Salad Days and a beer to drink with them, Dungarvan Helvick Gold

Recently I briefly mentioned a new Irish craft brewery, the Dungarvan brewing company run by brothers in law Cormac and Tom along with their wives Jen and Claire. A week or two ago we met Cormac and his lovely wife Jen in The Bull and Castle where we sampled some very tasty Copper Coast ale on cask. They also gave me a sample of each of their beers to try plus a bottle opener and a Dungarvan bag. The bag is what the stylish beer geek will be using to tote their beer around for the summer.  Thanks for that guys!

The weather has been beautiful and sunny the last few days so I've been making the best of it. On the evidence of last summer any sun at all is to be celebrated so I barely went indoors at all for the whole weekend. I was down visiting my parents and my Dad had the barbecue out for every meal, he even made the fry on Sunday morning on the barbecue. I love this time of year sitting outside in the sun eating grilled food and salads. I particularly love salads, they're so easy to make, just throw lots of stuff in a bowl and it looks like you've done loads of work. This evening back in my own house I cooked up some burgers with baby potatoes baked in the coals of the barbecue. I served it with a mixed salad and some coleslaw. The coleslaw is an important nod to the cuisine of Waterford. Blaas and coleslaw are two things that always come to mind when I think of Waterford. I went to school in Waterford so I'm allowed slag it off. I love blaas and have had many arguments explaining that they are not just baps. Recently an American in a forum made a snide comment that they look like the rolls you get in any American restaurant. I did shout 'They Are NOT Bread Rolls' at the screen. Blaas get their unique taste from a long rising time and they go stale quickly, I must try bake them some day. Having a fresh blaa with ham and coleslaw for lunch at school was always really tasty. 

I decided to taste the Dungarvan Helvick Gold which is a blonde ale along with the barbecue. Now there is a big downside to this beer which I should tell you about first. One bottle is not nearly enough of this beer. We split it between us and were very unhappy about only having one bottle. So if you're buying it (Drink Store stock it and deliver around the country) don't just buy one to try or you will regret it. This beer is gorgeous and perfect for that laid back sitting in your garden eating a burger and salad in the sun type of vibe. I could happily drink it all evening but having only one bottle I'm now writing a blog post about it instead and pining for it's aroma.

It pours a nice blonde colour with a slight haze as it's bottle conditioned. The aroma is great, to me it's very fruity, almost like a weiss beer. It doesn't taste like a weiss beer though as it's a lovely well balanced hoppy blonde ale. Blonde ales can be bland as breweries treat them as something that shouldn't be challenging so that lager drinkers will drink it. This beer isn't like that but I think it will convert a lot of people to craft beer with it's full on flavour and easy going nature. It's packed full of flavour without being too bitter. I really loved it and as I said a half bottle just wasn't enough at all.   

I can't wait to taste the other beers and I'll be reporting on them here. If you can't wait to read my wittering you can read Mr Billings talking about the rest of the beers here and The Beer Nut about Black Rock stout here.

5 Responses to "Salad Days and a beer to drink with them, Dungarvan Helvick Gold" (Leave A Comment)

Tommy says
May 24, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Oh yes. Chipsticks in a buttery soft blaa from The Marian with an orange Capri Sun to wash it down. Happy memories of lunch during nervous and sunny May days of 1996 swotting for exams in the RTC (Pre posh WIT days!). Nice one. Tommy

Séan Billings says
May 25, 2010 at 4:03 AM

You're right there, Blaas are not bread rolls. A soft blaa has a distinct flavour and texture that you just don't get elsewhere. If you have a recipe for baking them, I would be interested, as Betty and Ciara are also fans of Waterford's contribution to global cuisine.

Helvick Gold is my favourite of the three Dungarvan beers and that is not because I dislike the other two. I must try it with a mild, fruity curry.

Cormac O'Dwyer says
May 25, 2010 at 8:32 AM

Séan, there's a recipe for blaas on wikipedia, which used to good effect here:

Reuben Gray - TaleOfAle says
May 25, 2010 at 8:59 AM

I love Helvick Gold, thought I have yet to try their stout.

Bionic Laura says
May 25, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Thanks for the recipe link Cormac. I might have to try it when I'm pining for a buttered blaa some day.

Tommy I went to school beside the Marion shop and was a big fan of Meanies in a blaa. Last time I passed it I noticed it's a chipper now which is a pity. Thanks for the comment.

I think Helvick Gold is gathering itself a bit of fan club.