GO AHEAD PUNKS MAKE OUR DAY!
The diet’s out the window as STUART CLARK gets stuck into the best of what 2018 has to offer food and drink-wise.
2018 looks like being the year that BrewDog finally touch down here with co-founder James Watt revealing that, “Ireland has long been a key export market for BrewDog. The brewery is currently scouting for a location for a bar of its own in Dublin.”
As a “gesture of gratitude for its passionate Irish punks”, they’ve produced a limited-edition Hello My Name Is Niamh Double IPA.
“It’s infused with elderflower which grows in abundance across fields and parks in Ireland and has been used in brewing and distilling for centuries,” Watts continues. “Ireland has some of the most creative and boundary pushing craft brewers in Europe. We hope Hello My Name Is Niamh will inspire more brewers and bring in thousands more to the craft side.”
Hot Flavours will be in the thick of the action from March 8-10 as the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair returns to the Dublin Convention Centre. Tickets priced from €13.85 are available from eu.alltechbrewsandfood.com and, yes, they will be showing the pick of the Six Nations rugby action on their very big screens!
New Irish brewers/fermenters we look forward to making the acquaintance of include Soulwater from Galway whose 4.5% Kojak Oatmeal Milk
Stout does Theo proud, Westmeath’s Dead
Centre who promise “beers that’ll blow your fucking mind!” and the Kinsale Mead Co. who are rediscovering the world’s oldest alcoholic drink.
You should also make it your business this year to check out Móinéir Strawberry and Blackberry Wine, the flagship artisan tipples from Wicklow Way Wines, which give their grape-y counterparts a serious run for their money. Before going into the drinks business, co-founder Brett Stephenson was an audio engineer who worked with the likes of U2, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. wicklowwaywines.ie.
Joining them on 2018’s ‘recommended list’ are the range of yummy Almond MLKs being made with much love in County Limerick by thegoodlittlecook.com; the outrageously tasty Sticky Toffee number, which makes up part of the What’s For Pudding? range that’s being rustled up in the Boyne Valley, and the sensational Seaweed, Spelt & Seed and Za’atar Flatbreads from Mideast Mezze, the Waterford company run by Israeli food lovers Dvir Nusery and Nicola Crowley.
Hot Flavours suspects that TV screens will be graced a lot more this year by Patrick Hanlon and Russell Alford, AKA the GastroGays, who we’ll be talking to in our next issue...
On the restaurant front, Corkonians can look forward to ichigo ichie, the Japanese fine dining establishment taking up residence soon on Fenns Quay; Dubliners will be checking Etto’s new ‘vaguely Spanish’ joint, Una Mas, out on Aungier Street, and all of us will be punching Ballydehob, Co. Cork into the SatNav to see what former Tankardstown man, Robbie Krawcyzk, has in store for us with the The Chestnut.
Competing with the Spice Bag for our arteryhardening favours is the Garbage Plate, a hypercalorific pig-out invented by the folk at Nick Tahou Hots in Rochester, New York. Already pitching up on London fast food menus, it comprises layers of baked beans, macaroni cheese and crispy fries topped with fried onions, mustard, Tabasco-laced ragú and – depending on choice – a hot dog, hamburger, pork chop, sausage, ham, fish or eggs. We’ll keep a trolley for you in casualty!
You’ve probably sussed by now that this is not your average session lager. Brewed by moonlighting Rye River man, Alex Lewis, in association with Gothenburg’s equally hipsterish Beerbliotek – for once the ‘H’-word isn’t an insult – this Belgian Trappiststyle ale pours a gorgeous deep red with layer upon layer of rich fruity flavour.
Let us also salute whoever does Whiplash’s branding, which looks like something that might have adorned a 4AD album sleeve in the ‘90s.
It’s not even February and we already have a contender for Beer of the Year. Stunning!
(clockwise from above) The GastroGays, introducing the Garbage Plate & Za’atar hero
Whiplash 9% What Else Is New?
Fig & Rye Belgian Quadrupel