The best cask-aged beers? ‘It’s just like talking about wine’

Another Round: John Wilson on how Dot Brew has developed with help from a key fan

Dot Brew: Shane Kelly’s Irish craft brewery made a beer using Champagne yeast and white-wine casks; the dab of orange paint is a nod to old, unlabelled Belgian beers that were identified by colour. Photograph: Tom O’Hora

Dot Brew: Shane Kelly’s Irish craft brewery made a beer using Champagne yeast and white-wine casks; the dab of orange paint is a nod to old, unlabelled Belgian beers that were identified by colour. Photograph: Tom O’Hora

 

Redmonds of Ranelagh, the south Dublin off-licence, began selling interesting beer at least 20 years ago. “We wanted to offer three premium strands: wine, spirits and beer,” Jimmy Redmond says. “Back then they were called premium, today craft. Because we started early, we have always had a market for the new and exciting beers. We started bringing in a few Belgian beers, but some were too advanced for the Irish palate. Slowly the small distributors began to fill the void. Then the Irish craft beers started. It has always been a small, cottage, craft industry, and it still is.” 

Shane Kelly’s Dot Brew is one of his favourites. “When he started, five or six years ago, he used to drop in with various beers, and we would talk about what we liked and what we didn’t. It was almost home-brewing at the time. He would ask, ‘Did you get this?’ or, ‘Did you get that?’ It was just like talking about wine.”

Dot Brew: Jimmy Redmond recommends its mainstream beers, such as Detour IPA, as well as its special brews. Photograph: Tom O’Hora
Dot Brew: Jimmy Redmond recommends its mainstream beers, such as Detour IPA, as well as its special brews. Photograph: Tom O’Hora

Kelly’s speciality is cask-aged beers. “He once made a Belgian-style beer brewed with Champagne yeast in white-wine casks. There was no label, just a dab of orange paint – a nod to old, unlabelled Belgian beers that were identified by colour. The beer was great. So far he has done tequila, Amarone, various whiskies and both red and white wine. He is currently brewing two Christmas beers in madeira casks, a pale ale and a stout, exclusively for Redmonds.” 

Dot Brew also brews more mainstream beers, all highly rated by Redmond. He recommends seeking out its current releases, Detour IPA, Running on Pale Ale, Dipper Double IPA and Intersection Amber. 

Mescan is the other Irish brewery that gets Redmond excited: “Two Irish guys, members of the Belgian brewers’ federation, making great Belgian-style beers in the wilds of Mayo.”

Irish Times
Food&Drink Club

Exclusive events, competitions, reviews & recipes Join now
The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.