Take it home: a home brewers ale and a curvy dry white

Every Friday John Wilson selects a great wine and a great beer to try right now. This week it's Bo Bristle Amber Ale and Marotti Campi Albiano 2014 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi

Bo Bristle Amber Ale


€2.99 for a 500ml bottle

Widely available including Mars & Spencer, O’Briens and Supervalu.


Englishman Andy Horn is not the first brewer to be lured to this country by an Irish woman. He arrived in Banaher Co.Offaly, having worked as a network engineer in the U.K. but couldn’t find work –this was five years ago. He had done a lot of home brewing while studying engineering at Nottingham University. ‘I was used to going into English pubs with local brews and all sorts of wonderous stuff’, says Horn, ‘so I put two and two together and it snowballed from there. Now he is the main man behind Bo Bristle, helped by David Guilfoyle and his brother-in-law Morgan Smyth. ‘I love it, he says. I’ve had lots of job offers since, but would never go back; this is too much fun.’ As with many craft brewers they don’t have enough time or space. ‘We are peddling like mad just to keep up with demand. We would love to have a core range of five beers in bottle, but each time we try to brew, we run out of space.’ They do make small quantities of stronger (7%) beers for various festivals, but they tend to sell out very fast. Fittingly the Bo Bristle Amber Ale is quite English in style, light with a nice hoppy bite and some malt in the background; a very tasty beer.

Marotti Campi Albiano 2014 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi


€14.99 (or €9.99 when you buy 3)

Available from O’Briens

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi was once more famous for its appearance than the wine. It came in a curvy bottle variously described as being shaped like an amphora, a woman or a fish.  The wine was fine; soft, fruity, dry and cheap. It sold well in Italian restaurants abroad. In recent years a clutch of more ambitious producers has come forward with some seriously good wines. Some argue that, in the right hands, this is one of Italy’s finest whites. I can see what they mean. Top producers such as Sartarelli produce wonderful fruit-filled, mineral-laden wines. The O’Briens version is pretty good too, with plump melon and peach fruits, cut through nicely with a refreshing acidity. It works out at €9.99 when you buy three bottles; great value and perfect summer drinking.