It's fantastic to see Ska Brewing make an appearance in Ireland, not only in cans but also on tap in some places. I found this one at The Salthouse in Galway. I must admit to having quite a number of pints of this beer, well by pints I mean US pints as that's the measure I was given but it was €5.20 per "pint" so I found it good value for such a quality beer. It reminds me a lot of Big Daddy IPA, or maybe just the memory of it as I haven't had it in years. What I love about Modus Hoperandi is that it's a very well balanced IPA, something that's rare in the US. There's a massive caramel malt backbone to contend with the ridiculous amount of hops. As well as the usual citrus qualities of grapefruit and pine and tons of caramel, I also got what I can only describe as a sort of lychee flavour. It's beautiful so I ordered 2 cases of it from drinkstore.
While I was in The Salthouse, I noticed that the Galway Bay Brewery had a new small batch out. A farmhouse beer that I sucked down a pint of pretty quick. There was a real barnyard aroma off it but once you got past the smell, the beer was pretty tasty if a little on the thin side. It was called Funky Farmhouse Chinook, although also labelled as Pilot 004 which I thought was Chinook Table Beer, a pale ale. Maybe it's the same beer but they realised it was more farmhouse than pale ale. As I understand it, this is made from the second runnings of their wonderful DIPA called of foam and fury.
I was recently at the launch of a new Irish brewery called Stone Barrel and their first beer called Boom. It's a nice and simple pale ale but at 5% it's a little stronger than the likes of Galway Hooker or Metalman. It's a decent enough beer with some nice citrus and tropical notes. They are only just setting up as a brewery though and this beer was brewed under contract in the UK so it's not quite Irish yet as I would define it. Their next batch should be brewed at the 8 degrees brewery* so that will count as Irish and then the third one is planned for their own brewery. I'll wait till they have their own beer flowing from their own brewery before I make any real judgements because the beer will change from brewery to brewery.
*open to correction on this