Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New To Ireland

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


  1. Hey Man. T

    hanks for the mention.

    Boom will be brewed in the UK until our brewery and bottling plant is up and running so we wont be positioning ourselves as an Irish Craft Beer until then, Our Rotations Series of single batch beers (Launching the first on Saturday) will be brewed with the good guys in 8degrees.


    Stone Barrel Brewing

  2. Thanks Kev, I missed some of what you said that night as it's very loud in Brewdock when it's packed full of happy drinkers.

  3. Sweet, I'll be in Galway at the end of June and will have to check out the Salthouse and the Stone Barrel. Cool to see my native Colorado beers international!!

  4. Love Modus, it's a great beer but I disagree strongly that balanced IPA's are a rarity in the US. I've spent a lot of time in the US over the last 3 years, predominantly in Colorado but also in New York City and the Pacific Northwest and I would go as far to say that there is a greater range of balanced, flavourful IPA over there than we see here in the UK and Ireland, we are still playing catch up despite how good things are at the moment.

  5. I suppose it's because I'm married to an American and have spent a LOT of time there over the last 9 years so I would have a broad range of experience around 16 of the states due to family all over the place. There are plenty of excellent and balanced IPAs but I tend to find more unbalanced ones both over in the US and what we get in Ireland. Maybe it's just my luck to find more unbalanced hop forward beers than balanced ones. We are playing catch up in Europe for some of these reinvented modern styles like IPAs as you say.