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O'Hara's Irish Wheat Beer - Review

O'Hara's Irish Wheat beer is mild in flavor, with fruit aromas on the nose balancing a hoppy finish

Loaf in a Bottle

While craft brewing spread like wildfire in the UK and the US beginning in the 1970s, it was slow to catch on in Ireland. O'Hara's Brewery, one of the first craft breweries on the Emerald Isle, wasn't founded until 1996. Since then, the family-owned operation has outgrown its original nineteenth-century building and moved into a spacious modern facility in the O'Hara family's hometown of Bagenalstown, County Carlow. Their line of beers is expanding, too. O'Hara's now brews Irish Pale Ale and Leann Folláin, in addition to Irish Stout, Irish Red and Irish Wheat.

Although O'Hara's beers are now available in more than 20 countries, their Irish Wheat beer has only just reached the US market. Since Irish exports there have so far been dominated by stouts, the introduction of a wheat beer might broaden Americans' exposure to Irish beer. O'Hara's Irish Wheat beer boasts hints of banana, peach and plum on the nose, which help balance what could have been a rather bitter, hoppy finish. Instead, the Irish Wheat tastes quite mild, without the strong whole wheat flavors typical of many American hefeweizens. At only 4.3 per cent alcohol by volume, it goes down smoothly as well. Pair O'Hara's Irish Wheat beer with spicy foods like chili, barbecue pork and chorizo.

by Barnaby Hughes

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(Updated: 12/26/12 BH)

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