I prowled the rain slicked streets of Athlone last night, hunting for the scent of fresh hops… Carry Out had St. Mel’s new Autumn IPA, so I picked up a few of those. O’Brien’s had O Brother’s Sinner and Wicklow Wolf’s Free Ranger so I picked up a couple of each.
Liam Hanlon from St Mel’s had told us about their latest brew at the last meeting of the Athlone Beer Club. The intention is to showcase different hops every year in this new Autumnal series. First time out it’s Target, Rakau, Waimea and Fusion that are featured. It’s very tasty and I hear the first batch sold out in four days, so a second one is in the works right now.
A few months back I was underwhelmed by The Sinner at the Irish Craft Beer Festival. It was good to get to try it again with a fresh palate. It’s a nice easy going IPA and there’s nothing wrong with that, I will be drinking it again.
This evening I popped open Wicklow Wolf’s Free Ranger IPA. I think it’s the most aromatic of the trio and it was well able to fend for itself when matched with a hearty steak and kidney pie. Lovely IPA, pity the hops weren’t listed on this or the O Brother label, I know they’re American and could probably guess that they start with the letter ‘c’ but still! *Edit, Wicklow Wolf have just told me Free Ranger includes: Falconers Flight, Chinook, Cascade and Pilgrim! So I wasn’t too far wrong! Three beers well worth picking up, the perfect ingredients for a mixed six pack. Sláinte!