Brewery Spotlight: Lough Gill Brewery

Located in beautiful Sligo, Ireland, with many sites to behold, Lough Gill Brewery is the first brewery to be located in Sligo in over 100 years since Foley’s Brewery ceased brewing on the site of what is today the Velvet Rooms building. This brewery strives to think outside the box and brew unique and complex high-quality specialty brews never seen before.

Their mission is to brew interesting, tasty handcrafted beers using the best ingredients available to them and also some unique indigenous ingredients. Their team takes pride in creating these unique, wonderful and adventurous handcrafted beers.

They’ve surpassed their mission of creating interesting beers, with unique flavors and the ability to create dark and mysterious brews. One of their beers is titled Mac Nutty. “Some would say we’ve gone nuts – but taking our time over each and every step is part of what makes every one of our craft brews unique”. This beer exhibits a rich nutty flavor and luxurious dark brown color. Brewed with real macadamia nuts toasted in their own kitchen along with top quality malts and hops.

For those who love to try new and unique beers, with some traditional ingredients, Lough Gill Brewery’s beers are the perfect choice.

Learn more about Lough Gill Brewery here: loughgillbrewery.com and use our locator today to try out their unique flavors, ‘Round the Clock, Mac Nutty, and Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout.

The Difference Between Ales and Lagers

The first step in learning about beer is to understand the difference between ales and lagers. Ales and lagers are the two main classifications of the beer family. Ales are considered traditional brews, that are generally more robust as they are rarely filtered while Lagers are usually heavily filtered with much cleaner presentations due to the cold lagering period. The difference has nothing to do with the alcohol content or the color. It all begins with the brewing process.

Yeast

Ales are made with top-fermented yeast. The yeast doesn’t ferment at the top of the tank. It typically rises to the top near the end of fermentation. Ale yeast often produces esters that can impact the flavor of the beer.

Lagering is the process of cold storage, which is widely believed to be how lager yeast came to be and become so prevalent. Lagers slowly came around in the 15th century and became famous in the German and Northern continental regions, before spreading across the world. Lagers are made with bottom-fermented yeast, which is due to the yeast collecting at the bottom of the tank to ferment, they can be reused.

There are some exceptions to the rules as some brewers do use bottom-fermented yeast to make Ales.

Fermentation Temperature

Ales are fermented warm while lagers are fermented cold. Most ales ferment at the 60-75° range with some strains of yeast requiring temperatures as high as 95-100°.  Due to these temperatures, ale yeast tends to ferment faster than lagers. Lagers ferment at temperatures between 46-59°.

Due to the variety of yeast used in beers, these temperatures may vary slightly. Even more so if hybrid strains of yeast are used.

Flavor

Ales are generally more robust, fruity, aromatic, complex in taste and aroma. This is due to ales having a higher amount of hops and malt. Lagers are light-tasting, generally higher in carbonation, smooth, mellow and balanced.

Ultimately, there are great ales and lagers. One style is not better than the other. It’s a matter of personal preference. If you’re interested in trying a pale ale and lager, we recommend Grey Sail Captain’s Daughter, Revival Night Swim’ah and Wormtown’s Be Hoppy!

5 Fun Facts About Beer

With the holidays coming up, we’re quite sure you’ll have a drink or two. If you need something to talk about, drink up these fun facts about beer and sound smarter while you’re waiting for dinner to be served!

7.5 million liters of beer were served at Oktoberfest 2017

Oktoberfest is one of the most popular celebrations for beer consumers. This years event was another success with approximately 6.2 million visitors and 7.5 million liters of beer consumed. That number is up from 7.3 million liters at Oktoberfest 2015.

Doctors prescribed “medical beer”

During prohibition, brewers, physicians, and imbibers attempted to persuade U.S. Congress that beer was vital medicine. In March 1921, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer declared “doctors to prescribe beer at any time, under any circumstances and in any amount they saw fit.” Doctors prescribed “medical beer” from March 1921 to November 1921 until Congress banned it.

New Hampshire consumes the most beer

You would think Nevada would have been number one, but New Hampshire takes the top spot in beer consumption with 41.7 gallons annually per capita. Montana was second with 39.1 gallons of beer and South Dakota rounded out the top three with 38.6 gallons of beer.

Fried beer won Most Creative Food at the 2010 Texas State Fair

State fairs have become synonymous with unique fried treats. At the 2010 Texas State Fair, deep-fried beer-filled pretzel pockets were entered into the Big Tex Choice Awards and won for Most Creative Food.

Mars has a crater named Beer

Beer is a crater located in the Margaritifer Sinus region of the planet Mars named after the German astronomer Wilhelm Beer. The next time you’re drinking beer under the stars, raise your glass and say, “Cheers to Beer.”

What is a Pilsner?

When you go to a bar you’re always going to find plenty of different drafts to try. One beer that isn’t immediately gravitated to, but has inspired some of the world’s most well-known beers is the Pilsner. The Pilsner is the inspiration for all Pale Lagers made around the world, which includes Budweiser and Bud Light.

Pilsner is a type of pale lager that takes its name from Pilsen which is now located in the Czech Republic. The first pilsner came from a brewery called Citizen’s Brewery which is now known as Pilsner Urquell, which is still in production today.

Pilsner beers are medium to medium-full bodied and are characterized by high carbonation. Alcohol strength in these beers typically ranges from 4-5.5% ABV. Pilsners come in different styles based on what part of the world they are made in. Czech-style Pilsners use only Saazer hops vs “Noble” hops, which are the predominate flavor in other styles of Pilsner. These hops bring around an earthy and grassy flavor. All Pilsners, though, have a thick white head at the top of the glass, right above the golden liquid of a Pilsner.

Pilsner is a lager style of beer but has added hops. Josef Groll, who was from Bavaria brought Bavarian techniques to his brewing style, but the original beer was created in Pilsen. The first pale lager really focused on the creation of Pale Malts, having hop flavor become an afterthought while trying to balance the beer’s sweetness with the tastes of consumers.

For a Pilsner you should use a Pilsner glass (also known as a Pokal) this is a tall, slender and tapered 12-ounce glass. It allows for the beer to show off its light color but promotes the foam retention of the beer.

So if you’re looking for a light lager without a strong or bitter finish, try a Pilsner.

How to Pour the Perfect Pint

How to Pour the Perfect Pint

When pouring a draught beer there are several steps to follow to ensure a proper pint. Luckily, we’ve come up with this handy guide to help with your pouring needs.

First and foremost, make sure you have the correct glass for your pour. You can check out our handy guide if you need help.

Second, hold the glass at a 45-degree angle about one inch below the tap faucet. Now you’re going to want to open the tap fully and let the beer flow. Opening the tap partially will lead to excessive foam.

Third, let the beer flow down the side of the glass (still in the 45-degree angle) but don’t let the faucet touch the glass. Now’s the tricky part – tip the glass upright and pour down the center of the glass to create the perfect collar.

Once full, shut the tap off completely. If for some reason there is too much foam for your taste, allow the head to dissipate then pour again.

You’re only moments away from enjoying that cold beer, so take your time, follow our guide, and you’ll be sipping on a perfect pint.

Stay Responsible While Drinking Craft Beer

Everyone talks about drinking responsibly but it can be hard to know exactly what that means. Responsible drinking means that you never have to feel sorry for what has happened while you were drinking. Let’s be real everyone needs a night out on the town to let loose and have a good time, with a beer in their hand but we must look out for ourselves and stay SAFE! Learning about ways to keep your alcohol intake in check can be the first step in learning to drink responsibly, but there are a number of things to consider including taking personal responsibility and seeking outside help.

What Does It Mean to Drink Responsibly?
– Making sure you’re safe
– Making sure others around you are safe
– Actively avoiding dangerous situations
– Minimizing the risks for yourself and others
– Having a positive drinking experience

It is so important to stay aware of what you are drinking. Did you know Craft Beer tends to be significantly higher in alcohol? One IPA is equal to 1.5 standard beer. The market is beginning to move toward more sessional (5% or less ABV, or more traditional levels of alcohol) but, that is not the norm in most beer bars or for most craft consumers. Every person tolerates alcohol differently. Reasons for this are based on gender, weight, physical condition, and family history. It is important to KNOW YOUR LIMITS.
Always pace yourself while drinking. Try to stick to a general rule of one drink per hour. There is a general rule: for every two alcoholic beverages drink a full glass of water. If you choose to drive anywhere, don’t drink more alcohol than recommended. It’s recommended: around 1 standard drink for women, 2 drinks for men. Because alcohol is a depressant it can affect our reaction times, our vision and coordination, there is a legal drink-drive limit, which is based on BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION (BAC). What is BAC? BAC is the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. Your BAC depends on how much you drink. The more you drink, the higher your BAC. But there are also many other factors that affect your BAC such as your size, your weight, your gender, whether you’ve eaten and even how tired you are. BAC is measured with a breathalyzer or by analyzing a sample of blood. It is measured by the number of grams of alcohol in 100ml of blood. For example, a BAC of .08, the US legal limit for driving for those over 21, means you have .08 grams of alcohol in every 100ml of blood.
Another thing you should be aware of is mixing alcohol and other drugs (whether medication or recreational) is serious! Not only can you not anticipate the effect, it will have a huge effect on your behavior. Mixing alcohol with drugs can make you sick. There are no safe combos when it comes to mixing alcohol with drugs, so it’s better to just not mix them at all. The basic thing to remember to drink responsibly is using common sense. If it doesn’t sound like a good idea, it probably isn’t one. If you’re not comfortable with the environment you’re in or are worried about bad things happening, you should probably rethink your plans. If you don’t feel able to drink responsibly, for whatever reason, it might mean you need to seek some outside advice. Have a chat with someone you think is responsible about how they keep themselves in check.
Remember, just because you’re controlling how much you’re drinking, spending the evening being a sensible, responsible grownup, doesn’t mean the party will be boring!