O'Hara's County Carlow Irish Stout, Carlow Brewing Co
Added: Tuesday, January 1st 2013
The stout is produced specially for Marks & Spencer by the Carlow Brewing Company in County Carlow and is an uprated version of its 4.3% stout. Carlow is at the forefront of the Irish beer revival. It was founded by the O’Hara family in 1996 with the aim, says Seamus O’Hara, of restoring flavour to Irish beer with natural brewing methods and ingredients. His stout won a gold medal in the prestigious International Brewing Awards in 2000.
In 2006 the brewery moved to custom-built new premises in Bagenalstown, the O’Hara family’s birthplace. Carlow now produces 15,000 hectolitres a year on specially commissioned Canadian plant with a mash mixed, lauter tun and kettle. 60% of annual production is exported to the U.S., Britain, mainland Europe and Scandinavia.
Brewing water comes from a local source, with pure liquor drawn from a limestone bed. Seamus uses Irish malting barley with coloured and specialist malts bought from Fawcetts in Yorkshire. His stout is brewed with pale malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley and flaked barley and is hopped with English Fuggles and Goldings. The jet black beer has a rich chocolate aroma with smoky roasted grain. Peppery hops build in the mouth with bitter chocolate and dark berry fruits. The finish is bittersweet with a good balance of bitter and peppery hops, roasted grain, burnt fruit and chocolate.
The beer is available in larger Marks & Spencer stores at £2.29 a bottle but is currently available on special offer of three bottles for £5.