Craft Beer: Boyne Brewhouse's Irish Craft Saison and Amber Ale
THE Boyne may be synonymous with Irish history after some Dutch guy and an English king had a dust-up on a field in Meath over 300 years ago.
However, the fascinating history of the area stretches a lot further back than that and it's heavily soaked in Celtic mythology too. Hewn from this rich legend is the Boyne Brewhouse, beermakers who are very much in tune with the mystique of the area.
They've been a busy bunch too, knocking out about dozen different beers in the past year or two. Given that hop growing isn't necessarily suited to this island, Boyne try their best use as many locally sourced ingredients as they can get their hands on. Good water is in healthy supply and they try to get their hands on as much Irish malt as they can.
So, this week I cracked open a couple of their brews, laid back and thought of New Grange. First up was their Irish Craft Saison, which I had high hopes for, considering the label boasts that the beer had scooped a gold medal at the Alltech Dublin Craft Beer Cup.
On pouring, the first thing you notice is the fizz – there's bags of it. The carbonation is so crazy that it takes a couple of goes to get it all into a pint glass. It pours a clear, straw colour and there's little aroma, although you do get a hint of herb and slight funk that you'd expect from a farmhouse beer.
The fizz really pervades the mouth – it's almost spiky – but once your dunk under the considerable suds up top, there is a clear and crisp taste to this. It's quite refined for a farmhouse brew, not nearly as funky and sharp as you'd expect. The flavours are much more subtle, there's a slight hint of lemon and pepper and it has the finish of a dry white wine.
Maybe not one for a cold November evening, this has the feel of a light, refreshing summer brew.
The Amber Ale is much more of an autumnal brew. Pouring a dark amber colour with a slightly creamy head out of the bottle, there's enticing toffee aromas and sweet caramel flavours which are offset by a decent level of bitterness. The beer boasts German hops, but it has more the feel of an English bitter about it, but a deeply satisfying sup all the same.