Beer: Portrush brewer Lacada's Zostera one to ruminate over whatever the weather
ONE of the things perhaps unintentionally showcased by the recent Open Championship show faultlessly hosted by Royal Portrush was the schizophrenic weather around the north coast, even slap bang in the middle of July.
Having been an impoverished student (is there any other kind?) there, I can attest to the multitude of directions the rain can zip off the area of sea where the Atlantic Ocean saunters round to meet the Irish Sea.
I spent a couple of days up at Portrush when the world's finest golfers where honing their game on the practice days in glorious sun with the kiosk doling out free sunscreen proving almost as popular as the beer tents... almost.
However, by the end of the week when Offaly magician Shane Lowry was waving his iron wand around the links, the howling winds and erratic rain made a predictable appearance.
While up there, I was able to check out the craft beer selection in the various bars around Portrush and naturally enough the local brews of the Lacada brewery, which is based in the town, were in plentiful supply. I enjoyed a couple of favourites – East the Beast and 9 Rubies, if you're wondering – which went down a treat in the sun.
However, I recently picked up a bottle of Lacada's black IPA, which is rather exotically named Zostera – local seagrass which grows around The Skerries in Portrush, the label helpfully informs.
Zostera is a perfect beer for Portrush, and further afield of course, in that in blends nicely with our volatile weather (let's face it, this place is too small to have a climate).
It pours jet black in the glass with a thin off-white head and has all the look of a porter. Indeed, even when you get the nose of it, you could still be fooled as it emits some comforting roasty aromas before more fruity smells start to peek through.
That slightly jammy aroma follows into the taste, with flavours of blueberry and stone fruits sweeping across the palate, the roasted malt plugging away underneath before you come to a bitter and ever so slightly spicy finish.
It has the warmth and comfort of a stout but the refreshment of a juicy IPA. Zostera comes in at a hefty 7.2 per cent and is available in 500ml bottles, so it's one to ruminate over perhaps while you're wondering if big Shane will take a nine iron off the tee at the 13th.