Hello I’m Grainne McGarvey and welcome to my column which spots local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I will have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch on twitter @pulseprni or email firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM FARM TO BOTTLE –FARMAGEDDON COMES TO TOWN
If it were the end of the world as we know it, what would you do? Well, the people behind Northern Ireland’s latest microbrewery, the Farmageddon Brewing Co-op, appear to have it sorted. They’ve been holed up in an idyllic setting near Ballygowan, brewing beer, keeping pigs and growing the odd vegetable.
The Farmageddon company is run by a small group of brewers, and the whole family came to the big smoke (that’s Belfast in case you don’t speak culchie) to share some of their liquid loveliness with the rest of us. The salubrious surroundings of Aether & Echo (aetherandecho.com) in Lower Garfield Street was the location for the launch of three craft beers from Farmageddon: Gold Pale Ale (GPA), India Pale Ale (IPA) and India Export Porter (IXP).
I was the designated driver as I don’t drink beer, music to the ears of my beer loving friend Johnny, who was in his element as he’s an expert on all things hoppy!
Here’s his take on the science bit:
• The Gold Pale Ale (4.2% ABV) is light bodied but nevertheless packs a citrus punch in terms of its taste, while giving off a pleasant floral aroma. The GPA will appeal to the lager drinker prepared to look beyond Harp, Tennent’s, Carlsberg, etc., for a quality alternative. However, it may not excite the more adventurous beer imbiber.
• The India Pale Ale (5.5% ABV) is darker in colour, but smoother and sweeter than the GPA. It has a more layered taste in which caramel comes to the fore. It will definitely excite those who are passionate about their beer drinking and all that goes with it.
• The India Export Porter (5.2% ABV) pours into your glass like dark brown liquid velvet. It’s a porter, so it has more in common with Guinness than the GPA or IPA. However, it has a taste of all its own: a complex compelling mix of coffee, chocolate and orange. It may not be to everyone’s liking but every mouthful of IXP exudes craftsmanship and attention to detail.
After the all-important beer sampling, what’s better that having some accompanying nibbles? And the fact that they were beer related was a bonus. This included delicious chicken in tasty beer batter and beer marinated chicken wings, all washed down with something definitely unique, beer cocktails – now you’re talking! I must say that they were surprisingly nicer than you might think and are available in Aether & Echo, as is the full range of Farmageddon beers.
What I like about Farmageddon is the fact that the team are just ordinary folk with a great product. Ok, they are a bit rough and ready, but this is actually refreshing (pardon the pun) as their passion for the product can be tasted in every drop.
For those in the know, speciality craft beers are on the rise and I’m sure there will be many new brewers to follow in the coming months and years. With the better weather on its way, now is the time to treat yourself to an ice cold Farmageddon in a sunny beer garden – in my opinion you’d be udder-ly mad not to!
Check out all Grainne’s G Spots articles here.