Beer: ABV Fest brew Hoop du Jour a refreshing session IPA perfect for summer
THERE'S lots to love about the ABV Fest which has rapidly become a firm fixture on the local beer scene. There's the grand setting of the Carlisle Memorial Church, the cracking grub on offer and, of course, the varied and eclectic range of beers poured over the two-day festival at the end of the summer.
But, what are we to do for the other 363 days of the year if we want to get that ABV feeling?
Well, as in previous years the ABV Fest have hooked up with a brewery to produce a one-off festival beer. They've decided to release this year's brew to shops and bars a few months before it all kicks off at Carlisle Circus.
Hoop du Jour is a session IPA, brewed at the 8 Degrees brewery in Mitchelstown, Co Cork. Making it available now appears to have been a masterstroke as this is a perfect summer beer.
For a start, it is a quite manageable 4 per cent. It comes in 330mls bottles and pours a light amber colour with a minimal head. The aromas are of pineapple and mango with a slight herby, grassy hint. All those juicy, tropical flavours flood the palate and there's also a luscious taste of red fruits, a bit of blood orange and lemon peel.
There's a nice, refreshing, bitter finish but it is a smooth beer, with an almost creamy mouthfeel.
The people at ABV Fest certainly know their beer and they travelled to Cork to put their heads together with 8 Degrees, who have been present at the festival from the start and the result is a beautifully crafted IPA, which crams a lot of flavour into such a sessionable ale.
Hoop du Jour is brewed with Irish pale malt and Enigma, Amarillo and Denali hops. There's also a bit of oat and lactose in the malt bill, which contributes to that silky feel. It would be a great accompaniment to barbecue food or on its own as a refresher.
It's also available on draught, in bars including The Sunflower, John Hewitt, Errigle and Woodworkers in Belfast and The Anchor in Newcastle.
:: The ABV Fest takes place at Carlisle Memorial Church on Friday August 31 and Saturday September 1. Tickets and details at abvfest.com