Right, week 2 of giving layman’s beer reviews and things aren’t going well. In an ironic twist I’ve decided to give up booze for a month – somehow, during a mega hangover, my girlfriend convinced me it was a good idea. I am however allowed to “review” three beers per week which means that I can continue to review three Irish craft beers without using the wank terminology adopted by our beard-stroking, plaid-wearing hipster friends, but instead give a rather frank opinion using my limited dictionary and as as few superlatives as possible.

So in the infamous words of the Fast Show’s Jesse – this week I have been mostly drinking…

1. Bo Bristle IPA

Bo Bristle IPA

Bo Bristle IPA Photo: Richard Murphy

What They Say:

“Bo Bristle brews are Grade A tonsil tinglers with the added benefit of putting hair on your chest. We started the brewery in 2010 with the purpose of making exceptional beer, using 100% natural malt
 and whole leaf hops, which tastes like your favourite beer… only far more interesting.

The IPA is the flagship Bo Bristle brew. The recipe was crafted over a number of years by our master brewer. The IPA balances passionfruit & tropical fruit hops with biscuity marris otter malts to create the distinctive Bo Bristle taste.”

What I Say:

This is only my second week reviewing beers and I’ve already run out of unique ways to describe IPA’s as fruity or hoppy. So I’ll say just this – this is fecking gorgeous. I popped my Bo Bristle cherry only last week and what they say about never forgetting your first time is true. This is one beaut that I’ll happily go to bed with and even call her up the next day – I envisage a long-lasting relationship… At 5% it’s also a light IPA and the usual fruits and hops are here but just in the right amount – not bitter at all and quite different from some of the banal crap out there….buy it…now!

Also kudos to Bo Bristle for an excellent website which you can visit here: www.bobristle.com

2. Reel Deel Irish Blonde Amber Ale

Reel Deel Irish Blonde Amber Ale

Reel Deel Irish Blonde Amber Ale Photo: Richard Murphy

What They Say:

“A fruity amber ale.  Like most Irish Blonds, at heart, she’s a redhead!!    A combination of European and new world hops gives a spicy herbal tone with a citrus aroma.

She can be sharp at first and is easily vexed…but then she’ll mellow.  Watch out for how the first taste tingles the side of your tongue… it can be different if you’re not used to hoppy beer, but by the second or third mouthful your senses will have been awakened and you’ll be looking for more!”

What I Say:

I like hops, it’s why I like IPA’s, so when I took a sip of this amber ale it felt like the wrong beer was in the bottle. It pours like an amber ale, but tastes like a beautiful red-headed love child of that time the amber ale had an affair with the big-hopped IPA who lives next door. Much like my red-headed, cross-fitting, nut-job sister, who can probably lift more kegs of beer in one go than the delivery truck, you’ll find this booze is a strong, characterful ale that gives you a kick to the nuts when you least expect it!

For more info: www.reeldeelbrewery.ie

3. Trouble Brewing Sabotage India Pale Ale

Trouble Brewing Sabotage India Pale Ale

Trouble Brewing Sabotage India Pale Ale Photo: Richard Murphy

What They Say:

“Here at Trouble Brewing we have our own unique take on beer. We brew beers of superior quality using the best ingredients and genuine craftsmanship. It’s beer born of taste and passion and not conceived in a science lab.

Brewed using five varieties of hops from around the globe. This IPA has an assertive hoppy bite, of both citrus and spice and a strong, full body”

What I Say:

I’ll be honest, I remember not liking this beer the first time I tried it – then again it was after two bottles of wine and I might not have been all there. I’m glad this IPA gave me a second chance as bam, this beer is good! Watch out though, it is a hefty mother-f***er with a massive body – this is the Cian Healy’s of IPA’s, immensely powerful, a wrecking ball of flavour and at 5.5% could leave you with a nasty headache after tackling it…

For more information: http://troublebrewing.ie/

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