Food & Drink

Craft Beer: Getafix of this IPL from Mourne Mountains

Asterix is a 5.5 per cent India Pale Lager from Mourne Mountains Brewery
Asterix is a 5.5 per cent India Pale Lager from Mourne Mountains Brewery Asterix is a 5.5 per cent India Pale Lager from Mourne Mountains Brewery

They say you shouldn’t have regrets, but in reality many of us do. Some of them are, others have a massive, existential bearing on their life’s journey.

One of my inconsequential regrets is that I didn’t pursue history at school. I have discovered an intense interest in my later years for history which, had I held during my time in formal education, may have prevented me playing catch-up now.

Back then, my main brushes with ancient history came through the books of Asterix, the plucky Gaul with the magic potion who tormented the Romans and anyone else who came across his path.

Through Asterix, I gained a passing knowledge of the Roman occupation of most of Europe and beyond. Ok, so most of the time was spent chuckling at the funny names and antics of the likes of Obelix, Getfix and Vitalstatistix.

Why did the comic books of René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo come to mind while drinking beer this week?

Well, one the newest offerings from Mourne Mountains Brewery is an India Pale Lager called Asterix.

An IPL, not to be confused with lucrative cricket tournament in the subcontinent, is a kind of hybrid of an IPA and lager – not the kind of magic potion the little Gaul might sling back before taking on a battalion of Ceasar’s troops.

Now, I’m not going to go into detail about the difference between and ale and a lager (partly because it’s very boring, partly because regular readers should know by now). Suffice to say, fermentation and storage plays a big part and lagers tend to be smoother because of it.

 Much like the fair-haired comic book character, Asterix the beer pours a blonde colour in the glass, although there’s a fair bit of haze going on, making it almost opaque.

This one is a bit of juice bomb, which is kind of strange for a lager where such intensity of flavour isn’t usually present.

There are some nice tropical flavours bursting through on the palate – a bit whack of mango, a little bit of pineapple peeping through and a subtle citrus presence lingering through it all.

The great challenge here is to cram all that flavour in while retaining a lager-like smoothness and this one really pulls it off, especially at a relatively robust 5.5 per cent.