The development of microbreweries in our country is a “phenomenon” that has taken place rather recently. Especially during this decade, that of the ’10s, we can say that more than 6 microbreweries have launched their production. In Ireland, a country much further to the north and with a history in the field of beer and brewing, the development of microbreweries has been ongoing for many years, nevertheless brewers and entrepreneurs have to contend with the same problems and issues that their Greek counterparts are facing. Both countries have been hit by the economic crisis of recent years but growth in the beer industry is impressive in both countries.
Recently Trinity Wines import company, (perhaps the “wines” part of their name should be changed to “beers” or at least “and beers” since anymore it also imports beers) presented a project entitled I-PIGS. It involves importing beers from countries which have been hit hard by the economic crisis. The title is made up from the initials of these countries. Greece is among these countries and so is Ireland. The company imports a wide range of beers from these countries the majority of which are produced in microbreweries. One of these breweries is the Irish brewery of Carlow, which is considered one of the countries “Success Stories”.
It all started in a small space in 1996, when six people that worked in beer production were faced with considerable competition from well known international brands that are also widely known in Greece. With a completely different budget, the brewery has managed, for the last 18 years to compete with very famous brand names and with its loyalty to quality it has come to be known as an international brand. The irony (not for Greek standards) is that in Carlow it’s not easy to find beer which is produced by the local brewery, since the large and profitable market is in Dublin (does this remind you of something?).In recent years the brewery relies on exports to Europe, Australia, and the USA. It is worth mentioning that the beer is produced in Ireland however it is shipped to Britain in order to be bottled and then shipped back to Ireland.
Carlow Brewing Company produced the O’Hara’s Irish Stout for the first time in 1999 (according to other sources it was in 1998). The porter that had to compete with “Giants” has come to our country. This is a beer that belongs in the classic Irish/ Dry Stout beers. A top fermented, dark beer that aims for the traditional taste of Irish Stout, using at least one variety less than five different barley malts and wheat in a carefully controlled manufacturing process during which select varieties of hops, such as Fuggles, are added that gives it it’s unique aftertaste.
O’Hara’s Irish Stout has the classic brown foam with good retention and some small bubbles. The bitter chocolate aroma is dominant as well as roasted nuts and there is a hit of smoke. Our sense of smell also picks up the scent of roasted cereal as well as dried fruit. It has a dark brown body with red highlights without residues, in O’Hara’s Irish Stout we are able to taste the carbonation and is characterized by a medium body. It has reminiscent bitter taste as well as bitter chocolate along with espresso. It has a short, dry bitter aftertaste of bitter chocolate. As it warms a caramel flavor can be sensed which alternates between coffee and chocolate flavors. O’Hara’s Irish Stout approaches 40 IBU and 10,70ο Plato, with a 4,3% ABV
O’ Hara’s Irish Stout is best served in a Pint type glass ideally between 6oC and 10οC. It can be paired with prosciutto as well as shellfish and smoked salmon. It goes without saying that we will also be pairing it with a bitter chocolate.
It is imported by Trinity Wines in 330ml bottles with I-PIGS backing. You can find it in selected liquor stores and businesses such as restaurants and pubs. O’Hara’s is a line of beers produced by the Carlow Brewing Company, known as Brewery O’Hara’s and has received a number of distinctions, including a Silver Medal at the Inaugural Dublin Craft beer Cup in July 2013 and the Stockholm Beer Festival in 2008 and again in 2012. It has also received numerous awards from CAMRA.
This post is also available in: Greek
Ο Νικολά Ραδίσης, είναι ο ιδρυτής του BeerBartender και κύριος αρθρογράφος του beerbartender.gr. Είναι Σύμβουλος Μπύρας και επιμελείται την λίστα μπύρας και αρθρογραφεί σχετικά μ' αυτή, στο House of Wine. Είναι μέλος της Ένωσης Μπάρμεν Ελλάδος, του British Guild of Beer Writers και της CAMRA.
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