Craft Beer: Kinnegar's Shuttlebucket makes me feel all rye

Shuttlebucket from Donegal brewery Kinnegar
Paul McConville

THERE can't be many more reliable gigs than being the rye malt supplier to Kinnegar. The Donegal brewers absolutely love the stuff and I must admit, I'm pretty partial to it myself.

Rustbucket is one of those dependable beers I always go back to and even though it's now in cans, like most of their range, I still like to get my hands on the 500ml long neck bottles.

What that rye ale did was turn me on to a style I now rate as one of my favourites. Of course, if you are devotee of American whiskey, or you can never seem to get that Don McLean song out of your head, you'll now that rye is sometimes more readily associated with spirits. However, I love the gentle warming spice and crisp dryness it brings to a beer. In an IPA, it balances out the juicy flavours nicely and brings more complexity.

That's why I was so taken with Kinnegar's latest rye-based offering. Shuttlebucket – a rye DIPA, or should that be double RIPA? In any case, it very much fits the profile of a big brother of Rustbucket.

From the can art you'll notice that it was launched to coincide with St Patrick's Day, but I am hoping that this one sticks around longer than the snakes he banished.

It pours an auburn colour in the glass with an initially lively white head. There are some sweet toffee aromas and a hint of sticky, stone fruit. On the palate, you get that sweet toffee malt before those juicy flavours begin to flow.

This is an 8 per cent beer, so there's a sticky sweetness and hints of mango and grapefruit. The rye taste laces nicely throughout, providing that warming spice and then a dry and bitter finish.

:: To celebrate 10 years of brewing at Eight Degrees, the Cork-based brewery want to showcase Ireland-based artists in their new 2021 Original Gravity series.

Eight Degrees are looking for designs that reflect “our naturally adventurous values, that stand out on the shelf, and bring some positivity and excitement, expressing our desire to explore and roam again as we exit this lockdown”.

Their new range of five beers will feature five pieces of original artwork. To be in with a chance of have your work featured and win a prize of €1,000, send an expression of interest to Closing date for submissions is May 14.

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