Author: AdminWick1234

Aine, the latest member of the team, joined us at the start of the year as a process brewer and here she explains her position and her responsibilities.

As the process brewer my main responsibilities are to organise our new brewery and to ensure we are currently working in the most effective ways we can. I also help with what ever else needs to be done, but when I’m in the brew house I do tend to slow things down, my spent grain handling skills are not what they used to be.

What brought you to Wicklow Wolf?
I was very impressed with what the brewery has achieved in its short life as well as the variety and high quality of the beers they produce. Who wouldn’t want to be involved!

What got you into brewing?
Nope, I never home brewed. I got into brewing when I went to college. I studied Biotechnology at DCU which was  half genes, half fermentation science. I was lucky enough to be placed into the Harp brewery in Dundalk for my college placement and it was there I realised  I loved brewing. As a result I continued on to Heriot -Watt University in Edinburgh to do my masters in brewing and distilling and I’ve never looked back.

Favourite beer style?
It depends on the weather. It depends on the day. Mostly I go for Stouts and Porters.

Favourite brewery?
I cant pick one, so many have great beers!

Best thing about working in a brewery?
The variety of the work and the fact so much of it is hands-on. I also love the passion and pride among the team.

We’ve some great news for UK based members of our pack. ZOSO, our SMaSH red IPA, is coming to BrewDog bars across the UK in time for St Patrick’s Day. Like Brew Dog we’re passionate about brewing great beer because if it’s made better, it tastes better. Our passion shows in every brew and that’s why we’re excited to send our first ever canned beer to the UK as BrewDog serve up the best of Irish beer. ZOSO will feature alongside other great beers from fellow Irish brewers YellowBelly and Boundry Brewing  in the following bars:

London
BrewDog Camden
BrewDog Shoreditch
BrewDog Shepperd’s Bush
BrewDog Soho
BrewDog Clapham Junction

Rest of  the UK
BrewDog Glasgow (DogHouse Merchant City)
BrewDog Aberdeen
BrewDog Leeds
BrewDog Birmingham
BrewDog Brighton
BrewDog Liverpool
BrewDog Manchester
BrewDog Newcastle
BrewDog Norwich
BrewDog Cardiff

So UK beer drinkers, if a Wolf hasn’t cross your path yet, grab a can of our latest beer and welcome to the pack!

 

ZOSO Smash IPA is the latest limited edition Wolf to be released from the brewery and the reaction from people at the Alltech Brews Fair suggests it’s going to be another popular one. But what exactly is a Smash IPA?

Smash stands for Single Malt and Single Hop. The idea is to break down brewing to its basic elements in order to highlight the flavour of a single malt and a single hop. For us it was a great experience brewing it. For the beer drinkers it allows you to appreciate and understand what one hop and one malt can bring to a beer. This form of brewing doesn’t suit every beer style and works best with IPAs, lagers such as Pilsner and Vienna, Saisons and Dunkels.

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Rather than packing our latest IPA with a wide variety of hops we went back to basics to deliver a unique, intense beer. With only two ingredients brewers need to choose wisely in order to deliver a flavoursome beer and we’ve done just that. We ventured high into the Colorado Rocky Mountains to get our hands on a small batch of ZOSO Hops from Misty Mountain Hop Farm, who’ve been harvesting this unique hop for only two years. In fact ZOSO is the only beer brewed in Europe with the hop of the same name!

We then headed East to Germany for RED-X, a special base malt from Best Malz, which delivers the malty backbone to balance the intense hopping.

This sunset red tinted beer is our first canned beer and comes in at ALC 5.2% and 53 IBU’s with unique notes of tangerine and sweet grapefruit and resiny bitterness. As for the name, ZOSO was the ancient name for Saturn, and we think you’ll agree this beer is out of this world!

 

The Harbour Bar, 1-4 Dock Terrace, Bray

Why not start the list with our near neighbours, friends and owners of the greatest pub in the world. No, we’re not being biased, the title was conferred by none other than Lonely Planet and we’re certainly not going to disagree. From intimate gigs and stand-up comedy upstairs to trad sessions in the bar, there’s always something going on. And if you’re looking for a quiet pint their Snug has you covered. When enjoying a Wicklow Wolf in their outdoor terrace and the sea air makes you hungry Colm of Fulacht Fia next door will sort you out with some delicious grub.

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Durty Nelly’s, Bunratty, Co Clare

There aren’t many beer gardens that can boast of being in the shadow of a 15th Century castle. Durty Nelly’s in Co Clare is one of those famous landmark pubs and for good reason. Great food, hospitality and music set against the backdrop of the stunning Bunrartty Castle. Named after a woman of the same name who legend has it collected a toll, in various forms, from people who crossed the bridge. Later she was to create a poitin that became famous throughout the land for its medicinal benefits and ability to cure all ills. While a Wicklow Wolf won’t do the same, a pint of American Amber with a view of Bunratty Castle will make you feel pretty good about life all the same!

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The Barge, 42 Chalemont Street, Dublin 2

On a summers day office thirsty office workers flood to the Grand Canal at Charlemont street where they can catch the last of the sun’s rays as it sets over Dublin. The Barge provides one of the most well-known outdoor drinking venues as you can sit on the lock or the canal bank watching city life go by and you won’t be the only one who finds yourself still there long after the sun has set. But one word of warning, watch out for cyclists when coming back with your round!

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The Camden Exchange, 72-73 Camden Street, Dublin 2

If you do find yourself moving on, only a few minutes down the road is the Camden Exchange with an intimate outdoor area at the back. There’s a fantastic menu, including tasty street food served from a Citroen Hy van in the bar itself! Not hipster. Just really cool. The lively crowd creates a great atmosphere and combined with their craft beer selection makes for an ideal night out.

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Meet the latest member of our team, Garrett Fitzgerald who join us full time as an assistant brewer.

I’m from Dublin and spent a J1 summer in San Francisco and there I fell in love with craft beer. When I came back I immediately started home brewing and when I finished my degree I went back to San Francisco to pursue my dream of becoming a brewer. I worked for a brewery in there called Thirsty Bear Brewing Company and loved every minute of it. I came back to Ireland in 2015 and found a great fit as an assistant Brewer with Wicklow Wolf. I love working in here because there is a tremendous sense of achievement I find from creating something brilliant from start to finish.

Favourite beer style? It changes daily but today it’s a hoppy Amber.

Favourite Wicklow Wolf beer? Has to be Kentucky common, I find it complex and crisp.

Favourite brewery? 21st Amendment in San Francisco, but that’s probably just nostalgia. Or else the Trappist brewery Westvleteren in Belgium.

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 Oatmeal stout can trace its roots back to the 1880s when Scottish breweries recognized that adding oats to beer made it “healthier” and as a result was used to treat illness. It had a resurgence in England between the World Wars and it is again being revived in recent years through the global craft beer market.
It’s a very dark, full-bodied, roasty, malty beer with the complementary oatmeal flavor. Oatmeal or malted oats account for between 5%-20% of the total grain used in the brewing process to enhance fullness of body and complexity of flavour. Chocolate and Caramel malts also round out the profile.
The level of bitterness varies, as does the oatmeal impression. Light use of oatmeal may give a certain silkiness of body and richness of flavor, while heavy use of oatmeal can be fairly intense in flavor with an almost oily mouthfeel, dryish finish, and slight grainy astringency.
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ABV: 4.2-5.9%
IBU’s: 25-40
Examples: Dungarvan Brewery Coffee and Oatmeal Stout, Young’s Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout
Food Pairings:  Ideal for hearty stews during Winter and most red meat or game dishes. Try pairing with a creamy sweet cheese.  If you’re having it with a dessert go with something chocolaty, caramel or with dark fruits.
Malt: Pale, Oats, Chocolate, Caramel, Roasted Barley

 

We are finally getting a season that other countries would recognise as a summer. No doubt you’re all out working on your tan and enjoying a cold one with your BBQ. And while you should be taking good care of your skin with plenty of sun-tan lotion you should also avoid exposing your beer to the sun as well. No, liberal application of factor 30 to your bottle of beer won’t help.

While you may love it the last thing your beer wants to do is to sit out soaking in some rays. Your beer is being ‘skunked’ right before your eyes. The process can happen quite fast, quicker for more heavily hopped beers. The suns UV rays break down hop compounds to literally produce the same chemical that skunks spray out their backsides! It’s not as intense in the beer thankfully but it will still change it. Brown bottles are a good way to protect the beer inside but green and especially clear glass give little to no protection from UV rays.

We’ve done the side by side taste tests and for a moderate hoppy pale ale it only takes a few minutes for the beer to noticeably change flavour.

Enjoy the sun, but shade your beer!

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Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between Ales and Lagers? Why to barrel age a beer or why ‘hop bombs’ are only dangerous to your taste buds? We will be giving your a weekly beer education about what makes craft beer truly ‘Craft Beer’. Each week we will also post a new Beer Style of the Week.

There are currently 100+ different styles of beers out there and over the coming weeks and months we will go through many of these to give you a greater appreciation of the world of beer of beer and how immense it is.

We will also brush up your craft beer slang and terminology, brewing techniques, history of beer and the finer details that go into making a perfect pint. Pete, our head brewer, and your headmaster for this series will take you on this beer journey and first up is the first beer he brewed here: American Amber Ale.
Beer Style 1: American Amber Ale
A hoppy, moderate-strength American craft beer with a pronounced caramel malt character, ranging from amber to copper in colour.  It’s flavour and aroma showcases American and new world hop varieties and is supported by the malt sweetness of caramel malts. The balance between malty and hoppy can vary quite a bit depending in the brewer.

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It originated on the West coast of the States in the 1970’s during the early American craft beer movement and was originally called a red ale. While it origins lay in American Pale Ales it is closer to an Irish Red Ale in terms of appearance and mouth feel however it’s the use of citrus/floral accented American hops that give it it’s unique flavour.

ABV: 4.5-6.2%
IBU’s: 25-40
Commercial Examples: Wicklow Wolf American Amber, Rogue American Amber Ale, Brew Dog 5AM Saint, Rascels Big Hop Red
Food pairings: BBQs, meat dishes, cheese
Hops: Any combination of hops to showcase American hop character
Malt: 2-Row Malted Barley, Caramel Malts, Dark Malts, Specialty Malts

 

It’s time you became acquainted with Pete, our head brewer who moved from Colorado to Bray to manage the everyday duties in the brewery.

Favourite Beer: Too many to choose from. I’d have to say Yuengling. It was the first beer I bought when I turned 21(US drinking age) living in PA and has a certain nostalgic factor for being the oldest brewery in the US.

Favourite Style: What day of the week is it?? Porter, Sour, Hefe, Belgian, etc. Everyone’s taste buds change over time and I for one am more than willing to taste and enjoy new beers/styles. No point to limit ones self to less choice!

Best thing about working at a brewery: Creating something for people to enjoy! It’s really fun that I can design and make anything that I want brew. However, there is also a deep personal vulnerability in knowing that people will love or criticize these artisanal beers that are being made with my bare hands. A job of passion!

First Homebrew: Hopped Amber Ale I think.

Hope for 2016: Travel and explore more of Europe! Such a diverse landscape of culture, history, food and of course BEER!

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Say Hi to Etienne, our Assistant Brewer. Etienne is from Grenoble, France and helps Pete with his day-to day-duties including brewing, kegging and all things brewery related to ensure the beer keeps flowing.

Favourite brewery: The Kernel (amazing brewery in London)

Favourite beer style: American IPA/Double IPA/Black IPA (love the hops!)

Best thing about working in a brewery: Being treated like a rock star when I tell people I work at the Wicklow Wolf brewery (true story!)

What you wish/hope for in 2016: Try new beers, new breweries to discover… more beer!

What beer did you brew for your first ever home brew: A surprisingly good Scotch Ale for a first brew!

What brought you to Wicklow Wolf? When my wife was offered a job in Dublin, I though it was time for a change in my career. I asked myself what was the best way to integrate into the Irish culture and… beer was the answer! I found out about Wicklow Wolf shortly after settling in Dublin and fell in love with the Black Perle Porter. The brewery was looking for an assistant brewer and I already had some experience by home brewing. We met at the right time!

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