17 January 2011

The living dead

We had an hour or so to kill on a Sunday evening in Dundrum recently. I'd heard that one of the new bars in the shopping centre had Carlow beers on tap so went in on spec, in the hope of a pint of O'Hara's Red.

Ruairi Maguire's is a run-of-the-mill superpub: multiple mezzanines, lots of open floor space for cattle-shed drinking plus a few nice little quiet corners decked out in dark wood and fake leather: not the sort of place I'd make a beeline for, but needs must when there's craft beer on the go.

Alas it appears that O'Hara's Red has left the building, leaving Curim Gold as the only craft tap in the place for the moment. We were actually on the way out when herself spotted the specials blackboard by the door advertising bottled beer of the month White Lady for €3.80. Well how bad can it be?

I was actually really seriously expecting it to be cider. But it is a beer: an organic bottle-conditioned lager from North Yorkshire (both the region and the brewery of the same name therein) titled after an undead milkmaid who haunts the premises.

Sadly, it's a bit of a ghost lager. Massive attenuation has sucked all the character out leaving a wan, thin and rather cidery beer behind (so I wasn't too far wrong in the first place), very pale and with a mountainous weissbier-like cap of foam on top. There's none of the big bittering or flavour hops you might expect to compensate for the lack of body. I can't see too many committed lager drinkers turning to this, regardless of whether their normal tipple is Bavaria or Budvar.

Nevertheless, props to the pub for at least having something different and cheap available. I'll be checking that blackboard next time I'm through.


  1. You should have nipped around the corner bought some bottles and taken up residence in the Square !!

  2. Brooklyn Black Chocolate out of a brown paper bag? Yes, definitely.

    Actually, they're a bit hands-on, the security lads in Dundrum shopping centre. I've been told in the past to take off my hi-vis cycling vest. For security reasons, apparently.

  3. There's a fascinating, and rather alarming, racial/gender theme to the beer on show today.

    I noticed earlier that Andrew at '40 Beers At 40' has found a 'female brew of similar complexion,' shall we say...


    Is there something in the water?