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on tap at bloom A very nice man poured a ‘sampler’ of his Coffee and Oatmeal Stout. A lovely young lady did likewise with a O’hara’s Smoked Ale No.1, while a fine Aussie bloke proffered a pint of his 8 degrees Ale; for there is more to Dublin’s Bloom 2011 show than flowers, gardens and lawnmowers.

Predominantly a garden and produce show – similar to Chelsea Flower Show, only a touch smaller, a substantial area has been set aside for Irish food and drink. Multiple tents and awnings were packed to the gills with Irish farmhouse and artisan producers, it just so happened we stumbled into the beer tent first – as you would with it being immediately to the left as you enter!

Cam Walker was the first stop with Howling Gale on tap; welcomingly refreshing on such a hot and glorious day (and bloody heck did it get hot and sticky as the day went on). The brewery name – 8 Degrees – is a super bit of marketing. Think what happened on the 8th day? The line of longtitute that runs straight down the middle of Ireland happens to be Eight Degrees West and Eight Degrees refers to the perfect temperature in which their beers should be served. Do we also lean 8 degrees when we relax while drinking their brews? They seem to think so!

Next was O’hara’s (also known at the Carlow Brewing Company) from Co. Carlow which had a new to the scene beer on tap and very interesting it was too. The first of a forthcoming range the 5.2% Smoked Ale No1 has received a little ‘smoke’; (unsure how exactly, but guessing not too dissimilar to the smoke addition when making whisky) which was just discernable on the palate and a little more so on the nose. Future versions, going under the names of, (guess what!?), number 2, number 3 and so on will each receive increased levels of smoke and thus this complexity should manifest itself in the ale to a greater and greater degree. My thinking was that No.1 could have done with a little more…

Tom Dalton, marketing chap at Dungarvan Brewing Company, let us loose on their Coffee and Oatmeal Stout, so much more flavoursome and complex than ‘normal’ stouts, this was a winner. The brewery is located in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford on the south east coast of Ireland. Did we also try their Helvick Gold? I recall that we might possibly have indulged…

dungarvan stout on tap at bloom 2011
Tom Dalton of Dungarvan Brewing Company


  1. Nice snaps :) Do I detect judicious use of the “add vignetting” filter?? Was a lovely day all round!

  2. just a touch… too much do you think?

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