Annual 2022 Year in Beer (and Life), Part 2

Welcome back (or, if you’ve joined in media res, simply welcome) to the second part of a beer-y and life-y roundup of 2022.

In April, we discovered that our little beer podcast not only had listeners, but they had voted for us to be included in a card game, which is a very specific kind of internet-based fame, but a welcome one! The re-opening of international travel meant a family trip to Portugal, a new destination for all of us. While most of the beer wasn’t especially memorable, there were a few standouts, notably Urraca Vendaval, an IPA by Oitava Colina: we enjoyed that and some other local small breweries’ offerings at Crafty Corner, a taproom nestled in some late medieval/early modern arches in Lisbon.

Once back in Ireland, we almost immediately headed to Limerick, where I smashed my half-marathon PB by nearly 8 minutes, and enjoyed some wonderful beer from Treaty City and the always-exceptional Crew Brewing Company (that Vanilla Milk Stout, tho). In another quick turn-around, I hopped back on a plane to Denmark for a whirlwind work trip, and enjoyed some Limfjords Ale, a brown ale (BROWN ALE!) from Thisted Bryghus, before heading back home to Dublin.

Always pre-game before going to the OlympiaMay, of course, saw another Eurovision, and we are thoroughly enjoying our now-annual Beer Ladies Podcast deep dives. But there was live music, too – two nights of The Divine Comedy at the Olympia! And here we pause for an important protip – as the beer on offer at The Olympia is a wasteland of Heineken and their stout-adjacent Islands Edge, get yourself over to The Oak and/or its conjoined twin, The Beer Temple in advance; your taste buds will thank you. And, spoiler alert: there would be more Neil Hannon-ing to come, but we’re not there yet…we (we, in this instance, being me and Child One – really, Young Adult One) also snuck in an evening with Peggy Seeger and son Calum MacColl, so said offspring has bragging rights to say he’s seen Peggy as well as her brother, Pete, though alas, he barely remembers that show – and this was his third or fourth time seeing Neil. If you’re wondering, he doesn’t share the Eurovision love, but Child Two does).

But back to beer; in June, there was more cask Ballykilcavan Bambrick’s Brown – huzzah! It was well worth braving the Phoenix Park crowds at Bloom for a taste. I had another race in the form of the VHI Women’s Mini-Marathon (really a 10K, but who’s counting?), and made the impromptu decision to stop off at the Porterhouse Central for a post-race pint – much-needed after the terrible weather before and during the run. It’s a good thing I did – it disappeared not long after, so it was a last chance to see it before it morphed into Tapped, but that’s another story.

o hai, james masonLater that month, I made it back to London for my first in-person work conference since 2019, and enjoyed some fantastic cask pints while I was in town. I also binged all the theatre I could fit in, as per usual, and am so glad I got to see Fra Fee in Cabaret, plus 2:22: A Ghost Story, with Mandip Gill and Tom Felton, which brings my ‘Doctor Who Companions Seen Onstage’ total up to – er – two. I’d hate to figure out how many ‘Harry Potter Actors’ would be on the list, but as that is some vast percentage of British Equity, it seems less worth counting, but I digress…a pre-theatre pint at The Harp was most welcome.

I also enjoyed a quick lunchtime pint in the very-haunted Haunch of Venison in Salisbury before heading back – I know that Butcombe Bitter isn’t exotic for my friends in the UK, but we just don’t have bitters around in Ireland, in cask or keg, very often. But hey, perhaps we can manifest more of them into being. We Beer Ladies do have form in that regard.

Also: more Parkuns – sometimes, in a second-woman finish!

Next up: Summertime fun….

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