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Why are most craft beers here IPAs and pale ales?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 777 ✭✭✭machaseh


    Beardy bloke is a Dub.

    Dunno there are multiple beardy ones hah


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,739 ✭✭✭donaghs


    machaseh wrote: »
    I am from the Netherlands and I am used to a very very very large selection of wonderful craft beers and ales in any supermarket or liquor store. Think belgian ales like westmalle, Westvleteren, la chouffe, chimay, orval. We also have many of these in a similar style from the southern parts of the Netherlands (Zundert, La Trappe, Hertog Jan, Gulpener etc.), and then we also have very large selections of various German beers and ales. Many of these beers have completely different tastes from each other and there's loads of variation.

    But when I go to the off license here in Ireland, it's all IPA this, IPA that. Whether I buy an expensive Yellowbelly or a cheaper commercial Guinness 'IPA style' , it all tastes the same to me. Same for pale ale. Yes sure there are some subtle differences but in the end they are all just the same old IPAs with similar flavour profiles, whether they are American imports or Irish craft beers. Alle the same.

    Yes there's the stouts and porters which I enjoy a bit more and which have a bit more variation than ipas, but they too have mostly similar flavour profiles so I get bored relatively quickly of them. Then there's the odd red or blond ale but they are a bit harder to find and thats about it.

    Yes I know that there's a reasonable selection of imported Belgian ales in some stores but the price is often double that of what I'm used to in the Netherlands so I only have them for special occasions.

    Why does Ireland have such an inferior craft beer culture compared to where I am from? IPAs are boring. I mean sure I'll have one or two in the sun sitting outside occasionally but that's about it, there's no reason to have over 50% of the craft beer inventory in any off license be IPAs.

    Irish people I know in the Netherlands used to complain to me about the lack of a craft beer scene there. Especially in the supermarkets. The said in the last two years things have improved.

    In comparison, they were amazed at the variety of craft beer available in many irish offlicences - pale ales, red, stout etc from Ireland and the world (alongside the preexisting beers like english ales, german weissbeer, belgian specials etc). One good news story being Lidls recently having beers like the Irish "Rye River" "crafty brewing" appearing on shelves. Lack of Stout choice was always there, but similarly beers like Guinness West Indies have made an appearance.

    Due to the proximity of Belgium, the Netherlands does seem to offer those beers (plus their own La Trappe) but in my experience the most people (more so even then Ireland) will drink pale macro lagers like Heineken, Groslch, Jupiler, etc.
    Good paper on the beer market here (2016): http://www.scriptiesonline.uba.uva.nl/document/647095#targetText=In%20the%20Netherlands%20at%20the,%25%20(Datlinq%2C%202014).
    "Albert Heijn
    supermarkets, which has the biggest market share of supermarkets in the Netherlands, sells 13
    different beer crates containing 24 bottles of 25-33 cl. (AH.nl, 2015). Tremblay (1988) wrote
    that pilsener beer is a nearly homogenous product and the only characteristic which
    distinguishes beer brands is the image created by the brand. The image is affected by the
    quality and intensity of a firms advertising efforts. Tremblay (1988) used multiple previously
    done researches which all stated quality between light domestic beers couldn’t be tasted. "

    IPA became the most popular style IMHO, due to its being a bit like the existing pale ales/lagers but having intense hop flavours which dont come through as strongly in stouts etc. I have to disagree that "its all IPAs" in ireland. Just from the Irish craft producers alone, you can get Stouts, Red Beers, Dark ales from O'Haras, Foxes Rock, Four Provinces, Brú, etc, etc.

    While I enjoy Belgian beer, I find the flavour profile of the current craft beer scene to be far wider and more interesting. Especially whatscoming out of the American craft scene.

    As for IPAs being boring, there's a huge amount of variety within the style. the most "boring" ones tend to be the bland ones produced by the macros, e.g. Cute Hoor by Heineken Ireland or Grolsch: https://www.royalgrolsch.com/content/grolsch-royale-weizen-ipa


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,789 ✭✭✭PowerToWait


    Agree with OP to a large extent. I’ve moved much more towards stout and porter this past couple years.

    There are some v good bottle shops about, my favorite being Martin’s of Fairview. You’ll pay a good price but they have a fabulous selection.


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