Craft beer: Kinnegar's Great Arch is a clearly refreshing special

Kinnegar's Great Arch special is a kölsch-style ale that's a very refreshing offering
Paul McConville

ANYONE who has ever moved house can attest to what a stressful experience it can be. Boxes, bags and random objects grabbed and stuffed into a van and then unloaded. But once you've settle into your new surroundings, things tend to settle down and become a bit clearer.

Kinnegar, soon to be formerly of Rathmullan in Co Donegal, are undergoing a big move with production already under way at their new big, bright and shiny facility in Letterkenny. But they're still knocking out the odd special in their spiritual home and the latest offering is kölsch-style ale which is a perfect accompaniment to a balmy summer's day.

It's billed as 'a dry-hopped kölsch-style beer that spans the summer waters between pale ales and IPAs'.

Kölsch is the geographically-specific name given to the blonde ale brewed in the German city of Cologne, hence the '-style' suffix to any beer that resembles it but isn't actually brewed North Rhine region.

Anyway, the first thing you notice about Great Arch is that it isn't as cloudy as most of the beers from the Kinnegar stable. There is a clarity to it that is much more faithful to the style that inspires it.

It's a straw colour and there's a light hoppy aroma to it – nothing too overt, though. The mouthfeel is very thin but quite tingly thanks to the very high carbonation. It would be an excellent beer for the curious lager drinker who's looking for something with a bit more flavour and who has decided that 13 is indeed an unlucky number (what the hell does double hopped mean anyway?).

Light, yet packed with citrus notes and a slight tang of lemon peel. A very refreshing offering that benefits from the dry hopping which has given it a little bit more flavour.


ANOTHER blonde turning heads lately has been the recent offering from Mourne Mountains. Their own take on the kölsch style debuted at the recent Blues on the Bay Festival in Warrenpoint and is available in limited numbers in a few independent off licences. It's an exciting time for the south Down brewery as they have this struck a deal to stock three beers from their core range – Mourne Mist pilsner, East Coast IPA and Mourne Gold pale ale – in Sainsbury's.


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