Craft Beer: Liberator and Patriot from Dublin City Brewing Co

Patriot, a 5.5 per cent pale ale from Dublin City Brewing Co
Paul McConville

ALTHOUGH known the world over for Guinness, Dublin is also home to a vibrant craft beer movement. Dublin City Brewing Co has plugged into the modern, urban Dublin, taking its inspiration from the streets around the River Liffey, and is producing beers with the stamp of the city all over them. I grabbed a couple of 440ml cans last week.

Liberator is a 4.2 per cent Irish lager. It pours a crystal clear straw colour with rather excitable carbonation which doesn't seem to relent throughout the drinking. Now lager is actually a more complex style than it gets credit for. In fact lager refers more to process than a style of beer. There are light lagers and dark lagers and all manner in between.

This is quite obviously on the lighter side of things and as it's described as an Irish lager, I'm not quite sure what its defining characteristics are supposed to be. One thing's for sure, it's not Rockshore or Harp, other self-proclaimed Irish lagers which are defined by something else.

Liberator is quite thin on the mouthfeel and there's the honeyed sweetness and lightness you might find in a helles. This may be a personal preference when it comes to lager, but I certainly would have liked a more robust malt profile to it all. There's a little whisper of biscuity sweetness, but little more than that as the fizz clings to the palate right down to the last drop.

Patriot is a 5.5 per cent pale ale has been inspired by Henry Grattan, the 19th century Irish patriot, although the can design looks more like something that might be emblazoned across the chest of Barney Rock in his 80s heyday.

It pours a dark amber colour in the glass and there's fluffy, slightly off-white head. There's much more of a malt presence to this one, with some sweet toffee hints. This is a good example of what I've come to expect from an Irish pale ale, malt-forward but eventually giving way to more fruit and floral notes. There's a bit of stone fruit sweetness and even a little bite of spice before a slightly dry finish.

There's definitely a bit more going on here than with the lager, probably helped by a more robust abv.

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