Rascals Beers of the Year 2019


So, how was it for you?

We had a pretty decent 2019 here at Rascals Brewing Company. We spent our first year in new digs in Inchicore, bigger brewery, with a pizza restaurant, and loads of tourists, and so much more. Lovely reviews in the Irish Times, Irish Examiner, mentions on radio, decent online coverage across a number of sites – some of which we didn’t even pay for ha ha lol – but really the best feedback was from the people who drink our beer.

Following the positive reaction to a recent Twitter poll, we’ve decided to list our beer highlights: The Year In Beer, if you will. Let’s go back to the start of 2019 and a famous sports tournament which we felt required a commemorative beer.

Offloaded pale ale was a juicy number with no shortage of tropical fruit action and a big hoppy profile. It was our nod to the Six Nations and a beer brimming with hope for a year as successful as 2018. Sadly, everything turned to shit. Let’s just draw a veil over the rugby and move on. Mind you, Offloaded was a really top class beer.

Next up we all went a bit reggae and ting with Froots & The Maytals. This was a very easy going tropical milkshake pale ale with passion fruit and mango.

It was one of the best Rascals beers of 2019, without doubt. Smooth mouthfeel, lots of hop action and a little sweetness underneath. It was so good we even made a suitably-themed playlist to celebrate. Click here to have a listen.

Speaking of fruity, we introduced a new core beer this year: Fruitropolis. Combining apricot, pineapple and mango, this beer delivers a cascade of tropical flavours and proved an instant hit.

And now for something completely different. Sometimes you just need a hearty, welcoming stout to sign off a weeks work or a tough day. Cereal Killer was popular from the minute the first keg got tapped up.

This one was a humdinger. A smooth oatmeal granola stout with vanilla and hazelnut notes and a little hint of chocolate and coffee. It’s one of the best stouts we’ve ever brewed. Cereal Killer came along to plenty of craft beer festivals over the summer and gained new fans at each one.

Lager drinkers are always on the look out for a really good brew in that style, which prompted us to come up with Born Sippy: a Bavarian style dry-hopped lager. Unfiltered and just hoppy enough but not off the scale, this 4.6% lager was another massive festival hit. It was the cans, however, which people went mad for. The design, by our own Triona O’Donoghue, had people looking at it twice, asking themselves: ‘Jesus, how many of these have I had??’

We then upped the notions ante with a sparkling, dry champagne style grapefruit IPA called Absolute Brut. This was a good one. At the Big Grill festival in August we sold out of it on day two and there were nearly riots. Well, sort of. There was disappointment anyway. It seemed to be one of those beers that had a great word of mouth effect at festivals. And the cans weren’t too shabby either.

We like to brew popular styles of beers and give them a Rascals twist, which is exactly what we did when we introduced a series called Dublinerweisse. The first had raspberry and milk sugar, which gave this traditional sour ale a creamy sweetness. Very easy to drink and packed full of flavor. The second in the series was an equally-sessionable deep purple elderberry sour. These two became big sellers and it’s easy to see why: low ABV, thirst-quenching, massive fruity flavours.

Keep an eye out for the next instalment in the series. We’ve collaborated numerous times with The Dubliner Irish Whiskey and towards the end of this year we saw some excellent beers as a result of our labour. The first was a beer inspired by the Old Fashioned Cocktail.

We took a bourbon barrel-aged blonde ale (that’s some quality alliteration right there) and brewed it with star anise, orange peel and zest. Looked amazing, tasted amazing. The second collaboration beer turned out to be our most popular beer of 2019 and we named it The Big Smoke.

This is a rich and smoky imperial stout, with subtle hints of chocolate and vanilla, underlined by a gently warming bourbon taste. It was quite the hit:

We may look at trying to bring that one back! But these weren’t the only collaborations in 2019. We also partnered up with Boundary Brewing and produced a wonderful autumnal Belgian farmhouse ale called Green Acres.

It was brewed with citrus peel, green tea and grains of paradise for a touch of spice: a perfect seasonal beer.

Another stout we brewed this year could rival any pint of plain. Blackhorse is a 4.4% oatmeal nitro stout with just a little hint of roasted coffee and chocolate. It tastes exactly how a proper pint of stout should taste.

2019 also saw us make some very special commemorative cans and collectors items. Warner Music asked us if we’d like to do something for the launch of the new Black Keys album; we said absolutely!

Rascals HQ in Inchicore was the first Irish venue to host the Bands FC exhibition and they wondered if we would bring out a special can for the occasion. The result was a really cool design in collaboration with the guys behind the famous exhibition:

And we also got together with Music Maker on Exchequer Street in Dublin to provide them with a beer for their new series of Beer & Gear evenings at the landmark music shop.

Sometimes we all need to embrace our inner kitsch selves and that’s why we leapt at the chance to brew an exclusive beer for Molloys off-licences for the festive season. Ugly Xmas Jumper is an oatmeal pale ale with a big juicy profile. This one should really be in everyone’s stocking this Christmas.

Finally, we also had a bit of additional fun along the way. Does anyone remember these?

It was a good year for barmy viral stuff which lent itself to beers. Let’s hope 2020 is just as barmy. We know we’ve got some very exciting plans for the new year and we hope you’ll enjoy them as much as 2019!