Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Beer: Kinnegar Swingletree II - Hopping Back...

Swingletree (ˈswɪŋɡəlˌtriː) 

Definition - noun
'a crossbar in a horse's harness to which the ends of the traces are attached,
also called: whippletree, (esp US) whiffletree' - Collins Dictionary

Last year I visited Donegal and enjoyed a trip to The Tap Room under Rathmullan House with its great pizzas and wonderful, local Kinnegar beers. At the time I wondered why they didn't brew a saison, a beer style that many associate with farmhouse brewers like Kinnegar.

Soon after I found out that they had brewed one and it would be at The Irish Craft Beer & Cider Festival, which I subsequently attended. Swingletree was there on tap as promised and my sketchy notes for that day read - 'Orval-like;lovely doggy smell and taste;bitter and gorgeous!' (Yes, yes I know Orval's not a saison...and that those notes are a little odd.)

I came across a bottled version recently named Swingletree II, which is obviously a reincarnation of that beer but with a lower abv - 5.8% versus 7%. Its jaunty labels and branding on a taller-than-normal-500ml bottle giving it an air of crooked elegance and making it stand out from others on the shelf of my local offie.

I drank this one on my deck last Saturday and took some notes again:
Sweetish, chewy chalk; gooseberry crumble and tea; warm spice and bitterness; dry and cleansing; deceptively easy to drink.

And as I sat there savouring and enjoying my Swingletree redux I thought back to last summer and The Tap Room, and how well this beer would go with one of those great pizzas.

Someday I'll really hop back there.

Meanwhile I've been studying plans on how to build a pizza oven in your back garden...

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