Thursday, March 18, 2010

Irish Beer Fest @ Foley's

...Foley's Irish Beer fest is well underway, and we jostled our way through the craic-seeking crowds last night to sample some new (to us) beers from the Emerald Isle.

First up, Fransiscan Well's Friar Weisse - and our favourite of the night. Not much of a head, but a gorgeous hazy yellow colour, sweet in the body yet clean, and with plenty of almond and banana notes. A seriously easy pint to drink, this refreshing version of a favourite style of mine hit the spot.

An IPA next - and by that I mean White Gypsy's Emerald Pale Ale. It does what it says on the tin, really - a bitter, straw-coloured pale with a smooth body and a decent floral-hop aroma. Again, very good indeed, and a beer whose smoothness belies a 5%abv hit.

Hilden's Scullion Irish Ale brought way more to the table in terms of malt bill - this amber packs a lot of flavour in. Toffee and a little smoke on the nose, but with an intensely fruity taste that dries out quite quickly. Powerful, and even a little warming, but thoroughly enjoyable. Hilden's offshoot College Green Brewery's Belfast Blonde returned us to a paler land, and this was another highlight of the night. Ultra-pale, ultra clean, but with a grassy hop aroma, this is another beer I'd like to drink a lot more of. Wonderful.

It wouldn't have been right to not try a stout, so College Green's Molly's Chocolate Stout got a look in. Although a decent stout - smoky, with about the right balance of roastiness to soft bitterness, I couldn't really discern much chocolate in the body. Still, with all this good beer in front of me, I was more than content.

Do try and get yourself over to Foley's to partake - although I don't know how much will be left by the weekend! And if anyone can recommend any Irish Craft Brewers I need to seek out, please do. I've been fairly impressed so far.


The Beer Nut said...

Look out for the Porterhouse bottles, and especially the Brainblásta strong ale.

Friar Weisse is an interesting beer: no two batches are alike and it can be a Bavarian Weiss one week and a Belgian Wit the next, hitting all points in between at others. Never had it on cask, though. It's probably even more random.

Paul Garrard said...

I had a pint of Hilden's Gael Rua Irish Red Ale last night. It was disgusting. I don't think cellarmanship was in question, I think it was the way it was brewed. In a coal scuttle by the taste of it. Yuk!

Leigh said...

TBN - you know, its funny you should say that because I did like that Lemony edge to the weisse - i can see who it may lean towards Witty flavours. Yeah, nice point. And i had the chance to try the Brainblasta in Porterhouse in London a few weeks back but passed it up - would it be the same thing on tap? Paul - that's a shame!!

The Beer Nut said...

I had a Gael Rua last night and rather liked it. Do you normally like smoked beers, Paul? If Schlenkerla did a pale ale, it would be Gael Rua.

The Beer Nut said...

The bottled Brainblásta is much better than the keg version, I think. It's far smoother.

Leigh said...

A Schlenkerla THAT sounds interesting. I guess that could account for that smokiness then. Thanks for the tip, mate.