Exotic beers in Dublin – An interview with a beer expert

Leo Garnier

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After spending a little while here in Dublin, I came to a sour conclusion. Most bars sell the exact same variation of beers, and unlike western Europe, the choice here is pretty limited when you’re going out. So, I took it upon myself to find a few novelties in this place.

Lo and behold, I found the Drinkstore in Cabra and met Maghnus, the shopkeeper, who gladly accepted to teach me about a few beers I’d never known about before. And I did think I was quite knowledgeable in this aspect, so you’ll probably get a few surprises in there as well!

Everything in the article was said to me by Maghnus himself (and he obviously knows his stuff!) All of these beers are Maghnus’s recommendations, and you can find them all at the Drinkstore.
I suggest you go there if there’s anything specific you’re looking for because he’ll most likely have it!

(All images taken by Léo Garnier)

Colorado wild sage

The Colorado wild sage beer.
The Colorado wild sage beer.

First on this list, the Colorado wild sage. “A light, easy-to-drink beer that will be perfect for those who don’t want to get into stronger tastes”. Made in Colorado, it is actually very similar to lighter Belgian beers. With lemongrass, sage, and citrus, it has a sweet and easy taste that varies as time goes by: it’s a “saison” beer that changes over the years. Now’s definitely a good time to pick up one of them, says Maghnus!

Hoptimum

The Sierra Nevada Hoptimum beer.
The Sierra Nevada Hoptimum.

A double IPA, the Hoptimum comes from California. “It used to be way stronger (at 11%) and now sits around 10, which gives it a much more balanced taste”. Its name comes from the fact that it carries a whole mixed bag of hops, along with grapefruit, rose, lilac and tropical fruit.
It is kind of dry when you drink it first and will definitely give you a big punch.
But you get used to it and start enjoying the taste after a few sips.
Definitely, a good pick if you don’t want to drink too much!

Helles Lagerbier

The Helles Lagerbier, a typical german lager!
The Helles Lagerbier, a typical german lager!

In Maghnus’s opinion the best German lager you could get. After trying it out myself, I have to say that I agree with him. Not usually fond of German lagers, this one was a pleasant surprise. “Crystal clear and very clean, the beer feels fresh and full”. The light taste is easy on the palate, and it’s actually cheaper than your average pint would be!

All Day IPA

The all day IPA, a light beer for those who enjoy the taste.
The all-day IPA, a light beer for those who enjoy the taste.

I was very surprised when Maghnus showed me the All Day IPA. Not an IPA lover myself, this one has another difference that sets it apart from “classic” beers. It’s literally made to be drank all day like a soda would. “With very light alcohol content and a taste of citrus, the stove-pipe cans are perfect for those moments when you want to lay back and enjoy the buzz of a light drink with some friends”. It’s a great beer for those who want to go forwards from lagers without going too strong.

Kriek Mariage Parfait

The Kriek mariage parfait, a perfect mix of cherry sweet and sour yeast.
The Kriek mariage parfait, a perfect mix of cherry sweet and sour yeast.

« Kriek » refers to cherry in Flemish. There’s actually a lot of different kriek beers, but Maghnus referred to this one as the “perfect kriek”. It’s a lambic beer, which means that the yeast is not chemically processed but rather left to mature in the air.
This special kriek is from 2013, and it’s a rare thing to see matured beers!
It has a deep, great taste of cherry and should be enjoyed slowly.
“It’s more expensive than the average kriek beer but definitely worth the price.”

Orval

The Orval, a strong belgian beer
The Orval, a strong belgian beer.

The Orval is a great drink for those who haven’t gotten into the really special world of Belgian beers. The Belgian have indeed elevated beers to a whole new level over the years (and I’m not saying that because I’m from there)
It is an easy drink that is not as strong as the average triple would be. The smell might put you off though: some describe it as smelling of “wet socks”. Yuck.
But despite that, the taste is very pleasing and will be a nice surprise after the smell!

Green Zebra

Green Zebra, a sweet beer with watermelon in it!
Green Zebra, a sweet beer with watermelon in it!

A German beer, the Green zebra actually contains watermelon! The beer was actually made and designed for an art competition.
It’s a bit sour, but nowhere near as much as lambics, as it doesn’t contain wild yeast.
“A good entry-level beer, the Green Zebra is perfect for those with a sweet tooth, or simply for those who’d like to see what a watermelon flavored beer is like.”

KBS

The KBS, a rare beer from...Michigan.
The KBS, a rare beer from…Michigan.

The KBS is definitely the most special beer on this list. It is aged in bourbon kegs (!) and contains chocolate and coffee. “With very rich taste and a strong alcohol content (11.9%) it is definitely NOT a beer to be drank in a pinch.” The taste is extremely deep and will probably throw off those who aren’t used to strong stouts. Maghnus called this a “contemplative consumption” beer: you drink it slowly and enjoy every sip of it!

It is actually a difficult beer to get a hold of and its pricing can go crazy high in certain places in America.

So there you go, these were Maghnus’s recommendations! And remember, drink responsibly!

/ 5 Articles

Leo Garnier

  • Emma Whittaker

    I’ve never seen any of these before, cool article!

  • Léo Garnier

    I suggest the green zebra especially !

  • Jeremy Chassang

    Long life the KRIEK, really good article.