Friday, March 19, 2010

Beer and the woman who loves it, featuring a very girly beer tasting notebook.

My trustee steed Pashley, laden down with beer.

Spring is in the air in Dublin this week: the changing of the seasons blows faintly on the wind, daffodils are starting to emerge from their winter hibernation and I hopefully eye up my thongs (flip flops) while planning ever more elaborate outdoor dinners and picnics for the months to come. I love the optimism of Spring, especially in Ireland-everyone seems to predict with Nostradamus-like inaccuracy the scorcher of the Summer to come, only to have their spirits wilted by the inevitable deluge of rain of July and August, and then sanguinely repeat the whole exercise again the next year round.

Yesterday, infected with the joys of Spring I cycled my bike, the Pashley Princess to one of the three outstanding off-licences I live within walking cycling distance of. It has to be said here, for those of you that are not aware: the Pashley Princess is a diva of a bike. More like a precocious high-maintenance debutant than a sleek means of transportation, with her wicker basket and cherry red panniers, she is a little self-important and is not minded to rush for anyone. Try as I might, getting her out of second gear is a feat that eludes me. For this reason I tend to avoid cycling uphill, as she has a tendency to look around, roll her eyes and with a huff and a flounce refuse to go any further until she has a little rest for herself. Or at least I do.

Thus, it was only on a matter of grave importance that I ventured out with the Pashley uphill to McHughs. I have been planning a new element of 9 Bean Row for a while. As you may or may not have discerned, I am very in to beer. I love tasting it, talking about it, and have even been known to make it. There is a quiet revolution gaining ground for the beer drinker in Ireland: two new microbreweries are on the cusp of launching (Dungarvan Brewing Company and Trouble Brewing) the established microbreweries are increasing their range, the importers (of which Mr 9BR is one) are increasing their offerings and there is a new consumer lobby, Beoir due to launch in July. To paraphrase the Bass-drinking gardening advocate ‘The (beer) boom is getting boomier’.

So without further fanfare, meandering stories or Aussie Rules-style running through a banner I present 'Beers at 9 Bean Row'. Please don’t expect the high calibre of musings of my favourite beer blogs, rather a focus on matching beers with the foods that compliment them, accompanied by my girly beer notebook.

First up…Chapeau Kriek.

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