A big bag of cans from Canada arrived to Bar Rua one beautiful morning, brought by lovely Jen and Paul, staying in the apartment just above our bar. It was a marvellous and unexpected gesture from them, and I would like to thank you guys for introducing me to this excellent sample of how Canadian craft beer scene works and tastes like.
So I had a date night with this brewery, and the room was full of flying monkeys. The Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery. Because NORMAL is weird. Because normal is WEIRD. Is it, yeah? It is, yeah!
‘You HAVE TO try these beers!’ They told me yesterday while having a lunch and a wee pinteen, and I made my promise that I will. And I did.
Things I love about Flying Monkeys.
Hell yeah! I have such an inexpressible relationship with monkeys. And with pigs, but that would be for another chapter. You know how kids always want to have a pet, a cute little puppy or kitten… I’d be more than happy with a monkey or a piggie. My obsession with monkeys probably goes back to my childhood (let’s have a therapy, lying on the couch and talking about my life… preferably drinking a beer while talking). When I was a kid and got super excited about something, I was jumping around the room and my daddy used to say that I am like a jumping monkey. It was my destiny to be introduced to this brewery with such a dandy name!
So, dear Flying Monkeys, come to mama!
Maybe ‘too much’ for some people, but I think it’s very playful and I think it perfectly reflects their whole concept and passion for what they are doing. I still stand by ‘never judge a book by its cover’, and it is more important what’s hidden inside of the can. But c’mon lads, I am a can-collecting maniac and this one would definitely catch my eye in the shelves of the shop. Seems a bit chaotic? Hello? Can you imagine a room full of flying monkeys?
Click here. Have a look yourself!
Don’t be freaking out, monkey sounds that you can hear are not just in your head. Or are they…? Hm…
Finally – THE BEER!
Juicy Ass kicks ass with its pure IPA characteristics, and made a perfect partner in crime in my late-evening cooking passion. It was a refreshing liquid to help my fried chicken schnitzel breaded in Rancheros bacon snack (highly recommended, do not hesitate to ask me for the recipe!) to slip down my belly easier. Clean, hoppy and bitter finish of this IPA brew art.
Milkshake IPA was my dessert beer choice. Pouring surprisingly clear comparing to milkshake beers I’ve tasted before, and surprisingly not as sweet as I was expecting. Lactose made it smooth and creamy, not selfishly overtaking the first violin in this beer orchestra, but keeping its hoppy character in the first place. And I appreciate that half-way through I didn’t forget that the drink in my glass is actually a beer.
Let’s take it easy with this lager. Myself – born and raised in a lager country – sure, you can’t go wrong with a nice lager. I am always thinking of them as of the most traditional, but not really outstanding and putting me off the chair. They are fine and easy to quench the thirst, especially on a warm and sunny day. And let’s be honest – it does not happen very often in Ireland.
Pouring slightly pink-ish, kind of a peachy colour instead of clear golden, with a tiny white head, is a difference number one. First sip is a surprise – instead of getting a scratch by the bubbles, carbonation of this lager is very mild and that brings the herbal and citrusy notes out on the main stage to play its amazing solo part with a very light fizzy dance in the background. After this solo, all kinds of berries are singing the chorus together with a nice candy flavour staying on your tongue after the very last chord of the song. And boy, this song is an angel music for my ears…
With their motto ‘Normal is Weird’, this Botanical Lager brings a completely new dimension to my thinking about the most traditional beer style in the world. It is not a normal lager. It is a weird lager. Good weird. Like a ‘cool-kid’ kind of weird. And I truly like this weirdness going on with every sip from my can, which decided to show me its bottom way too quickly. It is a good sign, but unfortunately sad news for me. This very last drop of the Wonderstar reminds me that the next round will not happen very soon, unless I will pack my suitcase and plan a trip to the land where people are riding the polar bears and eat maple syrup every day. (Please forgive me, I could not resist to use some national stereotypes, I really couldn’t!) And I will, one day. Wonderstar, you are wonderful. Wonderstar, you became my star in the heaven of lagers.
I would like to raise a glass.
To Jen and Paul, and their new-found skill how to make my day!
And to new and new beer adventures!
Sláinte – Cheers – Nazdravie!
P.S.: My friend Conal is moving to Canada soon, and he kindly offered that he will visit Flying Monkeys and take a picture for me. Thank you very much, but hey, Conal, rather send me some beer, will ya?