A Craft Beer Hamper
Some of my friends know me very well and one of these is Judy. A craft beer lover herself, she knew the perfect gift when we invited her for dinner at The Cottage. We were actually blown away when she came with A Craft Beer Hamper from Bradley’s Specialty Shop. Bradley’s is famous for its vast craft beer selection and Mr T and I couldn’t wait to try them all. So we set one evening aside, chilled the bottles and started our very professional tasting session. From the 10 beers we tried, one stood out for all the right reasons. I learned a lot about beers while researching each – after all, we took the tasting very seriously. Michael Creedon of Bradley’s is the perfect point of contact if you starting out on your craft beer journey. He is an expert and is very willing to share his passion and knowledge with his customers. The best – Bradley’s offers home delivery. It doesn’t get better than that. Most pubs in Cork City offer at least a few Irish Craft Beers so it’s worth asking for it. Rising Sons Brewery and Franciscan Well as well as Cotton Ball Brewery have their own pubs and you can try a wide range of brews directly from the makers.
The Craft Beers
- Delirium Tremens 8.5% Belgium – this is a very strong beer and was way too strong to start the tasting with. It’s not a beer for a novice in beer as it is full on. The beer doesn’t taste as strong as the percentage suggests and has quite a flat finish. If you like hoppy beers, this one would be the one. Pour slowly as the foam builds up quickly.
- Saison Dupont 6.5% Belgium – this beer was easy to poor into the glass and has a light amber colour with a slight bitter flavour. It tasted fresher than the first beer we tasted but I wouldn’t write home about it.
- Hope Blonde Ale 5.2% Ireland – the title says ‘Pass if you can’ and it is easy to see why the brewer thinks it is hard to pass. This beer is easy to drink with a rich amber colour and a slight citrus flavour. I would offer this beer at any BBQ in summer time.
- Einstók While Ale 5.2% Iceland – this beer was the winner of all 10 beers tasted from the hamper. It is brewed with fresh Icelandic water and the freshness of the beer does pay homage to the cold landscape of Iceland. The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurised and has – as the name suggests – a very pale colour. The clean, fresh taste of the beer has hints of orange which makes this beer very easy to drink indeed. It will be on our shopping list next time we head to Bradleys.
- Summer Citra Party 8% United Kingdom – this beer is made by Siren Craft Brewery in the UK and with 8% quite strong. This is mirrored in the very malty flavour of the beer which I personally didn’t like very much. Considering the name, this beer doesn’t present images of summer or parties with its dark flavours but rather dinky dark pubs in small alleys.
- White Christmas 5.8% United Kingdom – this beer is brewed by Saltaire Brewery in Yorkshire and is flavoured with orange peel and orange juice. It was a bad beer but considering the complexity the flavour doesn’t deliver and it falls a bit flat.
- Wild Boar 5.7% United Kingdom – the flavours of this beer were too bitter and malty for my personal taste but if you are into these types of beer, it definitely does what it says on the tin (bottle in this case). The breweries tasting notes mention lime and mango but if these flavours are present, they are overpowered by the malt.
- 8 Degree Amber Ella 5.8% Ireland – one of the best Cork brewers, 8 Degree in Mitchelstown has come up trump again and again since they started brewing their first beer. This beer is brewed in American style, has a beautiful golden amber colour with a slight smoky/burnt hint. If you like the taste of toasted malt, you’ll love this beer.
- Buried @ Sea 4.5% Ireland – Galway Bay Brewery was one of the first brewery pubs in the country and has created some great beers since. This chocolate milk stout has a good chocolate flavour and a very smooth texture. Beer & chocolate – what’s not to like.
- Breakfast Stout 8.3% USA – I wasn’t sure about this beer by Founders Brewery in the US. It’s double chocolate, coffee and oatmeal flavours come across very rich with the coffee overpowering the chocolate notes. If you love coffee and stout – this beer delivers.