Talking to an off licence proprieter yesterday I discovered that the Dublin Brewing Company has ceased production. This, of course, explains the difficulty in finding their beers in shops, the recent drop in the price where they are still sold, and what yer man in the Stag's Head was talking about. It is a crying shame that Dublin Brewing is gone (and not just because my first date with the woman I later married was to their North King Street premises). The man I spoke to yesterday said their marketing and distribution operation was extremely poor and they've paid the price for it. I guess all they wanted to do was make beer. Hopefully this means we haven't seen the last of them.
So my immediate plan is to buy every last bottle of Maeve's and Beckett's I can get my hands on. I wonder is there a market for beers from defunct breweries the way there is for Scotch whisky from "silent distilleries". Probably not. Not that it matters, since I'm going to drink every bottle myself.
Here's to DBC and to better times for craft beer in Ireland.
Banana Bread Beer. Fascinating stuff it is too: it's basically a pale ale, and quite a light one, despite the label's claim to be beer in the "liquid bread" style of brewing (the guy who wrote that needs a good dose of Westvleteren to show him what liquid bread really tastes like). What makes this stuff really special (and the name kinda gives it away) is the kick of real, fairly-traded (kudos for that) bananas. It has to be tried to be appreciated properly. This isn't a subtle hint of banana tones, nor is it a big overpowering banana-in-your-face. It's a very gentle incline towards bananas, gradually accumulating on the palate until you finish your pint and say "Mmm. Bananas". And it is a pint too: a full 568ml, which is a very nice touch.
It does suffer a bit from the trouble with Bateman's, but that's more to do with my ineptitude than anything else. Practice, dear boy.
You really won't know if you like this stuff or not until you try it. And you should try it.
The current unavailability of Revolution red ale by the Dublin Brewing Company has gone on too long. It disappeared around the end of last year and hasn't been seen since. When it went, there was the sudden reappearance of Maeve's Crystal, which had similarly been off the shelves for ages. And now, horror of horrors, that batch of Maeve's seems to be selling out and there's no sign of the red stuff back. It all makes my life very difficult indeed.
Anyway, another new beer to report on is Schöfferhofer which, despite the name, is not a joke. It's a German weissbier, of a rich orange cloudy hue. The label suggests that it's brewed mainly for export to the Czech and Slovak republics, and there's certainly a hint of that Czech-pilsner-crispness at the back of the taste, behind the typical weissbier banana flavour. I found this stuff to be a pleasant change from my usual Erdinger, but it ultimately lacked the full-on fruitiness that this sort of beer typically should have.