While we’d happily talk wine all year round, and we often do, we now find ourselves in October and that means one thing: Oktoberfest! Yes, the nights are closing in that little bit sooner and the autumnal leaves have arrived but it’s not all bad when you get to enjoy a good pint, or a stein if you’re going all out!
So what better month to try out a few new brews? We have you covered with our little guide to craft beer. Now wait, craft beer isn’t just for fellas with plaid shirts and abnormally long beards! It’s a booming industry and there really is something for everyone’s tastebuds. Not only that, but some of the best are close to home, brewing away in our own lovely Galway.
So what is craft beer? And what makes it different to…normal beer? Well, craft beer is beer brewed by independently owned and operated microbreweries. They are generally small operations and specialise in creating new recipes and brews, offering some fascinating alternatives to the global brands you might be more used to. They also specialise in wacky names but that’s besides the point!
There are now so many microbreweries in Ireland that the ICBI, or Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland to you and me, have recently created a symbol for microbreweries to use to let you know you’re drinking a true craft beer. This symbol will certify that the beer was brewed and bottled in Ireland by an independently-owned brewery. In the words of ICBI spokeswoman Carley Donegan, the symbol lets the “beer drinker know that he or she is helping the guy down the road and not some multinational”. Well there you go, you can enjoy a new beer and help out the Irish economy!
So what are a couple of our homegrown favs?
Easily one of Ireland’s more well-known beer crafters, Galway Bay Brewery have their own constantly-busy bars in Galway and Dublin. From IPAs to a Milk Chocolate Stout, they have you covered with their diverse range.
Which to try first? The Stormy Port!
“This rich and complex beer boasts its roasted coffee notes and hides certain sweetness and chocolate flavours in the background. The Stormy Port is most at home with rich stews, roast meat dishes and can find its place alongside dessert dishes.”
Brewing out of Carlow since the 1990’s, O’Hara’s are another familiar sight to fans of the Irish craft beer scene and they too have an impressive variety to cater to all tastes.
Which to try first? The Irish Red!
“This Red stands out in this beer style category. The malt body is as impressive as a bock, albeit in a uniquely Irish way. With an incredibly smooth malt body complimented by caramel tones and perfectly balanced in bitterness, this Irish Red is much more complex than its mainstream rivals.”
Want to know more about craft beer? Don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can reach us on our social channels or through firstname.lastname@example.org.