ON THE SUBJECT OF BEERS
The Irish love of craft beer continues unabated. Incredible brewing companies are popping up all over the country. That seems unlikely to change soon. What’s more, IT Carlow recently launched a Bachelor’s degree programme in brewing and distilling. While there is nothing wrong in grabbing a six-pack of one of the big lager brands, it’s a good time to be a bit more adventurous with your drinks — especially if you’re having guests around.
Over the past six months, with its BeKreativ project, Beck’s has re-established itself as a drink with real hipster cache. Beck’s is from one of the great beer-producing countries, Germany. And, for good reason, Beck’s has consistently been among the winners, at the World Beer Awards, taking Gold Medals in 2016 for Germany’s Best Amber Pale Ale and for Germany’s No Alcohol Lager, as well as a bunch of silvers and bronzes. And they also took Gold for Design, for their Beck’s Pils bottle and label. So, if you want to go for a well-known brand, and your beer to both look and taste good, Beck’s ticks all the boxes. Indeed you might even turn the party into a BeKreativ occasion and get people dressing up and taking pictures on the night.
If you want to go for something Irish, most decent off-licenses and lots of supermarkets will stock a range of Irish craft beers, particularly the better known ones such as the range from Trouble Brewing, O’Hara’s 8 Degrees and Franciscan Well. Indeed Franciscan Well have won a whopping 29 awards at the World Beer Awards, since 2013 – including Best Pale Ale for its Summer Saison this year. The award-gobbling Cork brewery also made its Chieftain, Rebel Red and Frian Weisse beers available in 330ml cans this year, which is a bonus for parties in that cans are far more easily disposable (and lighter!) than bottles. Oh, and Rebel Red is Ireland’s No.1 craft beer – so you can’t go far wrong there!
Other beers worth considering for the Christmas season include The White Hag’s Yule Winter Ale Holiday Spiced Ale and Franciscan Well’s Coffee Porter as well as their Jameson Pale Ale, which is aged in Jameson casks.