Recently I took a road trip to Cork with wife & dog in tow in 22 degrees celsius weather (as you do), & Eight Degrees were kind enough to give me the nod for a last-minute ‘hey-can-I-stop-by’ visit as despite me being an avid fan of their beers, I’ve never actually in all the time I’ve known Scott, Cameron & Caroline (which is going on 3 years plus) ever been to their brewery as frankly, I’m never ‘Lee-side’. So I was sure as hell not going to miss this opportunity.
It’s a long ass drive to Cork – even with the motorway upgrades (FYI — I HATE motorway driving in Ireland; the roads are boring, the view is the same for miles on end & it’s just not interesting), but after a few stops including the Rock of Cashel (because I like it & wanted to show it to my wife who’s never seen it), we made a stop in Mitchelstown.
As ever, Scott & Caroline were incredibly welcoming. There’s one thing I love about our craft beer scene; so many brewers are so incredibly warm, welcoming, chatty & just down right nice. I’d not seen Caroline in over a year since she launched her book, ‘Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider‘ (which she co-wrote with Kristin Jensen) & we met not long after at the ABV Fest in the Titanic Quarter in Belfast . But as always with the 8D team, we catch up & it’s like no time has passed.
When I see where they’ve started to where they are now, like many Irish Breweries it’s mind blowing. Utterly-fucking-mind blowing. And when I finally got to see the mechano-porn they have in the new brewery building from last year’s ‘Brewery Impossible-type-quest‘, the engineer in me got 12-year-old-kid type excited – plus I got to play echoes with the giant tanks with Scott, which I don’t care how childish that seems – it’s a shit-ton of fun.
Getting to try Full Irish straight from the tank just before it hits their swanky centrifuge was just incredible. It is still for me one of the top IPA’s in the World I’ve tried, & frankly one of the best in the country along with a handful of others.
Their new beer, ‘Summer Days Sessúin IPA‘ is a pretty damn interesting beer – like alot of session IPA’s it’s thin, but christ is it jammed with flavour; 12-elephants-in-a-mini-amounts of flavour. Same goes for their Single Hop series Mandarina Bavaria (pictured as the main image in this post) IPA – this just PERFECTLY nails what I love about the Mandarina Bavaria hop – the exquisite tangerine-y/mandarin juicy flavours with that wonderful citrus bitter perfectly demonstrated against a single malt grain bill to let the hop do the talking.
Eight Degrees are with a doubt one of the real boundary pushers in terms of the regularity of seasonals in Ireland. I’ve yet to have a beer from them I didn’t like. And after all that – here’s where I get cheeky; MORE ENIGMA & AMBER ELLA GUYS!!!!! 😉