Drinking the top shelf: Indian Pale Ales

12 Jun

After a two-year wait Summer is finally here and what better way to celebrate than drinking beer. With the rapid growth of the brewing scene both in Ireland and the widespread availability of craft beers, there’s really no excuse for buying multi-packs of mass produced fizzy water oft mistaken for beer. While some craft beers can be either too bitter or too fruity, these Indian Pale Ales (IPAs) are full of balanced flavours to keep you refreshed in the summer heat.

Sharp’s Chalky’s Bite

This beer came about as a challenge from celebrity chef Rick Stein to Sharp’s brewery to create a beer that could stand up to the classic Belgian ales. The delicate flavours of lemongrass on top of lightly toasted malt with a hint of liquorice produced by the combination of three hops and a three month maturation period are more than adequate to stand up to any classic Belgian beer. This beer is bright, citrussy, and crisp, perfect for lazy sunny afternoons in a beer garden. Alc. 6.8% Vol.

Brooklyn East India Pale Ale

Brewed from British Malt and a blend of hops featuring the choice East Kent Golding variety, Brooklyn’s IPA promises a lot and lives up to it emphatically. Fresh cut grass and pine on the nose follow right through to a warming malty flavour with a hoppy finish. This beer has a warmer quality that you would normally associate with winter but the brilliant hoppy flavour makes it an ideal pairing with a meaty steakhouse burger. Alc. 6.9% Vol.

St Austell Proper Job

This is a great semi-hoppy beer for those who fear them, or an ideal all day beer for summer sessions. It is hop forward but the pale malty background reduces the excessive bitterness associated with hops. Well balanced and light while still packing a lot of flavour, this beer is ideal for barbecue drinking, where you do more drinking than eating. Alc. 5.5% Vol.

Eight Degrees Howling Gale Ale

With a combination of mild malty notes and delicate grassy hops, Howling Gale Ale drinks like a good quality lager. Leaning more on the pleasant biscuity background flavour than the bitter herbaceous hops it’s a great beer again for beginners or for drinking all night. A refreshing easy drinking beer that lacks the tart grassy finish associated with more mature IPAs. Alc. 5% Vol.

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