New Beers Winter 2018/2019
The winter period has seen a bumper crop of limited release beers arriving on our shelves. The sheer range and diversity of beers produced, particularly from Irish brewers, has been a joy to see. Here is just a small pick from a host of incredible beers, released over the last few weeks.
The winter season usually means the release of big and bold beers and we haven’t been left wanting this year. My first pick is certainly big and boldly flavoured, however, even at 8% abv this West Coast style double IPA is exceptionally easy drinking. Five Fingers DIPA is the latest seasonal release from Rye River. Expect a super smooth mouthfeel with juicy, tropical stone fruit and citrus.
Going a little darker next with Boyne Brewhouse’s Belgian Dubbel. This beer does exactly what it says on the tin; a full, soft beer with rich malt, dark fruit and a hint of alcohol. This brew was part of a series from Boyne Brewhouse labelled ‘Winter Warmers’, where it was accompanied by an Imperial Stout and a Winter Ale. Worth checking out all three.
This winter also saw a tranche of new barrel aged limited releases from Dot Brew. One of the most intriguing was Red Rum Dark. This is a red ale aged in Irish blended whiskey barrels which previously held rum. Expect a complex mix of flavours with caramel, raisin and woody tones, finishes with sweet rum and warming whiskey.
Finally, no winter beer list would be complete without featuring an imperial stout. We got a superb one this season from Eight Degrees in the form of Blowhard. This stout was aged in Jameson Irish whiskey barrels for a month and comes in at a whopping 12% abv. Though on taste you would be hard pressed to find all that alcohol, this full-on stout is certainly one to take your time with. It will reward that time with rich and complex flavours of espresso, dried fruit, milk chocolate and walnuts.
In case you missed these, be sure to pick them up soon as they won’t be around for long. Enjoy.
New Beers October
In this blog we take a look at recent beer additions to our fridges. From new core additions to limited releases. Beers to pick up now
So just in case you missed them this month
First out of the traps this months is a collaboration brew with Dutch brewers Big Belly and Wexford’s own YellowBelly, aptly named Belly Dance. This lime and white grape IPA takes inspiration from classic South American cocktail, Pisco Sour, with grape and lime juice added to the beer after fermentation. Hoppy, tart and tropical!
Porterhouse Brewing are a true pioneer in Irish craft brewing setting up their first brew pub in Temple Bar in 1996. They have just released their core range now in 50cl bottles So, a great time to revisit a classic in their Plain Porter. A classically styled dry porter, all about simplest balance. The taste is dry with roast malt to the fore along with chocolate, coffee & earthy tones. Slight bitter finish with a light touch of spice.
Another re-release comes from Whiplash with High Cotton. If you missed it first time, then do yourself a favour this time around. Originally brewed in collaboration with Max Lager’s of Atlanta, USA. This is labelled a Belgian Single in style but as you can imagine with Whiplash it hasn’t been spared the hop treatment, zesty orange meets Belgian yeast and pepper.
Rounding out this month’s selection is a real winter warmer, Ballast Point Tongue Buckler. This is an Imperial Red Ale and there simply isn’t enough of those around if you ask me. As you would expect the body is full and silky smooth. Toffee and caramel flavours abound with dark red fruits, nuts, and light citrus hops. Long finish with sweet boozy tones and a touch of bitter pine.
New Beers August
This is a great time of year for craft beer releases with a great variety of styles as we move through the seasons, from fresh hoppy summer styles to heartier Autumn beers. Here are my picks of just a few great seasonal releases that have come through our doors recently.
Third Barrel brewing is a collaborative brand between two breweries, Third Circle and Stone Barrel. They came together to share resources and expertise, subsequently building a physical brewery together in Bluebell, Dublin. Billed as a ‘hopped up lager’, Third Barrel’s latest limited release Poppin’ Pils, may make you rethink the style. Traditional pilsner Saaz hops come together with Motueka and Wai-iti hops from New Zealand. Clean and bright on the nose with some grain with floral, spicy hop notes with a touch of zestiness. The hops shine on the palate finishing slightly spicy and dry.
Number 12 in Hope Beer’s limited release series is a double IPA called Hop Hash. Taking its name from its key ingredient ‘hop hash’ is concentrated hop resin that is produced in small quantity. Essentially a by-product of milling when producing hop pellets. However, ‘by-product’ is underselling it, this is seriously hoppy stuff! Expect some big tropical hop notes from this beer.
Turning away from hops for my last pick with Black Donkey Underworld. This is a brewery that loves working with yeast strains and they have taken this a step further using local wild yeast, harvested from a cave not far from the brewery in county Roscommon. The result is a farmhouse style ale displaying plenty of fruity and funky tones. Flavours of citrus fruit, pepper and earthiness with light barnyard note lead to a long bitter and refreshing finish. Underworld is the first beer from Black Donkey’s wild yeast project, expect more releases and more styles using this yeast in the coming months.