With summer already drawing to a close (I know, boohoo), I thought I better get some seasonals to try before their gone. And so, on a quick call into Bradley's, I picked up these two, from Ireland and the U.S. respectively.
I missed Comeragh Challenger last year, so I was glad to get my hands on some of Dungarvan's summer seasonal this time around. Pouring a hazy orange with no head, it has that strangely appealing lack of cosmetics, but there's not much wrong with the aroma. Wheaty malts, plenty of fruitness and even a touch of banana and spice is plenty appealing, but there is a lack of assertiveness on the hop front. As such, the bitterness in the first half is overwhelmed by the grainy, biscuity and slightly citrusy finish in the second. Still though, an unbelievably refreshing summer brew, and way more satisfying than it's 3.8% ABV suggests.
Jumping across the Atlantic - yet staying very much in the same vein - we find Brooklyn Brewery's Summer Ale. In a can. Hurrah!
It looks like a lager, but the aroma has plenty of nice, oily fruit notes, and a backing of grass or lemongrass from the hops. This is more or less the same on tasting, but with more lemon and grapefruit coming, though not in a punchy IPA way, more of a weird yeasty Maibock way. It's leafy and herbal, even a bit waxy, which is again strange because it lacks a real hop punch I'd expect to accompany the flavours. The beer hits a bum not when the finish leaves a bit of an astringent flavour in the mouth, while the whole thing is a bit watery. I won't be bothered again, even if it is nice to see the can on our shelves.
I write this in Cork, but I'll be posting it from Amsterdam. As such, you can expect a two week blog silence while I gather material in Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and Munich. Cheers!