Rascals Brewing Co
Dublin's Rascals Brewing Co
Saturday 10 April 2021
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There’s a whole lot of love at Dublin’s Rascals Brewing Company, and has been since co-founders Cathal O’Donoghue and Emma Devlin met in a craft beer bar in New Zealand, and quickly began homebrewing together; a shared passion which blossomed into a crazy idea for a brewery of their own, back in their native Ireland.
Rascals earned its name with cheeky twists on classic styles, kicking off with an award-winning ginger porter, quickly followed by its White IPA; a classic American IPA crossed with a Belgian wit, which picked up gold in the 2016 World Beer Awards.
The young team lives and breathes beer, and has accumulated enough experience that it’s not afraid to take risks, preferring to be driven by the brewers’ own interests than by trends in an increasingly vibrant local market.
“Ten years ago there were literally one or two pubs in which craft beer was sold,” says Cathal. “Now there are dozens. Craft beer, or local beer as we prefer to say these days, is more widely available and there’s an abundance of choice. While craft drinkers may be notoriously promiscuous within the local beer scene, they are fiercely loyal to the movement.
“People’s tastes are adventurous and new styles are embraced. There are many pubs which are extremely supportive of craft breweries and show great solidarity when it comes to protecting taps and giving smaller producers a chance to reach new customers. While there are plenty of cool, new hip places to enjoy locally-brewed beer – not to mention great food too – we’ve also witnessed some of the more traditional ‘auld lad’ pubs adapt to the broadening of tastes. In reality, Dublin isn’t a particularly big city and as a result there’s very much a ‘neighbourhood’ feel about the craft beer scene and all those who work in it.”
In the box: Big Hop Red
“Big Hop Red very much epitomises what we are about: taking a well-known beer style and putting a Rascals twist on it,” says Cathal. “We wanted to produce a red or amber ale, but play around with the grain bill and see how we could make it a bit different and novel. This beer is late and dry-hopped with some much-loved American hops, such as Cascade and Chinook. We’re talking about a lot of pine and resin in terms of aroma and plenty of fruity citrus flavours too. We’ve struck a fine balance with the malty backbone: a little touch of biscuit, caramel and mild toffee sweetness thanks to the likes of Munich, Cara and Crystal Malt. We like to think of it as a lovely smash up of hoppy flavours and sweet malts. It’s a mighty good beer and a firm favourite with our customers.”
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