The second, and last, beer in our Irish Beer in Ireland series we look at Kilkeny Irish Cream Ale. Sorry about my audio quality, I forgot to turn my actual microphone.
Well talk about topical, we not only have a news story for you tonight, but it is a news story about Ireland. The oldest brewery in Ireland closed on May 30th. The Beamish and Crawford brewery was opened in Cork, a southern county in Ireland, around 1792. Production of Beamish is being transferred to the Heineken Lady’s Well brewery in Cork following a decision made last year. This means that Beamish and Murphy’s, once bitter rivals, will now be housed under the same roof. Heineken Ireland meanwhile has presented the Beamish archives – probably one of the most complete brewing archives in Ireland or Britain – to the Cork city archives. Beamish, as you may remember, was an Irish Stout that we covered back in our first Irish series and I actually like it better than Guiness.
Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
- Tonights beer is Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, named after a town located in the middle of the country, Kilkenny.
- A little bit about the background of this beer. Well, guess what, it is made by Diageo, the giant beverage company that also makes Guiness, Harp, and Smithwicks.
- We have talked long and hard about Diageo, so I am not really going to say much about the company.
- The beer is actually produced in Kilkenny in the same brewery that produces Smithwicks.
- The St. Francis Abbey Brewery occupies over 25 acres in the heart of Kilkenny City. The brewery has been part of local life for over 290 years and it is here that Smithwick’s Ale was first brewed in 1710.
- To give you a feeling of the size of the brewery, Budwieser is also produced there for the Irish domestic market.
- Tonights beer weighs in at 4.3% abv and is not available in the US. It is available over most of Europe and even Canada, but not here. Also, there are some rumors that the beer may start to be imported here in the future, so just keep your eyes open.
- Kilkenny is first a formost a nitro beer, alot like Guiness. This gives it a nice creamy mouthfeel and large head.
- The taste is rather well balanced, with some nice malty flavor and just a bit of bitterness from the hops. This is really kind of like Smithwicks, just a little bit better mouthfeel.
- Overall, I would give this one a try if you can get it.
Well, that is just about it for the Irish beers, being that this is the second Irish beer series that we have done within the last 4 months. Next week a new series, one completely focused on Unibroue. So tune in.
We finish our Irish Beer series looking at Harp Lager
The Royal Brunei Marine Police Force (RBMPF) thwarted an alleged alcohol smuggling attempt into the Sultanate by a 37-year-old Bruneian man. Based on RBMPF’s initial investigations, the suspect, believed to be a mule, was provided with a van to transport the contraband to the distributor in the country. The suspect was also found carrying cash amounting to $952.
- When most people think of Irish beer they think of stouts, they would be wrong. Like America, Lager’s are now king on the Isle, with around 63 percent of the beer sold there being lagers, about 32 percent being stouts, and the remaining 5 percent being general ales.
- Tonights beer is a basic lager, brewed by the same company that owns Guinness, Diageo.
- Now the dirty little secret about this beer is that the American version may or may not be brewed in Ireland. They also brew this in Canada at the Labatt’s brewery.
- This is not an old beer by Eurpean standards, being first brewed in 1960 in Dundalk Ireland at the Great Northern Brewery.
- The current version of Harp weighs in at 5.0% abv and I sampled it at a bar, on draft, so my review may be a little off due to the fact that they have dim lights.
- The color is light to medium golden in color, but it is filtered so it is pretty clear and crisp looking.
- There really wasn’t much to the smell, maybe a little hoppyness.
- There is a little bittnerness in the tastes, with some carbonation there to wipe it away as good lagers should have.
- Overall it isn’t too bad, but pretty basic to say the least. I would say this may be a good gateway beer, but probably only because it has a forgein name that may attract some people.
Well next week is our 100th show, and we will be doing a listener recommended beer, Gulden Draak. So tune in and make sure to give us an idea of what to drink after that
Our second on our Irish Beer sereies, we turn our attention to Smithwicks.
In Lansing, Michigan, it was announced that a local craft brewer will make a beer with Kid Rocks name on it. The Michigan Brewing Co. plans to invest $7 million in the new product line. The village of Webberville also is considering a tax abatement. Michigan Brewing Co. was started in 1995 and sells nearly 20 kinds of craft beer in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Texas, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Indiana, and Minnesota. It also has begun distilling vodka and other spirits.
- The beer is an Irish Red Ale, and is advertised as the oldest brewed ale in Ireland.
- Brewed in Kilkenny Ireland, it was originally brewed at a brewery called St. Francis Abbey Brewery, by Franciscan abbey monks.
- The recipe went commercial in 1710 when John Smithwick founded a brewery in Kilkeny.
- Smithwicks is also the largest selling beer in Ireland.
- Smithwicks weighs in at 4.8% abv, and once again I had this one on draft this past weekend.
- The pour was a mahogany with some amber in there as well. The head doesn’t last as long as the Beamish from last week, but that isn’t shocking because it isn’t a nitro pour.
- The smell was kind of subtle, with a little malt and a little hops.
- The taste is a bit more malty than hoppy, which is something that you should expect because this is an overseas beer.
Next week we are going to talk about one more Irish beer, Harp Lager.
For March we are talking about Irish Beers, you know cause of St. Patrick’s Day. This week we look at Beamish Irish Stout.
In San Diego, and around the country for that matter, a different kind of bar crawl is occurring. The Snuggie bar crawl. For those of you who are not familiar with the Snuggie, it is a blanket with arms. Bars are starting to take advantage of this, especially in the colder cities, and starting Snuggie Bar Crawls. There is on in San Diego on March 13th, and one here in Chicago around the 18ths of April.
Beamish Irish Stout
- Beamish Irish Stout is made at the Beamish and Crawford Plc Brewery located in Cork, Ireland.
- William Beamish and William Crawford founded the Cork Porter Brewery in 1792, by 1805 it had become the largest brewery in Ireland, producing over 100,000 barrels a year.
- Like many foriegn breweries, it has gone through quite a bit of change over the years in ownership, being bought in 1962, by the Canadian brewing firm Carling-O’Keefe Ltd. In 1987, Elders IXL purchased Canadian Breweries (incorporating Carling-O’Keefe). In 1995, Elders sold the brewery to Scottish and Newcastle.
- In 2008, Scottish Newcastle was bought by Heineken International, and as of this month, they are actually closing the original brewery and will be brewing the product at a Heineken brewery.
- Weighing in at 4.1 percent abv, it is actually right for an Irish Stout. Most people think that the dark beer is a heavy and high in alcohol. While they are all designed to be lighter beers, meant for long nights of drinking at the local pub.
- I had this beer a few nights ago on tap, and it was a nitrogen pour, which is the same as Guinness.
- The pour is dark ebony, with a nice creamy head that really didn’t go away throughout the entire beer.
- The smell is a little chocolaty, and a little bit of hops.
- The taste is a little chocolaty, but really dry as opposed to sweet. There is also some light roastyness there, think of some very light burnt flavor, but in a good way.
Next week we will be talking about another Irish beer, and it is one that is much more available, Smithwicks.