Stone Barrel Boom IPA 5.0% abv 50cl €3.59
Mountain Man Hairy Goat 4.5% abv 33cl €2.69
I expect another close run thing here. Reviewing the Quarter Finals (here and here) it appears I quite liked both of them. Both were moderately hopped and well balanced, so I guess it's down to which one I fancy on the night, not that that strategy hasn't got me in trouble before, mind you. I always drink the two contestants in alphabetical order, btw. That way there can't be any bias, intentional or otherwise. Who does this favour? I Dunno.
Stone Barrel Boom IPA
Yum, still good. Some nice hops and maybe a hint of malty sweetness and a little bitterness at the finish. It's nicely balanced and it works for me.
Mountain Man Hairy Goat
Now this is a different beast. It's a bit hoppier up front, but it doesn't have any balancing sweetness, but there's a little tinge of fruit coming through at the back of the tongue. It's less subtle but it's pretty tasty too.
Kev from Stone Barrel DM'd me to let me know that they had decided to remove themselves from the challenge. Boom is currently contract brewed in the UK and as such does not meet the competition criteria of being an "Irish" Pale Ale. It's an honourable thing to do and I respect their honesty and wish them well in the future when the beer will be produced in Ballymount, I think?
So congrats to the Mountain Men and we'll see them in the final.