Craft beer: Summer sun brings feel-good factor for beer drinkers
I'VE never been a subscriber to the macho mantra of 'sun's out, guns out'.
Maybe if I were the sort who could pull off a muscle-bound swagger in a Trevor Giles-style top I might feel differently, but the blazing sun isn't getting anywhere near the top half of my arms anytime soon.
Still, the summer sun does bring with it a feel-good factor and for beer drinkers and it's a great time to get your hands on a 'bag o' cans'.
Most craft brewers have at least some of their beer in cans and there's something about a nicely chilled can of pale ale on a warm summer's day to make your cares melt away.
Of course, all manner of styles are available in metal wrapping these days, from double-digit barrel aged stouts to light lagers and golden ales.
Somewhere in between is Fistful of Cans, a rye IPA from Farmageddon clocking in at 6.2 per cent.
When you see the can art, you'll realise cowboy hat tip to the famous western the name represents.
The beer itself pours a slightly murky amber colour with a white head. It fires off lovely aromas of stone fruits and sweet biscuity malt.
You get all those flavours on the palate too, with malt coming with a nice sweet toffee. The flavours of peach and mango then give way to the warming spice if the rye and they all come together to provide a subtle bitter finish.
I grabbed another Farmageddon can for the bag last week too, which can be filed under the 'old favourite with a new look' category.
Gold is a light and refreshing ale with an earthy and floral tinge to it, perfect for patio, whether you go guns out or not.
TUESDAY is a big day in the local beer scene with the final reading in Stormont of a licensing bill which it's hoped will provide independent brewers with greater opportunities to bring their beer to a wider audience.
Among the amendments to the bill are proposed legislation around taprooms and giving brewers more freedom to sell their beers on-site to interested visitors.
Speaking of taprooms, the relaxing of Covid restrictions has seen a return of them and this weekend Beerhut in Kilkeel will be throwing their doors open for thirsty beer fans.