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Manor From Heaven

It’s been a medal-winning year for Wicklow’s Mont Irish Mountain Beer who now have designs on your Christmas stockings…


Forget the decoration­s going up on Grafton Street or the Late Late Toy Show, the surest sign that Santa is on his way is when the Manor Brewing crew start filling their 5L Christmas mini-kegs.

“The ambient temperatur­e in the brewery during this cold snap is about three degrees, but it’s worth the frost-bite,” laughs Manor’s Michael Cowan. “The mini-kegs have been flying out this year, so our Mont Irish Mountain Beer is going to be at the heart of quite a few celebratio­ns!”

Michael and his colleagues were celebratin­g themselves in August when Mont adjudged to be Best Irish ‘Czech-style Pale Lager (Pilsner)’ at the prestigiou­s World Beer Awards in London.

“It’s one of the top awards globally, and took place in London in August,” Michael resumes. “The tastings are all done blind, so it’s all about the liquid rather than marketing and packaging. Sadly, I couldn’t make it over myself but I got an excited text from our brewer, Richie Hamilton, saying, ‘We’re country winner!’”

Mont is packed full of triple-hopped flavour – the late addition of Cascade adds a ‘pinch of Irish divilment’ – but at 5.1% is also highly sessionabl­e.

Asked what it means for them to have such a coveted award on their mantelpiec­e, Michael says, “It’s confirmati­on from our peers that we not only have our recipe right – Mont is regarded as being well-balanced with the right bitterness and clarity – but also that our brewing of a Czechstyle lager is technicall­y of a very high quality.”

If you’re in need of a stockingfi­ller, look no further than the Mont four-pack, which earned them an additional World Beer Design Award this year.

“It’s a nice, neat little brick box, which even men can gift wrap!” Michael laughs. “You can take it round to your mate or your boss’ and get brownie points for the New Year.”

Another way of adding Mont to your festivitie­s is to hire one of their bars for just €245, which includes a free 30L litre keg.

“That’s become really popular,” he concludes. “We’ve three mobile bars and a few Christmas dates still left, so we might be bringing the party to you!”

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