14 December 2016

Eating out

Dublin got a rather cool new addition to its food scene at the end of November. The long-neglected yard outside The Bernard Shaw pub in Portobello has been transformed into a four-days-a-week street food extravaganza called The Eatyard. Grub-related things don't normally excite me, but a few of my favourite casual dining outlets have taken stalls here, including beer festival stalwart Pieman as well as a Dublin footprint for Box Burger, the pride of Bray.

I went along on opening night and it was jammed so I'm looking forward to going back some weekend afternoon when the hype has died down a bit and the hip young party animals of the 'Shaw are still in their beds.

Since it's part of the Bodytonic empire there is, unsurprisingly, a Brewtonic bar in the yard which pours a selection of this cuckoo brewery's creations plus guest beers from luminaries such as White Hag and Kinnegar. To go with my jalapeño-laden burger I picked 011, described as a black rye ale. The spec sheet tells me it uses Magnum and Equinox hops, plus the German hop blend Yellow Sub. The end result is a fascinating mix of hop flavour elements, beginning on a dirty, greasy, dankness but including also lots of light and breezy lemon sherbet. To confuse matters even further there's a substantial roast bite, one which serves to accentuate the hop oils rather than interfere with them. The malt's only other contribution is a light black treacle sweetness, and nothing that would suggest rye to me.

As a flavour profile goes it's all a bit higgledy-piggledy, to use the technical term, but it has a definite rough charm. Black IPA seems to be slinking out of fashion these days so it's nice to get something like one that delivers the dark malt and stimulating hop kick the way we all enjoyed back in 2013.

Here's to the success of The Eatyard and a new era of food cart culture in Dublin. With plenty of decent beer, obviously.

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