For the first year of the last six I was planning to give Taste of Dublin a miss. I had other plans for the Saturday (the subject of a post yet to be written), and it's getting more and more expensive as a day out. After the intense rain at the end of last year's gig, from which we were mostly saved by L. Mulligan. Grocer, I figured it was time to give it a rest. A shame, too, since 2011 was the beeriest Taste ever: The Porterhouse was represented, as usual, joined by Carlow Brewing and a joint appearance from Trouble Brewing and the aforementioned Mulligan's. Messrs Maguire also took a stall, as part of the producers' zone, and had promised some of the new fruity weissbier. Oh well. I'd get it another time.
And then the Irish Food Bloggers Association came through with a couple of freebie tickets. Game on!
The weather wasn't as bad as it looked: a bit muddy, a bit overcast, but nothing worse than light drizzle fell from the sky. Nothing to put me off my food, which disappeared fairly quickly and was excellent as always. Locks sure know how to braise a beef cheek and Diep Le Shaker's rendang goes wonderfully with O'Hara's IPA.
But it was Messrs Maguire that I was really there to see. Mel had a plethora of her beers on offer, with the Summer Berry Weiss served from a beer engine behind the counter. I was warned it was lacking a bit in condition, but the extra weight the low fizz gave it added to the experience, I thought. Reuben had previously spoken of its intense tartness, and perhaps that's another thing that would have been accentuated by extra bubbles. While there's a certain dryness in the middle from the fermented-out fruit (too many types for me to remember, but lots of the foresty sort) it's still got the sweet esters of a Bavarian weissbier and even some residual blackcurrant flavour as well. Overall the whole thing is very balanced, hitting that sweet spot of being both interesting and drinkable. I'll be very keen to try it on keg, if such a thing exists.
And then it was round to Trouble for some Ór until the security lads began pulling the chairs from under us. Next year? Let me count the breweries first.
Westmalle Dubbel - *Origin: Belgium | Date: 2008 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: October 2007* It's a longtime favourite today. Westmalle Dubbel goes back to the very beginnings...
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