Most Northern Irish bars are tied to macro beer distributors, meaning there’s often limited space for independent beer taps. Guinness, although one of the biggest beers on the planet, is therefore often our default go-to. Even though it would be impossible to claim Guinness is a craft beer by any definition, we’ve still got a lot of love for the black stuff, particularly compared to the lagers it usually sits beside at the bar.
The Open Gate Brewery is Guinness’ experimental brewery based at St. James’s Gate, Dublin. It’s actually been around for over 100 years but recently opened to the public. The beers they’ve been making are also starting to see the light of day in bars around the UK & Ireland – you might notice a rotating Open Gate tap in your local.
Guinness’ Milk Stout is one of the more readily available offerings from the Open Gate Brewery – it’s available in supermarkets nowadays, and it’s reasonably priced too.
It’s pretty similar to good ol’ Guinness with a more velvety feel, milkiness from the lactose and higher levels of sweetness. It’s a simple, no frills, low ABV stout – basically a sweet, milky, iced coffee. If you like Guinness, you’ll love it.
Who knows, maybe this offering from the Open Gate will be your gateway into the wonderful world of craft beer. And if you do try and enjoy this, maybe try Wild Beer’s Millionaire or Tiny Rebel’s Stay Puft next… and if you enjoy those, seek out some Omnipollo or Buxton imperial stouts… your mind will be blown.