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


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)

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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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Irish Beer Chat + SFA Awards

Ladies and gentlemen, get all your Aussie jokes ready: Cam, our resident Australian, and half of the Antipodean team that set up Eight Degrees here in Mitchelstown, will be working the Twitter machine hard tonight from 8pm for #IrishBeerChat. Let’s try this again. Take 2 Join us and Cam from @8degreesbrewing for #IrishBeerChat 🍺 — Wayne:Beer Snob (@irishbeersnob) February 29, 2016 There’ll be lots of other lovely beer folk to chat to as well – keep an eye on the hash tag to see who’s about. While you’re there, make sure you ask Cam about fitting into his suit for this Thursday’s SFA National Small Business Awards 2016 event. The Gala Prize Giving Ceremony is a black tie affair and last year there was some consternation about whether himself and Kiwi Scott would fit into their wedding suits. Given than the weddings happened several years ago – think 2011 and 2007 – it was a real danger. But they’ve been in training. No, not just for the suits; they, plus another three of the brewery boys, are heading to the Quest Killarney Adventure Race, a day-long run / cycle / kayak over 33km or 55km (not sure how long they’ll hold out for) in, according to that site’s countdown calendar, 11 days and 19 hours…tick, tick, tick… Back to Thursday, we’ve some great finalists in our category – see below – and check out the full list on the SFA website. FOOD & DRINK CATEGORY FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Bord Bia: Cornucopia – Dublin Eight Degrees Brewing – Cork Gilligan Farm Fresh Meats – Roscommon Java Republic – Dublin Oriel Sea Salt & Minerals – Louth Paris Texas – Kilkenny  

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Dublin Beer Cup Bronze Medals for The Full Irish IPA, Hurricane IPA

Delighted to come back from last weekend’s Alltech Craft Beer and Food Festival with a pair of medals for our premium range beers, The Full Irish Single Malt IPA and Hurricane IPA. Tasting notes: Hurricane IPA The Full Irish Single Malt IPA Find a list of the medal winners of the 2016 Dublin Beer Cup and its mate, the Dublin Cider Cup, online here. Congratulations to Rye River, who took the Dublin Beer Cup for Francis’ Big Bangin IPA. It was a great weekend, by all reports – although *some* of us had to stay home and mind the brewery. We’re not bitter, though – at least we have people out there on Twitter that will capture the Aussie and Kiwi in the very act of working/not working. The end of the night is near and it's time for some @8degreesbrewing #snoweater #AlltechBrews @AlltechBrews — James O'Toole (@JamesOToole18) February 5, 2016 Happy Waitangi Day from our 2 Kiwi craft brewers in Ireland @8degreesbrewing @MontBeerIE @AlltechBrews #WaitangiDay — Manor Brewing Co. (@ManorBrewingCo) February 6, 2016 In other news, The Double Irish Imperial IPA is now out in the wilds – go searching in your local independent off licence! There was a lot of happiness when it arrived at O’Brien’s in Naas. The @8degreesbrewing Double Irish has landed! Never have we been so excited about a new beer in Naas (^Naas) — O'Briens Wine (@OBriensWine) February 9, 2016 In other, other news, the EDB blog was chuffed to get a mention in Media HQ’s feature on 5 of the Best Irish Business Blogs: “This blog shows that frills are not always needed, words alone can wow.” Thanks for reading my words!

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Eight Degrees on tour: Hospitality Expo, Alltech Beerfest

The year is kicking off in style (we won’t count January!) as we pack the beers for the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair, which kicks off in Dublin’s Convention Centre tomorrow and runs until Sunday. And what beers are we packing? Well, it can’t have escaped your notice that we’ve been busy preparing for the return of – ta da! – The Double Irish Imperial IPA. I had to write tasting notes last week; it was a tough job, I kept having to go back to the fermenter for another *sample*. But I got there in the end. You will let me know if there are any typos, won’t you? Beers for Alltech  The Double Irish Imperial IPA SnowEater Red IPA Vic Secret Black IPA Barefoot Bohemian Pilsner Lager So, your choice of imperial, red, black – or Bohemian! Get your tickets online in advance from their website. Opening hours Friday, February 5th: 5pm – 10pm Saturday, February 6th: 12.30pm – 10pm Sunday, February 7th: 12.30pm – 7pm That’s not all we’re up to this week. If you happen to be at the Hospitality Expo in the RDS, you might spot the lads hard at work there too. It’s open today – Thursday – until 5pm. Getting ready for #HospitalityExpo at the RDS Dublin. Wed and Thurs. — EightDegreesBrewing (@8degreesbrewing) February 2, 2016 Just in case our hard-working Aussie would get bored, this week we also had him – autocorrect notwithstanding – at the SFA National Small Business Awards showcase event at Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Dublin. I quite like the idea of the radiator blue royal hotel. <blockquoteclass=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”> Ready to go at the #sfaawards at the radiator blue royal. — EightDegreesBrewing(@8degreesbrewing) February 1, 2016

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Limited Edition: The Double Irish Imperial IPA

We have taken our award-winning The Full Irish IPA and amped up the hops to create her bigger and bolder brother, the Double Irish. Using 100% premium Irish malted barley, this elegant unadorned malt profile allows us to showcase all that’s great about New World hops. Expect a tropical fruit explosion with plenty of residual pine hop flavours. Big, bold – and naturally adventurous. Short description: Imperial IPA – big and bold – New World hops Style: Imperial IPA Hops: Pacific Jade, Cascade, Citra, Galaxy, Ella Malt: Two-Row Malted Irish Barley ABV: 9.0% IBUs: 93 IBUs Tasting notes Colour/appearance: warm rich orange colour. Aroma: leading from the start with mango, followed by orange and pine undertones. Flavour: Think The Full Irish, dialed up to 11. Lots of luscious tropical fruit, especially that deep mango flavour, nicely balanced with pine and orange pith. Lots of spicy tingle to temper the full-bodied richness. Aftertaste: a delicious bitter pine finish. Food pairings: There’s nothing meek or retiring about this beer; something to keep in mind when figuring out what to pair it with! Full-bodied and luscious, this is what we want to drink with a spatchcocked tandori chicken, served with a mango/pineapple/chilli/mint salsa, or a spicy Asian pork salad (don’t hold back on the chilli). The sweet mango flavours also work with carrot and pineapple cake and it’s well worth trying with a slab of sticky, fresh ginger gingerbread. Reviews: Lots of grapefruit and orange marmalade make up the guts of it, with darker mandarin and tangerine stuff hiding in the folds of the sweet fruit, along with mango, a hint of pine and just a smidgen of Starbursts. The Drunken Destrier Re-launch Date: February 2016 Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius Availability: bottles and limited draught

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Eight Degrees in finals for SFA National Awards

We were delighted to learn last week that we’re finalists in the Food & Drink category for the 2016 SFA National Small Business Awards. There’s a total of 35 companies across 7 categories in this final round, spread across 16 different counties. In our category, there’s the making of a fine meal… FOOD & DRINK CATEGORY FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Bord Bia: Cornucopia – Dublin Eight Degrees Brewing – Cork Gilligan Farm Fresh Meats – Roscommon Java Republic – Dublin Oriel Sea Salt & Minerals – Louth Paris Texas – Kilkenny We now need to remind certain people that they’ll have to get back in training to fit into their suits for the award ceremony in March. It might be a belts and braces situation… Thursday, 10 December 2015 – The Avondhu: Mitchelstown company is national awards finalist

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Now pouring: 11 December 2015

Listen up, people! This week’s now pouring list: Revolution Waterford – Full Irish IPA Oskars, Waterford – Full Irish IPA The Beerhouse, Dublin – there’s a total of FOUR of our draught beers on at the moment – Snoweater RIPA, Signal Belgian Stout, Sunburnt Irish Red, Barefoot Bohemian Pils Ashling Hotel Dublin – Big River IPA Thomas Connolly Sligo – Vic Secret Black IPA Porterhouse Brewing Company, Temple Bar – Signal Belgian Stout Source, Tramore – Sunburnt Irish Red Brewery Corner, Kilkenny – Snoweater Red IPA Spirit Store, Dundalk – Signal P. Mac’s, Dublin – Signal You’ll also find a *few* of our beers at Blackbird Rathmines – a big thank you to them for hosting such a fantastic ‪#‎8of8on8th‬ night last Tuesday! Plus, some information on our just-launched seasonal specials – Snow Eater Red IPA, Signal Belgian Stout and Mór Barleywine – bottles in all good off licences now.

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Winter 2015: The Three Wise Men: Snow Eater Red IPA – Signal Belgian Stout – Mór Barleywine

At Eight Degrees, we like to warm ourselves right up for wintertime – it might be the Antipodean influence – and we also like to do things in threes. For winter 2015 we’ve brewed a trilogy of gorgeous beers that will make you forget about the weather outside, as you sip and enjoy these examples of the brewers’ art. Take your pick from Snow Eater Red IPA, a red ale with a spiced orange feel and seasonal flavours of pine and tangerine; the deep toffee and chocolate flavours of Signal Belgian Stout; or savour a snifter of Mór Barleywine – a big, bold giant of a beer. All beers now available from your local independent off licence. Limited availability of Snow Eater and Signal on draught. 2015 was a very successful year for Eight Degrees Brewing, with The Full Irish IPA being named Beer of the Year by independent Irish consumer group Beoir and Hurricane IPA taking a bronze medal at the Dublin Beer Cup. Eight Degrees Brewing was also highly commended in the Food & Drink category at the Small Firms Association Awards and won four gold stars at the 2015 Great Taste Awards (two for each of core range Howling Gale Irish Pale Ale and Sunburnt Irish Red Ale). Snow Eater Red IPA 6.2% Chinook is the hop of choice in this Red Indian Pale Ale. Deep, intense caramel malt flavours are cut beautifully with lots of hops, which bring a spiced orange feel to proceedings. It’s the perfect time for a warm, fuzzy glow. With food: Pine and tangerine? This is the beer for your turkey dinner. Strong enough to stand up to the onslaught of all the trimmings – bitter cranberry sauce, sweet ham, herby stuffing, milky bread sauce, vinegary red cabbage, sulphuric brussels sprouts – it will […]

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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