Recent photos, in our glorious setting we savour……..

A mix of photos over the last week. Enjoying a true summer with warm, calm days I include a couple  taken by Bonnie on holiday with David from California. And a selection from Denise Begleys 50th birthday party held here in Tig Bhric (Bricks Pub) music was provided by James Begley and fine set dancing entertained  those who can not!  Cocktails included concoctions fabricated by myself using both Dingle Gin and Vodka infused with our mix of botanicals, the elder flower in full bloom, fresh mint and some rose hips and black berries stored in the freezer, along with watermelon, lemon and lime, pineapple, nectarines and mango……..A Sangria of Rioja, brandy, mango and orange and a non alcoholic fruit drink with pineapple, orange, kiwi and sparkling water………..

 

Taken by Bonnie on her recent visit to our back yard.
Taken by Bonnie on her recent visit to our back yard.

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Coctails in the back yard
Coctails in the back yard

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Elderflower added to Dingle vodka
Elderflower added to Dingle vodka
Mary of The Dingle Distillery and I enjoy a sample
Mary of The Dingle Distillery and I enjoy a sample

 

Getting ready for Killarney

The summer rush is certainly on with little time to be sitting around contemplating life and its meaning, hence my slow return to this page!! Killarney Beer Festival at the end of the week will have us meeting and sharing some beer chat,,, If around for it do call in………

Blue Rose

The first brew of  Blue Rose is in the tank and all going well we will package it in both kegs and bottles. Part of our Renegade series it proved a popular beer last year for us. I think the citrus had an appeal in particular with younger people who are driving the production of IPA11229902_1050566721635233_1252599802402395775_n‘s in general.

Not our usual style, you may know already we favour more malt driven beers which seem to best suit our locality of The West Kerry Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula.

Rain and mist are a frequent forecast so warming beers  of good mouth feel and full  malt character are usually more desirable.

Recent Beers

With a new set of beers in mind and again thinking in Threes, we brewed the first, a low alcohol cask only which we named “Uncle Columb’s Mild” This beer was a suggestion from Paul who wanted a beer somewhat similar to a style found around Manchester where his Uncle Columb resides and Drinks! And brewed for the occasion when a few session-able beers are called for, we are serving it here in the bar (Bricks) and may get to send a couple up to Dublin. Our variety is red in colour, lowly hopped with balanced malt flavour. All comments and opinions would be welcomed, the exciting bit to brewing is not just the drinking but the feed back.

A Possible Nirvana?

There is something so intoxicating and transfixing  living on an edge……..The attached view is moments from my home and shows the Three sisters above Cúl Dorcha beach… I took a stroll last Sunday and reached a kind of Nirvana in the knowledge that I alone in the world had this spectacular panorama,  an enriching feeling where nothing else is required.IMG_0044

 

Spring and our first seasonal special

Finally we are out of a most horrible winter, or supposedly so. It has been an incredibly long, dreary season and I know some people didn’t make it through……. There is such hardship for so many in our community and society in general.

Putting those thoughts aside though, today is a brew day and such joy these days are…….. Riasc Red is on the menu today and refining on last years efforts we are changing how we add the botanicals (rose hips and elder flower heads) I made up a syrup with the rose hips and we made a tea with the elder flower…… While in the past we have added to the copper today we will add to the fermenter during transfer from the copper…. The hope is to retain slightly more of their flavours …….. Time will tell ………

ICBI Independant Craft Brewers of Ireland

At my age it is quite a surprise to finally feel strongly enough about something to warrant  joining in!                                                                                  I was though long ago a girl guide which I hated but tagged along because my friends were members and we got to camp out, play with fire and pretend to be nymphs of the forrest (I love forests and in particular, trees, luckily forests usually have plenty)

The organisation I refer to while formed a number of years, is in fact still a fledgling. It was set up to promote and encourage the production of beer in Ireland amongst a steady growing number of micro breweries.

Provenance and independence were part of our emerging criteria and although made up of differing kinds of breweries and people behind them we set about honing our identity and coined a code of practice along with having a logo designed. But it was decided our logo should be bigger than the organisation because it was to represent and gauge  authentic provenance to our consumers,  who naturally have no way of understanding what is “Irish”  in the beer world because until very recently that whole industry was controlled by corporates,   Diageo and Heineken  have been the two biggest players with masses of input to how consumers think about beer.  My own impetus to start a brewery stemmed from this very control which I abhor, we are now in a position to re educate our consumers, enlightening them as to the true nature of the beer they consume. My own standing is to promote the notion of “Terroir” but naturally not everyone has my purist view. How and ever as part of the ICBI it is tremendously exciting to see before us possiblities which will reach in and around micro breweries………

And just like forests have many trees our industry should have many breweries, brewing and packaging on our own Island………

Christmas and The Brewers Kitchen in Bricks Pub

Christmas a time of heightened everything……..emotions, indulgence, expectations, offerings etc. etc……….

In a constant state of ever changing flux and re-invention we opened Bricks and took great delight in the pop up restaurant “The Brewers Kitchen”……………it lasted the duration of the holidays and offered seasonal winter foods along with a tasting of three of our draught products…..Winter Ale, Cúl Dorcha and Béal Bán……. Away from my brewers pot still needing to satisfy that hunger for stirring and mixing so…….. the goose and ham became terrines, rose hip syrup drizzled over alongside marinated figs in our  Festive Imperial Black Ale, pickled grapes, cheeses and smoked salmon(which I source from Iasc Uí Mhathuna, and really love its flavour) An experiment with brewers yeast, goose fat, milk and flour produced lovely little dough balls which when served warm were divine!!!!!!

It’s all over now though! January……… but surprisingly I can see the sky today and Mt Brandon covered in snow……………did you know the sky is blue, not murky grey?!!

Further reading into the borrowed book – yeast

” Saccharomyces”, according to the book is the most common strain of yeast used to ferment beer. Their are two stains seemly – saccharomyces  uvarum (originally carlbergensis, which has a familiar sound to it.) and saccharomyses cerevisae, the former is bottom fermenting while the latter ferments on top at slightly warmer temperatures producing what we call ale. This is how we ferment our beers, all of whom are ales regardless of their colour. I believe at one time beer was described as being determined by the fact that hops are added so ale would have had plants and herbs for flavouring. I note in todays world of drinking the common perception is that ale is red, not so seemly.  A lovely analogy mentioned, is that both yeasts are members of the same family but  have  different table manners, there is a certain allusion to tolerance here!

Thoughts on brewing, art and living