Castletown Honey Brown Ale – Beara Irish Brewing Co.

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Traditions in beer brewing are deeply European and when most people think of European brewers, they think of Germany, Belgium, Holland and of course, England. If you want to include Ireland in there, then you are probably thinking Guinness. But the brewing world is much larger than the top exported beers from those countries. In fact, it is much larger and that brings us to craft brewing boom we are experiencing today.
Beara Irish_Castletown Honey Brown Ale_smlBeara Irish Brewing Company is located on Lafayette Road in Portsmouth, NH. It was first opened in 2013 as a taproom and brew on premises. Soon they starting selling 22 oz bottles and growlers and now are widely distributed. An important fact to know about Beara Irish is that they support local farms and suppliers. Although their barley grains are imported from Ireland, the other ingredients are as locally acquired as possible. So when they use honey, it is from a bee keeper close by. They even advertise these providers on their website, www.bearairishbrew.com, and encourage their customers to shop at these suppliers. Although they are just getting started, their offerings are very tasty.
Castletown Honey Brown is a delightful dance with flavors and smells as you first enjoy this treat. It pours a ridiculously large, lacy tan head so be prepared… pour a half glass first to see where things are headed. Even though brown ales, porters and stout are close neighbors, this brown is true to form with just the barest hint of ruby coloring. Hints of sweet malt, honey, caramel and chocolate greet your tastebuds at the first sip. These flavors disguise well the hops used and obtain a nice balance. Some might even be tempted to list this one nearer to the porter border. As most Euro beers are, this 5.8% brown ale is tame and will be a trusted friend which you will want to visit often.
Worth a visit to their tap room, Beara Irish brews will be among one of New Hampshire’s sought-after commodities. You can obtain your own bit of Ireland at Case-n-Keg and other fine retailers. A few on BeerAdvocate.com have rated this beer in the mid 3’s out of a score of 5 but I beg to differ from their limitations. Enjoying this beer and their other offerings will make you consider a voyage to the Emerald Isles!

Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to wickedbrews@weirs.com.