McGargles Sean’s Export Stout

McGargles Sean’s Export Stout

Brewed by Rye River Brewing Company
Style: Stout
Celbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Drinking in an Irish beer session can produce a lot. For most of us it gives us a stomping hangover, and a not so pretty toilet the next day. But for three lads, Alan Wolfe, Niall Phelan and Tom Cronin, this drinking session gave birth to a great idea. Now I have loads of great ideas when I am on the gargle, but unlike them I have no experience with the likes of Molson Coors, Guinness and Heineken, as the aforementioned have. Bored with the uncompromising corporate world, and wanting to try something new and exciting they decided to buy a brewery, as you do!

So in late 2013 Rye River Brewing Company was established in the small commuter town of Kilcock in Co. Kildare. The company borrows its name from a river that passes through the town. Starting off with 3 they have quickly jumped to about 50 employees, and for one simple reason: Success. They are now considered one of Ireland’s largest and most successful independent craft breweries. They since moved to a larger location in Celbridge and produce exclusive brews for some of Ireland’s biggest retailers, including Lidl, Tesco and Dunnes Stores, as well as selling their own McGargles beers, and seasonal releases under the Rye River name, selling to a wide market at home and exporting to over 20 countries around the globe.

Their flagship brand, McGargles, has proved very popular, served in 250 bars round Ireland, exporting to about 15 countries including the USA (into 150 pubs in New York) and Canada, and winning many awards along the way including.

In fact if we are talking about awards, the brewery have won an amazing amount of awards, over 180 to date, including a huge amount at the yearly World Beer Awards. Most notably, McGargles Dan’s Double IPA won Best in Style in the Imperial/Double IPA category to be crowned Best Double IPA in the World at the 2017 World Beer Awards, Dan’s Double IPA also picked up a Country Winner award as did Francis’ Big Bangin’ IPA in the Double IPA and American-style IPA categories respectively. Darragh’s Session IPA held onto the Country Winner award for Session IPA for a second consecutive year having been voted Best Session IPA in the World at the 2017 Awards, their Frank’s Lager bagged a Gold medal. While in 2018 they won 19 World Beer Awards, making it the most-awarded brewery in Europe. Among the awards were best double IPA for McGargles Dan’s Double IPA, best Kölsch style for Grafters Kölsch and best classic style Pilsner for Crafty Brewing Company Irish Lager.
Sean’s Export Stout picked up a gold medal in 2020 for Worlds Best Stout and a country winner in the 2020 Worlds. To be honest the list is endless… would take a long read to go through all their wins at the Worlds……..

They have brought a little humour to an industry that is in danger of taking itself too seriously. One has to only look at the beer snobs and hipsters throttling the life out of what should be a fun market. Go onto any beer forum and be amazed at the seriousness of it all. Christ its beer, no need to take it too heart. Take a chill pill, or in fact have a McGargle’s Granny Mary’s Red Ale!

The McGargle’s Irish Family Beers have been a sight to see in the stalls of shops and off licenses with its unique and striking imagery. A range of small batch beers that include IPA, Irish red ale, lager, stout, pale ale, and wheat beer. Each beer has a story, representing a member of the typical Irish family with its own unique personality and tale to tell. That and the clever tagline “You can’t choose your family but you can choose your beer!” It all looks well great, and definitely stands out. I love this. Usually an Irish beer will play up the stereotype twee shite, the shamrock and all that, but this is something a little bit different. It’s very different, yet still typically Irish, the dysfunctional Irish family that we can all relate to…….Granny is head of the family, the mad uncle, and a hyper daughter amongst the rest. There is one or two in every family, or at least a less extreme version of that.

But apart from their expertise the team have the passion and the love of their craft.
One thing I must commend Rye Brewery is their effort to get the general wider public involved in the craft beer revolution. They provide hop kits, and offer help and advice to people who are seriously interested in home brewing, and are attracted to the brewing business. They want to involve the general public into the process. If you can’t bring the beer to the people then bring the people to the beer!

I feel that Rye are an Irish version of those Scottish scallywags Brewdog, showing a lot of fighting spirit, with a hard nose for business, but all done with a healthy dose of humour. It’s great to see how fast that Rye have risen, and the future looks dead exciting for both the people of Celbridge and the wider beer community in Ireland.

The McGargles Story

The island of Leannclann is more than just the home of the McGargles Brewery. There you’ll find cantankerous auld ones, swearing dwarves, ambiguous lotharios, flirty daughters, and out-of-control hippies. This is just what the McGargles call family.

McGargles has come a long way from the family bathtub where it was first brewed, and weary travellers thirsty for a drop often brave the danger for a taste of the legendary brews. Although most are never seen again, on quiet nights, whispers of “one more pint” can be heard on the wind.

A McGargles family night out has been known to bring whole towns to a standstill. Don’t be afraid to join in though. Everyone is welcome in the McGargles family, as they say: you’re at your Granny’s now!

You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your beer.

I have previously went right through most of the McGargles collection. Their Red Ale, clean and nicely balanced, the IPA, which was a very strong tasting beer, that had a very sweet bitter aftertaste, their Pale Lager, a crisp lager, short sharp, that did the business, their PaleAle, a very decent beer, which I certainly liked, and one I will be eager to give another tryout in the future, and their regular Stout, which as a stout drinker I found it the best in their collection, as it was very easy to drink and the chocolate lingered long in the mouth!

Read the full review of their vast collection here:

Review: 500ml bottle of McGargles Sean’s Export Stout: 6.0% vol.

Last year (2020) this was awarded the Worlds Best Stout and a Country Winner, at the World Beer Awards, which is some accolade to get, cant get better than that….

Can get in bottle and on draught. Nice lovely big bottle and cool character of Sean with a back pack, on his travels no doubt! Definitely stands out.

On pour looks good, a nice pitch black colour, with a very respectable tanned creamy head, nice.

Looks good, nice pitch black, tanned head, nice. Some half decent lacing going on. Looks the part.

Very nice aroma, a strong whiff of chocolate and toffee malts. Typical stout and porter smell, nice…

Onto the taste then, first impressions is positive, nice early flows on the tongue of a deep and meaningful taste of the chocolate and toffee malt body with a pleasant hoppy aftertaste.

Hops are strong but manageable.

A full bodied stout that is relaxing and nice to sip.

Yes it has that proper stout or porter taste, roasted flavours with cocoa, but the hops are a little too strong for my soft palate to fully enjoy.

It is ok, but wont be returning as I prefer my stouts to be more fun, this was just a little too strong in the taste as I’d prefer in a stout a more enjoyable experience, this was ok, but too bitter and not as smooth as I’d prefer. Sorry Sean



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