23 September 2005

Currytime!

I could just as easily have made this blog about curry rather than beer, Indian food being my other great passion. Last night I was out in my local curry place and discovered they have a new house lager - Bollywood Beer. It's something of an enigma: the label claims it has its roots in Goa, yet is brewed in an unspecified part of the EU. The address on their web site is of a packaging firm in Bray, and the company is also registered at an address in Glasnevin, north Dublin. Very curious, and it makes me wonder what they have to hide. Anyway...

More importantly: the beer. Well, not surprisingly it is quite reminiscent of the standard curry beers, Kingfisher in particular. It is lightly sparkling with a hoppy bitterness. Very easy to drink and accompanies curry quite well. I have little doubt that the restaurant has made the switch because the margins are better on the new stuff, but at the same time I welcome a new brand onto the market, especially if it's a local one.

And with that I hear Oktoberfest calling and I'm off to Munich...

20 September 2005

HempBeer Fi

Several weeks ago, I mentioned the German hemp beer Turn, and how it didn't compare favourably with Hanf, by 7 Stern in Vienna. Well, the Porterhouse have produced a seasonal hemp beer, imaginatively titled "Hemp Beer" as part of their "Summer of Love" promotion which ran during July and August.

It's a rich, deep red colour, and the base of the taste seems to be Porterhouse Red, their excellent Irish ale. However, up front there is a massive, striking, bitter flavour of hemp in all its glory. It took a while to figure out what it tasted like, but eventually Mrs Beer Nut worked out that it was grapefruit, with all the inherent acid bitterness. Nevertheless, this isn't an unpleasant beer: it is quite possible to down more than a pint in one sitting. It's definitely interesting, though not a recipe likely to become anyone's regular tipple, unlike the version in 7 Stern. So, the Irish are still behind the Austrians on this particular beer front: big surprise there, eh?

18 September 2005

Bee careful

I didn't particularly enjoy my only previous experience with beer made from honey. It was several years ago, in the late lamented Dublin branch of Belgo, and the beer was from the Floris range. So I haven't been in a mad rush to try the English honey beer Waggle Dance, but I picked up a bottle in Cork recently just to give it a go. My suspicion was justified. Waggle Dance has very little by way of a honey taste, but contains bucketloads of hops. As a result it is very very dry and bitter, which is not what the term "honey beer" conjures up. It still seems to me that honey and beer do not mix well. Leave honey where it belongs: in mead.

12 September 2005

Up the Baltic

I've never been very good with numbers, which is something of a disadvantage when dealing with the produce from St. Petersburg's Baltika brewery. I have a recommendation to try Baltika 10, but I can never remember that number when I'm in the field. So, I thought I'd hit the jackpot in Cork last week, bringing home a bottle of Baltika 9, but was disappointed to discover, to paraphrase Obi Wan, it's not the one I'm looking for.

It's not bad, though. It's another strong lager (8%) slighltly flat, with a full, bold, beery taste. Certainly much better than the very plain Baltika lagers, 3 and 7. The quest for the elusive number 10 continues.

In the meantime, while in that part of the beer world, I chanced a taste of Švyturys Ekstra, from Lithuania. I wasn't impressed and I can't think of anything remarkable about this one. Like the Zywiec, it's something you buy in its native country where the price is negligible.