The number of great craft breweries in County Wicklow continues to grow! Larkins have entered the fold this month with their new brewery in Kilcoole.
Larkins is a family affair headed up by Cillian Fahey, the ‘Larkin’ comes from his mother’s side. Where they seek to differentiate themselves from the growing number of beers on the shelves is through their focus on lager styles. They want lager to get more attention in Ireland, so they have set about brewing lagers with real flavour and balance but also brewing lager styles we don’t get to see too often on this island. But don’t worry, they have the hop heads covered as well.
From the off they have an impressive set up with 35hl brewhouse and 10 fermentation vessels along with all the requisite bottling, canning, and kegging equipment. They are also bringing a new level of attention to design and labelling, the colourful images on their cans and bottles are of crystals found in brewing taken using an electron microscope.
Larkins release their bottles and cans to the world this month.
First up for the hop heads. Coming in 44cl can their IPA is the very modern, full bodied and exceptionally soft kind with plenty of sticky peach and melon finished with a citrus twist and moderate bitterness.
Their Pale, again in 44cl can, is an exceptionally sessionable affair with low bitterness, a slight haze and light body while delivering candied lemon, and touches of orange rid and a lightly herbal edge.
For lagers, Larkins have launched with a trio of beers leaning to the darker side. First up, Marzen, is an amber lager with light toffee and toasty notes with a refreshing snap to the finish. Marzen is the style of beer synonymous with Oktoberfest, and they have hit the style perfectly.
Next up, bigger and bolder, coming in at 7.6% (although you might not notice the alcohol!) is their excellent Doppelbock. Expect caramel, fresh baked bread and fig tones.
You want to go darker still? Baltic Porter, is a black beer, all dark roast with coffee and caramel notes. Don’t let the name fool you, we are still taking lager here, so, with all those dark flavours we still have a medium body and crisp finish.
These beers will be joined by their flagship Helles Lager very soon. Having tasted this recently its certainly one to keep an eye out for.