About Irish Beer

Ireland: Stout Country

Although the country sports a handful of microbreweries, it cannot be said that one goes to Ireland to discover diversity in brewing styles. This is not to say Ireland does not produce noteworthy beer—especially if one likes dry stout, Guinness in particular. Guinness is brewed in a number of places around the world, but most Guinness exported to the U.S. market originate from the St. James Gate brewery in Dublin. Of course, this beer is even more creamy and flavorful when found directly in Irish pubs. Bottle-conditioned Guinness is available in the U.S., as are “widget” cans. Other popular Irish stouts available in the U.S. markets are Murphy’s, made by the Lady’s Well Brewery in Cork, and Beamish, made by Newcastle.
Top Picks for Ireland
Boyne Brewhouse
Devils Bit Mountain Cider
Brilliant old gold color. Aromas and flavors of apple yogurt, sour cream frosting, and apple pastry with a supple, crisp, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, engaging, medium-length lemon spritzed apple and melon, honeyed nuts, and straw finish. A flavorful and finely balanced English cider with lovely tannins.
Date Tasted: 9/15/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab
Boyne Brewhouse
Long Arm Dortmunder Export
Brilliant light gold color. Earthy, green, vegetal aromas and flavors of sweet potatoes, kale, and lemon rind with a round, lively, finely carbonated, dry medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long peppered radicchio, grain, grassy earth, and turnip and jicama finish. A very lively and peppery dortmunder lager with an earthy, savory foundation.
Date Tasted: 8/24/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab
Pear Hard Cider
Clear bright silver color. Lively, yeasty, funky aromas of overripe pears citrus, brewer’s yeast, baked salted root vegetables, and straw with an even, bright, spritzy, fruity sweet light body and a smooth, swift honeyed apples and melons, vanilla, and minerals finish. A complex and nuanced perry with a solid core of fruitiness.
Date Tasted: 9/30/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
Boyne Brewhouse
Pagan's Pillar Sparkling Copper Ale
Nearly opaque hazy dark copper color. Creamy aromas and flavors of flan, buttered dark nut toast, and caramel cake with a supple, finely carbonated, dryish medium body and a tingling, refreshing, medium-long toasted nuts and grains, sprouts and radicchio, and pepper finish. A fun caramelly ale with a nice smack of peppery hops on the finish.
Date Tasted: 7/31/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab
Nitro IPA
Dusty bright maroon color. Lively, interesting aromas of floral honey, granola, kiwi marmalade, and moss with a supple, soft, bubbly, dryish light body and a smooth, odd, quick white chocolate nuts, fig bread, vanilla-orange custard, and river stones finish. An interesting creamy malty ipa with a soft hop impression that is more of a mild ale.
Date Tasted: 10/13/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
Original Hard Cider
Brilliant light old golden amber color. Mild, earthy, rustic aromas and flavors of everything in a barnyard barnyard, dried apple, chestnut honey, and apple cider vinaigrette on greens with a satiny, soft, effervescent, sweet light-to-medium body and a silky, delightful, breezy caramelized nuts and apples, bibb lettuce, and wet limestone finish. A nice earthy quaffer.
Date Tasted: 5/2/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab
Pear Cider
Pale straw green color. Bright, roasted aromas of salty roasted nuts, grilled apples, melon and pears, and hint of matchstick with a soft, crisp, petillant, dryish light body and a smooth, fast lemon Italian ice and honeyed pear finish. A light and breezy pear cider.
Date Tasted: 5/4/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab