Mindset on you podcast

Galway Bay Full Sail IPA tap badge

I was interviewed last week by Odran Mac Gearailt. We had a fairly rambling chat about how we first met, my career in beer and somewhat inevitably, Guinness. Here’s the link 🔗 if you’d like to have a listen: Mindset on you

Sláinte 🍻https://www.buzzsprout.com/2010368/12045728

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This means nothing to me…

A glass of dark beer beside the bottle.
Ottakringer Dunkles in Cafe Central

Vienna had waited long enough on the list of potential places to visit. I have been in Salzburg a couple of times and it was starting to get awkward. The family were keen to take in some of the famous continental markets so there was an added incentive to go. Our accommodation was quite near the Prater so of course that was the first place we visited. I asked for a Dunkles to go with my Weiner in a roll and was given a Helles and assured that they were all the same. Being hungry/thirsty/tired/in good form, I just said ‘Danke’! The next day we visited the venerable Cafe Central where I got the Dunkles I wanted. It was a very nice accompaniment to some rich beef goulash too.

A bearded man holding a beer. A copper brewhouse.
A mug of Helles in 7 Stern

Several of the good people on #BeerTwitter had recommended 7 Stern. It was a pretty traditional brew pub with a few wild card beers, I skipped the chilli and herb varieties and stuck with the Helles and Bock, both of which did exactly what I wanted them to do. I would add my recommendation to the ones I received.

Beer glasses, taps and menu
Ammutsøn Craft Beer Bar

Another recommendation that came my way was Ammutsøn Craft Beer Bar which was far more modern in every way. I think there’s a place for both in my heart. I went for The Padawan by Bierol first. I regretted ordering the 50cl almost immediately but apparently changes of mind couldn’t be accommodated. It was called an American Pale Ale but leaned heavily to the NEIPA style. At €8.90 it was the most expensive beer I had in Vienna. 30cl would have been grand. I had no misgivings about the 20cl of BFM Coing Coing, a beautiful barrel aged Saison.

A cocktail and bar exterior.
An Old Fashioned in Loos American Bar

I liked the sound of Loos American Bar and paid it a quick visit. It’s more of a cocktail bar than a beer bar so I went for a Rye Old Fashioned. I have to say that it is one of the most stylish bars I have ever visited. Be warned though, they have a strict no photos/sight seeing policy and a smart casual dress code. I’d say I just about passed muster.

A can and two bottles of beer.
A few beers from Beer Lovers

Beer Lovers is an off licence that boasts of a range of 1,500 beers. They have them divided by style and they also had a selection of matching glasses. Definitely worth a visit.

A man drinking a beer, home brewing equipment.
Next Level/Craft Beer Store, Vienna

I had tried Next Level’s beers before and met Johannes at beer festivals in Hamburg and Salzburg and a visit to their Craft Beer Store was always on the agenda when I was in Vienna. Alex, his partner in brewing was there and treated me to their very tasty dry hopped lager Front Man. He told me that during the pandemic they pivoted to a strong focus on home brewing supplies. They stock everything you could possibly want for home brewing, from equipment to ingredients. They also had a couple of fridges stocked with their own and other local beers. And a lindr pouring two of their beers. What more could you want?

An enjoyable few days were had, Vienna is a lovely city, hopefully you’ll get to visit some of these spots yourself. They break up all of the art, architecture and culture nicely. Sláinte.

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Dark and Wild, live in Leeds

Dinky glasses

It has been a couple of weeks since my last beer festival so I jumped at the opportunity to attend Dark and Wild in Leeds on Saturday. I like Leeds, having visited a few times before to see my friends. And I’d never made it to Northern Monk’s Refectory which was hosting the event. We just about had time for a quick platter of cheese and charcuterie, and a session IPA in Friends of Ham.

Cycle Nibs Imperial Stout

I was there with Tom from Land and Labour and I gave him a (very small) hand. He was pouring Finnberry, Biere De Rhubarb and cask Cherry Wine which all very much ticked the Wild remit of the festival. Next door, all the way from St. Petersburg, Florida was Cycle. And they brought some Dark with them. I really enjoyed the original Nibs and the Wednesday which had vanilla and hazelnuts.

A Tue Tete fruited sours

Tom tipped me off about A Tue Tete’s lovely fruited sours. The Lime Framboise and Kiwi were properly tart. I was just hankering for some fluffy meringue afterwards.

Cask Ale in The Grove Inn

During the break in between sessions we decamped to The Grove Inn for some malty, smooth Ruby Mild from Rudgate on cask.

Little Earth Project Oude Bruin

Back at the festival Little Earth Project started opening their bottles of Pre Industrial Porter, which was rich and interesting. I’m going to have to visit them in Suffolk, they have a brewery, pub and campsite which sound idyllic.

Jonathan, Natalie and me!

We were staying with my friends so they joined us for the evening session. I have to say it’s a great venue and I was happy to attend but I’m possibly a bit old for the very loud music that made conversation difficult!

Whitelock’s, a pint of Brown Ale and a good book.

On Sunday I spent some time in Whitelock’s, where I was joined by Dave from The Bierhaus, Cork as he had also attended the festival. I liked Sepia Brown Ale from Fell.

Bundobust, vegetables and beer.

A short stroll brought us to Bundobust where the Coriander Pilsner went down nicely with assorted vegetables. I’m not sure what all of them were, but they were tasty.

Donzoko Festbier in Brownhill and Co.

We finished off the afternoon in the very salubrious surroundings of Brownhill and Co. They had a few fridges well stocked with an assortment of ales, local and from Belgium. I was happy with my choice of Donzoko Festbier. And then it was time to hotfoot it to the airport. See you next time Leeds. Sláinte

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High Fidelity

Browar Stu Mostow Tap Takeover in Beer Temple

There was a massive jump in Dublin’s craft beer population over the weekend. Fidelity belatedly returned after an enforced hiatus. Just to get everyone warmed up there was a load of tap takeovers in Dudley’s, Beer Temple, Black Sheep and Big Romance on Thursday night. In Black Sheep I particularly enjoyed Victorian Futurism, a Triple Fruited Sour from Stu Mostow. I also had the pleasure of meeting the guys for the first time. And there was even some talk of a visit to Poland!

In the Black Sheep with Chris Treanor

Then it was time to cross the river to Black Sheep where Chris Treanor formerly of Galway Bay Brewery and now with Fuerst Wiacek was waiting. I really liked his Berliner Landbier. Finback’s Foeder Pils was pouring too and it went down a treat.

Land & Labour pouring at Fidelity

Tom, head brewer of Galway Bay Brewery asked if I could lend a hand behind the Land & Labour bar at Fidelity. Land & Labour, for the uninitiated, is his highly rated spontaneous fermentation brewery. This was the first time Finnberry was available, it is a spontaneously fermented beer with Irish raspberries, blackberries and black currants. It poured a beautiful shade of pink and proved to be a big hit with a long que of thirsty folks and indeed it was the first keg kicked at the festival.

A few of my favourite beers at Fidelity

Donzoko’s Lemon Summer Beer, a collaboration with Newbarns was recommended and it did not disappoint. Really refreshing stuff. At the other end of the scale I threw caution to the winds with Jackie O’s Decorating Pieces of Time Barrel Aged Barley Wine. I can imagine this being amazing with some blue cheese whilst sitting by an open fire. But there was no time for such indulgence, on to the next beer! I had met the lads from Verdant earlier in the day and they had mentioned Every Day is a Different Dose in passing. It was a very pleasant American Wheat Beer.

Fidelity in The Round Room
The Round Room hosted Fidelity

I did try a few more beers and the standard was very high, I just had one dud, which I’m not going to name. The event was also a chance to catch up with a few people I hadn’t seen in a long time and make a couple of new friends. The atmosphere was great. The fresh water and rinsing stations were welcome. I missed food other than the tasty Blanco Nino tortilla chips. Luckily one man came prepared with a lunchbox full of cheese that he seemed happy enough to share with random strangers. It was a very enjoyable evening. I have busy few weeks ahead with festivals in the Deer’s Head, Belfast, Hagstravaganza, Ballymote, The Big Grill, Dublin and of course the Midlands Craft Beer Festival, Moate looming large in my calendar. Hopefully I’ll see some of you along the way. Sláinte!

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Limerick, you’re a (land) lady…

Pints of Bay Ale in Mother Mac’s

A night away is always a good idea. Even if it’s raining. So a few of us headed to Limerick. My wife wanted to pay a quick visit to the Milk Market so that was our first stop. And Mother Mac’s is just around the corner and just had to be our second. The lads are obviously telepathic as they’d just tapped up a fresh keg of Bay Ale. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Mother Mac’s here before (someone go check!) but it bears repeating that it’s a lovely pub. They have a nice offering with a beer for most tastes. Nice relaxed atmosphere too.

Lost City of Pop in Crew

Crew Brewing have been closed longer than they’ve been open thanks to events. But it’s only a short walk from Mother Mac’s and I felt the need to check it out. They are serving straight from tanks behind the bar which is something you don’t see often in Ireland. Their Lost City of Pop ticks all of the New England Pale Ale boxes being soft and tropical. They also have a street food area about 100 metres away and a few people were enjoying food with their beers. Hopefully these guys get a good run at it this time!

Treaty City, Limerick

Treaty City have been around for a while longer and have featured on this blog a few times but this was my first opportunity to set foot in the place. I had a cracking Helles. It’s a cool spot which was comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. They also offer tours and are right beside King John’s Castle if you fancy a history lesson. It was great to see Treaty City’s local support too. They are pouring in Katie Daly’s, Patsy Flannery’s and The Commercial Bar, and I’m sure a few more spots around Limerick. Also, we had a gorgeous dinner in The Spitjack and they had beer from my old friends Rye River and Stonewell Cider. I have to say I was impressed with Limerick, it’s well worth visiting. Sláinte.

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