A Wicklow beer with a Nordic twist

Beerista: Danish brewer Anders Kissmeyer has teamed up with Wicklow Wolf

Craft breweries can't seem to get enough of each other – every other week there's a new collaboration beer hitting the shelves. "There's a bit of magic in it," says the Danish brewer Anders Kissmeyer, who recently teamed up with Wicklow Wolf to create a special honey and elderflower ale.

"You always learn something from a collaboration," says Kissmeyer, who has been working as a brewer for more than 30 years, and has done collaborations with Hill Farmstead, Boston Beer Company, Crooked Stave and many others. "The exchange of ideas and knowledge is super fascinating."

Kissmeyer previously worked at Carlsberg but says the world of craft brewing is a lot more fun. "There's a universe of styles and flavours to work with."

It’s also a more fast-paced industry, unlike industrial breweries who struggle to adapt quickly enough to the changing market, he says. “We are much more agile, and this is the way with the craft movement.”


But he’s not one to slag off Carlsberg: “it is a more than decent lager” he says, though it is steadily losing market share, he adds. “There’s been a fundamental change in the way people drink,” he says, people are more discerning, especially if they have money to spend.

“Sometimes I say we’re doing the good work in terms of alcohol moderation, we’re trying to persuade people to trade quantity for quality. Instead of drinking four pints of something totally indifferent drink two pints of excellent beer.”

Quincey Fennelly of Wicklow Wolf agrees: "don't drink beer, taste beer," he says. Their Wolf's Kiss collaboration beer brings a bit of Nordic influence to the Bray brewery. Made with honey – some of it from Wicklow Wolf's hop farm – it's a 6 per cent golden ale. "And it's made with elderflower," adds Kissmeyer. "Elderflower aromas work extremely well with hop aromas."

@ITbeerista beerista@irishtimes.com