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 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.

A New Design - Made with PosterMyWall

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!

Pivné experimenty – The Portrait Project

IMG_2821Predtým, než sa rozpíšem o tomto novonarodenom pivnom bábätku, musím sa niekoľkonásobne priznať:

  1. Nikdy som nebola veľkým fanúšikom tmavých pív.
  2. Nikdy som nebola veľkým fanúšikom whiskey.
  3. Nikdy som nebola veľkým fanúšikom kávy.
  4. Nikdy som nebola veľkým fanúšikom olív.

Okej, fér, bod číslo 4 nemá s týmto článkom nič spoločné. Stále neznášam olivy. A ryby. A mäso. (Akurát tak kuracie cecky, to môžem jesť na kilá. A ešte mleté hovädzie mäso je vcelku ól rajt, šmačnučký ou wau burger!) A kávu. A tento článok vôbec nijako nesúvisí s tým, čím napĺňam svoj rozmaznaný žalúdok, ale veď komu sa už vyrozprávam, keď nie tu v tejto zvláštnej virtuálnej internetovej bubline…

Za štvrťstoročie (plus nejaké drobné) môjho pobytu na tejto planéte som sa ešte stále nestala “kávopičkou”, takže bod číslo tri je pre mňa vždy aktuálny. Večné decko, ranné kakauko je na nezaplatenie! A k prvým dvom bodom prejdem v nasledujúcich riadkoch (a hlavne pomedzi nimi, ak to dá nejaký zmysel).

Zakaždým, keď si nájdem chvíľku na lov nových kúskov (nie tých módnych, oblečienkových), odchádzam poväčšine s taškou plnou mojich pivných obľubencov, však aj chladnička je hladná a jesť predsa treba každému. Nie preto, že by nebol výber…to nie. Špeciálnych noviniek, ktoré sa objavia na pultoch predajní, je žalostne málo, keďže poväčine sa tieto pivká vyrábajú v pomerne limitovaných edíciách.

Toto je osud a príbeh aj nového projektu “craftového” pivovaru DOT…

IMG_2808Bodkovaný pivovar (doslova) je miláčikom veľmi milého a vzdelaného pivovariča a írskeho šuhaja nesúceho meno Shane. Svoj chmeľ pestuje v záhradke hneď oproti bytu, kde bývam, čo som sa dozvedela len nedávno. A jeho milovaný “bodkovaný pivovar” rád častuje prezývkou “gypsy brewery”. Shane je v Bare Rua veľmi populárnou postavičkou, jednak aboslútne vytŕčajúcimi a famóznymi pivami, ktoré vyrába, a aj svojím pozitívnym vyžarovaním, ktoré k nám do baru zakaždým prináša. V mojich očiach je špecialistom na pivá, ktoré sa dostali do módy hlavne v priebehu posledných pár mesiacov. Pivká, ktoré boli príliš lenivé na to, aby vynikali svojimi prirodzenými vlastnosťami, a preto dozrievali v sudoch či už od whiskey, rumu, či vína. Teda, nenazývala by som ich lenivcami, ale skôr exhibicionistami. Trošku nezvyčajného šmrncu! Táto metóda posunula výrobu a chuť piva do dimenzií, kde sú len dve možnosti – zbožňuj toto pivo, alebo odíď a zavri za sebou dvere (ale netrieskaj nimi, však troška kultúry a galantnosti, prosím!). Tradicionalisti ohŕňajú nos nad akýmikoľvek pivnými experimentami, a aj vôľa čo i len ochutnať je pre nich absolútnou dehonestáciou zlatej legendy.

Čo na to ja?

100%-tne úprimne… Vrátim sa k predchádzajúcim bodom. Nie som najskalopevnejším fanúšikom whiskey. Írsko je národ whiskoídny, kultúra výroby írskej whiskey je na top úrovni a Írska whiskey je celosvetovo známa a uznávaná. A keď som začala pracovať v bare, kde máme na poličkách vyložených minimálne 30 rôznych fliaš prestížnej domácej tekutinky, dievčatko zo Slovenska sa začne cítiť veľmi stratene. (A okrem toho – v mojej hlave tkvie jasný obrázok dôchodcu sŕkajúceho jeho obľúbenú whiskey s ľadom a číta noviny. Odžitý život, maximum skúseností… Ďaleko odo mňa!) S postupom času som však (nútene) absolvovala zopár whiskey tréningov a na chuť whiskey si ešte len postupne zvykám. Má to niečo do seba, popravde. Síce celá tá idea piva zrejúceho v sudoch či už od whiskey, rumu, alebo vína, je odstrašujúca…no stojí za vyskúšanie! Som zástancom toho, že nech sa s pivkom deje akýkoľvek experiment a zázrak, je nutné nezabúdať na skutočnosť, že je to vždy PIVO, a pravá chuť chmeľu MUSÍ byť na prvom mieste. Odskúšala som už hojné množstvo takýchto experimentov a s rukou na srdci môžem povedať, že DOT brewery je u mňa jasným víťazom. Shane jednoducho vie, ako s pivom naložiť vo všetkej počestnosti a dôstojnosti!

IMG_2815A teraz konečne k môjmu objavu… Hon za týmto pivom trval niekoľko týždňov. V celom Dubline je iba jediné miesto, kde túto krásku dostať – Martin´s off licence. Dôvod je jednoduchý – toto pivo je oslavou. A 40. výročie založenia rodinnej tradície a biznisu si jednoznačne zaslúži takúto pompéznosť. Mne do rúk pristala fľaša číslo 46, z celkového počtu 480. Cítim sa špeciálne!

Takže, vážení, nech sa páči (a šmakuje)!

Pivovar: Dot Brew v spolupráci s Martin´s Off Licence

Štýl: Barrel Aged Imperial Black IPA

Znie ako zmutovaná náročná kombinácia, ktorá však dáva zmysel. Čierna ÍPA (ako ju familiárne veľmi rada nazývam) je štýl piva na pomedzí medzi mojimi obľúbenými klasickými India Pale Ale a štýlom, ktorý je jednoznačne najviac vnímaný ako nositeľ značky Guinness – Stout. Z každého (dvoch) rožku trošku. Farbou pripomína čierne zlato, ako stout alebo porter, s kávovou ozvenou na pozadí, avšak stále chuťovo viac chmeľové. Takže naspäť k bodu číslo 1. Tmavé pivo u mňa nepatrí medzi naj, ale každý deň posúvam svoje hranice chutí a ktovie, možno raz prídem na chuť aj ponožkovým pivám! (Haha)

IMG_28481Imperiálna Čierna ÍPA… Cisárska v preklade. V dávnych dobách, asi tak pred dvesto a viac rokmi, keď Angličania vyrobili pivko, poslali ho do ďalekého Ruska. A všetci dobre poznáme Rusov. Tí zvládnu viac než bežní smrteľníci (a nesnažme sa poprieť, že to nie je pravda. Zima jak v Rusku prinúti každého jedinca ohriať sa akýmkoľvek spôsobom predsa), preto sa výroba piva pre bratov Rusov odohrávala špeciálnym spôsobom – a zároveň veľmi jednoducho. Stačilo zdvojnásobiť alebo strojnásobiť dávku chmeľu a sladu počas varenia piva, a to dodalo pivku mimoriadne grády.

Posledným krokom sa stáva dozrievanie v drevených sudoch, v tomto prípadne ide o americký štýl sudov od whiskey – bourbon. Dôvod je opäť jednoduchý. Jednou z podmienok amerických bourbonov je, že sud, v ktorom dozrievajú, je pre tento účel použiteľný iba raz. Takýto sud, ktorý je pre Ameriku už nepoužiteľný sa v tomto prípade veľmi jednoducho recykluje, a to za účelom či už zaujímavých pivných experimentov, alebo aj za účelom dozrievania írskej whiskey v už hotových dubových sudoch, ktorých dovoz z Ameriky je lacnejší, ako samotná výroba nového sudu. Páči sa mi tento second-hand!

Grády: 8.5%IMG_2804

Bratia Rusi za to môžu, lebo im zachutilo silné pejvo. Ak opäť pocestujeme v čase, štandardné “imperiálne” pivo by malo 8 až 12%. Takže sme ešte vcelku v pohode s touto percentážou.


Čierna, čiernovatá, čierna! Moja najobľúbenejšia. Ladí k všetkému. A zužuje (vraj).


Sladkastá, pripomínajúca čokoládu so štipkou vanilky na pozadí, čo je samozrejme očakávané aj v príchuti.


Menej sladká než by som očakávala od vône, jednoznačne čokoládová predpokladaná chuť, avšak s príjemným, tak trochu pikantným dojazdovým záverom, čo je jasným dôkazom dozrievania v bourbonových sudoch. Ako aj samotní výrobcovia hovoria, toto pivo je Stoutom pre milovníkov India Pale Ale, a je Ípou pre milovníkov stoutov! Nádherný oxymoron…IMG_2858

Tieto pivné experimenty sa veľmi príjemne kombinujú práve s whiskey. A ja som si toto pivko vychutnala s mojím najnovším whiskey objavom – Oak Devil od The Dublin Liberties. Veľmi príjemný párik, odporúčam!IMG_2861





P.S.: Nabudúce vám rozpoviem príbeh o tom, kde pracujem, ako pracujem, s čím pracujem a (možno aj) s kým pracujem. Tak sa pripravte na zopár pletiek zo života Baru Rua, Carrig Brewing Company a Radúzky!

Sláinte – Cheers – Nazdravie!