We all have that special someone in our lives. And that special someone may have a liking for the liquid magic that is beer. And if you’re also one of those people who likes to find odd gifts, odds are Firebox is a site you should bookmark. So here’s five fantastically beery gifts you can find on your friendly neighborhood Firebox.com.
Belgian beers. The easiest way to make sure I tune out. I am aware this may rub some people the wrong way (and in the past I got an earful from a Belgian Brewer’s Association representative over my podcasted views in the wake of the Mikkeller/Belgian vs gypsy brewers drama). I frankly have never written about beer to get back slaps or care about getting kicked in the balls for my views. Beer is highly subjective & emotive for me. And on a beer shopping trip, I for some reason took a fancy to picking up a tripel I came across. It had no fancy branding. It had no promise of hopped up excitement. It had no bombastic promise of being a game changer. And yet, I bought it. And no, I didn’t bang my head.
‘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.
So, Wrestlemania was just gone over the weekend & as always., the WWE do what they do best – put smiles on people’s faces. From chants of ‘You Suck’ for the legendary Kurt Angle, to a 70,000 strong raucous crowd yelling ‘Delete! Delete! Delete!’, the showcase of the immortals was worth every penny of the monthly WWE Network subscription. Wrestling & beer go hand in hand, or one in each hand as you shotgun them if you’re Stone Cold Steve Austin. It should come as no surprise that those from the Wrestling industry have become involved with another of the great outsiders, Craft Beer. So here’s five craft beers influenced by wrestling you’ll want to get raw with & smackdown.
Now listen here Irish bars. Our brethern in the U.S. understand how to make sure you’ve got snacks to hand at the bar without reaching into your wallet, so you could do well to follow. But in saying that, the choice of snack is important. And no, none of your dogshit el cheapo pretzels will do. Good beer deserves good snacks. So, here’s how HopAddiktion helps you level up your snack game to match your beer game.
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.
In case you missed it, today was the second stage debate of what’s been dubbed ‘#CraftDrinksBill’, which is an ammendment to our licensing laws to allow craft brewers, cider producers & distillers to sell their beers/ciders/spirits on-site for on and off-sales.
Cellaring is still new to many people. And honestly, there’s no major mystery to it. It’s super easy to start too. In fact, it’s cheap AND easy to start. It doesn’t even require exotic beers. We’ve a great selection of cellarable (is that even a word) beers people can get to do this with. And this week’s late ‘5 things’ is going to show you five great beers you can pick up for less than thirty of your hard-earned merkels to get going with.
It’s never been a better time to be a craft beer fan in Ireland. The choice right now is so awesome from our own breweries, to imported craft beers from around the globe. And with that huge choice of brands, the choice in beer packaging today is equally awesome. Cans (330ml/400ml/500ml), bottles (330ml/500ml/600ml bombers), & growlers. Granted we don’t yet have crowlers, but none the less it’s fantastic.
Irish cheekyfuckers, brettmeisters & craftbeer misfiterati from Wexford, Yellowbelly Brewing are hitting a BrewDog bar near you in the UK this coming St. Patrick’s Day. And, they are bringing their heavy hitters to party. Irish style.