BEERISTA SORCHA HAMILTON
The great can comeback just keeps on going. They’re starting to outnumber bottles on many shelves now, while one Dublin city centre off- licence is pretty much can- only when it comes to craft beer.
Tucked away off Grafton Street, you could be forgiven for not knowing about Stephen Street News. But at the back of this small newsagent you’ll find a lovely display: 56 different craft beers to be exact, and that’ll be closer to 100 once their new fridge arrives.
Cans are becoming really popular, says a spokesman for the independent off- licence, which has been open for two years. For people on their way home, cycling or getting on the Luas, they’re lighter to carry than bottles, he says. And because they’re tight for space in the shop, stocking cans also makes more sense because they’re easier for stacking and keeping refrigerated. “We’re now focusing on being 95 to 98 per cent cans.”
Most people coming into the shop to buy craft beer usually get a few from different breweries. “Our customers support the craft beer industry,” he says. “Anything that’s new they’re willing to try.”
There will be a designated space in the new fridge for the taller 440ml cans, which also seem to be catching on, with some microbreweries switching their core ranges to the bigger size. 8 Degrees’ Citra IPA is tasting and looking good in its new brightly coloured can. This is a single hop beer, with loads of juicy tropical fruit and a solid bitter finish, at 5.7 per cent. Also worth checking out is Trouble Brewing’s Silk Road, a saison with a clean body and lovely dry finish.
The popularity of cans is also upping the game in terms of design and graphics – and the selection in Stephen Street News is definitely worth a look, or a bit of “beer- gazing”, next time you’re nearby.