If you like a brewery that can nail a complex, barrel-aged Stout, and a straight-shooting IPA with equal aplomb, you’re in luck. Today we’re digging deeper into the brilliant DOT Brew from Dublin.
Founded by Shane, Mikey & Peter, DOT Brew has deep roots in maturation, specialising in unique barrel-aged and blended beers. Despite this approach, you’ll still find the team cranking out plenty of super-crushable core beers, with their hop-forward offerings big on flavour and drinkability.
“We’re constantly observing and pinching modern finishing techniques from the wine and whiskey industries.”
We’ve got a refreshing range of DOT Brew beers in stock at the moment, so it’s a great excuse to catch up with Shane and find out about how the gang got started, and what to look out for in their new releases. If any of these brews tickle your fancy, then make sure to pick some up.
How did DOT Brew begin?
“A somewhat common story: homebrewer fills friends up with free beer, beer-filled friends push homebrewer to roll the dice and pursue a passion. And there you have the founding trio. Obviously, there’s more detail and support from very patient friends/family/local independent retailers/suppliers/customers and more in-between, but that’s a pretty long story.”
While there’s big focus on your barrel-aged beers, your hop-forward selection has been going down a treat, too. What’s your secret?
“The cool thing with hop-forward beers is that you can give 10 brewers the same ingredients and end up with 10 different outcomes. At the moment, we’re focusing on water profiles and body-builders like flaked & malted oats or pale wheat. As a go-to, we also rotate from US05 through to Vermont and London Ale III yeasts for differing fruity characteristics.
For us, like many breweries, the hot side bittering addition is a thing of the past. On the dry-hop side, as standard DOT Brew hits the brew twice at two different temperatures. The higher first addition accommodates biotransformation, the process of combining hops for more diverse flavours, and helps us in the pursuit of the ultimate juicy aroma.”
What drove DOT Brew to go down the path of barrel-ageing and maturation?
“Our barrel programme, especially as a nomadic brewery, gives us more scope to play and achieve the unique character of our beers. From the outset, the focus was pretty clear. The first DOT Brew beer produced in 2015 (released in May 2016) was barrel-aged at a time where the standard initial release was quite predictable. Instead we went for a bold Imperial Stout and a Session IPA built with a good 20% of the grain bill being the lesser-used pale rye.
Nowadays, as timber fetishists, we’re constantly observing and pinching modern finishing techniques from the wine and whiskey industries. We love to create unique-tasting beers, and adding new elements, whether it’s through an extra stage in finishing barrels or blending styles. These processes of mixing already rich and complex beers either with each other or through using additional barrels, creates more opportunities for layering and a greater depth of flavour.”
Can you tell us about your personal highlights from the beers that have just arrived?
“That’s kind of like asking which is your favourite child. You might have one but you really can’t say in public!
The current selection definitely has something for everyone. STRAIGHT UP IPA does what it says on the tin! It’s a crushable mid-strength IPA, while A THROW AWAY PLAY blends both East & West coast influences in a refreshing DIPA. Then, BA JUST PEACHY is a byproduct from about 1.5 years of working with lactose in barrels. The goal was to make a lactose beer that wasn’t “call your dentist now” cloyingly sweet. We’re all about balance.
On the polar opposite side of the spectrum there’s BA MAGNANIMOUS, a bold, dry stout aged in French oak Cognac/American oak bourbon/Irish single malt whiskey and blended back with fresh Imperial Stout. BA MISCHIEF MANAGED is a pale sour ‘tart’ ale, loaded up with 115g/litre of blackberries and blackcurrants (picked around Ireland). and is sharp with a dry tannin finish. Lastly BA AS YOU LIKE, is a big beer that’s all about the subtleties. Aged in Irish Grain Whiskey and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, the result is fruity and spicy, but it almost drinks like a session ale…. almost!”
Our DOT Brew beers
If all this talk of barrel-ageing and juicy IPA has got you thirsty, don’t forget to grab some DOT Brew beers!