Golden Pints 2014 – The Podcast Edition

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 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

Probus Wines – Dublin 2

Located in Dublin 2, just off Merrion Square, on Fenian St / Denizille Lane opposite the Gingerman Pub. This off license / deli / café is an intriguing proposition.

The building itself used to be a licensed premises, and this license remains with the building. This allows you to be able to purchase a beer, and drink on site. With a 20% drink in upcharge to drink in its more than fair. 

Paul in Probus regularly runs tasting evenings on Thursday and Saturday evenings, and last week in their Irish Beers with Irish Cheeses series it was red ales. Mrs Irishbeersnob is mad about cheese, i’m slowly but surely getting over my phobia with her guidance. So we booked our spots on Facebook. 

The charge is a very reasonable €6 each. So we settled in having arrived for 6pm. So the beer line up was Irish Reds, and our offerings were Dungarvan Brew Co – Copper Coast Red, O’Haras Red, and Galway Bay Red Ale. The cheeses were starting in order of strength. So we started with Goats Cheese, then a Gubbeen, and lastly a matured Cooleeney I think. Aidan Sweeney was guiding us expertly through the tasting and was 
more than happy to share his ample knowledge with his very willing audience. It was interesting the subtle differences to the tastes of the cheese when matched with different beers.

There was a surprise in store for us though, with the strongest cheese, Aidan had a bottle of Porterhouses Louder barley wine that is associated with Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, i’m happy to say this collaboration was a lot better than the last one, Down n Outz. Big Flavour with a big cheese, was just the ticket, I felt it complemented it very well. Now for the twist in the tale, and pure cheesehead aficionados may wish to look away now, we tried it with Coca Cola, and it totally neutralized the flavour of the cheese. A lot of food for thought.

After the tasting was finished we enjoyed the company of a lovely crowd, and one of the regulars brought a Tequila & Lime cake, it was divine! 

We stuck around for a while and had a couple of beers, I’d a Trooper and Galway Bay Buried at Sea ( I think I prefer the bottled version vs draft) and her good self had a Shepherd Neame’s Canterbury Jack. All very enjoyable. Our final bill was just under €30, a very nice evening. Sadly we didn’t partake of the food as we were stuffed from our earlier visit to Bison.

Paul and his team have a great setup, a very wide range of Craft Beer & Wines from all over the world. For very reasonable prices. A lovely looking deli that has a sandwich calling my name Gubbeen and Salami with roasted peppers! The food on the night smelled delicious, and looked lovely. To have the option to sit in with a beer and only add on 20% extra, makes it a real alternative to the pub, and perhaps its an insight into the European style licensing system that was shot down by the publicans lobby when proposed by the PD’s many years ago now it seems. If your in the area definitely pop in, and enjoy the hospitality and surroundings, you will be very well looked after. See you again soon.

Thornbridge – Jaipur IPA

Ok, this one had been on my radar for quite a while, for one reason or another I hadn’t tried it.

Anyway while at Probus on Saturday I decided to treat myself, the missus had a lovely growler courtesy of JW Sweetman, full of their delicious red ale to enjoy when we got home, not to be out done I decided to plump for the Jaipur. 

Jaipur is an IPA of 5.9% is readily available in Bottles, but have also seen available around in cask and keg form. The 500 ml bottle was €4.90 – quite pricey – so did it live up to the price. Really though, its not that much is it, its just short of a pint.

So I popped open the bottle and sniffed, a lovely fresh aroma, unmistakeable familiar scents. Juicy tropical flavours, I couldn’t wait to get it poured.

Now I poured away into a snifter and watched it as it developed a nice head, and a dark straw colour as opposed to the more amber colour I’m used to seeing.

The flavour was delicious, really well balanced, without that sometimes overpowering bitter you can get. Even Mrs IBS was impressed.

I’d be very interested to try this on draft, must keep my eyes peeled.

Lovely fresh flavour without being too much – i’d recommend this, its well worth the extra.