarvan’s traditional winter seasonal Coffee & Oatmeal Stout was once again superb. But I really enjoyed Mountain Man’s Hairy Goat
Being based in Dublin means i’ve some great bars to choose from, the Cottage Group is strongly represented in Dublin, and I must say The Brewdock has regained my favourite status, after a lull midyear, the management team was tweaked and the place is bouncing again. It would be remiss of me not to mention Against the Grain which is capably run by Paddy, however its just the wrong direction for me on my trip home. Also have been very impressed by WJ Kavanagh’s and their 5 cask taps, and their great food. We also had a great time in Cork, the Bierhaus, and Abbotts Ale House were both fantastic. So it’s the Brew Dock this year.
Best Off License
This is where it gets more difficult. Drinkstore in Stoneybatter, has an unparalleled range in what is an Aladdin’s cave of beers from around the world. They also have a great online store with reasonable delivery charges. My favourite in Dublin for 2013 though is Probus Wines on Fenian St. Not only does Paul carry a great range of world wines and beers. He also has a knock out deli on site. There are regular tasting events, which are ran each week and are suitably themed. A special shout out must go to The Winehouse in Trim, ran by Alan & Rodney attached to the Malt House Pub, this is a veritable treasure trove in the royal county, and people come from near and far – mainly to snaffle the Rua in Bottles!
I’ve got to say, @thebeernut and @beoirfinder both have great dry sense’s of humour. Andrew usually makes me chuckle. Even when taking the mick out of me. Keep it up in 2014. Also special mention to @taleofale, and @beermack_
I really enjoy reading Alex’s blog – Beermack Blog as he always has a wide range of beers for review. I also really enjoy Beernut’s Blog and Tale of Ale blogs. I’ll give the not to John and the beernut blog.
Food and Beer Pairing
I matched 8 degrees Howling Gale with Smoked Salmon Parcels on Christmas Day, and I must say the citrus matched the cream cheese salmon pate beautifully.
Sorry i’ve not posted in a little while been all quiet on the western front but there are a few things coming up over the next few weeks which i’ll be looking forward to sharing with you as soon as I can.
Not much in the way of beers etc being tried, but have been thinking about Christmas and what to do then. So any ideas from anyone out there have any suggestions for Christmas ales. One being given serious consideration at the moment is a nice chocolate stout float as part of the Christmas dinner.
So had a work lunch in Red Torch Ginger today – 2 course lunch including home made lemonade, iced tea, or water for €14.95 those who’ve read my previous reviews will know that I rate the food very highly. I went for the combo starter which was a spring roll, wanton, chicken satay and marvelous rib. For main course went with a delish Duck with Basil and Chilli stir fry with egg noodles. Also great to see that they are offering a range of craft beers. Some great beers on the list. Look forward to getting back and sampling with a meal next time guys.
Coming up, we’ve a wedding in the Shelbourne, a trip to Limerick, and i’m really looking forward to that, really looking forward to checking out the craft beer scene in Limerick.
Payday this weekend and expect a haul from Drinkstore or Sweeneys perhaps. However with my Beoir membership now getting me 10% off Irish Craft Beer at Drinkstore, thats looking like a winner.
Also hoping to check out the Honest to Goodness Market on Saturday Morning.
So i’ve not been in hibernation, just planning!