Twenty years is a long time, a long time to be in business that’s for sure. But I guarantee that the last few years for Carlow Brewing Company have positively flown by. Part of the first wave of Irish craft brewing, Carlow Brewing have been around since 1996 where they used to brew in a store at Bagenalstown Train Station. They’ve come a long way since.
Proud brewers of the O’Hara’s Range of beers, they launched their celebratory Imperial Stout in Neary’s of Chatham St and I was fortunate enough to be asked to MC their event with head brewer Conor Donoghue, owner Seamus O’Hara and fellow beer blogger John Duffy (aka @thebeernut).
The theme of the night was focused on the history of the brewery and how they’ve gone from being a mainly export driven business to one where now they export to multiple markets, while maintaining a large presence in Ireland. John was an absolute fountain of knowledge on the evening, and I’m pretty sure everyone in the audience came away with a little bit more knowledge on the night.
The beer itself is really well presented in a 375ml bottle, which is corked. It looks classy in the bottle. It is a heavy hitter, and definitely winter warmer material at 10%. To me it was a little young on the night, but this is a beer to be aged. It will only get better with age. There was a sense of the abv on the nose which led away to hints of chocolate and coffee with some dark fruits in there also. This was a luxurious thick stout with good body and flavour.
The attendees on the night were also treated to a delicious homemade marshmallow by Made in Heaven Marshmallows, a delightful biscuit by Brodericks and cheese from Little Milk Company and Wicklow Blue. Great matches all round.
There was a treat in store for the lucky patrons of the Irish Beer & Whiskey Village which took also took place that week, and their offering was a cask version which was so smooth, the perfect foil to Mrs Beer Snob’s brownies on the night.
This beer is due to land on shelves shortly in leading independent off licences. Be sure to pick up a bottle or two.
Congratulations to O’Haras on their 20th anniversary, and here’s to many more. Sláinte!
From IPAs, to Stouts, to everything in between. Wayne is a passionate advocate for Craft Beer and Cider in Ireland. He regularly features in online publications and podcasts, as well as writing with his wife on www.irishbeersnob.com. Wayne’s aim is to kick down the doors of convention surrounding Craft Beer and Cider by writing in a no nonsense style. Drawing on his experiences of many different beers he is going to bring you on a journey that you’ll be asking yourself, why didn’t I join this revolution sooner?