31 August 2009

Rathmines, CA

The busy beery weekend kicked off on Friday evening in the Bull & Castle and a pint of O'Hara's Stout from the cask. From there I made my way out to Rathmines where Colin and Jonathan of CWI were running a tasting in Deveney's off licence of some new beers they've brought in.

SommerBrau is Gordon Biersch's summer Kölschalike, not a genre I particularly enjoyed when I tried Sierra Nevada's version, and I've not been in any rush to give Goose Island's a go. Biersch SommerBrau is fruitier than I expected, and with only a hint of grainy crispness at the end. Decent, inoffensive drinking. I'd imagine a six-pack would go great with a barbecue or similar sunny day activity, but that'll only really work in places where there's actual sunshine and the six-pack isn't costing €13. Places that aren't here, basically.

A much better proposition was Blonde Frog, by Blue Frog -- a company whose Red Frog and (now sadly discontinued) Big DIPA I've enjoyed in the past. Blonde Frog takes that full-bodied blonde ale base and injects it with a healthy dose of characterful American hops. 6.75% ABV in a 22oz bottle makes it one to be careful with, but it's well worth a bit of considered drinking.

Welcome return visits to Red Frog and Blue Frog IPA followed, which might be why I enjoyed the Butte Creek Pale Ale so much. Last time I tried it I was quite shocked by the intensity of its bitterness, but here I found it lovely and smooth and sherbety. I can only guess that the hoppy beers which preceded it helped knock the sharp edges off. Butte Creek IPA, however, tasted quite charmlessly bitter -- with a big vegetal harshness. But perhaps I'll become attuned to that eventually too. Odd things, hops.

Quite a few of the usual suspects had shown up by 7.30, so we decamped to the pub. More on that next.


  1. Perhaps the demise of Blue Frog's DIPA has been been greatly exagerated. I picked up a bottle at the brew pub here in Fairfield, CA a couple weeks ago, and yes, it was an enjoyabe DIPA, as are all the Blue Frog brews I've tried. (Which doesn't include Blonde Frog.) I don't know how you can get it on your side of the pond, but rest assured, I believe they are still brewing it.

  2. Well that's good. I think Jonathan of CWI said they had replaced it with something else. Either way I'm sure it'll be quite lovely. Cheers Derrick.

  3. I really enjoyed Blonde Frog, and while enjoying it was all the more happy that it came in such an ample serving.