#IrishBeerChat – The Inaugural Awards 2015

Ok guys – just publishing this out there as currently Wicklow Wolf don’t have a blog built into their site at the minute.

Hopefully many of you are familiar with the weekly Twitter chat that we host along with co-hosts Wayne (@irishbeersnob) and Simon Broderick (@SimonSaysBeer) called #IrishBeerChat. If not then get onto Twitter every Wednesday from 9pm for all things Irish beer. Well, all things Irish Beer except a certain stout and ale!

It should be noted the two guys do this in their free time, and it wouldn’t have gotten off the ground if it wasn’t for them as no one reads our tweets!  #IrishBeerChat is only a few months old and already we have covered a whole range of topics, trended, chatted with a head brewer as well a microbrewery founder and we’ll have lots more guest hosts in the coming weeks and months.  As 2015 draws to a close we want to find out the beers that stood out for you this year. Maybe you discovered a new IPA or you have a go to Porter, whatever it is we want to hear from you. The beers that you nominate will go towards a two-way public vote on the 9th December. There are so many different sub categories within each beer category but we decided to go with the most popular style to simplify the process. These are:

·         Porters & Stouts

·         India Pale Ales – inc rye, black, red, West Coast. Not double IPAs

·         Specials – Both commercially available and only at festivals

·         Pale Ales

·         Red Ales

·         The best beer festival or beer related event you attended in 2015 for whatever reason

We asked for submissions for the first three categories on the Twitter chat on the 4th November but you can still tweet @irishbeersnob or @SimonSaysBeer or ourselves @WWolfBrewery (if you haven’t already done so) with your favourites, in order of preference 1,2,3 along with #IrishBeerChat. We will know what category you are talking about. The only criteria, the beers you choose must be brewed by an Irish micro-brewery. We will be asking for nominations for the others in coming weeks but feel free to tweet before then.
How the voting works:
The beer you list 1st gets 3 points, the beer listed 2nd gets 2 points and the beer listed 3rd gets 1 point. The two beers in each category with the most points will go toward a public vote on the 9th December using Tweet poll to decide the winner.  Twitter only allows for two options hence why only two beers can be listed. If one of our beers get listed, please don’t go shouting fix!
There are no awards, no trophies, no glitz, no celebrities, no red carpet or ceremony for this completely unscientific, unsanctioned and unofficial awards. There are so many great beers out there and it would be great to acknowledge them all but this is one small way to appreciate all the hard over put in by brewers, by you the drinkers. This is just a bit of fun and it’s all about sharing your favourite beers with other drinkers to spread the word. You may not agree with the eventual winner but no doubt it will still be a superb beer.
#IrishBeerchat is in its infancy so hopefully next year we can expand this to include more categories. There still won’t be any trophy, that’s a guarantee!  In the meantime we look forward to your votes as well as your ongoing support and participation each week. Plus do use the hashtag #IrishBeerChat in your tweets each week as it can help get it trending and bring more attention to what we are all trying to promote and celebrate – Real Irish Beer!

Now i’m going to add in my 2 cents here too – anyone who’s engaged with #IrishBeerChat will know that it’s a relatively light hearted affair. Clearly it’s all a bit of fun for the people who engage each Wednesday, and we’re thankful to all who do. The Awards themselves are not the oscars, we’re not asking anyone to pick their child to sacrifice, just the memorable beers of 2015. Whether they are new, or just new to you give them a nomination. We’re also aware there will be some final seasonal specials coming out in the coming weeks. 

TL/DR – Lighten up it’s only a bit of fun, remember it’s all about celebrating the great beers we are now producing in this country on a regular basis. 

The Wolf Is Coming – Wicklow Wolf Brewery – Amber Ale

The craft beer revolution continues abound in the Republic of Ireland, with what seems to be new breweries popping up every second. It’s nearly impossible to keep track. But what is interesting seeing where they end up being available and who they are distributed by.

Fourcorners have taken the wolf into their stable – which given the range in their portfolio this in itself is a huge compliment to the beers that are being produced. The team have an IPA, an Amber which i’m reviewing this evening, and a Kentucky Common Ale. They also have a wet hopped beer using their own hops and I look forward to trying this beer.

Firstly, can I just say I love the labelling – the silhouette of the wolf is great – and is a striking label that would make me pick it up off the shelf.

Ambers, in Ireland we are fortunate to have some great ambers available to us, but this is different – feels more earthy, made with citra hops which have that unmistakeable aroma, even if it is a little bit muted. But a lovely caramel malty sweetness. There is a nice slightly dry finish on the palette too. This beer weighs in at 4.8%. It has a really appealing colour to me with a lovely slightly off white head that lingers as you drink it.

As with most beers the complexion of flavour opens up when it warms up a bit.  

I picked this up in Probus Wines on Fenian St, and look forward to seeing and trying more of the range over the coming while. Thanks Paul for looking after me as always – see you soon.