There must be something in the water in Wicklow these days. No less than 3 new breweries have either started up recently or are just in the process of setting up in the Garden County. When I heard that one of them, Wicklow Wolf, was growing their own hops, I couldn’t wait to check out their beers. There are very few breweries in Ireland that grow their own hops to brew their beers with. So it was very exciting to see a brand new brewery doing this.
Wicklow Wolf have come onto the market with 3 beers: A Dry Hopped IPA (6.3%), an American Amber (5%) and their Kentucky Common Brown Ale (4.8%). They have only started to become available in Dublin in the last 2 weeks, but it did not take long for extremely positive feedback to start appearing on Twitter. Fellow craft beer lovers seemed to be quite impressed with their brews. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Dry Hopped IPA and was very happy to give it a bash.
The beer pours a cloudy, dark orangey-golden colour with a thin white head. It’s extremely hoppy on the nose with some grapefruit aromas also coming through. The taste is very punchy, hops and citrus flavours run the show. This is definitely not a beer for the faint hearted. It can be compared to Galway Bay’s Of Foam and Fury on the punch-in-the-face scale. Even as you swirl it around a bit and it warms up, the malt virtually stays hidden- it’s all about the hops here. The fact that it is dry hopped couldn’t be more obvious. You’re in for a challenge, but an amazing one. This is an outstanding beer that is up there with the best IPAs in Ireland. It is very well made. If you like strong IPAs, you’ll absolutely love this. This beer is definitely worth going out of your way for. It is the first beer by Wicklow Wolf that I tried and I'm really excited to try their other beers.
Wicklow Wolf beers are currently available on tap in 57 The Headline and The Norseman. Bottles are available in Whelan’s Off License, Blackrock Cellar, McHugh’s Off License, Baggot Street Wines, and more. Check Wicklow Wolf’s Twitter page for updates on off licenses stocking them.
Cheers to very promising new Irish craft brewery!