I’d TAP THAT: Full of it

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First Posted: 3/11/2014

Beer: Malarkey

Brewer: 3 Guys & a Beer’d Brewing Company

Style: Irish Red Ale

ABV: 6.00%

Description: Malarkey pours a deep russet red with ruby highlights and a thick creamy tan head that lingers long and leaves behind thin lacing on the glass. The aroma is dominated by malts with notes of caramel and chocolate hitting up front, as subtle notes of earthy hops dance in the background. The taste again is dominated by malts, which is what you want for this style. The sweet toasted malts are certainly present up front, and the chocolate flavor definitely makes its presence known, but it is balanced nicely with the malt bill and, again, the earthy hops glide over the palate and leave behind a surprisingly semi-dry finish. The medium body and moderate carbonation present a beer that is very easy to drink without any palate fatigue. Malarkey may mean that you are full of it in a different sense, but in this case it means that it is full of flavor!

Food pairing: The sweetness of this beer makes it a great choice with a lot of desserts, though it is also a great beer to have with many meat-based dishes, especially those we enjoy during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Try pairing Malarkey with fish ‘n’ chips; the sweetness will balance nicely against the fat within the dish. If you are a fan of putting vinegar on your fish ‘n’ chips, it will add another flavor dimension and create an explosion of flavors by unlocking the malts within the beer even more. Also try pairing this brew with shepherd’s pie, as the malts will certainly bring the meat profile to the forefront while adding even more creaminess to the mashed potatoes. This is also a great beer to try with cakes and pies as well and, of course, Irish soda bread. Be adventurous when pairing this with desserts, as it has enough flavor variants that it can add something to everything, and it even has enough body to handle some of the heartier desserts out there!

The final word: The Irish red style is one that not many craft brewers have made attempts with in the past few years. It’s a wonderful and extremely easy-drinking style that can be enjoyed throughout the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, and spring in general. 3 Guys & a Beer’d have made a unique interpretation of this style with the addition of the chocolate malts, which gives the beer a darker appearance than others within the category and also brings about a sweetness and full mouth feel usually not experienced in this style. The result is a great beer that can be enjoyed at any of the local parades or at home enjoying the parade on TV. 3 Guys & a Beer’d is certainly not a brewery that feels bound to any rules when it comes to brewing.

Rating: W W W V

Where can I get it? Currently available in 12 oz. bottles at Backyard Ale House, Scranton and Armetta’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Chinchilla. Available on draft at The Keys, Scranton; Arson’s Ales, Carbondale; and The Bog, Scranton

Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour on 102.3 FM Saturdays at 10 a.m.