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McGargles will be at Craft Beer Days 2017 in Hamburg!

 

McGargles are delighted to be returning to Hamburg for this year’s Craft Beers Days event. Taking place on the 26th and 27th of August the festival will play host to twenty eight breweries from Germany, Denmark, Austria and of course Ireland! There will be plenty of great food, live music and a wide variety of beers on draught.

This year McGargles will be bringing some of the favourites we brought to last year’s Craft Beer Days. We will be pouring our Dublin Beer Cup winning Francis’ Big Bangin’ IPA which has won the hearts of our friends in Hamburg.

Craft Beer Days takes place in the very relaxed and friendly environment of Altes Mädchen, a very popular brewpub and restaurant on the appropriately named Lagerstrasse. The event is curated by Craft Beer Store who source the finest beers from around the world and they have handpicked the breweries to attend the festival.

See you there, prost!

McGargles’ Beers with Chef Sham’s Sauces

McGargles’ Beers go really well with a variety of dishes. Here’s a couple of pairings that we tried recently:

We met Chef Sham at a recent food festival and he gave us some of his sauces to try with our beers. The first one we tried was the Sweet Chilli Sauce which we used in our Kedgeree. The dish is one brought back from India when it was a part of the British Empire. It includes Haddock, Boiled Eggs and Rice. Kedgeree was traditionally eaten for breakfast because we are non traditional sorts here at Rye River Brewing we had it for dinner instead. Of course we had to have a beer with it! We paired this with our Lager and the crisp cool beer provided a pleasant contrast to the hint of spice from the sauce.

Why not give this pairing a try yourself?

McGargles’ Lager with chef Sham’s Sauce

Another food pairing we tried recently was Chef Sham’s Chilli Ketchup with Homemade Sausage Rolls. McGargles’ Big Bangin’ IPA went down a treat with this. Keep it in mind when planning your next picnic.

You can order Chef Sham’s sauces and check out his recipe videos here:

http://chefshamsauces.com/

Why not share your own favourite McGargles food pairing with us?

McGargles’ Big Bangin’ IPA with Chef Sham’s Chilli Ketchup and Homemade Sausage Rolls

 

Toothless Dec’s Sweet Potato Fries

Toothless Dec’s Sweet Potato Brown Ale Fries
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Feeds: 4-6

It’s come to that dark, dreary time of year when comfort food and dark beer go hand in hand. So…how perfect do a batch of sweet potato fries with a good soak in brown ale sound? We can tell you, only about half as good as they taste!

Ingredients

1.5kg sweet potatoes
1 bottle of Toothless Dec’s Brown Ale
3 Tbsp sunflower oil (or olive, etc..)
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Directions

To make these really tasty sweet potato fries, preheat oven to 220°C.
Scrub potatoes, and cut to a size that suits you. Leave the skins on.
In a large bowl, soak the cut fries, in Toothless Dec’s Brown Ale.
Let soak for 15 minutes, tossing 1-2 times.
Drain Toothless Dec’s Brown Ale and toss with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, until well coated.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment (optional, but nice for quick clean up!) and spread the fries, in a single layer on the pan. Use two pans, if needed. You don’t want them stacked.
Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, depending on how done you like them, tossing 3 – 4 times.
Add more salt and pepper to your liking.

Carrick Carnival

McGargles at Carrick Carnival

Carrick Carnival Hamper

The whole family is heading to Carrick Carnival!

Carrick Carnival is back for 2016 and we’re going to be there pouring beautiful, small-batch beer as well as Trader Tommy’s Cider. There’s loads going on at this year’s carnival and to celebrate, we want to give you a chance to win.

This year’s Carrick Carnival will feature:

  • A spectacular Opening Parade
  • Fireworks Display and Water Dance Show
  • Carrick’s Fittest Club
  • Taste of Carrick
  • Carnival Night
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Air Display
  • Stunt Bike Show
  • Raft race and much much more…

To celebrate the return of The Carrick Carnival for 2016, we’re giving away a beautiful craft beer hamper with bottles, glasses, t-shirts and more! Winning couldn’t be any easier, all you have to do is enter your details below…simple! We’ll be picking a winner on the night and announcing it on the night and on our Twitter page.

Good luck!

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

I agree to the Terms and Conditions

Click HERE for full Terms and Conditions. Open to Republic of Ireland residents only.

McGargles is available on draught in Carrick in: Ging’s, Cryan’s, Oarsman, Anchorage, Moon River, Flynn’s, Percy Whelan’s & Murtagh’s.

Carrick Carnival

Craft Beer Word Search

Having a slow day? Welcome to our world! Here, occupy yourself with this Craft Beer Word Search.

We took a stroll around the brewery and pretty much just wrote down everything we saw, then bunged it into this little puzzle, just for the craic.

CRAFT BEER WORD SEARCH

CRAFT BEER WORD SEARCH

CLICK IMAGE TO GO FULL SIZE!

Beer: How Is It Made

We get a lot of queries about how exactly we make beer. It’s a difficult question because brewing is the perfect merge of art and science. How do you easily describe that?!?! Really, you can’t. But what we’ve done here, is try supply you with a good base for being able to follow discussions with your beer enthusiast friends at the pub.

First things first: Beer is made with four ingredients: grain, water, hops and yeast
Of course you can use more ingredients, but anyone who claims to use less than four ingredients is spinning you a yarn that isn’t worth listening to. Malted barley and wheat are the most common grains used in beer, but many others can be used (although usually not as the main grain because they cannot convert enough starches to sugars) like rye, spelt, oats, and rice.  Water will affect the beer’s flavour and body.  Hops are used to give beer bitterness and aroma.  Yeast creates alcohol (and has a major influence on taste). Other “things” can be added to beer (like fruit, spices, herbs, whatever), but unless it has the four ingredients listed, it ain’t beer.

Let’s get our beer on!

1) Mashing: Grain + Water = Wort
Beer is made by extracting sugars from various types of grain using heated water. This process is called mashing.  We want sugars to be extracted from the grains into the water to create a fermentable solution (called “wort”).  When we say “fermentable”, we mean able to be fermented by yeast to produce alcohol (yeasts “eat” sugar and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide gas).  Temperature and time are key factors in the mash process.  Too hot or too cold will not get the right amount or right types of sugars into the wort.  And the mash must be held at the right temperature(s) for enough time to extract enough of the desired sugars.  For reference, a mash takes on average 60-90 mins and is at a temperature of roughly 65C.

You may have seen some homebrewing kits which use a syrup-like malt extract. The extract is simply mixed with hot water and produces the wort instantly so you can skip the mash step.  This is called extract brewing while the paragraph above describes all-grain brewing.  The main difference is that the latter is more time consuming (and requires equipment to mash the beer in), but allows for a wider range of beer styles to be brewed. Literally, if you can dream it up, you can brew it up. (WARNING: it might be brutal)

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2) Boil the wort
After the wort is ready, it must be boiled.  Beyond ridding the solution of any bacteria or potential sources of infection, boiling separates out certain proteins from the wort and ensures that the wort gets to the right volume for fermentation.  As the wort boils, water is evaporated, leaving a higher-sugar solution.  The longer it boils, the more sugar it has (usually).  This will lead to a higher alcohol content after fermentation (at the expense of volume).  Most boils take 60-90 mins, but there are of course exceptions.

3) Add the hops
Hops can be added to the wort at several stages: Start of boil; during the boil; at the end of the boil.  The longer hops are boiling, the more bitterness they create.  As the time they are in the boil decreases, the amount of flavour and aroma they contribute to the finished beer increases.  Hops can also be added during fermentation (called dry hopping) to give a very hoppy aroma and flavour. We like dry-hopping at Rye River Brewing Company.

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4) Add the yeast
When the boil is complete, the wort must be cooled to a temperature that is not hostile (or deadly) for the yeast.  This is typically done very quickly (within 30 mins) to prevent off flavors from the buildup of certain compounds and also cause proteins which could affect the clarity of the beer to drop out of the wort.  It is important to remember that anything that comes in contact with the wort after the boil step must be sterilized.  When the wort is cool enough (approx. 24C depending on the yeast used), the wort can be transferred to the vessel where it will be able to ferment.  The yeast is then added (or pitched as we say in the business).  The wort can also be aerated (shaken up, for example) to increase the oxygen levels for the benefit of the yeast.

5) Let it ferment
The fermentation vessel (usually a carboy or bucket for a homebrewer) which the aerated wort with the yeast is in must be airtight to prevent oxidation and infection from undesired microbes.  Most vessels have a lid and airlock (a device which only allows gas/air to escape and not enter).  The vessel is then put in a dark place (to prevent damage to the yeast and subsequent off flavours) at a controlled temperature which maintains the fermenting beer within the yeast’s recommended fermentation temperature.  Temps outside of this range (which varies based on beer type) can cause undesirable flavours or stop fermentation altogether.  Most of the fermentation may only take up to a week, but it is most common to leave the beer to condition for a period of time before bottling or kegging.

6) Bottle it

When fermentation is complete, many large scale or commercial brewers will filter the yeast out of the finished beer and force carbonate it (pump in CO2) when bottling or kegging.  This is why typical commercial lager beer is usually very clear and there is no residue on the bottom of the bottle.  Most homebrewers, (and lots of craft brewers) however, do not filter out the yeast.  This means that the beer in the bottle/keg is still “alive”.  Apart from enabling the beer to “age” and change its taste profile over time, the remaining yeast in the beer will also help carbonate it naturally.  When brewers do this they first must check to make sure the fermentation/conditioning process is complete by taking a reading of the sugar content in the finished beer at bottling time (remember: the yeast ate the sugar during fermentation, but if there too much left, it will cause overcabonation and too much pressure will build up in the bottles since there will now not be a way for the CO2 to escape).  If this happens, the bottles can explode.  But, to get carbonation, you need some fermentation to continue in the bottles.  So, when the brewer knows that the fermentation has stopped, some extra sugar (called “priming sugar”) is added to the beer so that a little fermentation will start again.  The beer is then transferred to sterilized bottles and capped.

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7) Drink it
Unless the beer is filtered and force carbonated, then depending on the temperature the bottles are stored in, the beer will need a few weeks to ferment the priming sugar and cause the beer to be carbonated.  Time is also needed to additionally condition/age the beer for optimal taste. If you do decide to brew and go for a very hoppy beer though, the rules change a bit. Hoppy beers (IPA for example) are best drunk fresh as the hop flavour starts to dissipate quickly.

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Brewing Up IPA

The Celbridge brewery is flying together, and we caught up with Shift Brewer (or Beer Jesus) Owen Ashmore as he was mashing in for a brew of Knock Knock Ned’s IPA. Catch everything in the below video!

IPA – The lesser spotted styles of IPAs

Last week we had a big win, but even better fun at AllTech Craft Brews and Food Fair in Dublin. We were lucky enough to win the Dublin Craft Beer Cup 2016 with our amazing 7.1% IPA – Francis Big Bangin’ IPA.

After the win, demand was extremely high and unfortunately we sold out at the event, so could only describe the beer to those who were looking for it. Our description of “big West Coast style IPA” often raised a few eye-brows and most would ask “what exactly is a West Coast style IPA?”

Well we’re here to help with a quick overview of some of the lesser spotted IPA styles.

The lesser spotted IPA

West Coast – West Coast IPAs are known for the huge hop aroma bursting with notes of citrus and tropical fruits. Their malt character is understated, and they finish dry to let the layered hop flavours and aromas take centre stage.

Double or Imperial – While nothing is actually doubled when making these brews, there is more of just about everything. More malts make for more alcohol in the finished brew and allows for more hops to be added to balance the beer out. Double IPAs can range from around 7.5 percent alcohol to 10 percent or more, and they can be downright devastatingly bitter.

Triple – Edging up over 10 percent alcohol, triple IPAs are the culmination of (largely) American brewers’ obsession with hops! These brews can be tough to find as they are expensive and time-consuming to brew, and they must be consumed as fresh as possible for full impact.

White – A hybrid style that takes the hop-forward character of the IPA and blends it with the wheat and often the spices used in easy-drinking Belgian Witbiers. The wheat provides a lighter body and a refreshing zing, and many modern aroma hop varieties shine when paired with the grain.

Black – Every beer-loving pedant’s favourite oxymoron, the black IPA was invented — depending on who you ask — in the Pacific Northwest or North County San Diego. Either way, these dark ales use enough roasted malts to provide a deep mahogany hue and a distinct roasty flavor to standard pine and citrus flavored IPAs. The match works surprisingly well, and a Black IPA can be nice change of pace from typical India Pale Ales.

Dublin Craft Beer Cup 2016

Well what a weekend that was!

On Friday night, we were given the amazing news that our Big Bangin’ IPA, Francis, had won the overall Dublin Craft Beer Cup at the AllTech Craft Brews and Food Fair – the first time that an Irish beer has ever won the cup! The award is a credit to the amazing work done each and every day by our brewery staff as well as everyone else at Rye River Brewing Company.

With the 2016 Dublin Craft Beer Cup taking up residence in Celbridge and the brewery all but ready to rock and roll – it’s going to be a very big year at Rye River!

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Which Craft Beer Glass Should I Use? Craft Beer Glasses

Craft beer is a serious business, regardless of the carry on that goes on at the brewery! Craft beer glasses are a serious business too!

Great beers should be appreciated, and for just about every craft beer, there is a craft beer glass to go with it. If you’re like us, you’ll drink it out of whatever is closest (like a boot) but if you want to up your glass game, we’re here to help. Here’s a simple guide to show what glass should go with what beer. (Click the image for a full sized version).

Craft Beer Glasses

Glasses

Want your own McGargles Pint Glass? Check out our shop HERE