Brew Day Blog: St. Paddy’s DIPA

Written by

Olly M.

I beat my 4:15am alarm by fifteen minutes and can hardly contain the excitement of my first trip to Northern Ireland, let alone getting back behind the paddle to brew our next collab. Making my way through the sleepy old world of Shrewsbury, I reflect on how the next collab idea came about.

Chris Morris, of Modest Beer, had dropped me an email at the end of January to see what plans we had for St. Patrick’s Day (at that point, we didn’t have many…). I was stoked to hear from Chris, as Ash had kindly shared the Modest box he had for photography and, well, If you haven’t tried Modest Beer before, you’re in for a treat.

Chris is a one-man-band operation, brewing some of the finest hazy beers around. What I like about their box (which features 9 cans and tasting notes), is that ABV tends to stay around 4-6%. You do get some that will sneak over or below, but that sessionable range is my sweet-spot at the moment, and the flavours Chris is able to pack in to his beer is outstanding.

We jumped on a call together and what started as being a box featuring a couple of NI breweries soon turned into a bigger collaboration, featuring 6 breweries from the Island of Ireland, 11 cans, including an exclusive collab DIPA chucked in for good measure. We reached out to all the breweries who were happy to be involved and a date was set for the collab brew.

Having now made it safely across the water, I’m stood outside Belfast airport waiting for my ride from the Bullhouse team. It was my first-time meeting both Mark and Gary and I was particularly excited to meet Mark as I know he’s been a subscriber of ours for some time.

We drove about an hour Northwest and got to where Modest Beer is located, high above Randalstown in Country Antrim, with beautiful views overlooking Lough Neagh. Sam from Lacada, and Michael from Our Brewery were awaiting our arrival with Chris. It was bloody cold, but we were fortunate for a clear day to be able to see the views.

One of the best views of the day though was of Chris’s brew kit. It is a small set up, but unlike any other kit I’ve seen before. It’s manufactured by Brewiks and all tanks are sat on casters so he can move them around as he pleases. It’s pretty-state-of-the-art but also has fair amount of getting your hands dirty (I left the digging of the mash out to Gary and Sam).

The Beer
This one-off Brewser exclusive collab beer is a creamy and soft DIPA packed full of Motueka and Citra, bringing punchy tropical fruit flavours, sweet lime and orange.
ABV: 7.6%
Hot Side Hops: Idaho 7, Mosaic
Dry Hop: Citra, Citra Cryo, Motueka

With the hard work done (by everyone else), we made a beeline for Belfast to visit the Bullhouse East taproom. We were honoured to also be joined by the one and only Neil Delargy (REFTSC5EFKMWY – IYKYK). If you’re heading to Belfast, this taproom is a must-visit. Everything from your craft bar heaven: the three-piece foldable beer tables, 20 taps of draught to choose from, a beer fridge stocked with all sorts of delicious beery goodness and of course, pizza! We were well looked after by our hosts and would like to thank all the staff for a great night.

You’ll hear it a lot from everyone in the industry, ‘one of the best things about craft beer is the community and the people that work in this industry.’ Northern Ireland is no exception, in fact it’s hard to find a stronger community of craft beer lovers anywhere.

The restrictions and licensing laws of NI make it extremely difficult for these independent breweries to get their beers out and therefore promote craft beer to a wider audience. Outside of the 2-3 taprooms in Belfast, I understand that a mere 20 keg lines are free for local breweries, out of 1,100 pubs. Big beer and drinks companies own all of the lines and therefore only their products are allowed to pour, that’s what keeps this craft beer community so tight and passionate about their beer, you have to work hard to make it, and drink it.

We’ve brought together the best breweries from the Island of Ireland for this special box. This is your chance to sample some of their most-loved beers, try something new and support these fantastic teams – all in celebration of St Patricks Day.

So put down that pint of Guinness and pick up Lacada’s Shamrock Pinnacle whilst you thank the brew gods for independent brewing and the joy of discovering something new.