Hercules Brewing Company - Yardsman BPA
Serving Temperature:45-50° F
Suggested Glassware:Pint Glass or Mug
When founder Niall McMullen opened Hercules Brewing Company in Belfast in the spring of 2014, it was the first brewery to open there in close to 160 years. The city once had a rich brewing industry; in the mid-1800s there were 13 breweries operating in the city, with the purported oldest one operating on Hercules Street. Sadly, as the Industrial Revolution gained steam, Belfast's artisanal breweries dried up and closed down. The Guinness family poured money into Dublin, turning that city into a brewing hub while Belfast faded.
The revived Hercules Brewing Company was founded with the desire to revive and pay homage to Belfast's brewing tradition. Their flagship Yardsman offerings are brewed in small batches with traditional methods and local ingredients, and is filtered through Irish linen, a nod to Belfast's history as a major producer and exporter of linen.
To open up a market for their brand in the U.S., Hercules took the unusual step of partnering with Denver, CO's Crazy Mountain Brewing Company to set up Hercules Brewing Company USA. The Hercules team traveled to Denver to brew their Yardsman beers with Crazy Mountain and extensively train them on the recipes and techniques. Producing Yardsman locally bypasses the time, expense, and taxes associated with bringing the beer across the pond, while delivering the freshest possible product to U.S. consumers. While still a bit of a novel approach, it's something we've seen be successful before, notably with Denmark's Mikkeller, who partnered similarly with Sly Fox in Pennsylvania. We expect to see more of these partnerships in the future.
Currently, Belfast's brewing industry is booming, as is Northern Ireland's in general, thanks to brewers like Hercules and now dozens of others who have popped up across the province. We're excited to see what these brewers produce in the coming years and hope to bring more of their traditional beers to you soon. For more info on Hercules, visit www.yardsmanlager.com.
This "Belfast-style" pale ale presents a bright golden-copper color, lightly hazy, with a head of just off-white foam. On the nose, we picked up bready and lightly toasty malts overlaid by woody, tea-like hops offering additional notes of stone fruit, touches of hay, and an intriguing note of mild, but fragrant, spice. Take a sip and look for a nice core to present itself composed of lightly toasted bread and hints of caramel. We found the hop profile quite British with light spice, hay, and aromatic wood, while the bitterness comes through moderate and on-point for an English-style bitter or pale ale, easily balancing the malts without going over the top, and ensuring a dry impression from the start to the finish, which lingers with a touch of herbal bitterness. For pairing options, we're inclined to go with a Reuben or other sandwiches, fish and chips, or a simple plate of pub cheeses such as cheddar, cotswold, or gloucester. Sláinte!
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