It's long past time I wrote about the Irish Micro's now bottling. Time was, if you wanted a Galway Hooker, you had to go find a pub that sells it.
Nowadays, all you need is a good off license and you can get a 500ml bottle of Galway Hooker. Often a beer tastes different from the bottle versus tap. This one however is exactly the same as far as I can tell, though I think it has a slightly softer feel to it but that's just a slight carbonation difference. As good in the bottle as it is on tap. Hooray for bottling lines.
One of the newer breweries had their bottling line ready much quicker. I have already talked about 8 degrees and their Howling gale pale ale. Well here it is in bottle and this time, I don't think it is quite as good as the kegged version. A slightly metallic twang and under carbonation let this down, though it's still a good beer and enjoyable and I highly recommend the kegged product.
Sunburnt Irish red on the other hand was a new beer to me and I have never had it on tap. The aroma was caramel malt driven with some floral and fruity notes. The taste was let down with the same metallic notes as the pale ale. It did however have a nice toffee apple thing going on along with a bitter and almost winey finish. The body was thinner than I would have liked but all in, a good beer. I get the feeling the kegged product is going to be more to my liking when I get to try it some time. This is a downside of not living in Dublin. I don't always get to try the new stuff when they are on rotation.
And finally we have Knockme
aldwon Porter. This latest beer does not seem to suffer the same metallic twang I got from the other two. Chances are that since I had the first two (some weeks ago), they may have sorted out the batch issues. The first thing I noticed was just how thin the body was. I will not say watery but it was certainly lacking in body, which does make it easier to drink however. There is also a hell of a lot of flavour packed in to this beer. Strong coffee dominates for me and I do enjoy the sour middle. It's quite dry and bitter as well. Personally, while I did enjoy this very much, I just prefer heavier bodied stouts myself. TheBeerNut was recently smitten with this and a cheese pairing.
So there we have it. There are other newer breweries that are also bottling such as Breweyed but they can keep for another time. The Irish micros are sending a message to the world with their bottling lines. Carlow have been doing it for years with great success as have Porterhouse in more recent times. The new kids are just getting started and perhaps some day, all Irish micro breweries will be bottling or even canning so we can enjoy quality beer at home or for tourists to take home and even for export when they get big enough to provide that much product.