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A collaboration brew with Molly O’Brien, brewer and botanist at Drake’s Brewing in California. Together we came up with a beer that has been created with locally grown spruce tips from the Ballyhouras.
James takes some of our spent grain for his cows; one bright day in early summer he took us foraging on his farm in Ballyriggan, just in sight of Kilfinane. We waved at the cows and gathered baskets of the finest, freshest spruce tips especially for this beer.
While Silka spruce is a native of the American Pacific North West Coast, it’s a blow-in to these parts – but one that loves the soil and climate of Ireland. An outsider no longer, the Silka spruce is now part of the Irish landscape. Its fresh tips can be used a substitute for hops and impart a resinous pine, slightly melon and fresh mint flavour to this robust amber ale.
Short description: robust amber ale – liquorice toffee – lingering pine bitterness
Style: Irish amber ale
Hop: Nugget, Simcoe + spruce tips from Ballyriggan, Kilfinane, Co Limerick.
Malt: two-row Irish malt, Munich, CaraAroma, CaraPils.
Strength: 5.8% ABV
Bitterness: 61 IBUs
Colour/appearance: bright amber with a cream head.
Aroma: aniseed and liquorice with a sweet melon base note.
Flavour: liquorice toffee flavours with pine needle overtones.
Aftertaste: medium body with lingering pine bitterness.
Best sipped outdoors in the fading sunlight of an active day, this is the perfect beer for a cook out in the woods – or for lazing in a beer garden. It will be able to take on those sausages that you’ve caramelised (read: burnt) on sticks over a wood fire, cope with ember-roasted potatoes, eggs and mushrooms and cut through the spicy flavours in a big pot of cowboy beans. Or you could just pair it with a full-on, juicy beef burger and fries.
Launch Date: June 2017.
Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius
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