Craft beer drinkers are one of the single most spoiled consumer groups out there in Ireland right now. We’ve new beers appearing at what feels like every week that we can try, discuss, cogitate, digest & ruminate on. You’d be forgiven for thinking that craft brewers get arough deal in this, but every craft beer drinker I know has ‘go-to’ beers. Including this hopped up, opinionated assjockey of a beer blogger.
I’m lucky enough that I have my own beer fridge in my home office. It’s nothing special or fancy. It’s a glass-doored under-the-bar fridge from a pub. It cost me less than a hundred euros off adverts.ie. Sure I had to do alot of cleaning of the fridge (I sanitised the ever loving shit out of it so much you could have stored donor organs in it), & took it apart to clean the electrics with some special cleaning agents & a toothbrush, but it continues to serve me well almost three years later.
In this fridge lies beers that are due to be tried & blogged about, as well as beers that serve as my ‘regular’ drinking beers. Sometimes I just need a beer that’s familiar, that is enjoyable & that I can kick back with. These are usually cans now (thank you craft brewers), which usually occupy the top shelf, & some bottles in the main bottom section.
I’d like to share with you some of my go-to beers & why they are just that. Some on this list may surprise people that have followed my blogfoolery or my previously podcasted shenanigans, and or those who choose to (such foolishness) follow me on the tweet masheen, @HopAddiktion.
#1 Francis’ Big Bangin’ IPA by McGargles/Rye River Brewing Co
I love west-coast style IPA’s. I love them big, paler than Morticia Adams, brash, more bitterness than Morrissey with anatomic megafuckton of fruity huladancer hop character going on. This is the first time ANY brewery anywhere in the world managed to out-sculpin Ballast Point’s Sculpin for me, & make it perfect. It is the absolute quintessential west coast style IPA that isn’t even bloody brewed there. This to me is THE most perfect IPA that’s regularily available in Ireland bar none. It will take some beer to pry this from my fridge on a regular basis.
#2 Citra Pale Ale by Yellowbelly
There was a time when Oakham Citra occupied this spot in my fridge. Then, it disappeared. And I was pretty upset. Then, this arrived. And its yellowbellied self has occupied a spot in my fridge constantly. It’s a beer that exudes happiness in a can, plain & simple. Everything about this beer sticks a giant smile on my face; the can colour, the aroma as you crack one open & that taste. It’s awesome canned awesome.
#3 Dead Pony Club by BrewDog
This honestly should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who knows me. Being that I live down the south east in a place where craft beer availability is a complete mixed bag, having this available is an utter godsend. Thank you Pettitts! Dead Pony Club still occupies a very near & dear place in my heart despite the fact I’ve fallen out of love with Punk IPA in a big way. Sure, there’s a few incredibly clever sub 4% craft beers on the Irish market, & they use some rather clever ingredients with clever brewing to achieve their wonderous flavours. But this bad boy was the original & doesn’t need clever ingredients, just incredible brewing.
#4 American Style Pale Wheat Ale by Crafty Brewing Company
I have said this countless times before. And I’ll say it again. This beer is the single best value beer bar none you can buy in Ireland. There is not another beer on this isle of ours where you get the amount of flavour, aroma, mouthfeel & overall enjoyment for so little money. Even if this beer was twice the price, it would still be ‘worth it’. The pineapple aroma on this beer is out of this motherf%&king world. Every time I open a bottle of this, I have the biggest smile on my face just because of the aroma.
#5 Double Bangin’ IPA by McGargles/Rye River Brewing Company
Once upon a time in the world of beer, BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA was my go-to DIPA. And if you don’t believe me, my untappd should tell you (despite the fact I’ve become a lazy untapp’r the last year or so) as my fourth most tapp’d beer. However, as I’ve chronicled for a while now, I’ve had a massive shift towards Irish craft beers in my buying. Not because of ‘donning-the-green-jersey‘, but because Irish craft breweries are turning out better beers than those imported in general at the moment. This Double IPA is my ideal DIPA; big, bombastic, loud & freaking intense. I want my Double IPA to smash my face in like a carnival punching bag.
#6 Arrogant Bastard by Stone Berlin
There are beers. And then there are beers. Ever since I first tried this beer almost two decades ago, it has been an obsession. Sure, the first batch of this out of Berlin annoyed the hell out of me. But, the quality of this has come right up & it’s bloody enjoyable. I love the simplicity of this beer & it’s still incredibly relevant in today’s landscape of flavour of the month beers.
#7 Lager by Yellowbelly
I should recount my previous distain for this beer style, but it’s so well known at this point I’ll forgoe it. Sure, some of the craft lagers knocking about are really bloody good. But I wouldn’t have kept some in my fridge for regular consumption. Then, this bad ass from down the road turned up, & wedged its way into my fridge. Permanently. It is a ridiculously enjoyable beer, especially as a shower beer. Yes, I said it.
#8 Torpedo Extra IPA by Sierra Nevada
I love this beer. But, I look at it & it makes me incredibly angry. I’m not angry at Sierra Nevada, but the fact there is an Irish beer that had displaced this for me, but the brewery who brew it for some reason dropped it from their plans to have it be regular. Yes, Galway Bay. I’m talking about you & your ‘Goodbye Blue Monday‘, which out-torpedo’d ‘Torpedo’ in my view.
#9 Stag Saor Gluten Free Stout by 9 White Deer Brewery
I’ll bet this one surprises the hell out of people. Ever since 9 White Deer sent this beer to me to try (for which I honestly had almost no expectations), its a beer I honestly love grabbing. Even over the summer, I cracked open bottles of this. I even went as far as dumping a scoop of vanilla ice-cream in a few of these over the summer. It’s just a ridiculously enjoyable beer, with a flavour I really enjoy. I don’t care it’s not a ‘thick’ stout that coats your insides all the way down to your toes. The flavours in this beer is enjoyable all the time to me. Hell, I’m even drinking one as I write this post.
#10 5:AM Saint by BrewDog
Since I’m only including the ten beers I keep most in my fridge, this is a beer just nudged out Eight Degrees Amber Ella out of the list. The fact is, I do love this beer. I love everything about this beer. Red ales have generally done nothing for me. I can think of a handful of other ‘red ales’ that have excited me; Stone Levitation, Rascals Big Hop Red, Stone Patascala Red X, Sullivans Red Ale, 8 Wired Mighty Imperial, & O’Haras Foreign Affair, to name the few. But this one, is a staple. I cook with it alot (pancakes, fish batter, ribs, bbq sauce, bread, candied bacon, tomato relish) & it is always around as a ‘one-for-the-food-one-for-the-chef’ beer.
Here’s some of my previous go-to beers that for one reason or another have left the fridge:
- Blacks of Kinsale KPA
- Oakham Ales Citra
- BrewDog Punk IPA
- BrewDog 5AM Saint
- BrewDog Hardcore IPA
- Schneider Weisse Tap VII
- Stone Levitation
- Stone Pale Ale (v1)
- Brú Dubh Stout
- Anchor Steam
- Brooklyn Chocolate Stout
I’d love to hear what your go-to beers are in your fridge or in your weekly shop in the comments below. What beers are ‘worthy’ of space in your fridge regularly?