25 May 2007

1 blond, 1 hooker

I finished the Beerhall Challenge today while watching the election results come in. The last noteworthy beer was Vedett, a lager from the Duvel people which comes in a Duvel-shaped bottle but green rather than brown. It's a quite strong (5.2%) lager with a high malt character, reminiscent of Beck's. Dunno if I'd buy this one again. It's good, but lots of people make this kind of thing.

ICB put the word out yesterday that a single test keg of Galway Hooker had been tapped at the Bull & Castle. Having only recently heard about this one I had been dying to try it and was not disappointed. This is an amazing beer and all the more astounding for being made in Ireland. The makers claim "Irish Pale Ale" is a new genre, which I was a bit sceptical about but now I can see where they're coming from. This has a touch of the caramel of the classic Irish red, but also a whole lot of the green, vegetal hops of the textbook IPA. Galway Hooker is amazing stuff. The sooner this is in every bar in the country and exported worldwide as the real taste of Ireland, the better.

24 May 2007

Vote red

It's been a tradition of mine that after voting I go to the local (whose doors I rarely darken) for a pint. Today is the first election day since this blog began and I'm using it to report on my pint of choice in said local (and Peter's Pub, which is the only other Dublin pub I regularly find it): Beamish Red. Beamish Stout is dreadful muck, but their nitro-red is rather better than the competition from Caffrey's, Kilkenny or Murphy's. Like all of them it's smooth past the point of blandness, but if you're paying close attention there's a faint kick of ripe strawberries at the end which makes the whole thing worthwhile. That, and the fact that my local charges a mere €3.40 a pint (up 40c from last election day, mind).

Beamish Red: Drink early, drink often

23 May 2007

The irony of Asian lager

How come there's a Singapore beer called Tiger and a Thai beer called Singha? What's that about, eh?

Anyway, Singha is one I've seen on sale for years and years but today was the first time I'd tried it. Expecting a basic hot-country lager, I was surprised. In strength it resembles the Munich lagers, weighing in at 6%, and it has a similar well-honed smoothness. But instead of the Bavarian sweetness, this has a dry and slightly sharp malty bite. Isn't it great when a beer turns out to be more interesting than you expected?

22 May 2007

American Indian

Honorable mention was given a couple of days ago to Goose Island IPA, though I noted it wasn't what I would regard as your classic India Pale Ale. Today the Beerhall Challenge threw another American IPA at me: the one made by Sierra Nevada. This is much more on the money as far as my personal beer taxonomy goes. Above all it has full-on green and bitter hops tang. It's one of those great beers that still tastes big no matter how cold it arrives. Just a shame about the tiddly bottle: next time, mine's a pint.