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Here at TheBeerClub.ie we love to taste craft beer. Infact every Tuesday at 8pm we host a live Twitter tasting in collaboration with The Irish Beer Snob using #BeerClubIE
If you're not up for tasting and having the chats with us, then this is a helpful guide to get you started!
Tasting beer is about much more than a simple “open up and swallow.” In order to fully understand and enjoy the beer you’re tasting (and drinking), there are a number of simple strategies to employ, as well as some general tips and tricks for getting the most out of your brew.
Whether you’re drinking canned, bottled, or draft beer, it’s imperative that you pour it into a glass. While a standard mixing glass, or pint glass, will do the job, we really recommend choosing your glass based on the style of beer you’re drinking. If you’re unsure about what kind of glass to use, our Glassware Guide is a great resource.
Once you’ve poured your beer, give it a good look. Note the color as well as the size and consistency of the head.
Gently give the glass a swirl. Let the beer move around in the glass a bit. This will pull out all of the subtle aromas and nuances. It also tests head retention
Right after the swirl, take two sharp, quick sniffs of the bouquet, then take a normal sniff. Take one last sniff with your mouth open. Make sure you’re in an area without any extraneous, overpowering odors, as that will affect the experience. Take in all of the aromas. Note those that are strong, weak, not strong enough, etc. Try to articulate what you’re experiencing.
Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Doesn’t it taste better when you’ve waited a bit? You had a number of teasers, and now you can indulge – just don’t go chugging it!
Take small sips and resist swallowing right away. Let the beer linger, coating your tongue and the top of your throat. Allow it to sit while you register the flavors. Exhale, releasing the air in your mouth through your nose, and swallow.
In order to properly experience your beer and relay that experience to others, it’s helpful to understand tasting terminology. Below, you’ll find some of the most commonly used terms and phrases.
There’s no shortage of snobbery in the wine and craft beer communities. Exhibit A: the confusing array of glassware available to you and your favorite libation.
Wisdom has it that pilsner glasses are meant for lagers, snifters are intended for Belgian-style ales, tulip glasses are for strong ales and imperials, and weizen glasses are meant for… weizens.
There’s a similar orthodoxy for wine: You drink reds in glasses with large, round bowls and sparkling whites in a thin champagne flute.
But is this all a bunch of malarkey? Does the inward curve of a snifter really help retain aromas and enhance enjoyment of your beer? Or is it merely a promotional stunt for the glass industry?
Most experts agree: Glassware is important. BeerAdvocate, the industry’s foremost resource on everything beer, explains it most clearly:
“As soon as the beer hits the glass, its color, aroma and taste is altered, your eye candy receptors tune in, and your anticipation is tweaked. Hidden nuances become more pronounced, colors shimmer, and the enjoyment of the beer simply becomes a better, more complete, experience.”
Some of you may still think this is nonsense, but at the very least, you can’t deny the beauty and artful precision of a tulip glass, or a chalice.
With this appreciation in mind, let’s take a tour of the world of beer glassware.
Sometimes referred to as a beer stein, the mug is the glass of choice for beer halls everywhere. It can be made from porcelain or stoneware, and German varieties sometimes include a lid. In Ireland, however, mugs are almost always made of glass.
They’re large, sturdy, and meant to hold lots of beer. Little thought is given here to subtler nuances like aroma, clarity, or carbonation.
The most common and familiar beer vessel, pint glasses can be found in nearly every pub —even those fancy pubs where bartenders are trained to use specific glassware for specific styles.
Like the mug, the pint glass isn’t designed for any one style in mind. It’s cheap and versatile, although some fanatics would gasp at the idea of pouring a Beglian ale into a pint glass.
Chalices are like the gold rimmed umbrellas of glassware—ostentatious, excessive, and gorgeous. Like its more delicate cousin, the goblet, chalices are designed to look nice and retain head—the layer of foam that forms after you pour a beer. The bottom interior of the glass is actually riveted in order to agitate the beer and create a steady stream of bubbles. For this reason, chalices and goblets are ideal for CO₂-heavy beers like Belgian tripels and strong ales.
Smaller than some of the other glasses on this list, the pilsner glass typically holds 1500ml of beer, but can vary.
The triangular dimensions help promote the sparkling colors of whitbiers (wheat beers) and lagers, particularly pilsners (duh). On a hot day, a glass of pilsner beer in a pilsner glass just looks refreshing.
Tulips may be the prettiest glass on this list, but that’s a matter of opinion. They have a distinctive flower shape that’s similar to an hourglass—a feature that helps to both capture aromas and preserve head.
If you’ve ever ordered a wheat beer, chances are it was served to you in a weizen (literally, “wheat”) glass. There’s something oddly satisfying about the look of wheat beer in a weizen glass.
Snifters are often used for brandy, cognac, and whiskey, but the glass’ tapered curve helps capture and enhance aromas.
High gravity beers like barleywines, tripels, eisbocks, and Belgian strong ales all taste—and smell—wonderful in snifter glasses, even if they’re not the most perfect fit for them.
Similar to the pint glass, stanges are narrow and cylindrical—a shape that helps to preserve aromas. They are most often served with Kölsch beer—a style native to Cologne, Germany—but they’re also used for bocks and altbiers.
Stanges are designed to fit in a special tray used by waiters serving large pubs and beer halls in Cologne.
Check out our glasses range here!
Beer isn’t something usually associated with breakfast.
If you pick the right beer you can add all kinds of amazing flavours to your batter. While boring milk adds very little, a spiced saison adds some savoury depth, a nice red ale a little malty sweetness, and a hoppy IPA a citric tang. The beer is also carbonated, which helps to give the pancakes a lovely light batter if you use it straight away.
But what makes this recipe really awesome is that the beer completely replaces the milk. These dairy-free pancakes can work for both savoury and sweet dishes; try a wit – a lemony Belgian-style wheat beer – with traditional lemon and sugar, or an IPA with Cheddar and mushroom-topped pancake where the hoppy flavours cut right through the cheese.
This one is made with saison beer, a super-carbonated herbal and spicy beer that gives the pancakes real depth. It’s best with blueberries, crispy rashers and a drizzle of maple syrup, but you can go wild with any toppings you want. I bet some cinnamon sugar would be amazing.
We also have gluten free beer if you want to keep it gluten free!
Makes about 10 pancakes
Preheat your oven to 220°C/450°F and line a baking try with greaseproof paper. Put a grill on top and lay the rashers over the bars.
Sieve your flour into a mixing bowl, then crack in the egg. Using a whisk, beat the mixture while adding the beer gradually so it doesn’t foam over. Whisk until there are no big lumps. Stir through the blue berries gently.
Whack your bacon in the oven and get your frying pan on a high heat. Add the oil then turn the heat down to medium and add a tiny bit of batter to the pan to check the temperature – the first one usually gets messed up. Once you’re happy, add a ladleful per pancake and fry until the bubbles on the surface pop, then flip them. Once cooked, stack them on a plate and lay another plate on top to keep them warm.
Your rashers should be crispy and lovely after about 20 minutes, so take it out and lay them on some kitchen towel to dry. Stack your pancakes and top with the bacon, then drizzle over as much maple syrup as you dare, and tuck in!
The name 9 White Deer has a strong link to Baile Bhuirne, as it is where one of Ireland’s most famous saints; St. Gobnait visited and made it her place of resurrection. According to the 6th century fable, St Gobnait was told by an angel that where she will come upon 9 White Deer is where she will also find a mystical well and to then set up an Abbey and a church. The site that is associated with St Gobnaits revelation is just one kilometer away from the 9 White Deer Brewery in Baile Bhuirne Co. Chorcai
This new range of 5 Gluten-Free beers include:
There were a few driving forces behind this project. A:Don, a Co-Owner of 9 White Deer Brewery, has an intolerance to gluten. B: The gaping void for gluten intolerant people in this industry when investigating market research. Therefore options were limited for this minority.
In November 2016, 9 White Deer's Saor (the Kolsch style beer) picked up a bronze medal for all of Ireland – Beer and Lager category at the Blas Na hEireann awards. This is a big beer award, the fact that Saor is gluten free did not come into play as it is a blind tasting!
9 White Deer's aim in creating Saor was that it should taste like beer should, I think it’s safe to say this has been achieved and surpassed. Most gluten free beers are made with Sorghum, millet or another grain containing no gluten, 9 White Deer Brewery re-wrote the rulebook with Saor, it is made from 100% barley and removed the gluten through clever brewing techniques, the first brewery in Ireland to do so.
Now available - Buy here!
The Beer Club have you covered for the best craft beer stocking fillers. Have a favourite craft beer brewery? Well then you really need one our terrific beer sets.
We have picked out some of our favourite beer sets that we are offering.
To Ol is a brewery that has had us very excited in 2016. The Dannish maverics sure do know how to make quality beer. Our To Ol beer set is made up of three different 500ml cans and their stunning beer glass.
Mescan is the hottest new Irish brewery around at the minute. All the way from Westport, Co. Mayo. We select three craft beers from their range and throw in their very good looking glass.
Share the brotherly love this Christmas with an O Brother beer set. This is Irish craft beer of the highest quality from the Dublin Bros! We especially enjoy the artwork on the Huck Saison.
The beer that has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice. Check out that fabulous goblet glass. Highly recommended beer set!
Welcome to The Beer Club. If you know you want a craft beer related gift but you are not so sure how to impress your friend/family/partner, have a look at our top four gifts this Christmas. In keeping with our motto ‘No boring beers need apply’, No boring Christmas gifts need apply!
Deep down somewhere, every craft beer fan, novice and expert has always wanted to brew their own craft beer. Instead of using your bath (let’s face it, the evenings are getting colder and people need that thing for a nice warm soak) pick up one of these baby’s! HomeBrew Kit includes everything needed to make 8.5 litres of craft beer. The brand new patented 15 litre fermenter allows you to brew great tasting beers quickly and simply. Designed to minimise yeast carry over and dramatically reduce cleaning time and effort. No mess, no fuss! A great little project for your nearest and dearest to get going.
The gift that just keeps on giving! The perfect gift for any Beer Lover. Each month we pick 4 great tasting and the most exciting craft beers and send 3 bottles of each to you or your recipient! All Discovery Plans will be received between the 15th - 20th of each month. To sweeten the deal even further we even throw it free shipping. Merry Christmas indeed!
For that special craft beer loving person in your life why not go all out and pick them up an International Craft Beer Box. The box includes a selection of 12 of the best craft beers from all four corners of the globe from our collection as well as quality snacks and a brand spanking new The Beer Club glass. This one will not fail to impress even the most discerning craft beer savant.
The 9 White Deer Beer Set is a great little stocking filler. The set includes 3 beers from one of Irelands most exciting breweries. Coming straight out of Cork, these guys sure do know how to brew quality craft beers. We include 3 different craft beers from the 9 White Deer range and one of their stunning glasses. A great present and a really decent price.
Giving the right corporate gift to your employees and clients is often a challenge. How do I give a corporate gift that is convenient yet memorable? There are a million and one things to consider when making your choice. Furthermore, choosing a distributor that understands the importance of your brand is also of vital importance.
Ask yourself these questions; is the corporate gift appropriate for the business relationship? Is the corporate gift on point as regard design, presentation and the formal message? What customizability options are available?
Thankfully The Beer Club corporate gift solutions fit all of these needs! Food and beverages have always been popular corporate gifts to give and will always will be. Who doesn’t like a nice hamper of treats as a gift? The Beer Club corporate gifts are always beautifully presented boxes and interior design, so you can impress your client, customer or employee. We can create formal and personalised messages included in the gift on your behalf. The Beer Club corporate gifts are also customizable you can choose for our wide range of beer (over 400 Irish and International beers to be exact).
By choosing a corporate gift from The Beer Club you can be safe in the knowledge that we are putting your company and the recipient’s company’s name to the fore. Corporate gifts from The Beer Club are also a highly cost effective way to spread the word of your brand or marketing message.
Let us take the stress out of corporate gifting this Christmas with the most alternative yet convenient corporate gift on the market today.
Irelands largest craft beer festival rolls in once again to the RDS this week. The whos who of the craft beer brewing scene will be present showing their wares. Expect to see 300+ beers, ciders, whiskey and much more.
The fun starts this Thursday (September 8th) 5PM to 11PM. Friday 5PM to 11PM. Saturday 2PM to 11PM.