Craft beer: Cashmere Thoughts a highly drinkable double IPA from The Format
THE current lockdown has meant many couples spending a lot more time with each other which, let's face it, has its ups and downs – and that's before we even get into the home schooling of little ones.
Many couples have had to become crack teams, planning out lessons for the kids, plotting the optimum time to go for that all-important shop and trying to fend off the creeping tedium which being cooped up in the house all day can bring.
However, one couple are currently bringing their respective expertise into keeping their fledgling brewery ticking over.
The Format started brewing beer in October 2019 and its beers have gained a steady following thanks to gathering word-of-mouth endorsements in the south. Currently brewing out of Third Barrel brewery in Dublin, Mark Nixon brings the beer know-how to the operation, having previously been head brewer at Trouble Brewing and Hope Beer. He also works as a senior brewer at Carlow Brewing Company.
His fiancee Jen Collins takes care of the business side of things, which means getting their great beer into the hands of curious beer drinkers. They don't have a core range as such, but rather brew something new every time.
Cashmere Thoughts is one such beer. It's a double IPA which clocks in at a hefty 8.5 per cent. It is brewed with Cashmere and Azacca hops, which combine to give off a lush tropical and fruity aroma.
This light-amber-coloured beer appears hazy in the glass, underneath a cloud-like soft, white fluffy head and it is that softness which is key feature of the DIPA.
Don't get me wrong – this is crammed full of flavour, and of course packs a punch with its strength, but there is a wonderful smooth and soft feel to it all.
Once you get those great aromas on the nose, you'll want to dive straight in. What you get is a flood of fruits, with hints of melon, papaya and peach coming to the fore. There is a little citrus-like bitterness towards the end, but this is as smooth as silk on the way down.
Far too drinkable for a beer that's north of 8 per cent, but enjoyable to the last drop. It has a sticky, sweet and tropical feel to it all and hides the strength well. Definitely one to be revisited.