Peter Curtin is a publican who enjoys a challenge. In addition to the trinity of excellent beers Peter fashions at the Burren Brewery, he also turns his hand each year to craft a special Hobbit Ale, to celebrate the annual Burren Tolkien Society Festival. To create an ancient darker, sweeter tasting ale, Peter fires in crystal malt, caramalt, and chocolate malt, all the better to give all the visiting Hobbits who arrive at the Roadside Tavern a warm, lingering glow from their glass.
Aside from the Hobbit Ale, Peter has created a trio of beers that satisfy every palate: the spicy and smoky Burren Red ale; the crisp, thirst-slaking Burren Gold lager, and the toasty, delicately bitter Burren Black, a top-class stout. That might be enough of a portfolio for most brewers but, keen historian that he is, Mr Curtin has also delved deep into history to make a Gruit beer, the sort of drink you might have enjoyed back in the 1400s, and which he calls Euphoria. Using wild yeast from the Hill of the Fairies – this is all true – Euphoria is a beer made without hops and is flavoured with lemon verbena, lime blossom, rosemary and yarrow. Mr Curtin’s nickname for this unique concoction is “The Happy Beer”. No better name.
There isn’t a better experience to be had anywhere along the West coast of Ireland than to be sat in the Roadside Tavern or the Burren Storehouse, with a freshly pulled pint of Burren beer in your hand, with some music playing, and the good times rolling.
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