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


Tap takeover at Sligo’s Swagman

Don’t miss our tap takeover in Sligo’s The Swagman Bar this Friday! We have seven of our favourites lined up for the night, including: #OutOutKolsch #BigRiverIPA #NoWayGose #HurricaneIPA #PolarVortexIPA #FullIrishIPA #SupernovaDIPA It’s going to be a good night! Come meet us on Wine Street on Friday. Honestly, could you think of any better place to put a craft beer bar than on Wine Street? Only in Sligo…  

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Taste Cork Week 2016 – Eight Degrees Brewing at Porterhouse Cork

Tonight! At Porterhouse Cork! At 6pm! We’re tasting and talking our beer with some dishes from the Porterhouse Cork bar menu. Take a look below to see what we’ll be tasting and book your place at 021-427-3000, €10 gets you samples of our beers AND samples of the food. This is a Taste Cork Week event, featuring local food and local beer. Pulled pork sliders – Sunburnt Irish Red Ale Pit smoked bbq chicken legs – The Full Irish IPA Baby back ribs – Howling Gale Irish Pale Ale Burnt ends sliders – Citra Single Hop IPA Halloumi and cornbread – Summer Days Seisiún IPA

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The Irish are Coming! #BeeryChats with Irish Beer Snob

Did you miss the Irish Beer Snob / Mrs Beer Snob‘s #BeeryChats last week? It was a YouTube Live event in collaboration with Ireland Craft Beers, featuring our Citra Single Hop IPA and Full Irish Single Malt IPA. There was a cast of thousands for the chat, including our Aussie and a few other stay-at-home-and-drink-good-beer reprobates: Janice and Wayne from Irish Beer Snob @MrsBeerSnob & @IrishBeerSnob Colin from Ireland Craft Beers @IreCraftBeer Steve from Hopinions @BeerOClockShow Ruari from Ruari O’Toole Blog @RuariOToole Sarah & Bob from Midlands Beer Collective Blog @BobMaxfield & @S_Maxfield Cam let slip something about the extra special beers that we’re brewing at the moment for release in the next few months, live and exclusive. If you’re in the UK and want to get your hands on our beer, check out Ales By Mail – they had 10% off when you use the discount code BeerSnob. Not sure how long that offer is running for so best get in early and often! Meanwhile, in Adare, some of the rest of the team were also having#BeeryChats of their own…

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Cork’s Great Irish Beer Festival

Ladies and gentlemen, roll right up! Kicking off today, the Great Irish Beer Festival in Cork’s City Hall, with a sterling line up of beer and  bands. We’ll be there – as a matter of fact, the Kiwi is setting up the bar as I write – and will be pouring a selection of our favourite beers for the next three days, with plenty of tasting action happening today from 4pm, tomorrow and Saturday, both from 2pm. Our EDB beer hit list: 1) No Way Gose – 4.1% – this is the new kid on the block, our blood orange and Irish Atlantic Sea Salt kettle sour. Pucker up! 2) Citra Single Hop IPA – 5.8% – the first in our summer 2016 single hop trilogy. Back by popular demand. 3) Amarillo Single Hop IPA – 5.7% – the fourth beer in our summer 2016 single hop trilogy. Yes. I know. 4) Going Out Out, Kölsch-Style 4.5% – are you out? Or OUT out? 5) Amber Ella American Amber Ale – 5.8% – and she’s back! Our World Beer Cup medal winner. 6) Howling Gale Irish Pale Ale – 5% – first launched in Cork for Easter 2011 and still the punters’ favourite. There are rumours that we may also have some tattoos. Buy a pint, get one of our (in)famous #EDBtattoos – they are temporary! We swear. Tickets available here:

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Limited Edition: September 2016: No Way Gose

No way? No Way Gose! We’ve gone a bit sour at Eight Degrees this autumn, brewing up a blood orange and Irish Atlantic Sea Salt gose. Soured with lactobacillicus, a huge coriander seed charge was added to the kettle and we finished the brew with flakes of natural sea salt, harvested from the Irish Atlantic by the O’Neill family on the Beara peninsula down in West Cork. Our gose tastes of tart oranges with a beautiful citrus and floral coriander aroma, finishing on a slight saline note that draws you back in again. Short description: Gose-style – tart and aromatic – salty lips Style: Gose Hops: Hersbrucker Malt: pilsner malt, malted wheat Strength: 4.1% ABV Bitterness: 7 IBUs Tasting notes Colour/appearance: rich, opaque amber. Aroma: bright orange and aromatic spice notes. Flavour: tangy blood orange with a touch of sourness from the lactobacillicus and a lovely sea salt brininess. Crisp with a memorable twang, this beer has a sour-plus-salt profile that draws you back again and again. Aftertaste: lick-your-lips salt with a tart kick. Food pairings: when we asked head brewer Mike for a food pairing for this beer, he came up with one word: tequila. We’d like to add a few more words: eggs benedict, Silver Darlings’ pickled herrings alongside a classic potato salad, pho bo, a selection of fresh shucked Irish oysters. This is a super food-friendly beer; don’t miss making a dinner date with it. Launch Date: September 2016. Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius Availability: draught only (30L and 50L kegs)

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September 2016: Limited Edition – Supernova DIPA

A double IPA with double dry hopping of Simcoe, Amarillo and Enigma, this beer is an explosion of flavour. Expect a big hop aroma of pine, grapefruit rind, tangerine and peaches with a good assertive bitterness, followed by a dry finish that leaves your palate demanding more. Like a supernova, this beer might just be your brightest shining moment of the night. Although we genuinely hope not… Short description: Double IPA – explosive hop flavour – full on bitterness Style: Double IPA Hops: Simcoe, Amarillo and Enigma and Equinox Malt: two row base Irish malt Strength: 8% ABV Bitterness: 85 IBUs Tasting notes Colour/appearance: light orange with a fluffy off-white head Aroma: oodles of passionfruit and tangerine. Flavour: a full mouth feel with glorious full-on hoppy bitterness. Lots of fruit in each sip including passsionfruit, tangerine and underripe papaya. There’s a solid malt backbone here, holding everything in balance. Aftertaste: humming lingering bitterness. A contemplative drink. Food pairings: put this Supernova with some seared scallops, especially if they come with a pineapple / mango / chilli salsa and feel your tastebuds go stratospheric. If you can get your hands on some intense blue cheese, like an aged Young Buck from Northern Ireland, you’re in for a treat. Launch Date: September 2016. Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius Availability: bottles and draught (30L and 50L kegs)

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Win! Passes to the Irish Craft Beer Festival

The Irish Craft Beer Festival, Ireland’s largest celebration of Irish craft brewing returns to RDS next week, from Thursday 8 to Saturday 11 September – and we’re going to be there! This year we will have six different beers there for the three days. Our current tap plan: 1) Amber Ella American Amber Ale – 5.8% – World Beer Cup medal winner. 2) The Full Irish Single Malt IPA – 6.0% – Beoir Beer of the Year 2015. 3) Summer Days Seisiún IPA – 4.5% – a summer session sipper. 4) Going Out Out, Kölsch-Style 4.5% – are you out? Or out out? 5) Amarillo Single Hop IPA – 5.7% – the fourth beer in our summer 2016 single hop trilogy. Yes. I know. 6) Supernova – Double IPA – 8.0% – it’s fermenting in the tanks as I write. More information on the festival is online here: Want to be there too? Then simply our competition to win passes! We have: Two double passes to give away for 9 Friday. Opening times from 5pm – 11pm Three double passes to give away for 10 Saturday. Opening times from 2pm – 11pm So, what do you need to to? Simply put a comment below telling me two things: 1. your favourite place to drink our beer and 2. whether you would like passes for Friday or Saturday Competition closes at 11am on Thursday 8 September and I’ll email the winners straight away. Terms and conditions apply – ie tickets only valid on that particular day – you know the drill. THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED. Congratulations to winners: Shelia D Sean O’S Susan S Dympna C Richie W Tickets still available on the site at Did we tell you that we have special beerfest #EDBtattoos? Show you’re a fan, when you buy an @8degreesbrewing pint @IrishBeerFest get an Eight Degrees tattoo ! — David Risso (@davidrisso) September 5, 2016

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2016 Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards Finalist

Great to hear that the Eight Degrees blog – this stream of consciousness and rambling right here – is a finalist in the 2016 Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards, Food and Drink category. Check out the list below and keep your fingers crossed for us on 15 September! Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Corporate Blog Finalists Food & Drink – sponsored by Just Eat ● AA Foodies ● Baby Led Feeding ● Bunzl Irish Merchants Café Video Blog ● Eight Degrees Brewing ● Good Food Ireland Food/Travel Blog ● Meylers Fish Company ● Mummy Cooks ­- Weaning your Baby to Family Foods ●

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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. THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED. Congratulations to Karen H, as picked by, for winning the pair of tickets – it turns out that #SunburntIrishRed is her favourite beer. Perfect for this barbecue weather! Hope you enjoy the festival tonight, Karen. Don’t forget that there are still tickets available for tonight and Saturday at

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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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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