Back Home 1 – Belfast Pub Crawl
A giant fish and a slanty clock – I miss Belfast!
I went back home in May for a week or so and profited from the trip by trying sixteen beers I haven’t seen in Montreal. I’ll post about the several beers I tried at home and in a couple of bars in Antrim at some point, but first here are a few beers I tried on a mini pub crawl in Belfast on a perfect Saturday afternoon in May…
Number 153 – Whitewater Brewery’s Belfast Black
The drinking started at McHugh’s bar and as usual I started with a stout. Whitewater Brewery, not to be confused with Whitewater Brewing Co. (a Canadian brewery), have made a really great stout here. It’s got a creamy light head that fizzles on the tongue and has mild hints of coffee. The creaminess coats the mouth and the flavour builds with each gulp, it’s just like a good Guinness. It gets a solid 8/11 for being good, worth the price, accurate, having something different (in this case surprising – I didn’t expect it to be that good), for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability and I would go out of my way for it in a snowstorm or heatwave. Indeed, I travelled 3000 miles for it.
Number 154 – Clonmel 1650 Pale Ale
Also at McHugh’s, this is a beer that like several others that I noticed around the bars of Antrim seems to have appeared everything over the four years that I’ve been in Canada. I’ve confirmed that it is definitely a pale ale/lager though it was very light. I got a hint of apple from the beer and it felt a bit more like a cider in that it was very fizzy, like lemonade almost. I originally gave it 1.5/11, but I’m going to round that up to 2/11, I remember it not being great, but I’ve tried a few appley beers since and I may have been overly harsh on this one.
Number 154 – Stella 4
The final beer at McHugh’s was Stella 4, which is definitely different from Stella Artois, I think. Well that’s what the advertising campaign said when it first was released. It’s supposed to be a lighter, smoother, slightly more classy lager than the regular Stella Artois. I’m not going to bother researching but I think the 4 is for 4%. It is a fine lager and gets a 5/11 in any case.
Numbers 155 and 156 – Smithwick’s Blonde Ale and Pale Ale
The next bar I went to was the Cloth Ear, I place I had been to on a few occasions in the past, mostly to take advantage of happy hour prices on work nights out. Here, I found that they had other varieties of Smithwick’s. I drink Smithwick’s red ale regularly, and tried it earlier this year but am still to write about it – it is a good beer. The blonde ale and the pale ale were both also quite good beers. The blonde was quite malty and had a thicker texture than a lot of the other blondes I’ve tasted, it also had a hint of caramel, hinting at the taste of the red ale. It gets a good 6/11. The pale ale was a little more hoppy, but light and refreshing. It gets 5/11.
Number 157 – Franciscan Well Chieftain IPA
I had this pint at the Harp Bar and after that it started to get blurry. Looking at the Franciscan Well webpage, this seems to be an IPA, but it seemed much more like a blonde ale – again with hints of caramel to it. It was however also quite fruity, which was very good indeed. I gave it 7/11 for being good, worth the price, accuracy, for being a little different, for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability and I would go out of my way for it.
The pub crawl continued on to the Duke of York bar, a bar that I don’t know and finally the Crown bar before I got the bus home. I don’t remember getting the bus home though. I tried at least one other beer I hadn’t tasted before but didn’t make notes so it is lost to history!
More to follow in my next post.