Christmas Beer and Phuca

It's getting very near Christmas and the beer stocks were low. So we made a trip to Redmonds Off License in Ranelagh which can be found on the ultra useful Beermapping website. I wanted some beer to go with my Christmas dinner.

I decided the Anchor Christmas beer would go well with the dinner and the Samichlaus will be savored with some pudding and cream.

Dave found some lambics to try. He's already a fan of Boon Kriek but he hadn't tried the Chapeau ones before. I still can't drink lambic beer. To me it's just too sour and off tasting. I'll keep trying it though.

I got some Brooklyn Lager which I love, it's such a tasty well balanced beer. It's very expensive here so a six pack is a festive treat. I'm hoping their IPA will be just as nice. I'm also interested to see what the Sierra Nevada anniversary ale is like.

I also got some Meantime beers, the Pale ale and the London Pale Ale. I've only ever tasted their IPA which was good so am keen to see what these are like. Is it sad to be impressed by the nice bottles they use?

On friday night before heading out we went to get a bite to eat in the Bull and Castle. We got a table thanks to the great bar manager. I remembered they should have a new seasonal special beer from The Franciscan Well Brewery. I asked for it and was rewarded with a pint of Phuca their spiced Christmas ale. Phuca is the Irish word for ghost and it's a good name conjuring up images of a dark cold night with lots of fog and maybe spirits abroad. What could be better than sitting in with this beer instead. It's lovely, dark and spicy with a big hit of ginger and cloves. The food in the Bull and Castle was excellent, I had roast beef and Dave had a lamb stew, both were very tasty. The beer went well with the hearty winter dinner. It wasn't too expensive either. The Bull and Castle is what Irish pubs should be.

8 Responses to "Christmas Beer and Phuca" (Leave A Comment)

Iamreddave says
December 22, 2008 at 4:57 AM

The Phuca is really good. I also like that the Franciscan Well are popular enough that they can do an unusual beer and be confident people will try it. It is easier for a microbrewer to make a lager, a stout and a red ale and if you can do more its a good sign.

Gonecaving says
December 22, 2008 at 5:57 AM

Hmm, shoulda tried the Phuca. I've posted some pics from Brussels at

the Cantillon pics are near the end.

Thomas says
December 22, 2008 at 11:41 AM

It's great to see everyone raving about a tasty Irish craft beer.

Brooklyn Lager need not be a expensive treat; Tesco are selling 6 packs for 8.99. The stuff gets cheaper and cheaper every time I visit that place.

Bionic Laura says
December 22, 2008 at 12:22 PM

Why didn't I found this out before! Now I know where to go for cheap Brooklyn Lager.

Yeah Phuca is great. Good to see specials being made too.

Thomas says
December 22, 2008 at 2:43 PM

I tried to alert the masses on ICB on Saturday morning but the website was running painfully slow and I had to be elsewhere.

But at least you know now. Let's keep it our secret...

The Beer Nut says
December 23, 2008 at 6:36 AM

I've not been to a Dublin offy in ages so have completely missed the presence of the Anchor Christmas ale: I'm dying to try it.

Meantime London Pale Ale is superb. I'm just back from my Christmas run to Sainsbury's which yielded the London Stout and their Winter Time, which I loved last Christmas.

Anonymous says
December 23, 2008 at 10:40 AM

Is Boon Kriek very sour? I love sour Krieks, but have never tried it.

I also love the Meantime bottles...and their beer.

I must admit I'm jealous of your holiday haul. I wish there was a good beer store near me like the one you went to. I would love to try the Brooklyn lager-- I hear great things.

Bionic Laura says
December 23, 2008 at 2:35 PM

Yeah it's pretty sour. I think it was Boon Kriek that I smelled and went 'oh dear this smells of babies nappies' and then tried a bit. It tasted better than it smelled but I couldn't get over the smell. As I said Dave seems to love it so if you like lambics you'd probably like it.

Yeah the Off License is good if a bit expensive but then again there aren't many offies with that range of beers so if you want them you have to pay it seems.

I love Brooklyn Lager and with Thom's tip I'll be doing a raid on Tesco to get some more. It's lager like it should be ie. it actually tastes of something :-)