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Brewing cooperative Farmageddon not only have a cracking business name but have built a strong customer base and solid range of carefully hand crafted beers from the beautiful shores of my own homeland in County Down, Northern Ireland. Though their particular patch is more famous for its delicious spuds than beer, they are in great company being a stone’s throw from the wonderful Echlinville Distillery, designers of ‘Jawbox’ Gin.

Farmageddon were born out of late night chats about surviving the apocalypse by becoming self sufficient and brewing up fine pale ales, and why on earth not? There's a focus on the art rather than the chemistry but nothing gets lost on flavour. Big mosaic hops shine through the IPA and it is thoroughly drinkable. Straw coloured with thick froth it's a satisfying brew indeed. 

You'll not be surprised to learn that the double IPA weighing in at 8.1% is a hard hitter too for those with the stronger stomachs. Making the most of the Sorachi hops it's all mango and peach and citrus punchiness, a real smack to wake you up. Big and brassy. The team are proud of their hophead roots and it's clear plenty of taste testing and tweaking has gone into their late night product development. 

Sealing the deal for this homebird however is the use of Carageen harvested straight from the shores of Strangford Lough in their products. This my friends, is an area of outstanding natural beauty and a special conservation area that hosts this mighty fine seaweed. By using this carageen they ensure their beer is vegan friendly and provides an ever so slightly hazy appearance which some may resist but I find reassuring. 

Northern Ireland is currently flourishing in new producers showing off their innovative produce and showcasing passionate artisan creators. The cooperative style of places like Farmageddon and crowd funded Belfast brewers 'Boundary' give that friendly hospitable feel that's hard to find in more commercial brands. Like who wouldn’t fancy a tour of the Farmageddon farm, meeting the pigs and the chickens, spying on the beehives and sharing a pint with the team with their Belfast punk blaring in the background. Wouldn't you? Throw in their love of martial arts and we are getting somewhere. 

Best sampled with: Black Dexter Beef from Belfast or for the vegan option, Kelp and Mushroom Stir fry
Drink while listening to: Thin Lizzy ‘The Boys are Back in Town’
(K. Dorrat) 

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