- Lifestyle & Sports
- 17 Dec 21
For its special Christmas release, the PORTERHOUSE BREW CO. has come up with a Double New England IPA which, courtesy of the MINAW Collective, looks as stunning as it tastes. Resident Hop Press beer nut STUART CLARK pays the legendary Dublin brewery a visit. Pics: MIGUEL RUIZ
Christmas came early for Irish beer lovers with the release last month of Double New England IPA, a smooth drinking, limited edition 8% seasonal from the good folk at Porterhouse Brew Co.
It manages to taste as good as it looks, with members of Dublin’s MINAW Collective – more of whom in a moment – supplying the eye-catching wraparound artwork, which adorns the series of four Porterhouse x MINAW DNEIPA cans.
“It’s our first time doing a hazy Double New England IPA, which is a very popular beer type in the States but quite rare here,” says brewer Martin Kavanagh. “We’ve taken our 5.3% Renegade New England IPA, and given it twice the malt, twice the hops and twice the flavour. It’s also at 8% ABV higher in alcohol content, which adds even more depth and character to the beer.”
The key to Double New England IPAs is getting the balance of all those big, bold flavours right, which Martin and his award-winning team have done to perfection.
“We added lactose during the brewing process to give the DNEIPA its soft mouthfeel and slight sweetness, which is the opposite of a normal IPA,” he continues. “It’s medium carbonated, which again makes it easy on the palette and pours beautifully.”
Along with familiar Idaho 7, Citra and Simcoe hops, the new Porterhouse x MINAW DNEIPA also features Sabro, a relatively new North American variety renowned for its complexity of fruity and citrus flavours.
“It’s always fun as a brewer to get hold of a new hop and work out what you can do with it,” Martin enthuses. “Sabro really adds to those big, bold citrusy notes. It was only three to four weeks between the DNEIPA going into the fermentation tanks and it being canned, so it’s a really fresh beer designed to be drunk in the run-up to Christmas. We’ve also sent out a few kegs, which you might be lucky enough to find in your local.”
A bright, punchy beer like DNEIPA needs artwork to match, which is where MINAW, an all-female street art collective with members scattered all over Ireland, comes in.
“We’re big fans of MINAW, a lot of whom live locally, and they came up with four designs that are very different – but equally brilliant,” Martin says. “The labels can be peeled off the cans, and look great lined up alongside each other. We’ll definitely be working with them again in the future.”
The MINAW Collective members in question are Jess Tobin AKA Novice who’s responsible for the blueish can with the face and sparkling crown; Vanessa Power AKA Signs of Power who conjured up the Never Have I Ever can; Kathrina Rupit AKA Kinmx who designed the dark can with the face and flowers down the side; and Claire Prouvost who completes the set with her multicoloured three women can.
If you can’t find Porterhouse x MINAW DNEIPA in your local bar or off licence, fear not, as it can be ordered from shop.porterhousebrewco.ie where you’ll also find t-shirts emblazoned with the designs. Profits from these go to the collective whose impactful artwork is archived at minawcollective.com.
Craft innovators since the 1980s when they opened their original bar in Bray – we have fond memories of getting the DART down to them – the Porterhouse moved into their gleaming new Glasnevin brewery in 2018. The state-of-the-art facility was a hive of activity when we dropped by for our Monday morning tasting (it’s a dirty job but etc. etc.) and will be even busier when all this Covid craziness is over.
“We’ve always wanted to be able to invite people into the brewery for tours and tastings,” Martin adds. “The Broombridge Luas station is just down the road, as is the weekend Glasnevin Farmers’ Market, so it’s a handy spot. We’d also been planning to have live music here, but unfortunately the pandemic got in the way. We’re looking forward to getting that side of things fully up and running when it’s safe to do so.”
The Porterhouse’s rock ‘n’ roll credentials were underlined a few years back when they teamed up with Joe Elliott from Def Leppard to produce Louder, a barley wine which in true Spinal Tap tradition went all the way up to 11%.
Along with their quartet of Porterhouse x MINAW DNEIPA cans, you can also treat your or a loved one’s Christmas stocking to their Celebration Stout Pack 3 x 300ml, which features their Irish Stout, Celebration Stout and the third instalment in their Around The Clock series, a 250-day bourbon barrel aged bold, rich and dark Imperial Stout, which is made for sipping in front of the fire.
Also hitting retail outlets this month are the new Porterhouse Brew Co. XXXX Full-On Stout and Renegade New England IPA four-packs.
Meanwhile, the Porterhouse Temple Bar and Porterhouse Central on Nassau Street, Dublin 1 remain open for great food and even better beer in the run up to Christmas. Sláinte!
• Along with bar and retail outlets nationwide, Porterhouse Brew Co. beers and gift-packs are available from https://shop.porterhousebrewco.ie/ie
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