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20th Dec 2016

Craft Beer of the Week: St. Mel’s Pale Ale, Brown Ale and Helles Lager


Another week, another new brewery! That’s the rate we’re going at in Ireland at the moment, and it’s brilliant. There’s no doubt that there is a craft beer revolution happening on this little island and we’re all benefitting from it, getting to try deadly new beers almost every day.

Last night saw the launch of Ireland’s newest brewery (let’s see for how many days they get to keep that title): St. Mel’s Brewing Company. This brewery is based in Longford Town and the 2 guys behind it are Liam Hanlon and Eoin Tynan. It’s named after St. Patrick’s nephew, Mel, who helped spread knowledge and learning in Ireland. Safe to assume the more of their beers we drink, the cleverer we’ll become! Their mission is to “brew the highest quality beers from the best possible ingredients, combining innovation, passion and tradition.” Liam was previously the Head Brewer at O’Hara’s, so you know that their beers will be up to scratch.


So last night, craft beer enthusiasts flocked to The Headline to have a few samples and the chats with these guys. All 3 of their brews were on offer: a Pale Ale, a Brown Ale and a Helles Lager. They are all bottle conditioned, so they are not available on tap just yet, but there are plans to keg the beer in the future.


The Helles Lager (centre) is quite cloudy in appearance due to the bottle conditioning. I am happy to report that it tasted authentic, which is not always the case with Irish breweries’ attempts at German style beers. It’s refreshing and easy to drink and I think it would make a nice “introduction beer” for people who are familiar with German beers or lagers in general but have yet to be converted to craft.

The Pale Ale (left) is hopped 3 times and also dry hopped with Cascade hops. However, the taste is very balanced and not overly hoppy or bitter. The crystal malts add just the right amount of caramel notes. It is presented as a “session ale” and it would work quite well as that.

The Brown Ale (right) had nice chocolate and caramel flavours. It’s the least hoppy of the 3 but still has a citrus kick. It was really tasty and a favourite for many people on the night.

St. Mel’s have entered the scene with 3 very good beers to choose from. It is a promising start and I think we can expect very good things from them. All 3 beers are available in bottles at The Headline now, so make sure to get down there! The Headline have finally launched their food menu as well, with the dishes being created and proceedings supervised by Eric Heilig, whose pop-up venture Brews We Plate I’ve raved about a few times before. He makes some of the best food to be had in Dublin, so this is a must-try! 


In other craft beer news, I am very excited to announce that the Dublin Ladies Craft Beer Society is heading to Waterford to brew a collaboration beer with Metalman tomorrow! The beer will be called “Sheba” and it’s going to be a Ginger and Cardamom Saison. It will be available in pubs once it’s ready, so expect more updates on this soon! For now, you can read more details here. Sláinte!