Brian Mooney and Stephen Ryan, from Celbridge, Co. Kildare, have won the first Smithwick’s Homebrew Challenge for their Old Town Christmas Ale, after it was sampled across ten pubs in a national taste test.
The brewing duo expressed delight at the win, with Mooney saying, “It was actually the first homebrew competition we’ve ever entered, and only our second attempt at an all-grain beer, so knowing that other people like it too, it’s the best compliment you can get.”
Over the course of a week, both Old Town Christmas Ale and runner-up, Sebastian Kondol’s Apple Pie Ale, were tasted by members of the public in ten pubs nationwide, who were then asked to vote for their favourite.
Smithwick’s brewer, Jasmin Winterer has described Old Town Christmas Ale as having ‘a liquorice and cinnamon aroma with a hint of orange’, and as ‘a cinnamon, nutmeg and star anise beer’ with ‘a warming full body and dry finish'.
After beating the 70 homebrewers that initially entered the competition in September, Brian and Stephen’s ale will now be available to the public in the Open Gate Brewery at St James’s Gate for a limited time.
Jennifer English, Smithwick’s Marketing Director commented on the competition, “We wanted to reach out to people all over Ireland who not only love to drink a great beer but also enjoy brewing it at home.
"Through the Smithwick’s Homebrew Challenge we are sharing Smithwick’s brewing passion with the homebrewers of Ireland, giving them the opportunity to brew in our Open Gate Brewery and have their ale enjoyed by the public in the run up to Christmas.”
Pictured are winners Brian Mooney and Stephen Ryan with Rick O'Shea
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.