Craft beer: Fresh and jazzy offering brings back memories of the 90s
"IN west Monasterevin born and raised, on the playground was where I spent most of my days" just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?
Quite what the basketball proficiencies of the youth of there, any other town in Kildare, are is up for debate, but there's little doubting the cultural references abounding at Trouble Brewing these days.
If, like me, you get many of your cultural touchstones from the 90s, then a couple of cans from Trouble will have you transported back to those days.
First up is Fresh Prince of Kildare, a nod to the popular rags-to-riches sitcom which served as a launchpad for a certain Will Smith and spawned a cheesy dance called the Carlton after its eponymous creator.
The beer itself is anything but cheesy. Now, it's not one of the those deceptive DIPAs which 'hide the strength' well, but that's no bad thing. Sometimes you need a beer that will help you pace yourself and savour all the complex flavours.
There is an initial boozy hit – not surprising for 9.1 per cent beer – and sugary, sweet malt but once that settles down, there are soft, juicy, fruit tones.
There's a tingly bitterness and resinous feeling which lingers well past that first gulp.
It has that sticky sweetness and thump of flavour which you would expect from a well-crammed DIPA, and I'd say if you sunk a few in quick succession, you would be getting the type of treatment Uncle Phil used to dish out to Jazzy Jeff back in the day.
Of course, the Fresh Prince helped launch a successful rap music career for Will Smith but if you leaned more closely towards Britpop in the 90s, then maybe Parklife is for you. No need to go spewing out a cockney monologue though, Parklife is the name of a helles-style lager from Trouble, and is a much lighter affair.
Pouring a straw colour in the glass, this 4.9 per cent lager was brewed in collaboration with The Taphouse in Ranelagh. There's subtle hoppy and citrus notes on a biscuit malt base and a crisp finish. The helles style is usually lighter than a strong, malty pilsener, with a little honeyed sweetness to it and this one is no exception.