...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.