The latest in the range of Lidl's own-brand craft beers. These are produced at the Rye River brewery in Celbridge, who have really started pushing the boat out when it comes to hops. Liam Tutty, their head of digital marketing dropped a couple of bottles to my house for me to sample. It would be rude not to mention them.
First up was the Irish Pale Ale. A 4.5% little beauty of a beer that's eminently sessionable. There's a real grainy malt base with a touch of caramel which is then balanced by the bitterness and fruity bouquet of the Ella hops. It was excellent and at €1.89 is a complete bargain. Pauline was particularly enamoured with it and commandeered the second bottle.
At 6%, the Irish IPA is like the big brother of the pale ale. This one is a little more expensive at €2.45 I believe but is it worth trading up for? That depends entirely on your own taste and the situation. It's fruitier than its little brother. The Vic Secret hops are shining through with a more intense bitterness but also bitter orange pith and a hint of tropical fruits. There's still a little caramel to balance it but little sign of the graininess in the pale ale. Overall, this is a better beer, more rounded and grown up than its baby brother. There's certainly little evidence of the higher ABV however stick me in the garden on a sunny day and it will be the sessionable 4.5% pale ale I'll be reaching for.