The Roscommon Lamb Festival is on this weekend. For those of us who love a white, fluffy head on our beers, there was also a beer festival in JJ Harlow’s. So the kids were able to have fun making lambs with modelling clay while I enjoyed a few beers. A win win all round! I said I’d start off with something light and sessionable but James from Lough Gill had other ideas. He put his latest Onward in front of me, it’s a 9% Sloe Barley Wine. He reckons it’s the first time Sloes have been used in a beer. They made for a mellow drinking experience. Very different, you need to try it out for yourself.
Black Donkey have just bottles their latest beer; TKO. It’s an IPA, their first! Once again it features some brilliant artwork. Pick it up and see if you can see who’s getting knocked out! It’s 5% and has some nice fruity hoppiness, very drinkable and worth waiting for.
Galway Hooker were back in their original home town pouring the topically named Alt Fact. It’s a tasty Dunkel. I’m liking Dunkels at the moment for some reason.
Trouble Brewing had their Hard Candy on. Now there’s one for a beer float. Hashtag all de nomz.
Barcelona Beer Company had Miss Hops on draught. Apparently it tastes way better if you don a pair of their pink knickers. I’m a boxers man though so I didn’t chance it. The ‘High IPA’ still went down easily!
Ha’penny Gin were doing all manner of fancy cocktails and the challenge to make beertails was accepted. The Ha’penny Gin tasted amazing with a mix of Trouble’s Fresh Prince of Kildare, Ginger and Chilli.
After that assault on the senses I was ready for a change of pace. Sarah from Mac Ivor’s suggested their Vintage Reserve Cider. It was like a dry apple sorbet. You could easily picture yourself drinking it from champagne flutes in the garden. If you had champagne flutes, which I don’t.
BrewDog’s Brewing Manager is a Roscommon man. So he was able to combine the festival with a chance to visit his family. It was cool to see a big brewery represented at a small beer festival in the Midlands. I tried some Cocoa Psycho which was like a rich dark chocolate party in my mouth.
And I finished up where I started out, having went round the block, with a ‘Round The Clock. This is Lough Gill’s full on coffee Breakfast Stout. It’s only 5.2% but it doesn’t hold back on flavour. The festival was almost over then so I headed for the hills but I have to say it was a very pleasant afternoon talking to a sound bunch of beer (and cider and gin) folks. Well done JJ Harlow’s once again. Sláinte!