Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Irish Ale Challenge - Intro **Updated with 6 new Ales**

After the "success" of the Irish Pale Ale Challenge and the Irish Craft Lager Challenge , it seems like a natural progression to attempt an Irish Craft Ale challenge. Ale is a relatively loose term, so I decided what to exclude rather than what to include. So, I am excluding Pale Ales, Blonde Ales and Golden Ales. What's left should be Red and Amber ales.

After sourcing 13 Irish Craft Ales I think I have been pretty successful in choosing a group of similar beers, all (bar one) of the Ales come in between 4% & 5% abv, with the exception of the Brown Paper Bag Project Big Red, which is a whopping 8% abv.

I would have liked to include more Irish Ales, e.g. Porterhouse Red, but the beers below were all I could find in my (limited) travels. However, because of the revised format* of this competition, there is scope to include more beers, even after the competition has started.

*The format of the competitions I have run before has been a knockout competition with various rounds and a blind tasted final. This time out due to pure laziness I am going to eschew the knockout phases and just drink them all and pick three or four of my favourites at the end for the final.

All beers from Molloys, Supervalu, Dunnes, O'Neills & Baggot St Wines

Bo Bristle Amber Ale 50 cl 4.5% abv - €3.25
Galway Bay Bay Ale 50cl 4.4% abv - €3.29
O'Hara's Irish Red 50 cl 4.3% abv - €3.29
McGrath's Irish Red Ale 50cl 4.3% abv - €3.99
Dungarvan Copper Coast Irish Red Ale 50cl 4.3% abv - €3.39
Kinnegar Devil's backbone Amber Ale 50 cl 4.9% abv - €3.79

Whitewater Clotworthy Dobbin 50 cl 5.0% abv - €2.99
Franciscan Well Rebel Red 33cl 4.3% abv - €2.99
8Degrees Sunburnt Irish Red 33cl 5.0% abv - €3.79
Brown Paper Bag Project Big Red 33cl 8.0% abv - €3.29
McGargles Granny Mary's Red Ale 4.4% abv - €2.00
Bru Irish Red Craft  Beer 50cl 4.7% abv - €2.99 
Whitewater Belfast Ale 50 cl 4.5% abv - €2.99

I finally made it into Baggot St Wines today and found a ton of mostly new (to me) Irish craft beers. Apart from the Porterhouse Red (which I love on draught) they are all new.

Hilden Halt Irish Red Ale 50 cl 6.1% abv - €3.49
Carrig Brewing Co. Brazen Amber Ale 50 cl 4.2% abv - €3.99
Porterhouse Red Ale 33 cl 4.2% abv - €2.10
Five Lamps honor Bright Red Ale  33 cl 5.0% abv - €2.79
Kenmare Irish Red Ale 50 cl 4.3% abv - €3.70
Independent Red Ale 50 cl 4.5% abv - €3.59


  1. This should be a good one. I haven't tried them all, but I'm thinking that Devil's Backbone and Rua will go down well.

  2. Best of luck with it Willie! Enjoy!