My last few days in Dublin went by in a blur of beer and food. Geoff in the Bull and Castle was right, I did put a few pounds on (well, 2kg to be exact), but it wasn't all down to the Mammy's cooking. I think I had three Zaytoon mixed doner kebabs in the 11 days I was there. Simply savage stuff!
On Tuesday I took it easy during the day but was heading over to my old workplace to say hello. I had intended posting from the Porterhouse on the way over, but they were out of wireless access scratch cards, so I had to just sit and drink the BrewDog Hardcore IPA I had impulse purchased to tide me through a blog post. Pale and slightly hazy I found it had an intense, sweet yet dryish bitterness, very orange pithy. It only then I looked at the label and realised it was 9%. Oh, yes, that would explain the warmth that was beginning in my throat. It was quite gassy too. Once used to the bitterness (it never seems to take me long) I thought there wasn't too much depth to it though. Some nice toffee notes, but the bittersweetness was the dominant flavour. I'd have another. Now would be good actually.
Having gathered some of my former colleagues we popped accross the road to the Halfway House, where I had no choice but to have a couple of pints of Guinness, but after that it was back into town to the Bull and Castle for a steak sandwich, a few pints of Galway Hooker, O'Hara's Stout and a Clotworthy Dobbin.
Wednesday was a day shopping, again, and a quite few pints in a pub between where I grew up and where I leved before moving to Germany. This time it was a couple pint bottles of McArdle's followed by a pint bottle of Guinness Extra Stout off the shelf. All in a proper auld lad's bar.
Thursday was an event I was looking forward too. One of the monthly gatherings of ICB members in the Bull and Castle. I'm not going to go into the tasting notes of the homebrews tasted, but with an assortment of about 12 different beers including porter, stout, pale ales, IPAs, weissbiers and a couple of red ales, it was great fun. I had brought over three beers, and I had expected my darker ale to go down better than the pale ale, like it had here in Germany, but it was completely the opposite. When Thom mentioned my pale ale and Sierra Nevada in the same breath I thought it was high praise indeed! The darker one was descibed as having a lovely smell and body, but not much in the flavour stakes. As a brewer it's good to get honest opinions! How else can one learn? After trundling out of the B&C, Kieron, Séan (my fellow founder of ICB) and I somehow ended up in the Porterhouse drinking their Alt, although by this stage I really just needed a feed and a good sleep. Kieron and I did manage a kebab after. Sure it's only accross the street from the Porterhouse Temple Bar! We'd never have made it past!
Friday was even more shopping and a lads night in with two old mates, curry and a random selection of beers. I didn't take notes. But I remember the Bombardier Satanic Mills being kind of woody and roasty with hints of licorice. I didn't drink all that much as by this stage I was bloated, but I did finish the night on Kieron's fantastic IPA though. I'm getting too old for this shit.
Saturday was a very easy day with more shopping and more curry, but this time at home with my mother. With a 5am start on Sunday, I was happy to be in bed early, and even though even though I miss the craic of being out with my friends in Dublin, I was even happier to get back to Münster, my little family and normality.
Oh, and it snowed last night. My son was very excited. And I was told that it seldom snows in the Münsterland! A bit slippy cycling on it, and when I came out of work this evening there was ice covering my saddle and my rear gears were frozen. It's minus 3C now apparently. I would have settled in with a doppelbock, but I need to deflate. I could still eat a Zaytoon kebab though...