The launch of two new beers from Brown Paper Bag Project was nicely timed to coincide with the fourth birthday (give or take a few days) of L. Mulligan Grocer.
The launch was brilliant. Somehow we managed to stay dry with the sun beaming down upon us for a few hours in the beer garden. It had been raining just minutes before the launch as well as within minutes of it ending. We tried the new beers and had a big feast of succulent chicken and pork on the BBQ. L. Mulligan Grocer is known as a foodie heaven as well as a craft beer mecca and that meant the BBQ was outstanding.
The first beer we got at the launch was called Vlad The Baker. It was named after a local baker named Vlad who provides bread to the pub. The beer tasted a little Vienna lager like at first. It's nowhere near as big and heavy as Trouble Brewing's new version of Kill lager which TheBeerNut deftly wrote about yesterday and is in fact a Vienna style lager. No, this is a 4.8% India Pale Lager, perhaps not a term I like as a style but as a description of what to expect, it does the job. Think Williams Brothers' Ceaser Augustus and you are on the right track. There's plenty of citrus hop juiciness with a lovely bitter finish along with the crisp but decent malt body in the middle. I warmed up to Vlad during the day and was very sad when the keg ran dry and all the bottles disappeared. I might go so far as to say that this would be a beer I could drink many pints of.
The second beer of the day was Shmoake. It's a 4.7% Grätzer which is an old and almost extinct Polish style of beer with a hint of smoke. Orange peel and smoked bacon on the nose. Tasting it, I was initially overwhelmed with strong smoke. I'm pretty sensitive to that in beer so it's a good thing I love smoked beer! Lots of mandarin in the body and it's pretty bitter. Overall I found it very easy drinking and a lovely beer. I can't really say how it compares to other Grätzers because it's only the second one I have had with the first being a homebrew by a Polish friend.
After the event, we moved in to the pub for some more drinks and a chat before moving to The Black Sheep to try the new Galway Bay - Table Beer.
The Table beer is made from the second runnings of the iconic Of Foam And Fury, Ireland's best example of a DIPA and perhaps even world class in my opinion and that of many of the beer bloggers from around the world who tried it two weeks ago. For those that may not know what a second running is, I will explain it quickly. When you brew a large beer (OFAF is 8.5%), there will always be residual sugars left over in the grain when you are finished with it so you simply add more water to flush everything out (sparging) and you have the base for another smaller beer. In this case, it's a 3.5% session beer or as some people might call it, a session IPA. Small beers are economical because most of the work has already been done so the brewery just has to pay for more hops, the electricity to boil the wort and perhaps water if that's something they are charged for. The result? Galway Bay can serve this beauty for €4 a pint in Dublin (their regular beers are over €5). What's even better, if you are a Beoir member and have one of your vouchers, it comes out as €3.50 which is supreme value in a pub in Dublin. I didn't take any notes as I only had time to suck it down and head for the last bus home but TheBeerNut describes it in the link above.