Craft beer is big business at the moment, and nowhere more so than in Cork.
Brands including 8 degrees brewing, Mountain Man and of course the Franciscan Well (who have just won gold at the International Beer Challenge for their Jameson-aged stout), mean Cork is well-served when it comes to range, and now The Cornstore has gotten in on the action, with a month-long food and beer matching special menu.
Owner Mike Ryan has carefully selected seasonal dishes to match the beers on offer, and the results are exceptional.
I can recommend the pan-seared scallops with celeriac puree, Jack Mac’s black pudding (from Kanturk) and crisp parma ham, which marries perfectly with the 8 degrees Barefoot Bohemian, to start.
The duck plate of succulent duck breast, crisp duck leg and foie gras, is stunning with an 8 degrees brewing Sunburnt Irish Red, while my companion’s venison stew with red cabbage was dark, rich and wintry, complemented by the Trouble Brewing Dark Arts. The menu does have lighter options but the evening we visited was bitterly cold, and our choices were ideal winter warmers.
The reflexive accompaniment to a cheeseboard of locally produced delicacies including Gubbeen would be a strong red wine or port, but the aforementioned Franciscan Well Jameson-aged stout packs an unforgettable punch. It’ll definitely be on the Christmas list – even for an unconvinced stout drinker like me.
The menu is available every Wednesday and Thursday in November and well worth breaking any November resolutions for.