27 November 2014

Brown out

I don't know if it's entirely fair to be including the fourth-biggest brewing multinational in this week's series. C&C recently set up their own brewery at headquarters in Clonmel where they're currently pumping out the rather lacklustre Clonmel 1650 lager. But before that, they took an almost-total stake in the 5 Lamps microbrewery in Dublin, a two-hander run by Brian and William, which appears to have complete freedom to brew what they like.

With the lack of diktats comes a lack of logistical support, I guess, which is why the tap badge in The Norseman for The Tenters Brown Ale, their latest, was a circle of paper sellotaped to the keg font, with the name picked out on a portable label printer. Now that's craft. The Tenters is everything you want from a brown ale: a crisp dry bite of roasty grain husk next to lusciously smooth milk chocolate and slightly salty caramel. Like their Blackpitts Porter, it's a solid, no-frills drinking beer with plenty of flavour.

The Tenters is easily the best of the beers I've reviewed this week and while I think corporate structure rarely if ever correlates to beer quality, the method of production here may just contain a wee clue, a signpost, for any of the other big brewing concerns interested in breaking into this new and possibility lucrative market segment, Beer For People Who Enjoy The Taste Of Beer.

6 comments:

  1. "I think corporate structure rarely if ever correlates to beer quality, the method of production here may just contain a wee clue, a signpost, for any of the other big brewing concerns interested in breaking into this new and possibility lucrative market segment"

    But i suspect that economies of scale will eventually force beers on to there main the systems (national roll out etc) and thus suffer there full horrors of corporate brewing. ?

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    1. Yes but Drygate. Drygate is the way forward: deliberately small, proper brewing cred and it costs the multinational partner buttons. Molson Coors knows how to work this; C&C plainly does too. The big boys are meeting the expanding small players in the middle ground and I think that's good for choice.

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  2. I meant to give it a go at the B&C last week but suffering from a cold, I just couldn't do a new beer justice.

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    1. Yeah, nice and all that it is, I doubt much of the flavour would come through over a cold.

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    1. The fourth biggest of those that brew in Ireland, after Diageo, Heineken and Molson Coors -- the subjects of the previous three posts.

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