Choose wisely: Top craft beer picks at Lidl and Aldi

Get your beer fridge sorted for Christmas with some of the best discounter offerings

 

If you’re heading to one of the discounter supermarkets for your big Christmas shop there’s plenty of good beer on offer – if you choose wisely. In Lidl the best value comes from the Crafty Brewing Company, aka the Rye River Brewery in Celbridge, Co Kildare. Their American Style Pale Wheat Ale is my favourite in the range, it’s got a lovely tropical hoppy aroma with pineapple, lemon and a hint of sweet, bready maltiness. It’s an easy-going beer at 5 per cent and the last time I checked there were discounted bottles in my local outlet for €1.69.

If you (or your guests) like hoppy beers pick up a few of the award-winning McGargles Big Bangin’ IPA or Little Bangin’ Session IPA, I’m also a fan of Boyne Brewhouse’s IPA. For a straight-up dry Irish stout you’ll get O’Haras or TroubleBrewing’s Dark Arts porter, which is another of my favourites. All of these Irish beers fall under Lidl’s four for €10 or three for €9.

In Aldi there is a craft lager called Redial which is clean and crisp at 4 per cent and costs €2.19. Caesar Augustus Lager IPA Hybrid (€1.99), which is also made in Scotland by William Bros Brewing, comes in a can so is handy for fitting in the fridge over the Christmas – it’s light and refreshing, with a balanced bitter finish.

The stout is the best in the O’Sheas range, made by the Carlow Brewing Company for Aldi, it’s got lots of dark fruit, smoky and chocolate flavour and is part of the five for €10 offer.

The Joker IPA is not as “wickedly hoppy” as it claims on the can – I preferred Wild Bill’s IPA, made by Harper’s Brewing company, which is an old school malty IPA with solid bitterness. Aldi also stock cans of Rascals excellent Wunderbar IPA (€2.49).

I also enjoyed Brown Bear IPA (€1.99),made by Alltech’s Station Works brewery in Newry, which is tasty and juicy with plenty of citrus flavour.

@ITbeerista beerista@irishtimes.com

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