On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, a partridge in a pear tree…Wait a second, you can hold onto your partridges, turtle doves, and French hens this Christmas. Your loved ones are going to want beers instead. We’ve compiled a list of the 12 must have Christmas beers that are being specially released by Irish breweries.
Although thinking about it now, six geese would make for some tasty dinners over the Christmas break.
1. Blacks of Kinsale: Imperial Chocolate Vanilla Stout
Blacks of Kinsale are well known for their distinctive eye catching branding. Their “Kinsale pale ale” can be found in all good off-licenses, as well as their Black IPA. They have brewed big beers before like their 8.5% Double India Pale Ale (ipa) and an 8.5% stout. This year they are brewing up something that sounds really delicious, an 8.5% imperial stout that has been brewed with fair-trade cacao husks and Madagascan vanilla pods.
2. West Kerry Brewery: Imperial Black Ale and Winter Ale
An unassuming West Kerry brewery have been making some tasty beers that have no doubt flown under peoples radar. The spring water they use for brewing comes from their own well, allowing for tasty and uniquely flavoured beers. They have previously brewed dark ales, golden ales, and a traditional red ale.
This Christmas they are releasing an Imperial Black ale, the roasted malty notes will be ideal for the cold weather. To go alongside this, there will be a Winter Ale, which will have flavours of raisins and cloves.
3. Dungarvan: Coffee and Oatmeal Stout
Every Christmas Dungarvan brewery in Waterford gets their hands on coffee and oatmeal to make this special beer. They are getting their coffee from Badger and Dodo, who are providing them with Tanzanian Tweega beans, and the oatmeal is coming from Flahavan’s, Mills, a staple of Irish breakfasts. The beer will clock in at around 4.5%.
4. Mescan: Barrel Aged Red Tripel
Mescan brewery, run by two former veterinarians from Westport, love to brew Belgian style beers. Their beers can be tricky to find but are well worth going that extra mile to get your hands on them. Their range includes a classic Blonde, an 8% Tripel, a Wheat beer, and a Belgian style stout. For Christmas, they have brewed a red tripel which was then barrel aged in whiskey casks, and dry hopped before bottling.
For those wanting to try something different than an ipa and stout, or to get into the style of Belgian beers, the Mescan range is ideal.
If those beers have left you wanting more, you are in for a real treat with the next four…