TheBeerNut scuttles past me whispering 'cops' and I'm 16 again, hanging round with my mates in a world where having a beer is an adventure. I was just about to open the first bottle for an al fresco taste test when the guy who minds the park came in to close for the evening. I hastily closed up the bag and scurried off. Why were a bunch of adults being chased around the parks of Dublin? I should probably explain the original post that started this all.
We had our second Meeting of the Munster Members of ICB, on Thursday 6th December, in the Franciscan Well. Those who attended on the night were Rebel (who had done most of the background organising for the evening), oconn, Beeristhereason (making his début!), his buddy Morgan, Alan (nephew of Peter Lyall, assistant Brewer in Franciscan) and Ger Cork. Ger Cork postponed commencing a seven day course of antibiotics to be able to enjoy this evening safely. The things we do for beer!
The world is a very small and lonely place when there's just you, the pub table, five small glasses of beer and a blank piece of paper. Those flavour characteristics you were sure would stand out a mile in each beer have inexplicably fled, and your confidence and bravado have gone with them. You've had a sip from each one, nothing tastes as you remember it -- as it's supposed to taste -- and the paper is still blank. You have another go at each glass, trying to force the flavours in your memory into the beer. It doesn't work. Time to cut your losses and start guessing. You may even get one right...
Could you name four draught stouts if you were not told what each was? People on the Irish Craft Brewer site were pretty confident.
Rossa: myself and a friend did the 3 main stouts before in a hotel bar in cork. easy enough to tell them apart
Sbillings: I would say I could do the stouts.
When the 30th July in O’Neill's on Suffolk Street, Dublin was set for the test people started to hedge their bets rapidly:
Sbillings: Would "gah!, it's all bloody nitro stout" hurt the statistical analysis?
TheBeerNut: Oh, it's a bad half-pint. [Insert stout here] doesn't normally taste like that. It's probably because they don't serve much, the lines you know.
All of a sudden all nitro stouts might as well be served through a dishcloth for all the taste they provided.
It seems that every few months there's news of a new Dublin pub stocking Irish craft beer, either as a specialist or alongside the mainstream offerings. Trying to keep up with them all, especially the suburban outliers, is an impossible task. However, a couple were on my must-visit list and I set aside a Saturday to travel out to them. While looking at the DART map it occurred to me that several of the stations on the southern stretch in particular had pubs with good beer nearby. Perhaps it could be expanded into a full-on rail-based crawl. There was enough interest on the forum and so the South Dublin DART Pub Crawl was born, assembling in Bray at 12pm on Saturday April 20th 2013.