Thursday, 28 August 2014

#238: Beavering Away

The steadily increasing flow of good UK craft beer into Ireland is to me the one most exciting aspects of the Irish beer scene (obviously outside of the growing number of homegrown breweries making beer that gets better by the year).

One of the latest British imports is from Beavertown, and Bradley's has the range.

My first was Gamma Ray, a slightly hazy and very effervescent pale ale. Juicy and ripe citrus fruit hits first and hits hardest on the nose. Bitter lime skins are balanced by sweet candied fruit that leans towards strawberries, while the main impression is made by American citrus hops. more citrus reaches the palate, with a faint grapefruit pithiness and lemony bitterness on a medium. This is American pale ale by the numbers in the best possible way.

Smog Rocket is a smoked porter and I got mine in a can, because I can. It pours dark brown and gives off a sort of blue woodsmoke aroma, hiding beneath which there's some plummy fruit and dark berry sweetness. It's actually quite strange to taste, with round and fleshy dark fruits opening for sweet milk chocolate before things take a savoury twist at the end, producing the only hint of smoke proper at the very finish. Not a bad porter, but it is not quite robust or smoky enough for my liking.

A step back brings us to Neck Oil, a session pale ale, something everyone needs all of a sudden. Looking quite a lot like the Gamma Ray, the aroma is actually rather different; punchty pine needle and tropical fruit with some grapefruit peel. Again, this is textbook American pale ale, and again that's perfect. Equally astringent and zesty is the flavour, with an eager hop attack whose plentiful fruit notes fade fast under the weight of the potent bitterness. After that, there's not a whole lot going on to balance things out and make it an enjoyable session. If you just want a decent rush of American hops and nothing else, and you want it all day long, then... then you have a problem. 

Otherwise you might find joy in a beer like this. 

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