Thursday, 17 November 2011

Smithwicks Pale Ale - It's not half bad

It's surprising how hard it was for me to get a bottle of this, or even a taste. I came close in Galway, going in to a pub before the bus left which advertised said beer in the window. I was told they had none, so I swiftly stormed out. A good thing too as the bus left 10 minutes later. With no toilet, no scratch that, no open toilet (it was locked) I dare say that had I gulped down a pint, or even a half, I would have been far more uncomfortable than I was in the end. I had just left the second Beoir AGM so I had a fair bit of beer in me. It was a close call when I got home.

Roll on to the weekend just gone and I finally noticed a bottle in a Bandon off-license. We spent a fair bit in that off license last weekend. About €100 I would say. I like to do my part for the local economy when I can afford it.

So how was it? Well I shared it with my friend and we both really liked it. This is not going to blow your mind when it comes to flavour. It's not going to make craft beer drinkers switch to macro stuff either. What it might do is introduce macro lager or just general Smithwicks drinkers on to something more interesting. A gateway beer if you will. The first Irish gateway beer? Perhaps it is. I think it will also make us craft beer drinkers happy if we find ourselves at a venue that's not of our choosing and the only other option is yellow fizzy stuff. If this is available I will be very content.

So how is it? Well rather like Galway Hooker to be honest, though a limp Galway Hooker to be sure. It's rather watery but then, it's also easy to drink. For an Irish macro to be brewing with Amarillo is just astounding to me. Apart from the craft beer and homebrew thing, there is also a shortage of Amarillo hops, though perhaps that's just for the small markets like homebrewers.

So well done to Diegeo and the Smithwicks brand and thank you for making something I will enjoy drinking. In fact thanks for making a beer that I will happily storm out of a pub because they don't have any. That's real progress.


  1. I wonder if any of it will find its way to the States? Sounds like a decent beer.

  2. I just came across your blog and its lovely to see that real beer is appreciated in Ireland rather than the mass produced pop you get in the pub. I love my English warm bitters, most don't I know, but find it hard to find anything like it over here. Would you know of any breweries that might produce anything like an English bitter?

  3. That depends Doug, where are you from?

  4. Hi Reuben, I live in Maynooth. I love beers like Blacksheep in N Yorkshire or Ringwood in Hants.

  5. Ah now that makes it easier. If you are not already a member, join Beoir . We are sort of like CAMRA.

    For ale English bitter style ales, there is The Porterhouse TSB, then Bay brewery beers in Against the Grain (Dublin), also there are sometimes English cask ales in The Bull and Castle (Dublin) and always something on Cask.
    Dungarvan brewery is one to look out for. All the info is on the Beoir site.

    It's free to join and participate, or you can become a full paying member for €10 if you want to join the cause.

    Maynooth is sorely lacking in decent beer and it's a prime candidate because of the college!

  6. Hi Reuben, many thanks for your suggestions. I will certainly check out Beoir and I look forward to a new adventure in beer. Keep up your campaign. Perhaps we'll see some changes in Maynooth soon..