Beer: Enjoying the taste of Temple Bar at home
YOU could be here a while if you were to start listing the comical ways in which the powers-that-be have suggested we 'ease' out of the current lockdown, but you haven't got the time and I don't have the word count.
However, one which had eyebrows scraping the ceiling was the notion that pubs could open but not serve alcohol. Funnily enough, they didn't suggest opening barbers so you could go and engage in a bit of friendly banter, but by no means get your bap chopped.
The 'pub with no beer' was rightly met with derision. It would be especially hard on smaller beer producers and the independent pubs who champion them.
There was a time, though, when there weren't many local producers for forward-thinking publicans to champion, but the two came together in the opening of the Porterhouse in Dublin.
Porterhouse kicked down the door for locally produced and specialty beer and even though their bars in Dublin can't currently serve their own 'homebrew', their beer is still available in cans.
I got my hands on a couple to see if they might somehow transport me to a bustling Temple Bar. Unfortunately, they didn't quite manage that, but were enjoyable nonetheless.
First up was Renegade, a 5.3 per cent New England style IPA. It pours an amber, almost orange colour in the glass and there's not a lot of murkiness to you might expect from a NE IPA. It's still hazy enough and there are a fair few sticky and juicy aromas on the surface.
There is a tingling carbonation which quickly settles and there is a softness to this beer. Combined with the host of fruity and juicy flavours, it is quite the thirst quencher – one which would go down beautifully in a summer beer garden (am I getting too hopeful here?).
There are a fair few tropical tastes going on – passion fruit, mango – and even a little hit of blueberry before a medium bitter finish.
Next up was a XXXX – billed as a 'full-on porter' and clocking in at 5 per cent. It pours a black colour in the glass, with little shards of dark brown peeping out round the bottom and there's a fluffy tan head on top. Porters are generally thinner than stouts, but this one still manages to pack rich flavours in.
There are comforting chocolate notes, roasted barley and a smooth finish. Now all you need is the roaring fire and the bustling cobble street outside. Soon...