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60: New Micro-Brewery in Dublin
Admittedly it's a little outside the region covered by this website, but it is very encouraging to know that the independent brewing of beers with flavour and style is alive and well in the Republic of Ireland. Guinness is not having everything its own way.
During a visit to Dublin last week, I was introduced to Christian Lorenz, an amateur brewing enthusiast living in Marino, just outside Dublin centre. Christian, and fellow beer enthusiast Paul Hennessey, had produced a brew which they had called 'Land Of Nod' (and, as anyone familiar with the game will know, there is beer in the land of nod, but no brewing). Brewed to Paul's specification (Timothy Taylor's Landlord in style, but with the use of New Zealand hops), researched by Christian to find the appropriate malts and hops, and then made in Christian's 'back shed', the beer was made specially for my visit - a big surprise, and a great privilege, so my grateful thanks to Paul for the idea, and to Christian for the turning of the idea into reality.
Christian uses a 30 litre capacity, New Zealand-made 'Grainfather' all-in-one brew kettle. This produces around 20 to 23 litres of the finished beer, which can then be bottled or barrelled according to the brewer's (or the consumer's) needs. Find out more about the system on the Grainfather website. The photos show Christian and the Grainfather (top left), a glass of 'Land of Nod' (top right), and the brew kettle itself at the bottom.
'Yes, but what's it like?" I can hear you all shout. Excellent, I reply. At 5.3% ABV (if my memory is to be trusted), it falls between a 'Best Bitter' and a traditional-style IPA. It is malty on the nose, and its first taste is malty (maple syrup/demerara sugar) but very bitter, followed by red fruits on the finish. It reminded me quite strongly of the Bowness Bay 'Tern IPA'. And the other comment that I would make is that it tasted properly of beer, not like home-brew. It was certainly a beer that you could enjoy in front of the fire on these long, dark, cold winter nights.
We are living in a golden age of brewing. Southern Ireland has dozens of Craft Breweries now, which demonstrates that not everybody across the water wants to drink Guinness. And who knows, we may one day see Annadale Brewery beers on sale over here in the UK - stranger things happen at sea, or so they tell me.
59: I know that, strictly speaking, this doesn't concern a pub!
But - the Wait Is Over! This fresh in from the India Website!
'Jay has finished the hoovering, the tablecloths are in place, and the knives and forks are polished! India Restaurant in Kendal is re-opening
Thursday October 27th at 5.30pm.
The new team has been assembled. The kitchen is stocked, the bar is stocked, the cooler is ready. It will take some time for everybody to settle in to the newly-refurbished kitchen and restaurant. So we urge all of our loyal and tolerant friends to maintain their legendary patience, just for a little while longer, while we find our feet. Rest assured that it has been worth the wait, and it is, as it has always been, our aim to exceed customers' expectation by providing high quality food in a warm, friendly and relaxed environment, delivered with outstanding service.
Two new developments, which we have introduced in order to make sure that our customers experience the very best of food and service, are that at weekends (Fridays and Saturdays) table reservations will be allocated in timed sittings: the times being 6.00pm., 8.00pm., and 10.00pm. And we will also ask that group numbers are limited to eight or fewer. Adopting this system will ensure that customers are able to enjoy their food and drink in a relaxed and unhurried manner, and will additionally allow the chefs and kitchen staff to focus their full attention on diners' satisfaction. Sundays and weekday evenings, traditionally less busy, will continue as before.'
Also, check out their new Menu and book a table today!
58: Castle Inn October Update 2 - the Sequel!
Following the removal of the asbestos, the Castle Inn re-opened on Monday October 10th. with Barry Lenthall taking over. Unfortunately Barry found it necessary to leave after only a few weeks, and now David, from the Shakespeare Inn on Highgate, has stepped in to take over where Geoff and Christine left off.
Please check back here, or on the Castle Inn website, regularly for updates. More news about what is to come at the Castle Inn will be announced here, on the website, and on the Castle Inn News blog, as soon as possible. Watch this space!
57: Blackedge And Hawkshead Win SIBA Golds
News from Beer Today website.
Blackedge Brewing Company, based in Horwich, has been named overall cask beer champion at SIBAís North West regional independent beer competition for its speciality beer Ginger. It also won the overall bronze award for Dark Mild.
There was great news for Cumbria in the small pack (bottle and can) competition. Hawkshead Brewery (Staveley, near Kendal) won the overall gold and silver for its Tonka and Windermere Pale respectively, and Hesket Newmarket Brewery won the overall bronze for Old Carrock.
More from the Beer Today website.
56: New Helmsman at the Castle Inn
Geoff and Christine have taken their leave, and moved on to pastures new, after eighteen years as one of the longest-serving licensee partners to run a pub in Kendal. All that changed on Sunday September 18th. as Geoff and Christine called 'Last Orders' for the last time.
New proprietor Barry Lenthall, and his wife Joan, took over the reins on Monday 19th. and would like to extend their thanks to Chris and Geoff for all that they have accomplished at the Castle, and wish them good luck in the future.
Barry and Joan welcome all the Castle Inn regulars to the Castle, as normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Next week (Monday 26th. onward) the pub has to close for necessary work to remove asbestos from the premises, but Barry and Joan look forward to seeing all the regulars back within a fortnight. Check the Castle Inn website for developments and updates, as and when they are known.
55: Last Orders at the Castle Inn, Kendal
Long ago, in the dim and distant past that was 1998, Geoff and Christine took over the landlord-ship of the Castle Inn in Kendal. Over the intervening eighteen years they have become one of the longest-serving licensee partners to still be running a pub in Kendal - and a great pub at that. Sadly, all that will change at closing time on Sunday September 4th. as Geoff and Christine call 'Last Orders' for the last time.
As regular customers will already be aware, a catalogue of disasters and difficulties, beginning with the floods of December 2015, and culminating in Geoff's deteriorating health, have led Geoff and Christine to reluctantly surrender the lease back to Punch Taverns. The Castle will be open as usual until the evening of Sunday 4th. September. However, food will only continue to be available (12.00 noon till 2.00pm.) until Friday 2nd. September. Geoff and Christine hope to see all their regular clientele for farewells over the weekend.
Geoff and Christine would like to extend their grateful thanks to all of those who have supported them over the years, particularly everybody who has supported them over the last, difficult, nine months. And they wish the next publican all the best.
The end of an era. All of you reading this sad news, pass it on, and get along to the Castle to say your goodbyes before it's too late. Good Luck to both Geoff and Christine in whatever they get up to next. And check the Castle Inn website for developments, as and when they are known.