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Irish craft beers?

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chimay5 Oct 1, 2009 10:53 AM

Seems that even the Italians are doing some real interesting craft beers even though it's truely wine country.
Other than Sir Arthur's beers is anyone familiar with the beer culture in Ireland? Any interesting small brewers, craft beers?

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  1. EddieGlick RE: chimay5 Oct 7, 2009 06:42 PM

    Carlow Brewing Company, which makes the O'Hara's line of brews, is the only one I've heard of, and that's only because you can sometimes find it in the States (http://www.carlowbrewing.com/). There stuff is solid, but nothing crazy. If you're looking for crazy and you're going to be in the UK and you've got a few days to kill, you owe it to yourself to visit BrewDog in Scotland:

    http://www.brewdog.com/

    1. MVNYC RE: chimay5 Oct 19, 2009 07:04 PM

      There is an IPA brewed in Galway that you can find at a few places in Ireland. It is called Galway Hooker IPA and is pretty good. A refreshing change of pace from the dry stouts you will invariably be drinking.

      http://www.galwayhooker.ie/flash/site...

      1. Ernie Diamond RE: chimay5 Oct 20, 2009 04:33 PM

        If you have the occasion to go, look up The Porterhouse in Dublin. I think that there are at least three locations but the one near Trinity College is great. They brew an Oyster Stout with actual oysters that is outstanding. They call themselves the largest Irish Brewery in the world since Guinness, et al have all been sold off to multi-national corporations. Anyway, they are doing GREAT things for Ireland's wretched beer culture.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Ernie Diamond
          MVNYC RE: Ernie Diamond Oct 20, 2009 07:13 PM

          They also brew a strong ale, the An Brain Blasta which is pretty good. Their Oyster stout is terrific too and they serve Galway IPA;

          1. re: Ernie Diamond
            Insidious Rex RE: Ernie Diamond Nov 16, 2009 09:18 AM

            Can you actually taste oyster in the stout? Ive always found that intriguing. When do they actually introduce the oyster during the brewing process? Do they actually throw them into the mash and cook them down and then remove them or do they let them slowly decompose during the fermentation process? Or do they just use oyster liquid?

            1. re: Insidious Rex
              Chinon00 RE: Insidious Rex Nov 16, 2009 11:54 AM

              The oyster beers that I've tasted didn't have any "oyster" flavor. They use the shell only and I was told that they emerge from the brewing process remarkably clean. What they did have was a brightness and minerality in the finish that was quite nice.

              Thanks

              1. re: Chinon00
                JessKidden RE: Chinon00 Nov 16, 2009 01:16 PM

                Pretty sure Yard's Love Stout used whole oysters (when it was still a true oyster stout) as did the recently released Flying Fish Exit 1, which you can see being brewed in the video on this blog. http://beerstainedletter.blogspot.com...
                (Not in the video, but I saw a photo of the oysters, about to be eaten by the brewer, after being removed from the brew).

                Lots more on "oyster stouts brewed with whole oysters" in this older Michael Jackson article- http://www.beerhunter.com/documents/1...

                1. re: JessKidden
                  Jim Dorsch RE: JessKidden Nov 16, 2009 01:32 PM

                  Years ago Andy Tveekrem, then with Great Lakes, brought a stout to a Brickskeller tasting that he'd made w/real oysters. It was quite oystery, as I recall.

                  I used to enjoy visiting w/Andy back then. He'd made a great barley wine that, at the time, was illegal to sell in OH due to the alcohol cap. So, he gave it to visitors.

              2. re: Insidious Rex
                Ernie Diamond RE: Insidious Rex Nov 16, 2009 01:36 PM

                I can't say that the beer had a particular "oyster" quality (by that, I refer to what I consider a briny or metallic taste) but it did have a very rich flavor, smooth mouthfeel and a particular savory quality that I have not found easily in other beers. It is well worth seeking out the next time you are in Dublin!

            2. l
              LauraGrace RE: chimay5 Nov 14, 2009 04:09 PM

              Biddy Early got a write-up in Saveur a couple years ago. I had a couple of their beers at the brewery when I was in Ireland 3 or 4 years ago but I understand they've outsourced the brewing or something. Shame.

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