A seasonal review..

What a great year it’s been, looking back at 2018 we have a lot be proud of here at Rye River. With A LOT! of beer brewed we can now take a breath, crack a beer and reflect on what we’ve done.

At the start of the year we decided to express our love for beer and brewing with a limited-edition range of small batch beers. Beers, which would allow us to push our brewery a little further and dabble with exciting new flavours and processes. Beers to come and go, brewed to fill about 2000 cans and a couple of kegs. Thus, the Rye River Seasonal series was born.

To bring the concept of Rye River Seasonals to life we worked with the talented team at Greenhouse to build on our ideas and mold a conduit for these beers to flow forth from the brewery. The brand and design would need to stand out yet lend itself to the changing nature of our mission. Have a look at the link here to see what came to life. Each beer in the series is unique, so each label changes and finds inspiration from each brew, yet the can it wraps around is still and remains steadfast in our story.

The Beers

Belgian Imperial Stout

First up was our 8.2% Belgian Imperial Stout. This beer was the beer the long winter had left us longing for. A hybrid of an Imperial Stout and a Belgian Stout. Inspired by Belgian brewing and the amazing aromatics and flavours of their traditional yeasts, we propagated one of our favourite Trappist yeast strains and let it rip through an Imperial Stout recipe which would finish on the lighter side of full bodied. Dark fruits, Plum and Coffee and Chocolate jump from the glass to invite you towards a balanced strong stout to savour.

With pride we hosted a small event at our brewery to unveil our first release and kick off the Rye River Seasonals. The beer went down a treat and then made its way to the 2018 Altech Craft Brews & Food Fair the next day. We were stoked to see that it was awarded a medal that evening and continue to be delighted with the brew every time we crack one open, as this is a beer that thrives in maturity.

Miami J IPA

Next up, Miami J IPA. Our second release hit the ground in June and flew off the shelves. This juicy New England Style IPA punched in at 6.5% bringing together 5 different hop varieties (Citra, Galaxy, Mosaic, Lemon Drop & Amarillo) in about every we could imagine cramming them into the brew. We started in the whirlpool with a traditional steep, then we lowered the temp for another addition at a cold steep. In the fermenter we bombarded Vermont Ale yeast with hops mid-fermentation, and then further with a second dry hop a few days later to finish it off.

We held a little party at 57 The Headline on Clanbrassil Street in Dublin 8 and had some craic as Miami J flowed from the taps! We then brought a few more kegs to Bloom in the Park which happened to be on in Phoenix Park and let the party continue.

Ól Orange Lager

August had us in good spirits, as it had been some summer! With a bit of sun and heat in the mix we’d been craving a lager with a twist. Ól Orange Lager was our answer. For this one we brewed a crisp refreshing lager but drove its nose and pallet a little further by introducing fresh Orange Zest into the whirlpool and then again at the end fermentation by chucking some into the fermenter with a few choice hops during a late dry hop. The result… a perfect 4.4% beer to see out the summer. It’s fresh citrus tinge delicately balanced on the edge of this crisp lager was the right beer to fill our new Teku glasses. Thanks to all who made the trek out when we took the celebrations to Brickyard, Dundrum in order to roll this one out! Hope those glasses made it home with you because they didn’t make it home with us.

Just the Tipple

Our fourth beer of the year was started before we even brewed our second. Just the Tipple is a 6.5% Spruce Tip Saison. When spring arrived, we really wanted to draw on some of the fresh young flavours that were budding around us. So, one weekend a few of us left the brewery and went and foraged freshly budding spruce tips off Norwegian and Sitka spruce. We wanted to capture their fresh character of lime and pine and infuse them into a brew. We paired them with Bastogne yeast to bring a Saison inspired beer to life. Notes of Lime rind and fresh pine are elevated by our ester forward yeast choice to bring forth a beer which is light and refreshing upfront but delivers a lingering complexity on the finish. A beer which truly leaves you pining for the next sip. And they say a great beer is made better with a great memory, while we had a blast introducing this beer at the Irish Craft Beer Festival in the Leinster Cricket Grounds in Rathmines.

Five Finger DIPA

With our 5th Birthday on the way and our 5th Rye River Seasonal on the cards, we started seeing 5’s! Five Finger DIPA came together like an over excited high-five! It was the beer we wanted to drink to celebrate our birthday, and the beer we wanted to raise to celebrate a great year behind us and a better one ahead. So, we packed more hops into one brew than we ever have before! And we brewed a smooth DDH West Coast Styled DIPA. 8% hop fuel. A smooth, juicy, crushable libation for  our Tap Takeover at The Underdog Pub on Dame St. The pub was packed, the beers flowed, and good times were a plenty. Thanks for celebrating with us! If you missed out on the night, don’t fret, cans of Fiver Finger DIPA are hitting the shelves right now, so go wrap your fingers around one!

Can’t wait to crack on with 2019, plenty more beer to brew and share with you.

 

Sláinte!

 

Bill Laukitis