As we once again celebrate St. Patty’s Day, we sport our green apparel and consider heading off in search of an Irish pub nearby to hoist a pint or three. Tradition has it that Patrick was sent to Ireland by the current Pope of the time to rid the land of evil. Patrick cursed that evil into venomous snakes which plagued the area. He then drove them away from the towns and cast them into the sea where they perished. Whatever your nationality though, everyone is Irish on March 17th which is why we have a look at O’Sullivan Stout.
Beara Irish Brewing Company is located on Lafayette Road in Portsmouth, NH. It was first opened in 2013 as a brew-on-premises taproom. Soon they starting selling 22oz bottles and growlers and now are now widely distributed. An important fact to know about Beara Irish is that they support local farms and suppliers. Although there barley grains are imported from Ireland, the other ingredients are as locally acquired as much 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.
O’Sullivan Stout is a rich gift of flavors and smells as you first enjoy this treat. It pours a ridiculously large, lacy tan and creamy cake above the darkness so be aware of head size. The midnight black tone lets you know this will not let you down. True to Irish stout tradition, the coffee and chocolate notes greet your senses of both smell and taste. Bittering is balanced by a generous mouthfeel, roasted malts and more chocolate and coffee throughout; the coffee notes just continue to linger. A classic dry finish tells you this is as close as you get to kissing the Blarney Stone from this side of the Atlantic. As with most Euro stouts, this 5.3% ABV is also true to Irish style. Find this beer right away to help celebrate, even if it’s after St Patty’s Day.
Worth a visit to their tap room, Beara Irish brews will be among New Hampshire’s most 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 high 3’s to low 4’s out of a score of 5 but I beg to differ from their limited accolades. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org