Beer & food

Eight Degrees Brewing - Knockmealdown Porter Brownies from

Knockmealdown Porter Brownies

Why match beer and food?

Wine and food? Nah! That pairing has had its day. Now it’s all about putting beer, specifically tasty Irish craft beer, with food.

Beer is a very versatile accompaniment, offering a range of flavours that work perfectly with lots of different foods. Good matches are all about balance so be careful not to overpower either component.

Matching can be about contrasting flavours – the zippy, citrus notes of Howling Gale Ale point up the sweetness of caramelized onion or roast garlic. Or try a complementary pairing: the sweetness of lamb works well with the caramel flavours in Sunburnt Irish Red.

The different flavour components of beer can also be utilised in matches. For example, the bitterness of the hops can cut through fat to allow flavour shine, while nutty malts can complement roasted meats. Even carbonation has an important role to play, cleaning the palate with each sip and allowing you to really appreciate what you are eating and drinking.

You can also use all those glorious flavours in cooking and baking. Try Knockmealdown Porter in a Chocolate Potato Cake or even some Sunburnt Irish Red and Elderflower Ice Pops.

Barefoot Bohemian Pilsner Lager ABV 4%
Tasting notes: It has a subtle biscuit malt base balanced by a generous lashing of Czech hops giving a nice hop brightness and peppery, spicy aroma from the Saaz hops. It has been aged in conditioning tanks and filtered to give a nice crisp finish. Like always: no chemicals, additives and preservatives.This is a clear, pale golden colour. This is light on the palate, clean and delicate, but with plenty of sophisticated flavour. There’s enough bitterness to make it interesting, and a little spiciness from the hops.

With food: amazing with pizza and able to cutting through the melted mozzarella, snappy bitterness really good with the sweetness of shellfish, sharp and dry enough to drink as an aperitif in champagne flutes with a half-dozen Irish oysters or have a glass with some savoury home-popped popcorn. Good with Vietnamese/Thai spices, hop notes play with cumin and coriander in Mexican dishes, stands up to oily fish like mackerel, salmon, Irish caviar, the fat of ham. Avoid delicate fish or a beefy winter stew.

In food: pizza dough, to make an exceptionally tasty flatbread, extra light waffles.

Howling Gale Ale ABV 5%
Tasting notes: Like blitzing down the Ballyhouras on your bike with an icy wind in your face, this delivers a refreshing crisp smack around the gills. Howling Gale is a refreshing pale ale hopped with American Chinook, Amarillo and Centennial hops. Characterised by a moderate hop bitterness, balanced with slightly biscuit and caramel pale malt body, it has a pleasant grapefruit and citrus aroma.

With food: Fresh and crisp, with moderate bitterness, this ale makes sure that spicy or fried food never becomes palate-clogging. Pale Ales are traditionally seen a great foil for spicy food – there’s a little bit of sweetness there that will cut the chilli burn – but don’t miss the chance to have Howling Gale with fish and chips (or in the batter for the fish!). It’s well worth trying with a Cashel Blue and Broccoli Gratin, the bright citrus notes act like a squeeze of lemon with smoked salmon or pair it with semi-soft, washed rind cheeses like Milleens, Durrus and Gubbeen. It has a similar flavour profile to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and can be paired with many of the same foods: fish, seafood, summer salads, chicken or anything off the barbeque.

In food: It is important to remember that cooking with beer concentrates flavour so be careful not to reduce this hoppy ale too much as the bitterness may become overpowering. Used judiciously, it can add flavour to the broth used to cook mussels, is delicious in a chicken and ale pie and adds piquancy to roast garlic mashed potatoes.

Sunburnt Irish Red ABV 5%
Tasting notes: Like an Irishman on holiday in the Canaries, this beer has a red tint and a chilled out, mellow feel. Sunburnt Irish Red takes the characteristic sweet caramel malt and burnt barley of an Irish red ale and adds additional malt complexity by using six different malts. The malt body is counterbalanced with Australian and New Zealand hops, adding a modern twist to the traditional style.

With food: Serve with a cheese and charcuterie platter: mature cheddar cheese (like Hegarty’s), Gubbeen salami and chorizo, fresh crusty bread, crisp apples and dried figs.There are enough hops here to stand up to the sharp cheese and cut through the richness of the cured sausage. The sweetness of the figs also complements the caramel notes of the beer. Buttery, rich cheeses, whether it has a bloomy rind – eg Cooleeney Farmhouse Cheese, Wicklow Baun – or a washed rind like Cais Rua work well here, the carbonation in the ale effectively cleaning the palate between each bite. Lamb – sweet and ever so slightly fatty – is also a good pairing. Match with a traditional Irish stew or make some lamb burgers, with lots of rosemary, and let the Sunburnt Irish Red shine through.

In food: This is a good beer to use in a Cheese and Herb Beer Bread, the sweetness going well with a well-flavoured mature farmhouse cheddar cheese like Hegarty’s, Coolattin or Mount Callan. It’s also good used as the liquid in a simple cheese fondue or for adding a little sweetness to the gravy for a spicy sausage and mash combination. Use as a braising liquid for slow-cooked pork shoulder, add to a venison stew or try those ice pops.

Eight Degrees Brewing - Sunburnt Irish Red and Elderflower Ice Pops (1)

Sunburnt Irish Red and Elderflower Ice Pops

Knockmealdown Porter ABV 5%
Tasting notes: Like tackling the Knockmealdowns in a blizzard, this beer is not for wimps. Our evolution of the traditional Irish stout, it resembles a Victorian-era Irish porter and provides complex dark malt characteristics with distinctive espresso flavours. Without the weight of a stout, the porter is well rounded with mellow English hops.

With food: When the weather is cold, a traditional beef and stout stew is always a winner. For something completely different, hold the porter for the sweeter end of the meal; just make sure you keep the sugar content of the beer balanced with the pudding. Bold chocolate and espresso flavours make it good accompaniment to a dense, but not over-sweet, chocolate cake or contrast the sweetness of the porter with the saltiness of blue cheese and oatcakes.

In food: Reduced, the porter makes a great base for a complex caramel sauce, which can be served as it is or incorporated into truffles or ice cream. It can be baked into bread – a wholemeal loaf incorporating blue cheese is good – makes lovely dense brownies and is great in a cocoa-based chocolate cake. It is also a good beer to use in a chunky Mexican chilli, making the beef taste that bit beefier.

Recipes on
Knockmealdown Porter Brownies
Caramel Ale Sauce
Cheddar and Chive Sunburnt Irish Red Beer Bread

Epic Chocolate, Porter and Potato Cake
Sunburnt Irish Red and Elderflower Ice Pops
Spiced Chocolate Ale Cake
Knockmealdown Porter Cake

From Bord Bia
Farmhouse Cheese and Craft Beer Pairing

Epic Chocolate, Porter and Potato Cake

Epic Chocolate, Porter and Potato Cake


August 2016: Limited Edition – Amarillo Single Hop IPA

Smooth on the outside, crunchy on the inside…oh, those were armadillos. Amarillo, on the other hand, is the fourth in our single hop trilogy. OK, so we’re easily confused, not great at numbers – but we do make tasty beer. The Amarillo hop, unlike the armadillo, is famous for its high levels of myrcene. What does that mean? It’s all the good stuff: a flavour profile rammed full of grapefruit, melon, apricot and peach…with not a crunch in sight. Short description: single hop IPA – soft bitterness – summer sipper Style: single hop IPA Hops: Amarillo Malt: two row base Irish malt Strength: 5.7% ABV Bitterness: 62 IBUs Tasting notes Colour/appearance: orange with a foamy white head. Aroma: bright citrus pith and apricot. Flavour: this beer is tangarine-tastic! It’s got full-on intense fruit flavours, oodles of stone fruit and a touch of melon. Aftertaste: a lingering humming bitterness. Food pairings Summertime and the living is easy. Pull together a platter of cured meats – choose from some fantastic Irish suppliers like McCarthy’s Butchers in Kanturk, Gubbeen Smokehouse and James McGeough in Oughterard – with Irish farmhouse cheese: Hegarty’s cheddar and Cashel Blue work well with this kind of citrusy IPA. Add a few slices of crusty sourdough, a handful of gherkins, a little pot of rhubarb chutney and a couple of bottles of Amarillo Single Hop IPA and you have the perfect summer evening feast. Launch Date: August 2016. Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius Availability: Bottles and draught (30L and 50L kegs)

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Win! Passes to Camden Exchange​ / Totally Dublin​ Craft Beer and Cider Fest

It’s beer fest competition time! We have a pair of passes to the Camden Exchange / Totally Dublin Craft Beer and Cider Fest for Thursday 25 August. Each pass is worth €15, which includes entry to the festival, 2 beer or cider tasters and a light bite. If you want to get your hands on some more tickets, check out Eventbrite for full details.  There’s more information about the festival on the Totally Dublin website here. Now, competition time! Just leave a comment below telling us what your favourite Eight Degrees beer is. The winner gets a pair of passes and we’ll let you know by 6pm on Wednesday 24 August. Terms and conditions apply – you know what I mean – ie tickets only valid for Thursday 25 August, yadda, yadda, yadda.

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Best in Ireland for Eight Degrees Brewing at World Beer Awards

Official press release below but – in a word – yippee! We’re thrilled. Top awards for Full Irish Single Malt IPA and Knockmealdown Irish Stout. Eight Degrees Brewing has been awarded best in Ireland for two extremely competitive categories at the 2016 World Beer Awards. The Full Irish Single Malt IPA and Knockmealdown Irish Stout were chosen as the Irish winners of the IPA and stout categories by a panel of international respected judges. With more than 1500 beers from 30 different countries were entered into the 2016 awards, winning a Country Best award is a significant achievement. “We are over the moon to be judged as having the best IPA and stout from Ireland,” said Eight Degrees Brewing’s Cam Wallace. “Our fingers are crossed as we go through to the best in the world World Beer Awards short list.” The final round of judging was held in London last week, where 50 international brewers, industry experts and journalists tasted and voted on the World’s Best in each of the eight categories before today’s announcement of the 2016 Country Winners. The World Style and World Category winners will be announced on 23 September. This is the second award this year for The Full Irish; in February, it won a bronze medal at the Dublin Beer Cup. Last year it was named Beer of the Year by independent consumer group Beoir. The Full Irish, a luscious hop bomb of a single malt IPA, was first brewed in 2014 as a limited release to showcase local Irish pale ale malt; it was so successful that it is now part of the brewery’s core beer range. Knockmealdown Irish Stout is a robust stout, balancing dark malts with old world bitter hops. It has a rich chocolatey aroma with distinctive espresso flavours. World Beer Awards The World […]

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Eight Degrees at The Big Grill

Heading to The Big Grill this weekend? We’re already there! And we’ve brought: Going Out, Out Kölsch-Style – festival special for those who are out out! Galaxy Single Hop IPA – summer seasonal Howling Gale Irish Pale Ale – the classic Barefoot Bohemian Pilsner Lager – our best seller See below for a just-set-up shot of what the Aussie has taken to calling “our very own teepee” – you’ll find us in the second area, about 60 meters from the main stage.   Come and join us – and bring your sunscreen; the forecast is fab! Ready to go @biggrillfestival! In our own 8degrees teepee. 60m from main stage. Come over, say hi and enjoy a pint. #biggrill #dublin #biggrillfestival #biggrill16 #irishsummer #irishsummer16 #ireland #beerinireland #irishfestivals A photo posted by Eight Degrees Brewing (@eightdegreesbrewing) on Aug 11, 2016 at 7:32am PDT

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August 2016: Limited Edition – Going Out Out, Kölsch-Style

You know when that happens? You’re not going out out, you’re just going out for a pint of milk and then you meet yer man, and he’s off to catch up with the lads in the local and, sure, herself is coming by in a while and…suddenly it’s 2am, you’re standing by the bar in Whelans, you realise that you’re still wearing your slippers – and you’ve lost that pint of milk. You were undoubtedly out out. A particularly good out out beer, Kölsch is an ale which is is cold fermented with its own special yeast and then cold conditioned for an extended period – just like a lager. At Eight Degrees we love this elegant, nuanced and extremely clean tasting beer style, which is perfectly suited to being brewed with our Galtee mountain water. The malt bill is made up of the finest German Pilsner malt, hopped to perfection with the Noble hop Saaz. Short description: Kölsch-style – crisp bitterness – sessionable Style: Kölsch-style Hops: Saaz. Malt: Pilsner malt. Strength: 4.5% ABV Bitterness: 36 IBUs Tasting notes Colour/appearance: straw yellow with a white fluffy head. Aroma: gentle floral to light fruit aroma. Flavour: mild crisp bitterness with a touch of sweet honey. Delicate and well balanced. Aftertaste: light and refreshing, making you want to take another sip. An ideal afternoon session delight. Food pairings: This is your ideal hot-weather beer so, while temperatures soar, keep your cool with a nice cool glass of this Kölsch-style beer. It plays happily with fishy food like fried calamari or scampi, the light fruity esters contrasting nicely with the seafood, and it’s a light option for pairing with something like lemon sole or monkfish in a brown butter sauce. Or, if you want to look really classy, chill it well and serve […]

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July 2016: Limited Edition – Galaxy Single Hop IPA

Three summer single hop specials. Three of our favourite hops; one grist bill to unite them all! The malt body for these brews is simple, yet elegant, designed to showcase the hop flavours and aromas. The third beer in our single hop summer trilogy is Galaxy. This versatile hop from far, far away – well, Australia actually – has a wonderful blend of fruity characteristics: a clean citrus aroma gives way to ripe passionfruit and peach flavours. Pair with smoky, savoury barbecued spare ribs or a big, fat, juicy burger. Perfect for those clear starry, starry night skies! Short description: single hop IPA – short, sharp and snappy – tropical fruit Style: single hop IPA Hops: Galaxy. Malt: two row base Irish malt. Strength: 5.7% ABV Bitterness: 62 IBUs Tasting notes Colour/appearance: yellow with a foamy white head. Aroma: up front passion fruit aroma, followed by a sharp citrus twang. Flavour: short, sharp and snappy, like a good punk band! Intense tropical fruit flavours, with masses of passion fruit, hints of peach and a grapefruit rind bitterness at the end. Aftertaste: lipsmacking dry finish. Food pairings: these fruity flavours are just the thing to contrast with barbecue food like some rich smoky spare ribs or a decent homemade burger. Go for a lighter style of summer eating with some shrimp ceviche with coconut and see how the tropical fruit aroma complements the shellfish. Gorgeous with mango sorbet. Launch Date: July 2016. Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius Availability: Bottles and draught (30L and 50L kegs)

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June 2016: Limited edition – Summer Days Seisiún IPA

Raise a glass to these long, long summer days when our side of the world tilts towards the sun for a while. What better way to escape the work day drudgery than with our 2016 summer session IPA. Pop the top, tilt your head back, close your eyes and drink in the gentle fresh breeze, these hops will be your guide to summer days drifting away and, uh oh, those summer nights… Summer Days Seisiún IPA brewed with Amarillo, Mandarina Bavaria, Equinox and, Citra hops – have yourself a blast! Short description: session IPA – soft bitterness – summer sipper Style: session IPA Hops: Amarillo, Mandarina Bavaria, Equinox and Citra, dry hopped with Simcoe. Malt: two row base Irish malt, Cara pils. Strength: 4.5% ABV Bitterness: 43 IBUs Tasting notes Colour/appearance: pale yellow, white mousssey head. Aroma: initial floral aroma with a gentle lime bitterness, light malt. Flavour: smooth, soft hop bitterness on the palate with the flavour of fresh lime zest. The finish is dry, with a delicate sprightly prickle. A refreshing summer Sparkler. Aftertaste: lingering bitterness, inviting you back for more. The perfect summer sipper. Food pairings: it’s all about the surf, rather than the turf, with this beer. The rounded hop flavours showcased here will work beautifully with anything smoked – think a light, summertime Goatsbridge smoked trout and barley salad with a lime dressing. Get smokey with some fish yourself and land a side of lemon and herb marinaded salmon on the barbecue, or grill some whole mackerel with ginger, chilli and lime. The gentle bitterness of this beer will complement the citrus, cutting through the oily fish and refreshing you with each sip. Launch Date: June 2016. Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius Availability: Bottles and draught (30L and 50L kegs)

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May 2016: Limited edition – Mandarina Bavaria Single Hop IPA

The second release of our three summer single hop specials. Three of our favourite hops; one grist bill to unite them all! The malt body for these brews is simple, yet elegant, designed to showcase the hop flavours and aromas. This IPA features Mandarina Bavaria, the new hop on the block from Germany. It’s a tangerine dream with intense pineapple and lemon zest flavours and a herbal finish, imparting a wonderful summery aroma. We have adopted an innovative hop utilisation technique to maximise aroma pickup and ensure that this beer is bursting with hop flavour. Fantastisch! Short description: single hop IPA – heady aroma – sweet citrus Style: IPA Hop: Mandarina Bavaria Malt: two row base Irish malt Strength: 5.7% ABV Bitterness: 47 IBUs Tasting notes Colour/appearance: orange with a foamy white head. Aroma: a heady mandarin nose with lots of passion fruit. Smells like summer… Flavour: sweet citrus and tropical fruit with a hint of mandarin peel bitterness. Herbal coriander notes and a touch of salt in the finish. Aftertaste: a rounded flavour, with the malt and hops playing nicely together. Food pairings: a summertime beer like this is perfect with lighter dishes that suit the sunshine. Pan fry some John Dory in olive oil with slices of lemon and enhance the flavours by pairing it with Mandarina Bavaria IPA. This is a beer that goes wonderfully with cheese, the sweet citrus flavours enhancing the cheese in a similar way to membrillo, the Spanish quince paste that works so well with manchego, goats’ cheese and blue cheeses, the more pungent the better! Launch Date: May 2016. Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius Availability: Bottles and draught (30L and 50L kegs)

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May 2016: Limited edition – Citra Single Hop IPA

The first release in our series of three single hop beers. Three of our favourite hops; one grist bill to unite them all! The malt body for these brews is simple, yet elegant, designed to showcase the wonderful hop flavours and aromas. We decided to put this hop’s fabulous tropical fruit flavours on display: think lychee, passion fruit and guava plus some ripe stone fruit. Short description: single hop IPA – juicy – citrus bite Style: single hop IPA Hop: Citra – what else! Malt: two row base Irish malt Strength: 5.7% ABV Bitterness: 62 IBUs Tasting notes Colour/appearance: pale orange colour, fluffy white head. Aroma: full-on tropical fruit juice. The sweet top note is undercut with bitter aroma. Flavour: those tropical fruits come through all the way in this luscious and full bodied beer. Enough malt backbone to let the passion fruit and guava flavours shine, balanced with strong, persistant orange pith bitterness. Both sweet and tart, with a gloriously juicy mouthfeel. Aftertaste: full on bitterness with a decent citrus bite. Food pairings: the bitterness will cut beautifully through sweet low-and-slow pulled pork served with spiced peach relish. This beer also will counterbalance the bold flavours of barbecued chicken wings and play nicely with some grilled spicy fresh Gubbeen chorizo sausages. Try it with a not-too-sweet Key Lime pie for a full-on citrus ending to your meal. Launch Date: May 2016. Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius Availability: Bottles and draught (30L and 50L kegs) Review “Lemon zest and honeysuckle, grapefruit pith, mango and a hint of nettle tea all make for a finish that’s big and zingy and full of life. Very good indeed.” Simon Williams, CAMRGB

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March 2016 – Limited Edition: Nailed It IPA

Celebrating five years of naturally adventurous brewing! We launched at Cork’s Easter Beerfest back in 2011. Now, five years on and having brewed more than 40 unique beers, we want to show you what we have learned. It’s no secret our favourite beer style are IPAs; think black, white, red, session and imperial. With this brew we have combined all our knowledge and experimentation to come up with an IPA that we think hits the nail on the head. Old and New World hops combine to create waves of hop flavour and aroma. Expect pine, tangerine, passion fruit, lime and pear flavours, all combined with our classic single Irish malt backbone. Short description: IPA – up front passion fruit– dry finish Style: IPA Malt: Premium Irish Pale Malt, Vienna, Munich, Cara Amber. Hops: Simcoe, Vic Secret, Centennial, Apollo and El Dorado. IBUs: 71 ABV 5.8% Tasting notes Colour/appearance: light pale yellow. Aroma: full on pine aroma with some passion fruit on the nose. Flavour: rich passion fruit flavours tempered by pine bitterness and a super spicy tingle. This beer is brewed to be dry as a bone, leaving you hanging for the next sip. Aftertaste: refined pine bitterness in the aftertaste. Doesn’t linger. Food pairings: This is the beer for your Easter lamb curry. There are plenty of hops and pine bitterness there to cut through that lamb madras. Thinking about chicken? The crispy freshness and spice of Mexican chicken toastadas will be a superb match. Or, give it a twist and pair this beer with a carrot cake to lift the spice flavours into another stratosphere. Launch Date: Easter 2016 Serving temperature: 8 degrees celsius Availability: Bottles and draught (30L and 50L kegs)

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Documentary on Newstalk: Rise of The Brew

If you’re figuring out your listening for the next few days – podcasts make every repetitive job better!* – Newstalk documentary Rise of The Brew is well worth downloading. Presented by Mary Brophy and produced/edited by Neal Boyle, the documentary first got an airing in February 2015. We were in the car, appropriately enough en route home from a beer festival, that morning so were able to listen (and live tweet) the whole unfolding story. It was rebroadcast for St Patrick’s Day last week, which gave us a chance to revisit all those familiar voices. And remember the difficulties back at the start. Eight Degrees features, from Cam and Scott realising that they had beer in common to dumping our first brew back in 2011 – now that was heartbreaking – to setting up what Mary calls a warren of stainless steel. Oh, the memories! And the long days, and the not knowing how to get beer into kegs. That was 2011 – just five years ago. Feels like a hell of a lot longer. You’ll also hear from the likes of Metalman, Kinnegar, 12 Acres, O’Hara’s, Porterhouse, Cotton Ball, O’Brother Brewing – lots of great beers. Well worth a listen.   * think working the bottling line, stacking pallets of beer, boxing up bottles, sluicing floors, scrubbing kegs…

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Quest Killarney Adventure Race – the last word. By Cam

This is the email that went around on Monday morning from the Aussie after himself, the Kiwi, John (head of bottling/packaging), Daniel O’Shea (assistant brewer) and Brian O’Shea (bottling/packaging assistant) – aka the Eight Degrees Running Club – plus Mairead, Daniel’s fiancée, completed Saturday’s 55km Quest Killarney Adventure Race.  Naturally adventurous? More like naturally competitive.  Hey Guys, First of all, a huge achievement by all, 6 started 6 finished, some a little bruised and battered, hope you’re ok Mairead. It is rare that you witness an Aussie having to eat humble pie, but here it is… kind of. Massive congrats to John who powered home in an incredible time of 2 hrs 52mins and came in the top 25 overall. WOW. Goes to show, hard work, and no commitments really do pay off. Scott was the dark horse and really came through, particularly on the bike legs. I for one had written him off as a dud on the bike but mmmm a big helping of humble pie being swallowed. The O’Shea boys put in a solid performance but one can’t help wondering if they left a little bit in the tank for the Saturday night festivities. Certainly Brian was looking a bit too fresh afterwards and already glammed up for the night ahead. We did think Dan did the gentlemanly thing and waited for Mairead at the transition area but on closer inspection, check out Mairead’s second half run, down the mountain, 42 mins, beating everyone including Scott. [not including John] The most important result to reflect on though is where you placed in your category. * John, got his top 20 finish placing 19th in the Senior category. * Mairead was the 17th female finisher, awesome work, and * Cam came in 52nd in the Over 40 category. By comparison, Scott came 65th […]

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Eight Degrees Brewing Co Ltd Unit 3, Coolnanave Industrial Park Dublin Road, Mitchelstown County Cork, Ireland Tel: (025) 84 933 Email: or Twitter: @8DegreesBrewing Facebook: Eight Degrees Brewing