It’s never been a better time to drink dark beers!—

I recently bathed in dark beautiful beers made in Co Kerry visiting my in-laws on Ireland’s wild west coast. If you’re heading Dingle way, dive into the Coffee Stout at Dick Mack’s pub, sip the West Kerry Brewery’s Carraig Dubh porter, or stop by Foxy John’s hardware store and pub for a pint of Guinness. But over here, dark brews are running just as deep.

Not all dark beers are boozy. Boxcar makes a brilliant Dark Mild (3.6%), or for a drop that’s as booze-free as a pixie’s giggle, try Harviestoun’s Wheesht Alcohol Free Dark Ale (0.0%). But the more the booze, the bigger the flavour and a little of the big stuff goes a long way. I love Imperial Stout, and Moor Beer is becoming unbeatable by brewing ever finer work under the banner of ‘unfiltered, unfined, unpasteurised’. Or just book a trip for the best dark beers of all.

DARKSIDE OF THE BREW: The Five Points Brewing Co. Railway Porter (4.8%) 330ml fivepointsbrewing.co.uk £2. Sleek, robust and traditional with roast coffee richness.

SMOKE ON THE PORTER: The Kernel Expert India Porter (6%) 330ml eebria.com £2.75. Exotic hops create a dark beer of invigorating vitality.

MOOR, MOOR, MOOR: Moor Beer Company Double Stout (8%) 330ml moorbeer.co.uk £4.50. An unmissable depth charge of double darkness.

SEAN TO BE WILD: The Brother Sean Belgian South, Anspach & Hobday (9.1%) 750ml thewinesociety.co.uk £8.95. Brewed with Saison yeast: sensational complexity.

BEER OF THE WEEK: New Dawn Fades, Vanilla Milk Stout, Burning Sky (6%) 440ml butlers-winecellar.co.uk £3.99. Malty luxury fringed with vanilla.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 15th March 2020

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