Food & Drink

Craft Beer: Switch off and chill out with this farmhouse ale from Heaney's

Notifications-Off is a 4.7 per cent farmhouse ale from Heaney's
Notifications-Off is a 4.7 per cent farmhouse ale from Heaney's Notifications-Off is a 4.7 per cent farmhouse ale from Heaney's

You know you’re getting old when the fall of the Berlin Wall and the break-up of the Soviet Union gets filed under ‘modern history’. If you remember watching it live on the TV news, how could it possibly already be featuring on GCSE and A-Level papers.

I suppose it won’t be long before the Covid-19 pandemic finds its way into the history text books and  when your child comes home with that in their school bag, then you’ll really feel old.

However, there already is a sense of nostalgia growing around those early days of what is now commonly referred to as ‘the first lockdown’.

One of my own memories was the sudden reliance on the delivery of craft beer rather than whiling away the guts of an hour perusing the shelves of a local bottle shop.

I remember a top notch IPA from Heaney’s winging its way to me from south Derry called Digital Leash. Back in April 2020, it was becoming evident that we were all becoming chained to our digital devices, not just for work, but to keep in touch with a world which had been abruptly cut off.

Digital Leash was a name that captured that reliance on technology and it came to mind when I cracked up a can of one of Heaney’s most recent offerings.

Notifications-Off is a farmhouse ale crafted in the farmhouse in Bellaghy. Far from loosening the Digital Leash applied during the lockdown, we have come to embrace it more and so setting notifications to off seems to be the best way to enjoy this latest offering from Heaney.

This 4.7 per cent ale pours a cloudy, almost opaque amber colour in the glass with a rather fluffy white head.

It’s brewed with the Nelson Sauvin hop, which gives a hint of the type of aroma and taste to expect here.

There are some fruity aromas on the nose and once it floods over the palate, you get a refreshing hit of tropical fruits. There are some lovely, sweet flavours of peach and passion fruit and a hint of gooseberry running through it all, which is the extent of the bitterness.

It’s got a bit of white wine vibe to it all and there is a lightness to it which makes it highly drinkable and refreshing, perfect for the current sunny weather which I hope isn’t using up all our yearly quota.