Brigid’s Ale recently featured on NewsTalk’s popular Movies & Booze with Dean McGuinness on the Sean Moncrieff show.. this is what he had to say about our beer.. we were glowing with pride afterwards!
Brigid’s Ale –
Beer Style – Red Ale brewed with honey
Alcohol by Volume – 5.0% a.b.v
Brewed by – Two Sisters Brewing – gypsy brewed at Trouble Brewing
Brewed in – Kill, County Kildare, Ireland
Dean says, ‘Brigid’s Ale is brewed by Two Sister’s Ale Brewing. Susan and Judith Boyle are two sisters with a passion for all things alcoholic and liquid! As 5th generation brewers, they are genetically connected to the drinks industry. Further developing on this, Judith is a certified Beer Sommelier who also makes mead on occasion (more on this later), and Susan is a writer, performer and artist who has developed and presents a show called The Wine Goose Chase – telling the history of wine in Ireland while tasting a range of wines with the audience’.
‘As well as running Boyle’s bar and off-licence in Kildare town, the Boyle family are also bee-keepers. With around 30 hives, they harvest honey that is infused with the aromas and flavours from the hedgerow blossoms of Kildare. On occasion, Judith has used this honey to make mead – an ancient drink fermented from honey’.
‘With growth in craft brewing in Ireland, it is no surprise that these two sisters chose to brew their own beer. With a passion for honey and bee-keeping, they had a desire to use honey as one of their ingredients. Fortunate to have a local craft brewer just down the road – Trouble Brewing, in Kill – this afforded them the brewery in which they could ‘gypsy’. A cherry on the cake was the fact that award winning home-brewer Brendan Murphy was on hand to work with them on the beer’s recipe to translate the vision for their beer in to reality’.
‘Brigid’s Ale is the result of this fusion of talent and ingenuity. Named for St. Brigid – who was actually reknowned as a Brewster (female brewer) and also, by coincidence, a bee-keeper – the beer builds on the heritage of Kildare in more ways than one. One of the curious aspects of bee-keeping and the honey that results is that the character of honey is strongly influenced by the locality and flora from which bees collect pollen. As this pollen is collected and brought back to the hive, the beer becomes infused with the character of the flowers and flora of the local hedgerows – a fact that is reflected in Brigid’s Ale as this character comes through in the beer’.
‘Brigid’s Ale is a red ale infused with honey. The honey is added to the beer in the brewing process at the end of the boil and before fermentation. The result of this in brewing terms is that the rich sweetness of the honey becomes very much a secondary character of the beer. A certain amount of this honey sweetness is fermented out by the yeast after the beer has been cooled, and the honey integrates into the flavour of the beer. Distinctive floral aromas, reminiscent of Kildare hedgerow blossoms, come through on the nose, and the honey notes on the palate are subdued, clean and secondary to the malt character of the beer’.
‘As a red ale, there is a significant backbone of malt flavour in this beer. Biscuit, cocoa powder and a chocolate roast acidity are forward to the residual honey, which is present but in the background in terms of its subtle sweetness. Malt aromas come through, and fuse with floral aromas from the honey, supported by Target hops used in brewing the beer’.
Finally, Dean says ‘Brigid’s Ale is an excellent example of how the craftsmanship and heritage of a family – in the form of their bee-keeping tradition – can be fused with their passion for beer resulting in a distinctive beer. Described as a ‘beer brewed with honey’ rather than a ‘honey beer’ – this description is apt, as the inclusion of honey does not result in excessive sweetness, nor is there any cloy in the mouthfeel on the palate (the beer finishes quite dry). Brigid’s Ale is a multi-dimensional affair – honey being one aspect, fusing with classic red ale character and target hops, giving a layered drinking experience’.