Monday, November 22, 2010

100% Irish Cask Ale

100% Irish Ale from White
Gypsy Brewery.
Last week I had the pleasure of tasting a beer made 100% from Irish ingredients, it's probably been 15 or more years since a fully Irish beer has been produced here. The beer was a blonde ale made with 100% Irish lager malt and Irish first gold hops. I had the opportunity to chat with the brewer, Cuilan Loughnane  from White Gypsey Brewery in Tipperary. Not only were the ingredients wholly Irish, but also it is the only Irish beer that I know of that uses wet hops (Cuilan's own crop), something that is becoming increasingly popular with American craft brewers. Wet hops simply mean that the hops are picked and used immediately, as opposed to the usual process of the hops being dryed first. The beer itself was very moreish, light and refreshing like a good blonde ale, but also having a nice sweetness from the first gold hops. The version I drank was a cask beer, and I am told that in the coming weeks it will also be available in a filtered and kegged version in the Porterhouse in Dublin.

This beer tasting was part of a wider event, the relaunch of the Messrs Maguires brew pub in Dublin. It has been two years since the brewing equipment in Messrs has been used, however with this relaunch it is envisaged that the brew pub will be producing beer once again. Last night I had the opportunity to try a number of their beers, an IPA, a red ale, a bock, a stout and also an American pale ale. The pick of the bunch was the stout and the American pale ale. The red was a little bland and the bock was far too sweet. The IPA was ok, but the American Pale Ale was very good and the stout had a lovely coffee flavour.

Messrs Maguires can be found on the south side of O'Connell Street bridge in the heart of Dublin and the brew pub is located in the cellar bar, definitely worth checking out if you are in the city.

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