Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My connecton how i love thee, Old friends in a new setting, The first brew, Munster see red (scarlet red that is)

Welcome back folks,

Good news, after years of being left out in the wilderness Drishane Brewery has now got broadband, this technological advancement means that i no longer have to sneak around at work to get a blog post written, Yippee. so here's to my new connection long may it last.

This Sunday past 26/April/2009 i found my self in need of a little refreshment, as i was in Youghal, Co. Cork. my hopes of receiving anything except the usual crappy (insert macro brew of choice here) , Luckily i remembered a post by Rebel on ICB which mentioned that a selection of the Franciscan well beers are now on tap in the nook (Treacy's) bar. with this in mind i went in search, what i found pleased me, i hadn't been in the nook for quite some time but knew that the owner Mick was a very driven bar owner who spotted a niche easily hence the taps, quickly i ordered a pint from the young barman, "a pint of friar weisse please" to which he replied much to my shock "no problem I'll get that now" not the type of comment i had come to expect from young barmen serving new beers the usual answers being "whats that some new Budweiser" or "ya what?".

i got my pint and was mighty pleased, not as nice as it is at source but what the hell it was much better than any macro beer available. after this pint i had a conversation with the owner Mick who informed me that the three beers available were 1: friar weisse 2: rebel red and 3:blarney blonde, of these three the rebel red was selling well, the friar weisse was selling OK, and the blarney blonde wasn't really selling at all, during and after the conversation i had a rebel red, this was just as nice as at source and deserved to be the best selling Franciscan well beer in the bar, after this i had a chat with some of the regulars who were all very pleasant and had good craic, i started this chat with a blarney blonde and continued for a while drinking rebel red, all in all it was a good Sunday evening had in the company of three of my oldest friends in the unfamiliar surroundings of one of their new homes.

On another note, a few weeks ago i brewed my very first all grain beer, i tried to keep the recipe simple and added

          • 3kg of Maris otter

          • 500g of crystal

          • challenger hops for bittering

          • and 100g of spalt select for flavour and aroma,

          all did not go well, i had two stuck mash moments and at least three stuck sparge moments, but all in all in the end it seemed to go quite well, there are various pictures which i cannot post at the moment but which will be up on the Drishane Brewery website tomorrow night don't forget to check them out.

          Finally on a very positive note, i have been to see Munster play in Musgrave park in cork, on the night they were playing Welsh rugby team Scarlets, the game was good with Munster winning by 29-10 scoring four tries and gaining the all important bonus point too, sadly though Thómas O'Leary was badly injured in the first half, his fractured ankle means that not only is he out for the remainder of the season but will also miss out on the lions tour, we all hope recovers and i am sure that he will get another shot at the lions in his career.



          Tuesday, April 21, 2009

          BIY 2009 (Brew It Yourself) beer fuelled fun

          Howdy folks Back Again to tell all of you about BIY 2009, the event ran between the hours of 2pm and 8 pm on the 18th of April 2009 @ The Franciscan Well Brewery, 14a North mall, Cork, Ireland.

          The event was Run by Irish Craft Brewer and Franciscan Well in conjunction with the Bull and Castle gastropub in Dublin. Also in attendance were who i consider to be the best home brew suppliers on the Irish market The Home Brew Company.

          The collaboration of all the A fore Mentioned organising bodies made the day a great success (the weather helped a little too). there were many ICB members in attendance who were willing and able to give some sterling advice to any new brewers and also to give advice to each other over the course of the day.

          The Main event of the day though was the Beer Tasting, One of the ICB members Aleman Brought along his portable bar setup to which he had connected two Cornelius Kegs of Gorgeous Beer, Along with these two beers SBillings had brought along a Cornelius Keg of beer which too was connected to Alemans Portable bar Setup and was very well received by all who drank it, along with these kegs there was a plethora of bottled beers, most notably some in the corner which went off like a volcanoe when opened, after the Gushing though it was a damn nice Dubbel.

          as the beer tasting was progressing so were the two Brews which were being made in the corner, one was being produced by Peter and Paudie of The Franciscan Well and I was making the other, Peter and Paudie were making a homebrew version of the house favourite Rebel Red, and I was Making a very impromptu stout/porter/brown ale without the aid of measuring equipment i still don't know which this is gonna turn out to be. a good few people found this part of the expo interesting although not as interesting as the tasty free beer.

          The lads from The Home Brew Company had set up shop near the free beer area and seemed to be doing a good trade in starter kits and high quality all malt kits. BTW lads thanks for Sponsoring the ingredients for my impromptu brew, much appreciated.

          At the end of the day we had served a load of mythbusting beer, brewed two batches of all grain and Hopefully started a lot of homebrewers on their way to great beer made in the comfort of their own home/brewing area.

          Until Next Time


          Monday, April 6, 2009

          Drishane Brewery day trip: Gougane Barra and the hungry mountain people of West Cork

          Howdy Folks, my first post for april is now arriving, after an exhausting night of hanging around the beer bars of cork city Morgan the Drishane brewery accountant and I decided that it was high time that we went on another Drishane Brewery Sanctioned Day Trip. So we headed to the brews mobile and we were off. not knowing where you are going is a trait which we have come to associate with Sundays. its great, sun beating down, music on the radio, except one thing the severe lack of food, so we decided that we had better head west in search of food.

          BAD IDEA

          Leaving from cork city we had arrived in ballincollig area when we decided that we would go to The chapel at Gougane Barra. somewhere along the way we believed that we might be able to stop for something to eat. at this point i should point something out, Morgan has decided to give up fast food for a period of time which meant that we were not allowed to venture near some of the wonderfully filthy looking roadside burger and chip trailers that i would have happily settled for, oh no we had to have proper food served in a restaurant of some sort. somewhere along the way to gougane barra I spotted a sign saying that thre was a toy soldier factory in the vicinity and helpfully it had a little arrow on it, We both said it might be cool to check it out and so promptly followed the arrow, after driving about 5 minutes we realised that this particular route seemed to be getting smaller and smaller as we went round each turn, also we appeared to be going uphill at a drastic rate, multiple signs promising our imminent arrival at the toy soldier factory had passed before we get to a cross roads with a sign saying that the toy soldier factory was now only six minutes away ( if you are going as the crow flies by rocket ship that is) half an hour later we arrived in the nice village of cill na martra, this thankfully is where the toy factory was situated, unfortunately it was shut and the village was jammed with people and cars as we had just happened to arrive at he end of what must have been a good GAA match. we exited the village by the only possible escape route,
          BAD IDEA
          following a seemingly confident skoda driver we ventured on this road which got increasingly worse and worse until that is we ended up in a farmyard, the skoda turned as did we but only to find that the skoda had disappeared without a trace, we backtracked along the road until we came to a grassy crossroad, and took a left, this is where it began to get a little creepy, we met a solitary man who looked to be dangerous enough to even scare hardned culchies such as ourselves, he promptly walked in the middle of the road and refused to budge inwards, As quickly as the road would allow i passed the unpleasant personn and carried on into the mountain, the scenery was brilliant, not a house or any sign of civilisation for miles. after some time driving on the mountain we decided to try our best to get back on track as our bellies were rumbling and the day wasn't getting any longer, we eventually made our way to Inchigeeligh via some road that is not on the map above. here we encountered Creedons lots and lots of them. thay appeared to run everything in the village, the hotel, the newsagents, the haulage comapany, the doctors surgery all Creedons, we decided to go into the Hotel for some grub to tide us over.
          BAD IDEA
          There was no food to be ha which we soon found out seemed to be the norm for the whole village both newsagents closed the cafe closed nothing open but the hotel and all they were serving to feed ya was pints of stout, since i couldn't drink we politely left after a swift pint of coca cola.
          this seemed to be the them for the next village in our trip too, Ballingeary a larger village but still no food although the local shop was open, we ventured inside and all there was to be had was biscuits and marsbars. with Morgans ban on Fastfoods these were not allowed either plus i got the distinct feeling from the lady behind the counter that we had just woken her from hibernation and she was not happy about it. by this stage we had come to the conclusion that we were not going to get fed, and that the mountain dwelling people of west cork must be a mighty hungry bunch indeed.
          Onwards to gougane barra which was as good to walk around these days as i remember it was as a child, lots of other people had come too and there was a steady stream of visitors all the time we were there, the rest of the day though had been so irritatingly annoyingly odd and interesting driving that arriving at our destination lacked a little, after the obligatory photos had been taken we went and visited Ireland's top toilet 2002 which is situated across the road from the picturesque island chapel of gougane barra.
          After this we headed back to the city
          GOOD IDEA
          where we promptly headed to the city centre to get some food, into zanzibaar, ordered grub, recieved our grub and the only thing i could think of was the hungry mountain people of West Cork that we encountered on our way to Gougane Barra.