The Cellar rocks, full of Dots!


This time I’ve decided to exchange my broofing sessions for one that was under the ground. There is a special secret cellar in one of the Dublin’s finest off licences. And we had a great time occupying this space on Friday night, all the lads that appreciate the beauty of a good craft beer.

Hidden in the hearth of a beautiful Blackrock area, awarded National Off-Licence of the year, Blackrock Cellar has many reasons to be visited. IMG_1494_edited

Blackrock Cellar hosts many exciting events, and one of them that caught my attention this time was Monthly Beer Club with Shane from Dot Brew – and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! Shane is a specialist for barrel-aged beer and he truly knows his stuff.

We arrived at beer o’clock, just about the time to find our seats and taste the first sample…

IMG_1474_editedShall we start with a rum barrel-aged lager? Sure, why not! Everyone who touches the craft beer will not be super excited about the lagers so much anymore. It always is a challenge to make something different. And he did. Shane brought a bit of a modern twist on a lager by putting it into rum barrels – and it does the job. Easy drinking lager with a bit of madness going on with all those rum notes! Very interesting start, and as he announced – it will get stronger and darker…

Introducing new cans that were released early this month, we enjoyed the beauty of the can and were more than ready to taste the beauty inside of them! (Awesome photos of the cans taken by We Are Runners)


It was SO FAR SO GOOD, as was also the name of the next sample landing in our glasses from Dot’s brand-new cans. 3.2% is what you want with the summer coming – keeping its full-bodied flavour and nice citrusy twist in the background. Well, so far so good for us!

IMG_1481_editedDevious 6.6% and honest STRAIGHT UP IPA was waiting for us on our next stop. A proper IPA kick, not extremely fruity, smooth and soft body with a tiny bitter echo. Perfect combo of Idaho7 and Centennial hops succeeded to make us hoppy. So far, even better!

The whole evening was perfectly accompanied with bits and pieces to have with your beer, but we had some special combos that made perfect couples for selected beers. It truly is amazing how one can compliment another.

Cheese&crackers is a combination everyone knows, and if you add on a home-made mango chutney and pair it with a nice Saison – it’s a win-win for everyone!IMG_1482_edited

I would normally not look for a Saisons – they can be so weird sometimes. Shane – the main boss on the farm wanted to make sure that his farm workers will not stay thirsty over the summer time coming, so he brewed one quality Saison for all of us. Aged in multiple barrels – rum, bourbon and whiskey barrels. Blend IV. I smelled the beer. Nicely fruity on the nose. All aromas of tropical fruits that make you feel like being on holidays. I had a taste and was so happy about how easy drinking beer it actually was. It tasted so fresh and a perfect for summer to quench the thirst. I was blown away when Shane announced that it is 7.4%. Better to quench the thirst in one go, before the brain blowing happens!IMG_1488_edited


How about a ginger cake paired with a rum barrelled dark red ale? This second batch of RUM RED DARK (8.9%) was  according to Shane much more balanced than the first one – adding extra chocolate malt to balance out the rum character and bring out the beer character. It went perfectly well with Eoin’s delicious home-made chocolate ginger cake, especially going light on a carbonation which brought loads of flavour to play the solo part on the main stage. Feeling like a pirate, huh?

DRINKING AFTER MIDNIGHT made us all rebels – we drank it before midnight! Paired with a dark chocolate filled with liquid caramel, this foreign (like me) stout was a fresh brand-new brew and we had an honor to be Shane’s guinea pigs. Keep an eye out for this one lads, everyone has to have it in the fridge, because you don’t want to end up not having a proper beer to drink after midnight. ‘Light and easy’ (haha) with 8.2% ABV, if you have a chocolate to pair it with!

IMG_1465_editedThe most popular combination of the evening was definitely tiramisu made by Katarina paired with Dot’s JOEL’S VIETNAMESE COFFEE STOUT BATCH III – our desert after the main dinner. I am always shouting that I do not enjoy coffee flavour in my beer at all, as I’m not a coffee person. This tiramisu pairing made it easy – as tiramisu pushed the coffee flavour in it into a sweeter level, which was great. The weird thing about it was that the head was not willing to stay on the beer, even though it looked promising while pouring it into a glass – it  just disappeared in a second. There is a reason for it – the beans are too oily to keep a longer lasting head on. You will have to hurry up – I don’t know about Katarina’s tiramisu treat but I know for sure that Dot’s stout is available in Blackrock Cellar and they have ONLY 1 case left. Otherwise you’ll miss out and you don’t want that, do you?


IMG_1489_editedIt always amazes me when I see so many people excited about the beer at one spot. Loads of positive energy and enthusiasm floating in the room keeps you going. That’s the Blackrock Cellar for you. No wonder why they got a title of a National Off-Licence of the year. I wanted to know why, I went there, and I couldn’t close my mouth. If you enter the shop, you’ll be amazed. It’s like entering the entire universe of craft beer and wine on its own. Like being a kid in a candy store. You don’t know where to look first. But what makes this place honestly the best is the love and passion for what they are doing. For us – city centre lads, it is a tiny bit far away. But have a little trip down there and you will not regret. The whole area is so charming and beautiful that one would want to live there forever!


Cheers to more beer club sessions like this, and see you in the next one!

Sláinte – Cheers – Nazdravie!

Radka’s Whiskey Club: Chapter Whiskey Live.

To whom it may concern (to all whiskey geeks – by which of course I mean lovers),

I would like to apologize in advance for all incorrect information, for my low-level taste preferences, and not enough knowledge to enjoy the best tastes of what this wide whiskey scene can offer. I’m just a human being who loves to explore new tastes and things. I’m a whiskey newbie.

And I’m so sorry if I bought one of the last tickets for this event, and kicked you out of this amazing opportunity to be a part of one fantastic whiskey event. I was just lucky. And faster than you. So, get over it!

Everyone who knows me, knows very well how much I enjoy drinking beer. That doesn’t mean that I hate everything else (although gin will definitely stay in this category forever!). Before I came to Ireland I actually didn’t know if I like whiskey at all, as I was born and raised in a country where whiskey doesn’t mean a lot for us, but we do know the most famous stuff, which would be a brand or two of the world best-known names. I found out that now we have a Slovakian whiskey distilled in my beautiful country, and I would definitely love to visit this place the next time when I’ll come for a trip, especially with my Irish man, who tends to be very sensitive about the water of life that comes from his home country. Nestville, wait for us! We are looking forward to visit you!


Anyway… living with not only one, but two lads from S(h)ligo who know their s(h)tuff about this liquid, is an every-day-is-a-school-day mission. Especially Shane, who is a whiskey expert and occasionally brings home some of the very special ones. I get this opportunity to taste the most famous and very expensive stuff sometimes, and not only it opens my tasting palettes, but opens the circle of regrets that he is wasting all this treasure on… well, me. But I enjoy it so much and hey Shane, keep teaching me, please! (And that man has shitloads of patience, god! You know that feeling when you really, really suck at let’s say maths at school, and it just doesn’t get into you… Yep, that’s me and whiskey. But I promise I’ll be a better student one day.) 


Friday, 5:17PM, Dublin Castle

Here we are, all the lads. Looking for our tickets in my big bag of shites. Can’t go in yet, we were too excited and too early. But at least we had a huge feed before we came, as I really don’t want to become a car crash too early. Shane made a bet that I’m gonna last until 6.30. We’ll see.


A nice security lady said to us that we can join the queue inside for checking the tickets. Yay! It’s Baltic outside so we do appreciate this kind gesture. I can see it, I can smell it… Let me in, please!


Tickets checked, excitement for some uisce beatha is getting bigger and bigger. After getting our whiskey tasting glasses, we run into the freedom of whiskey world, getting a cold shower by a nice security guy (I would like to highlight again that they were super nice and professional as well, welcome to Ireland!) who is trying to stop us from redeeming ourselves and running into tasting some beverages. (It was like a chasing a bunch of puppy dogs, but less cute.) It’s not 6 yet. At least we are counting the last seconds watching his big fancy watch.


All producers of Swiss watches would be proud, not even a second late we are entering this whiskey heaven. Finally!

Weird observation.

Peeps attending.

Whiskey wan-ehm ehm, nerds..

Know absolutely everything into the smallest details and it is fascinating to watch them and listen to them. It makes me feel so stupid and small, but who cares!


You can see that she came only because the last time her other half had to come with her to that birthday party of a friend he doesn’t like that much, and this was a deal and the only condition why he went with her.

Business lads.

You see all those fancy pants exchanging their business cards – which is a great opportunity for all attendees. Support!

Just lads.

Who want to get hammered and you see them after an hour walking around and sticking their noses into the glass (they wouldn’t even smell the worst fart in the world at this point), pretending that they analyse the whiskey aroma, flavour and appearance into the very last detail, but you can see that their eyes are as crossed as the road traffic signs for not stopping or standing. (Well, at least it is a road sign in my country for sure!

Amazing combo of all of it together in one big glass!

(*I count myself into a V.S. category of I-don’t-really-know-what-I-am-doing-here-but-I’m-a-whiskey-newbie-and-this-is-how-I-learn-so-leave-me-alone-I-just-want-to-taste-this-and-watch-this-so-where-is-a-popcorn-stand?)


Red Spot


15 years old, 46%

Massive campaign going around the town and world, and with a very limited amount of whiskey produced, I was happy to taste it. It was delicious. It tasted like Christmas, with all the spiced and apple fruity notes going on around. I would like to know what colour is the next Spot going to be. Any guess? I vote for Black! Or purple. Like a Purple Rain. Or Deep Purple.

One of the Scottish stands, aye.

IMG_7785_editedHaha, I am being very specific again! We stopped by this one because of very cool label designs that caught my eye. I kind of sensed that it will be a smokey kind of experience. We tasted one of 544 bottles of Old Particular, 21 years old with a strength 52%, a single malt scotch whiskey distilled at Arran Distillery and this one was surprisingly not smoky at all for me (as I kindly told the girl that I’m not into that, and she pulled out this beautiful bottle for us). One of a very few bottles left. Does that make me feel special? It certainly does! We also got a hands-free glass holder there and it is the coolest gadget ever.

Women power!

One of a very few women on a whiskey craft scene – like a needle in a haystack, Alex Thomas, a Master Blender, is a nice gal! It is absolutely amazing to feel the passion and enthusiasm filling the room when she was telling us about her The Sexton whiskey she made. And let’s be honest – girls do like pretty things and this bottle shouldn’t be missing in any proper whiskey shelf in the country. So elegant, as is the whiskey itself. Aged in sherry casks, distilled in a proper ‘old-school’ way. Perfect for every day and for every man. Or woman!


Food Pairings


Loads of examples of whiskey-food pairings appeared at Whiskey Live, but I would like to bring my favourite ones into your attention. Whenever I taste a whiskey which gives you that nice spicy finish and mild burn in your throat which I love so much, I think of my favourite Slovakian chocolate Margot (the one that everyone hates, but I can’t help myself!), that I always mention afterwards, because it would be a perfect combo with such a nice glass of whiskey. I have paired Dunville’s Old Irish Whiskey from Belfast with a milk chocolate and it was one enjoyable moment for me! Just proves the fact that whiskey and chocolate go hand-in-hand together and it is hard to beat this combination.


Unless you are a whiskey aged in exotic rum barrels and guys from Tullamore Dew hand you a cup of ice cream to go with it. You’ll feel like a Pirate of the Caribbean, but sitting at the outside table on your boat, having a nice, sweet&cold dessert to cool down all your conquering ambitions. (Is the soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean stuck in your head now? Good. That was a purpose. And if not, it surely will be now!)


Whiskey geek’s pick by Shane

Midleton Single Cask Single Pot 2001, 46%


Shane knows what I like. Sweet, mouth-filling and fruity.

Whiskey geek’s pick by Colm Leeroy

Glenfarclas, 17 years old, Single malt Scotch whiskey, 43%


I just told him I want something spicy&sweet, smooth and balanced, not smokey, please. He gave me this. And I was happy!

Experience for non-whiskey heads

Longueville House Cider


This stand wants to warm you up and get you into a proper Christmas mood. Give me more of this Mór Cider! (which, by the way, means ‘great’ in Irish, for all of us, non-Irish speaking peeps.) We tasted their Longueville House Cider and the other one aged in brandy casks, and on top of that they treated us with some home-made hot cider, which was delicious!


Radka’s Beer Club…SURPRISE! (as good as Kinder Chocolate Surprise)


My heart was dancing after I spotted Dot Brew stand. It was a great move to bring the lads! It’s a fantastic example of how whiskey and beer can be friends, and help each other to reach all those different flavours and sides of each other. Dot Brew presenting their Whiskey barrelled beer in its pure beauty was definitely a highlight of the evening, and I can’t wait to taste more of Shane’s gentle work with barrels in future.


I would like to say hiiiiii and thank you to all the lads in Celtic Whiskey Shop, who made this Whiskey Party enjoyable for all of us. It was one friendly and perfectly organized evening for me, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll bring to us next year! (Can you do it more often, pretty please?)

Sláinte – Cheers – Nazdravie!

Radka’s Broof Club: Chapter Francesco & Esther.

Quick training on ‘How to blend in with Italian people’:

Good morning, how are you? – Bon Jovi! Come stai?

Very well, thank you! – Tutti frutti, grazie mille, bopity bop!

That’s our secret international language. Please do not be looking for any sense there, I just love to pretend that I do speak Italian. Making my own words and sentences supported with a traditional hand gestures – that’s all you need, haha! (Is it, yeah?)

Today’s chapter of Radka’s Broof Club with Francesco and Esther coming from Carrick-on-Shannon, county Leitrim. Carrig Brewing’s head brewer and his better half! We were very excited that we had a spare time to meet up and have a little broofing session up on the roof. Let’s broof…





All ticked on the list: we had nice selection of beers, we had fairly good weather (it wasn’t raining so happy days!), and we had a thirst for some nice craft gemstones. The only one thing missing was Italian Quadratini Napolitaner Wafers, but I promise you, Esther, I’ll bring you some the next time!


My trips to our little brewery in Drumshanbo are something to be looking forward to every now and then. Coming to annoy the boys in the brewery became my little tradition. Walking around and bossing people in my master brewer suit and annoying lads all the time when I’m there is my skill number one, which I am definitely going to put in my CP. (author’s note – it is supposed to be a joke on all the people coming to our bar to LEACH their CP applying for a job as a CHICKEN porter or ASS manager.)


This time the cards have been turned around and a Drumshanbo gang came over to Dublin, for a bit of music, some smoked fish burgers (and please don’t forget our veggie burger experience, guys!) but most importantly – some craft beer enjoyment and treat. For a bit of a good craic!


With the last sprinkles of the autumn and slowly but surely coming into freezing winter season, we wanted to remember the summer vibes with a nice, sessionable kind of IPA that would be a perfect breakfast beer for us to start with. And that’s how we picked this aromatic session IPA Virtuous by Kirkstall Brewery.


Nice touch for a light beer, even though I was expecting more of a hoppy aroma kicking in, but let’s be honest – A) 90% of this winter time my nose is blocked and B) it is very important to keep the hops as fresh as possible as they are very delicate and their taste and aroma tends to fade away. That means – drink the cans as soon as possible after canning is my advice! Our one was not the freshest one and was sitting there for a while. Despite of that it was still a very nice and easy-drinking breakfast for us! And Francesco will remember it for sure – when he opened the can it just exploded out of all excitement and his brand-new jacket ended up covered in this beer. A proper beer christening!


There are few shops I love going to for my beer shopping. I visit them more often than I visit regular grocery shops, haha (or oops?). One of them is just around the corner from where I work (Stephen’s Street News), and one of them is just around the corner from where I live (Molloy’s Liquor Store). IDEAL DEAL!


I love watching how the shelves in their beer fridges are expanding, and every visit is a great adventure, browsing and hunting for new craft beer specials. As the craft beer scene in Ireland is growing, Molloys decided to celebrate their 85th anniversary by brewing a Covert Operation with the guys from Yellowbelly, and this special broofing session was the right occasion to taste the result of their special brew. It was nice and fresh, juicy as promised, and we were happy to dance with all those fruity flavours around.


Next stop – DOT Brew.


I am always excited to taste their delicious beers. And we all were even more, as Carrig Brewing Company made a very exciting collaboration beer with Shane from DOT, which will hit the taps in our pubs in a foreseeable future! Beer is resting and ageing in the barrels in Drumshanbo, and everytime I am in the brewery, I spare a couple of minutes to pet the barrels a bit so this baby will definitely be pumped with extra love…


Dot Brew is with no doubt a top-class expert for barrel-aged beer.

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I’ve tasted their Double Down, aged in 18 year-old Single Malt barrels for 1 year at Samhain Winter Beer Festival organized by White Hag and the whole project was literally Hagstravaganza coming to Dublin! I knew that this is the beer I wanted Francesco to taste. Pouring nice rich red-ish colour with a hint of spiciness, too delicious and too dangerous with its over 10% kick in the ass!


Back in Black!

Welcome to the season of full-bodied, rich in flavour and colour beers for your belly to make you warm! It is that time of the year when people will be looking for s(h)touts and dark ales. Francesco has something to mix it up – as he loves to make some interesting beer experiments himself (do you remember Basil Beer?), he is not going to leave you thirsty this winter.


Make sure to pop in to Bar Rua to taste the newest limited special brew edition of WHITE WONKA – white chocolate nitro cream ale. Who knows, maybe you’ll be lucky to get your golden ticket!

Let’s see which winter beers he stuck his nose into on our broofing session….


Opening this season with doube dry hopped Black IPA by Northern Monk Patrons Project in collaboration with Moor Beer. Pouring dark brown rather than pure black was the first sign we’ve noticed, so it evoked having a liquid dark chocolate in your glass. That was probably influenced by not putting dark roasted malts into the mashing tun, but adding a liquid malt colour to the whirpool and then putting it on top in the fermenter. The result was a very nice dark IPA with a proper hoppy dance of 5 different hops used – Centennial, Mosaic, Simcoe, Vic Secret and Citra. Our winter bittersweet symphony.


Dead Centre Brewing is setting their brewery in Athlone. Their limited edition of Moondust coffee porter ended up in my hands a couple of weeks ago. It definitely is a beer for these long winter evenings. I am not a coffee drinker and as I am very sensitive to its flavour – I felt like there was too much coffee going on, but the rest of the crew (proper Italian coffee drinkers) enjoyed the beer. The smile on Esther’s face is a proof of it.


I am a person obsessed with Christmas. Working during this crazy period of Christmas would be a story for another whole chapter, but I love the spirit. Not really in a way of celebrating this holiday in a big style or anything, I just love the idea that every day should be a Christmas Day for us. Small little things. And mainly now, when the whole city is getting Christmassy, I am very happy. I had my first proper Christmas taste with our last beer by StoneXocoveza. Winter Mocha Stout. It brought me back to celebrating Christmas Eve when my brothers were putting up the Christmas tree with my dad, and myself and my mammy were preparing all the stuff for our Christmas dinner. I always used to light up the candles with cinnamon aroma all around the apartment. That’s the sip of Xocoveza for me.


It has tunnelled its way to my and Esther’s heart right away. Too much sweetness going on for Francesco, but we are ladies. We just loved it! And now, looking on our Christmas Tree we just put up today in our apartment, I will have this beer down on my list as a beer for this year’s Christmas Eve. And Christmas Day.


What is your Christmas Beer going to be?

I would like to thank Francesco and Esther for climbing the roof with me and not falling off it. It was a pleasure. Cheers to more beers!

Sláinte – Cheers – Nazdravie – Salute!

Radka’s Broof Club: Chapter Saoirse.

Once upon a time, there was a lonely roof in Dublin city centre. However, it is not lonely anymore. It was adopted by Radka’s Broof Club, who has a wee session up there every now and then. Even if it is Baltic outside! Because beer makes us warm and happy. Preferably hoppy.

In my opinion, there is a beer for everyone. At least one. You just need to find it. You just need to pick the right one. This chapter of the broof club session is a real proof of my statement. I took a chance and invited Saoirse – my beautiful friend – to climb the roof and have a little broofing session with me. I carefully picked the beers according to what I thought she would like. And I have to say – it was a success! Hooray!


Saoirse wouldn’t describe herself as much of a beer drinker. She would usually drink cider, ginger beer or as a true Irish woman – proudly and occasionally a nice pint of plain. I wouldn’t describe myself as a cider drinker. I would usually drink ANY beer. Not a cider. So with this exchanging experience I made a compromise and decided to start with a can of COONEYS IRISH CIDER. I will be honest, I do understand such a strong popularity of ciders on hot summer days, and this one was a refreshing opening choice, as we have been lucky to catch the very last summer day in Ireland. Fizzy apple juice for adults – sure, why not! (Am I a cider drinker now?)


Saoirse Kavanagh. Young. Smart. Beautiful. Talented. Saoirse loves music. She finished her degree at BIMM and her angel voice is as beautiful as Saoirse herself.


Saoirse Kavanagh – Strong (Youtube). Just play it!

Listen to the tune and atmosphere of her own song ‘Strong’ that she wrote. It describes the atmosphere and character of the beers that we were drinking. Smooth, relaxed, and delicious. Full of feelings and emotions, full of flavours. And with this exciting gradation in her song, there was a gradation in our beer repertoire as well.

Our playlist was very fruity. Saoirse is a sweet girl, and we were drinking ‘girly’ beers!


Lagers are mostly represented by big brands and big names all over the world as the most common and known beers. I wanted to show Saoirse that ‘boring’ lager-style taste can be twisted and upgraded, so we opened this grapefruit lager by SKA BREWING – Rue B. Soho. Smell of citrus, refreshing taste of grapefruits in the background, nice touch of hops… not a disappointing one, comparing to lagers that she tasted before. And she finished her share of taste, which was a good sign!


We stayed in a grapefruit-y mood with the next beer, this time we levelled up style-wise, entering the world of pale ales. A wee bit of discotheque now – Daft Punk are singing about how to Get Lucky – I am singing about LERVIG’s Grapefruit Edition of Lucky Jack every time I can, as I can’t help myself, but this beer is a fixed star in my fridge. We got lucky to get this beautiful weather accompanying our beer session… Saoirse’s glass became empty again. To my surprise, she liked the highlighted grapefruit flavour more in this pale ale, because it was more intense. Extra point for Jack! You are very Lucky, Jack.


Sun was still shining – time to move ourselves to our imaginary beach, with a cocktail in our hands… Pina Colada Pale Ale by RASCALS. And Rupert Holmes’ tune in the background. ‘If you like Pina Coladas…’… well, we actually can’t be objective talking about the authenticity of the taste, as neither of us had a real Pina Colada before. Definitely kind of a cocktail beer, even though I was missing a stronger kick of hops in there. RASCALS is experimenting with weird combinations of flavours all the time and I am very excited about them every time they release something new. One of them became my obsession during this summer – Raspberry Sundae IPA. Both of us voted for Sundae IPA, as Rascals did a nicer job with lactose and the whole milkshakey kind of flavour was a little bit sweeter with a longer lasting finish. While the first one was more cocktail-y, the second one stayed in beer-y beer-y category.


Pint of plain is your only man, but there was a nice (and looks pretty too!), pink alternative to it hidden in a big bag of cans. Blackcurrant Nitro Ale by LEFT HAND BREWING. We poured it hard into our glasses and watched this hypnotic magic process of settling down. We got rid of our creamy moustaches that the beer drew on our faces and satisfied with its appearance and a light smooth taste moved on to THE ONE.

And here it comes, Prince of our beer selection fitted for Saoirse…

‘Raspberry Rubaeus,

The kind you find in an off-licence store,

Raspberry Rubaeus,

And if it was on her, she wouldn’t drink other ones anymore!

Raspberry Rubaeus,

I think she loooooooooves it.’


Smile on her face is a proof. I found(ers) it. I found the one for her! Thank you, FOUNDERS, for your sweet & tart taste of summer.

Our ladies’ broofing session ended with a special dessert, limited edition of Bearded Lady – 10.5% Imperial Stout by MAGIC ROCK BREWING. Aged in Woodford Reserve barrels for 3 months, this stout had all that was promised: bourbon flavour, sweet vanilla, hint of oak, cacao nibs, cinnamon, we also tasted some kind of nuts in there (or were we going nuts at this stage?)… super rich flavour all together! And all these flavours were appearing unexpectedly from nowhere, dancing all around your mouth, wildly jumping on your taste buds… with lightly spicy exit sign at the end of this adventure.


Broof = beers on the roof! Roofing and drinking some special craft beer jewellery made with love and hearts of brewers around the world. Potential ‘bro’ for this ‘broofing’ is anyone who loves craft beer, or anyone who would like to lose virginity with the beers I will choose for them! Sometimes it can be a perfect match, but sometimes it can be very challenging. Give me a shout if you have enough of courage and want to become Radka’s Broof Club Bro!

I would like to thank Saoirse for her time, courage and trust. I hope you did enjoy this broofing session as much as I did, and here’s cheers to many more beers! (Is it, yeah?)


Sláinte – Cheers – Nazdravie!





Monkeys that flew all the way to Ireland.


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.

Their name.

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! 


Their artwork.


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?

Their website.

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!

It was a Live Transmission of this Wonderstar walking by with a really Juicy Ass


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?