Smoke has just opened in Athlone this weekend. It’s a proper southern style barbecue joint with a menu that reads like a carnivore’s wet dream. I started my afternoon with a Happy Out Pale Ale from Black Donkey. This one has a familiar looking label and there’s a reason for that, it’s an evolution of their Belgian Style Pale Ale Scythe. Apparently some people couldn’t get their heads around it. This beer should face no such problems being a very tasty Pale which has a lovely dry finish from the Belgian yeast which is still present.
Smoke is the first Irish ‘Dog Dealer’, I have no idea what that means but they have two BrewDog taps.
*edit* Ian Bergin, BrewDog’s Irish ambassador has quickly filled me in, as follows:
‘”Dog Dealers” means they will pour punk 365 days a year on a dedicated tap, & also have access to some uber special international only beers to pour on rotation each month (these beers don’t even turn up in OUR bars or in cans/bottles)’
I opted for the Indie Pale Ale. This beer received a fairly poor reception when it launched but I’d heard that the recipe had been tweaked and there was a fresh keg on so I threw caution to the winds and called for a pint. I should’ve just asked for a taste, and that wouldn’t have been a problem so it’s my own fault. It’s a fairly bland Pale Ale and isn’t a whole lot better than some of the ‘crafty’ macro beers that are widely available. I think my t shirt was appropriate.
Then my food started to arrive. I had some fairly tasty nachos to start and a pint of the old reliable Punk IPA to wash it down with. My main course was pulled pork and I had some burnt end beans and dirty mash on the side. The pulled pork was on point and the dirty mash was divine.
I was with my family and another family and it was the opening weekend. We were early for the evening menu but opted to wait over a half an hour for the bigger menu. There were some delays and mix ups with the food and they had no ice cream for the kids but they happily substituted brownies which kept the peace. I’ll visit again when they get bedded in. If you go, my recommendations are Happy Out and nachos, Punk IPA, pulled pork and dirty mash. Let me know how you get on. Sláinte!