There's a fantastic number of new brewers opening south of the border (take note please you lot up here and get some more breweries open!)*. There's at least five I can think of and this Beoir article gives the gossip.
I've been lucky enough to pick up a number of them; here are my thoughts:
Five Lamps craft lager has a bit of secrecy surrounding it, but after some digging was able to confirm it is currently brewed at Eight Degrees. Its pleasant enough for a pale lager, pouring pale gold with fluffy white head. Sweet grainy nose crisp, dry maltiness, biscuit moreish finish. I'm hoping they branch out to a few other styles as there have been a lot of lagers and golden ales released recently.
Folkhouse, Cork if you live down that way. Here's what some fellow bloggers thought.
Finally the return of the Brown Paper Bag Project, re jigged recipes and rebrand in hand. This is Dublin's answer to Mikkeller or Northern Monk Brew Co, being a band of brewers sans brewery. Another two impressive beers.
Starting off with the (relatively) lower 5.8% ABV is Oxman, brewed at Dancing Duck brewery in Derbyshire. Pours opaque cola brown with thin beige head. Rich chocolate, cocoa and prunes with a touch of sweet spices. Medium body and carbonation, milk chocolate, burnt toast, some menthol, dry red berries, some leather giving a long dry finish. Some licorice and burnt paper on warming, a porter dunkel hybrid?
Graduating onto Dr Rudi a single hop Belgian ale, this new version is brewed by veteran contract brewers De Proefbrouwerij in Belgium (Previously at 8 degrees). Pours hazy mid amber brown with fluffy beige head that soon collapses. Spicy coriander, yeast esters, tangerine and kiwi on nose. Full bodied, light carbonation. Sweet sticky malt tempered by juicy satsuma and spicy black pepper. Belgian yeast to the fore, building hop bitterness and pithy citrus with a touch of astringency and ling sweet malt finish that you can feel on your teeth.The first iteration was dominated by the yeast esters but this time the hops have been invited to the party too, good stuff.
*Remembering of course that red hand** and love and death inc are both working on going full scale this year!
**I've got a post pending on these guys!