There's no doubt that the beer market in Ireland is currently undergoing an upheaval. Choice on the shelves has never been greater and several new Irish breweries are said to be on their way. However, I'm sitting here (offline: I'll post this later) in the pub with the truest indication yet that the revolution is at hand: it's a pint of draught Irish stout without a nitro head. Ten minutes ago I would have told you such a thing was unthinkable, and that consumer taste in Ireland -- sculpted by Diageo to its own ends -- would never stand for it. But here we are. Only marginally less odd is the fact that it's being brewed and served in Messrs Maguire, a Dublin pub known for its laissez faire attitude to the often excellent house beers.
The beer itself is Messrs Maguire Imperial Stout, and it's a cracker. Light for an imperial at only 7% ABV, but style-shmyle. It hits the nose with powerful roasted aromas and follows them with a bitter and almost mediciney foretaste, followed quickly by a chocolate middle, the classic Irish stout dryness at the end and ohhh that rich mouthfeel of a purely carbonated draught stout.
Clearly a well-deserved poke in the eye for our domineering Uncle Arthur. They should have called it anti-Imperial Stout.This is the third delicious new beer in a row I've found following intelligence received on the IrishCraftBrewer.com forums. So I'd just like to say thank you to any ICBers who may be reading for making my drinking life so much better. And a special cheers to the site's management (they give me free homemade beer sometimes, so I'm basically owned, but I'd probably say it anyway...).
Here's to the future: may the only nitrogen be outside the glass.