Brew Review – Shanco Dubh by Gulfstream Brewing

I know of collaborations.

Anybody giving even a cursory glance at the craft beer industry knows collaborations.

This beer, however … this beer is something else entirely. This is a recipe share, almost like an exchange student. It didn’t happen because of any sort of collaboration, not because of some sort of charity, just a good, simple recipe share. And that recipe was originally created by Brehon Brewhouse in County Monahan, Ireland.

Interestingly enough, Brehon (the brewery, at least) was started by an old dairy farmer, Seamus McMahon, looking to diversify his holdings enough from just dairy. Even with customers as big as Bailey’s Irish Cream, they decided to convert one of their barns to a brewhouse just as craft beer was taking off.

The dairy is still there, however, and the brewery includes a visit to the milking area in addition to the brew floor. This doesn’t take away from the full lineup of beers, including Shanco Dubh (Porter, 8.3% ABV). Somehow, somehow, this is the recipe Ft. Lauderdale’s Gulfstream Brewery had and brewed in their significantly less cow-adjacent brewery.

The dubh is Irish for black, and the Shanco is a particularly dark and foreboding section of forest lurking behind the brewery/creamery.

To assume this is your standard issue Irish Stout is doing it a grave disservice. The creamery aspect of the original brewery plays well with this beer because it’s got a rich and almost milky sort of undercurrent.

It is exceptionally bold and roasted, with massive notes of cocoa, coffee, a little bit of licorice and chicory, and rounded out with maybe an oat like smoothness. It is absolutely fantastic, and I would love to be able to get a pint of the original just to compare.

Is this something that more breweries should do? Absolutely. A recipe exchange would be absolutely brilliant and a fun experience.

Apparently you don’t want to put all of your cows in one basket.

Drink Florida Craft,


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