It could just be laziness on my part but it seems that there's a bit of a drought of new American beers in Dublin at the moment. Plenty of good stuff in the established selection, of course, and the occasional blink-and-miss one-off draught specials, but no sign of the Next Big Thing to hit us from US brewing that I can see (Sly Fox? Mebbe).
But although their beers might not be streaming this way, at least some of their brewing talent seems to be. I detect, for example, the fingerprints of a displaced yank in the Porterhouse's new beer: an 11% ABV US-style barley wine, delicately titled Louder. This thick and heavy red-brown ale wasn't done any favours by being served on cask, which intensified its hot and soupy characteristics while burying what was most likely a very generous helping of C-hops. A little colder and with some more fizz to lift it, this could be Ireland's answer to De Molen's Bommen & Granaten, but not yet.
I felt in need of a palate cleanser after that and the helpful staffer (a relatively new phenomenon in Porterhouse Temple Bar, but credit where it's due) suggested VG Noster Golden, a pale 4.8%-er from the Basque country. Bucketloads of gas here, so my tongue got well scrubbed, though it did start getting difficult to drink after a few mouthfuls. Fortunately there was plenty to keep me distracted, starting with an aroma of parma violets and what laundry detergent marketers think summer meadows smell like. This intensifies on tasting into floral honey and peach blossom. All a bit girly sounding perhaps, but it never veered near the sickly alcopop territory and I'd just about swear that the flavour combinations were all derived from malt, hops and yeast.
So there's not much new from Stateside, but still plenty of interesting new beers from closer to home.
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