‘9 White Deer’ is a brewery from Ballyvourney (Baile Bhuirne, pron. Bail-yah Voorn-yeh) in County Cork in Ireland’s south-west, which is a Gaeltacht (an Irish speaking town for those non-Irish, pron. gwail-tockt). Their beers aren’t intended on being hop monsters or on being boundary breaking flavour-of-the-months. Their mission is well made , easy going, accessible craft beer. However, what they have done recently is fairly vanguard for any craft brewery out there with an entire range of gluten-free beers. And they werekind enough to ship bottles of them my way to give them a try.
I’m a self professed hophead. I lovecrushing hops in myhands to smell them. I love learning about them. And there’s a few specific varieties thatare absolutely my bag; Simcoe, Galaxy, Mosaic, Mandarina Bavaria, Chinook, & of course, Citra. Up to this point, my favorite Citra beer has been Oakham Ales’ Citra Pale Ale. It was one of the very few pure Citra beers we have available in our market. Then, the Wexicans turned up. And they weren’t taking any prisoners, ready to turn the dial up to 11 a-lá Spinal Tap.
Last year I had a ‘red IPA’ that blew every other red IPA I’ve ever had out of the water like the mother of all torpedos; Stone Brewing’s Pataskala Red-X IPA, which solely used Bestmalz’s Red-X malt with some super duper citrusy hops on it, but the bittering of it was incredibly light, instead aiming for more of the mid-palette & aroma. It none the less gave me some rather neat ideas what to do with this malt. And it looks like the malt gave the Warg Riders of Wicklow Wolf some ideas with their new SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beer; Zoso.
There are several beer styles that just do not float my boat at all. And, honestly I think they’ve been ruined for me by from many years of mass produced, commercial, cynical conglomerate products. European lager is one I just had lost all love for, & even craft versions of european lagers have a hard time winning me over. I don’t think I’ll ever want to make lager my go-to beer style ever again, but some craft lagers have made me gain an appreciation for the style again.
Let’s get this out of the way up front. I do not like the very vast majority red ales I’ve tried. I don’t know why I keep trying them when I know they’ll let me down. Red ale is the single dullest beer style there has ever been bar none. To be clear — Red Ale is as dull as stale piss-filled dishwater. That’s just my humble opinion for what it’s worth (precisely nothing because opinions are worthless). So why did a 4% red ale get my attention & did I enjoy it?
Fruity beers are nothing new. They’ve been around for a long long long time before there was beer as we know it today. However, the recent trendy move towards jamming (no pun intended) fruit purées into beers has seen alot of beers with very little difference until a Dublin Bar & a Dublin microbrewery decided to not only flip the script, but set fire to it, walking off nonchalantly afterwards. And the result is?
As a beer writer/blogger, we’re a priviledged lot. We get to have great conversations with brewers of our favorite beers, & very occasionally (as in the case of yours truly), we get given beer to try to give our honest feedback on. So, when Rye River Brewing kindly sent me bottles of their new beers being showcased this weekend at the AllTech Craft Beer & Food Fair in Dublin’s Convention Center, all I was told before hand was “Francis’ siblings were coming to party.” Oh my gawwwddd!!!! Double Bangin’ IPA.
As a beer writer/blogger, we’re a priviledged lot. We get to have great conversations with brewers of our favorite beers, & very occasionally (as in the case of yours truly), we get given beer to try to give our honest feedback on. So, when Rye River Brewing kindly sent me bottles of their new beers being showcased this weekend at the AllTech Craft Beer & Food Fair in Dublin’s Convention Center, all I was told before hand was “Francis’ siblings were coming to party.” Oh my gawwwddd!!!!
Oskar Blues is a Colarado based brewery I’ve been in love with for a long time. Whether it was ‘Dales Pale Ale’, ‘G’Knight’, ‘Death By Coconut’ (one of my all-time favorites) or their immensely popular ‘Ten Fidy’ imperial stout, the brewery from the Rockies knows what the heck they’re doing. In the last few years, they releaseda throwback IPA called ‘Pinner’, which I utterly adored. It is the perfect sub five percent IPA. So when I saw a passionfruit version of it, you know I had to try it.
Double IPA’s are my thing. From BrewDog Hardcore IPA (R.I.P.) to Stone Ruination to Magic Rock’s Human Cannonball to Firestone Walker’s Double Jack – I love the double IPA. It is for me, the ultimate chill-out beer. The style to me embodies boldness, mischief, challenge & excitement. And yet Irish DIPA’s (Double IPA’s for the non-neckbeards) have been thin on the ground save for O’Hara’s or Galway Bay’s ‘Of Foam & Fury’ as regular staples. And then there’s a cheeky fucker called Alex Lawes with his Whiplash Brewing label, a Double IPA called ‘Since I’ve been loving you’.