Sunday, 28 June 2015

O'Hara's Hop Adventure Series: Sorachi Ace

Hi everyone, it’s been a long time since my last post and I apologise for the large gap in time.
Things have been really busy, however we are now back. Some exciting progress is being made in relation to the new launch of the , which will hopefully be up and running in the next few months.

Now I mentioned we were back and back with a great new beer to the market.
O’Hara’s have launched a new beer that focuses on a single hop variety. They have called this the Hop Adventures Series, with the hop of choice this time around being the ‘Sorachi Ace’ from Japan. This hop variety originates from Hokkaido, Japan making it very unique in comparison to other hops that are used more mainstream in most western beer varieties.

The amount of speciality malts used in this beer were reduced in an effort for the hop aroma and flavour to take centre stage and be at the forefront of this beer. This light golden beer has a strong lemongrass aroma, giving it that citrus feel. There is also a subtle coconut aroma that develops over time.

The flavour of this beer is something very unique, with every mouthful of this beer a new, intriguing flavour develops, being built upon every time you take a gulp. There are strong zesty notes of lemongrass, which take centre stage until the subtle coconut comes in, along with some herbal notes, such as coriander.

This is a really light beer, that you can take your time drinking as its really is something different and special. There are good levels of bitterness without being overpowering and has a nice dry finish.

I was really surprised at the flavour of this beer as it was so different to the other varieties of beer that O’Hara’s have on offer. I am a big fan of other O’Hara’s beers, however this one really is in a different category all together, in relation to its flavour profile. The light, crisp nature of this beer makes it perfect for the hot summer months, to be enjoyed out in the sun with a BBQ, perfect with chicken or salmon dishes.

On the whole I was really impressed with this new Hop Adventure Series, and an adventure you really will get. I look forward to the next in the series, if this one is anything to go by, we are in for a real treat.

The O’Hara’s Hop Adventure Series ‘Sorachi Ace’ comes in at 5% ABV and is currently available in select bars, independent off-licences and retailers now and has an RRP of €2.99 per bottle.

I encourage you all to go out there and try something different


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Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway - Marinas Restaurant Review
Back in March me and my girlfriend ( were celebrating our 5 year anniversary and  wanted to do something a little special, so we decided to go on a long weekend away in Galway. 

We decided that we would stay in the Radisson Blu hotel. Firstly this is a gorgeous hotel in the heart of  Galway city and is only around a 5 minute walk to Eyre Square. While we were here we decided to go to their restaurant on the first night, the Marinas. The restaurant is beautifully laid out and the décor is modern and has a sophisticated feel to it.  

Now to the important and exciting bit, the food. The food was stunning and was well above my expectations. We went for their three course menu, which gave a varied selection of starters, mains and deserts all of which sounded gorgeous, (I kind of wanted them all !!!). 

I went for a smoked chicken salad to start with, this consisted of smoked chicken on a bed of shredded lettuce, with crispy Parma Ham on the top. This is a light starter, exactly what I would expect from a starter, just getting my taste buds ready for the main event. The portion that I got was also the perfect size, just enough to get me started. 

For my main I went for pan fried sea bass with slow roasted tomatoes, served with roasted new potatoes and roasted vegetables, with a roasted red pepper sauce. This was a really delicious main course. The fish was cooked perfectly, a crispy skin and soft flesh, this wasn't over cooked which I was really glad about as I really don’t like it when you go to a restaurant and pay quite a lot of money for a piece of fish that ends up being rubbery. 
The new potatoes and roasted veg that came with the fish were delicious, they had been cooked with garlic, rosemary and thyme, this brought a depth of flavour to them and made them really moreish, I personally could have eaten more of them, but that was just out of
The real surprising element that really brought the whole dish together was the slow roasted tomatoes that came on top of the fish. These were really soft and sweet and brought a slight sharpness to cut through the oily nature of the sea bass and roasted veg. These tomatoes really brought the whole dish together and without them, the dish wouldn't have been as satisfying or complete. 
The portion size was again perfect I was absolutely full by the end, but always have a little space for desert. I enjoyed the main so much that I have made my own version of it a few times since and it always goes down a treat. 

Finally I had desert, I went for a Bailey's cheesecake. The cheesecake came with a halved strawberry on the top and a caramel sauce. This was nice, it was nice and light, however my only criticism would be that it didn't pack that much flavour. If I'm going to have a Bailey's cheesecake, I kind of expect it to taste of Bailey's. The cheesecake was just lacking the depth of flavour I was hoping for, the texture on the other hand was perfect, soft and creamy with a nice crunchy base. The strawberries added a slight sharpness and contrast to the sweet cheesecake. 
The whole thing was brought together with a caramel sauce, which was needed as it brought in an additional flavour profile, but the desert could have been exceptional if the flavour was in the cheesecake itself. 

Overall the food in the Marinas restaurant was exceptional and far above what I expected to receive in a hotel restaurant. The presentation of all the dishes was great as can be seen from the photographs.  
I really enjoyed my stay with the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway and would really recommend it. If you are looking for a hotel in the center of Galway, with approachable staff, great standard of rooms and good food then this really is the place for you. 

Here is a breakdown of my review of the food at the Radisson Blu Galway, Marinas Restaurant.

Presentation: 8
Flavour: 7
Balanced Course: 8
Value for money: 8
Overall Score: 31 out of 40
Presentation: 9
Flavour: 9
Balanced Course: 10
Value for money: 9
Overall Score: 37 out of 40

Presentation: 9
Flavour: 6
Balanced Course: 6
Value for money: 7
Overall Score: 28 out of 40
Meal as a whole
Presentation: 26
Flavour: 22
Balanced Course: 24
Value for money: 24
Overall Score: 96 out of 120

I am always on the lookout for great food and great beer, so if you know of anywhere that you recommend I should give a review of or if you are a bar or restaurant that would like me to do a review and post of your bar and restaurant please get in touch.

You can get in touch via Twitter @GenuineBeerBlog, Facebook, Google+ or drop me an email at 

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Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Evolution of Beer Drinking

In modern life we don’t really think about the things we do as much as the past, but sometimes it’s good to know how things were in order to get to this point. We take a lot for granted and one thing that I never really thought about when enjoying a nice cold pint, is the glass in which my beer is served. Throughout the world there are many different accounts of when beer production began and included in this would be the way in which it was served. In modern life we are all used to the pint glass, but how did we get to the pint glass and why are there so many different variations of glass to enjoy your beverage in?

Back in ancient Greece the Greeks were renowned for drinking three main things, wine, beer and honey mead, early documenting has shown that they used to use cups known as Kylix. These were ceramic cups that would have something painted on the bottom, this could be of a humorous nature or a sexual nature, but would only reveal itself the closer the drinker got to the bottom. This ceramic cup was one of the earliest forms of “pint glass” that we know of, there were examples going back before then which would have been a similar design and material.

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In ancient Ireland there are documented examples of early drinking vessels being made of wood and stone. These would have been used as a way to drink any liquid but this would have included beer. There are also examples of horns being used as drinking vessels for beer. The horn would have come from a bullock and would have been made at home. These would have been hollowed out and heavily decorated and used to drink beer from. This would also have been a popular drinking method for the Vikings.

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Going from ancient drinking methods to modern seems like a huge jump, however there was a defining moment when the way in which we drink beer was to change. In the past the way in which we drank beer was more about something that would hold liquid, rather than the vessel having a purpose. There was a point when drinking establishments would change from the dark, dreary places to a more bright and inviting place to go. This in turn meant that people would pay more close attention to what they were drinking and the clarity of the beer that they were consuming.

One progression from the ceramic cups was the pewter tankards that were used in most pubs. This would be a handy way to serve up beer in a measurable fashion, however it got to a stage when people wanted to be able to see what they were drinking and so the pewter tankards were to be replaced with the modern glass.

When glass was introduced there wasn't a call for different designs, it just had to be practical and hold a measurable amount of beer. In around 1928 the 10 sided beer glass was introduced that would be used by many drinking establishments, this particular style of glass was also used in the “Beer is Best” advertising campaign by the Brewers Society in the 1930’s. This glass would then be replaced by the dimple glass that many would attribute mild ales to be drank from. At this point there was still no real thought to why a glass was shaped in a particular way, however this was all to change.

When more beer varieties came on the scene, specially designed glasses were being made for them. An example of this would be Weisse beers, these are usually served in a tall, thin glass with a ballooned top. The general idea behind this is the sediment will be left at the bottom of the glass when the beer is being drank. There are so many varieties of beer glass out there now here is a list of just a few.

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In different parts of the world different glasses also tend to be used. In Belgium there tends to be a different glass dependant on the beer in which you are drinking, some to keep in the carbonation, others to stop sediment. There are also other variations of glasses in other countries that are  little more novel, like the beer boot of Germany and the Yard glass in the United Kingdom.      

There is also a need now in modern times for us to be able to get ready access to pint glasses that are made from plastic as sometimes glass is not appropriate. These are usually just a plain pint glass, however they are extremely useful and something that wasn't always available. Somewhere where you can get easy access to plastic pint cups and order in bulk would be on Viking directs website, where you can order in bulk for an upcoming event, their website is easy to use and they have a great selection on there. The link to their site can be found below, check them out if you’re in need of some plastic pint cups.

From wood and ceramic, to pewter and horn, to glass and plastic, the ways in which we enjoy our beer has changed throughout time and history, however one thing is evident and that is that beer is still as popular as ever and ever growing. With more beer styles coming in and craft beer on the rise, there will sure to be an increase in the ways in which we consume our beer, bringing new technology to the way in which we enjoy it. 

I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for the humble pint glass.

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Friday, 31 January 2014

Foodie Friday - Baked Cod in a Tomato & Basil sauce, with Roasted Red Peppers & Sweet Potato Mash !!!

Hey everyone its Friday yay !!!! 

Sometimes I feel I spend my whole week waiting for the weekend to come, wishing my life away, then the weekends gone before you know it, but for today I'm super happy its Friday.

Friday is one of the days I like to go to the gym so I'm always looking for an easy to make meal that takes little effort, but is bursting full of flavour and delicious.

Today's Foodie Friday post is my baked cod in a tomato and basil sauce, with roasted red peppers and sweet potato mash. 

The first thing I have to point out is we don't always have time to make everything from scratch so the cod is an easy pre made frozen fillet, however the roasted red peppers and sweet potato mash is all home made. 

This is a perfect after gym meal as its healthy and full of flavour, plus feels like your having something with more calories. This is a nice comforting meal perfect on a cold evening too.

I hope this gives you all a little inspiration, but also to remember its ok sometimes to use a quick fix to make a healthy and delicious meal.

Hope you all enjoy,

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Friday, 24 January 2014

New Feature: Foodie Friday's

Hey everyone,

Today sees the launch of a new feature on the Genuine Beer Blog. This new feature is called Foodie Friday's. Every Friday I will put up a post on here that relates to fab food. This may be in the form of something I have made in the week, a favourite recipe that I have found, introducing my favourite food blog that week, it can literally be anything food related that has caught my eye.

This is going to be my way of sharing not only great beer but also great food too. This year I decided that it was time to make a real difference in my life and it was time to get in shape. This has meant no naughty foods, including takeaways and other treats, which I thought was going to be harder than it has been. This has given me a real lease for life again and introduced me to the healthy lifestyle I have needed for sometime now. I have also been attending the gym to help shift the weight but the main thing is the new love for good food.

Today's Foodie Friday post is one of the meals that I enjoyed this week, a silky, moreish bowl of Carrot and Roasted Butternut squash soup, made from scratch. This is a really delicious soup, bursting with flavour and vitamins, perfect for anyone on a diet, looking to loose weight, or just as a general lunch time meal.

So far I have lost just over a stone in weight in two weeks and I'm really starting to feel the benefits,

I'm really starting to enjoy eating great food again and this is my way of sharing my experiences with you.

Hope you all enjoy, a new beer review coming soon :D


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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Best of Xmas Beer 2013 - The Beer that really stood out !!!

Hey everyone,
Sorry its been so long since my last post it has been crazy busy few weeks. I had planned to do a 12 beers of Xmas countdown before Xmas but never quite got there, so instead I thought I would give you all a lowdown of some great beers I had over Xmas, ones to look out for next year. 
So here it goes starting off with number 5 working our way to the best Xmas beer reviewed over the festive holidays.

Bah Humbug
Brewery: Wychwood Brewery
Abv: 5%
Measure: 500ml
Taste: Malt, Spices, Slight Hops
Odour: Spiced, Malt, Slight Hops, Cinnamon, Cloves
Colour: Light Brown / Red
Quick Summary: Light Beer with the hints of spices that you would expect from a Xmas beer, there are hints of cinnamon and cloves that really sum up those Xmas flavours. This is a refreshing beer that is easy to drink, and not overpowering in flavour, has a nice balance. This beer isn't a real stand out beer but it does tick most of the boxes you would be looking for in a Christmas Beer. Overall not a bad beer but nothing stands out about it either.

Next up is beer number 4 out of my top 5,

Rosey Nosey
Brewery: Bateman's Brewery
Abv: 4.7%
Measure: 500ml
Taste: Slight Bitterness, Smooth, Slight Hops, Malt
Odour: Slight Hops, Malt
Colour: Light Brown / Red
Quick Summary: This is a beer that is smooth and well balanced, with slight bitterness and equally balanced with a slight sweetness. The true flavours of this beer don't come on first taste, they come later after you've swallowed, the flavours start to really develop on your palette. This beer has a very slight spicing to it but not enough for me to really class it as a seasonal beer, however it is still a really easy drinking, smooth and light textured beer that you could drink anytime.

Moving on to Number 3 this is a beer that I have had every year for the last few years and has never let me down,

Merry Xmas & Happy New Year Beer
Brewery: Anchor Brewing Company
Abv: 5.5%
Measure: 335ml
Taste: Heavy Malt, Smooth, Burnt Caramel, Bitter
Odour: Malt, Slight Hops, Fruity, Slight Spicing
Colour: Dark Brown / Black
Quick Summary: This is a really well rounded beer, that I look forward to drinking every year. The recipe on this beer changes slightly every year so the current years doesn't taste like the previous. This beer has a smooth texture with a bitterness to it, giving it s real moreish quality, making you want to go back for more and more. This beer is heavy on the malt, which helps to give it its depth and full flavour. There is also a slight caramel flavour to this beer along with some welcomed spiced notes, giving this beer its seasonal edge. This for me is a great example of a seasonal beer.

The margin between the number 2 beer and number 1 was very close indeed, in the end I went for the following beer at number 2,

La Goudale de Noël
Brewery: Brassée ál 'Ancienne
Abv: 7.2%
Measure: 750ml
Taste: Light, Refreshing, Lightly Spiced, Slight Hops
Odour: Malt, Hops, Fruity, Spiced, Fresh
Colour: Light Brown
Quick Summary: This beer was a real surprise beer for me, this beer is really light and fruity, with slight spiced note. This beer comes in at 7.2%, however it really doesn't taste that strong when your drinking it. This beer is so well balanced and light that you could almost imagine drinking it in the summer months rather than the winter ones, however it has all of the characteristics of a seasonal Christmas beer. It comes in a 750ml bottle perfect for sharing with friends. This was really one of the best beers I had over Xmas and one I would really recommend, this would be perfect for drinking with your Xmas dinner as its light and refreshing rather than heavy and rich. Overall fantastic beer.

Ok so last but no means least, we come to my favourite beer of the Xmas period, this is a really true example of what I would look for in a Xmas beer and would really recommend it for next Xmas.

Santa Paws
Brewery: Brewdog
Abv: 4.5%
Measure: 330ml
Taste: Strong Malt, Bitter, Smooth, Deep Flavours
Odour: Malt, Slight Hops, Chocolate
Colour: Black
Quick Summary: This for me is the perfect example of a seasonal Christmas beer, with its deep, full malt flavours. This is a Scotch ale and has a roasted malt flavour to it giving it a slight chocolate note along with the other flavours you would like from a Xmas beer. This beer is really smooth bursting with bundles of deep rich flavours. This beer is perfect for the winter months as its rich and of flavour giving you that comforting feeling. This beer is not as strong as others above, however you don't miss the higher alcohol content as it is just packed full of flavour. Overall this is  really fantastic beer that you will find yourselves wanting to drink many of, this is really a great seasonal beer that I would highly recommend. This for me is my Number 1 beer of Xmas 2013.

This is just a small countdown of 5 great beers that I tried over the Xmas period, there really are so many out there now and ones that you really will want to get your hands on. Just remember this time next year when Xmas is coming around again, that there are some fantastic seasonal beers that will bring joy over the Xmas period.

All of the beers above were purchased at Carry Out Ashtown, I want to say thank you to them for helping me pick the selection I tried over Xmas this year. These beers were all very reasonably priced. They also stock a great selection of craft beer all year round, so make sure you pop in next time your around the area.

I hope you all had a great New Year and look forward to all 2014 brings. There is plenty to look forward to with the Genuine Beer Blog, with more reviews as well as some new features coming real soon.

Thanks For Reading

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Sunday, 10 November 2013

An Absolut Success !!!

Wednesday 30th of October at the Mabos Art Space in Hanover Quay, Dublin, saw the launch of Absolut Originality.  Absoult Originality is an exhibition combining four different disciplines into one exceptional piece. The idea behind this was to use this creativity from four different discipline areas and combine them to create a stunning, new design for a limited edition bottle of Absolut Vodka. The four discipline areas and their designers are as follows:

Fashion: Danielle Romeril
Light Project: Brian Kenny
Film: Jamie Delaney
Illustration: Chrissie Abbott

The combination of all of these guys imaginations brought one truly fantastic exhibition, the new bottle takes inspiration from the dress designed by Danielle Romeril (Left). There was also a fantastic video section to the exhibition which brought together the work of Brian Kenny, Jamie Delaney & Chrissie Abbott. This was a fantastic video that showcased the dress designed by Danielle but also had this great free flowing feel to it. The video really captured the uniqueness of the dress itself and in turn the new design for the Absolut Limited Edition Bottle.

Another great piece at the event was a new interactive exhibition that allowed the user to design their own dress based on the original from Danielle, but give it their own unique twist. This piece allowed people to alter and create a new design with just the movement of their hand. This allowed people to be as artistic as they felt they could be and gave a huge selection of fantastic original art pieces.

This was a fantastic event to be invited to and I have to thank Absolut for the chance to be involved and attend the launch of this fantastic exhibition, it was a great night enjoyed by everyone in attendance. There was a great buzz in the room, with live music being played and people having a chat about the different elements of Absolut Originality.

The new limited edition bottle is on sale in selected retailers and there are only a limited number of them, so if you want one you need to get out there quick and buy one, they are really great looking bottles.

Why not check out the Absolut Originality Website below for a bit more information, as well as some fantastic Absolut Vodka Recipes to try out on all of your friends and family.

The Genuine Beer Blog
@GenuineBeerBlog, Facebook & Google+ 

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