Take it home: Irish pale ale and a fresh and pure wine
Each week John Wilson selects two drinks to try right now. This week: Dunbrody Irish Pale Ale and Mâcon-Milly-Lamartine
Dunbrody Irish Pale Ale
Last week the Arthurstown brewery joined the ever-lengthening list of craft breweries in this country. Based in the Dunbrody House Estate, this is the brainchild of celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, owner of Dunbrody, local farmer and B&B owner Tosh Crosbie, local businessman Eamon Murphy and marketeer Niamh Ní Dhónaill. The story goes that Arthurstown had no pub, so ‘The Local’ bar was built in the grounds of Dunbrody. Kevin and his mates were enjoying a pint there one evening when someone came up with the idea of brewing their own beer.
The brewery has the capacity to produce eight thousand litres a week. The brewer is Kieran Bird, a local, or at least ‘five or six miles down the road’ he says. They produce the Kings Bay beers for SuperValu as well as Dunbrody Irish Pale Ale and Irish Red Ale. The latter are aimed at restaurants and specialist off-licences, the former as introductory beers for newbie craft beer converts. All of the base malts are grown locally, and Kieran is very happy with the soft water supplied by an ancient well on the grounds of Dunbrody. I’ll be brewing the stout in the New Year, and we are starting to think about other seasonal beers,’ says Kieran, ‘maybe a lager with strawberries to go with the other famous local produce, maybe a pumpkin ale or a lighter Kölsch for the spring. We will see.’ The Dunbrody Pale Ale is light, crisp and refreshing with a subtle citrus finish.
Closerie des Alisiers Mâcon-Milly-Lamartine 2014
Most of us will have supped a glass of Mâcon-Lugny at some stage in our drinking lives. It appears on almost every restaurant wine list and on the shelves of almost every supermarket. It comes in various labels and in various styles but the vast majority (some 13 million bottles) is made by the Caves de Lugny, the largest wine co-operative in France. Most of it is very quaffable if a little boring at times. There is much more to Mâcon though ; thirty odd other villages are allowed to add their name to that of Mâcon. So you will find Mâcon-Uchizy, Mâcon-Vergisson or Mâcon-Davayé. There is even a Mâcon-Chardonnay, from the town of Chardonnay. These are often made by small quality-minded producers who make amazingly good wines at very reasonable prices. Such as the Mâcon above. Fresh and pure, with lovely plump apple fruits, this is a steal at €14.95. Available from Whelehan’s Wines in Loughlinstown.