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Today's trio have little in common with each other, only that they're in styles we rarely see from Irish brewers.

First it's a cream ale. This adjunct-laden retro American beer type had a brief revival a few years ago before disappearing again. I can't say it was one that ever impressed me much, not even the archetype. Dublin client brewer Fat Walrus have made it their own with the addition of peach purée and an eye-catching label, to create PEACHfork. It certinly looks like a fruit beer, being an opaque deep orange colour. The aroma suggests ice lollies, jam and other places one might find peaches in concentrated form. They're definitely not realistic peaches, and the same goes for the flavour: candy, sorbet -- that sort of thing, tacked on to an almost neutral, vaguely sweet ale base. So this is another cream ale that I don't really see the point of. The fruit gunk would work as well, and probably better, in a pale ale or sour something. Cream ale? Bah!

Mexican-style lager is one of those styles I'm never sure is in fashion or not. I was agog when the beererati I met in Oregon in 2016 were fans of it. Why would anyone want to copy that? But it hasn't gone away, and one of Ireland's American-helmed beer ventures (Hi Jonathan!) has done one, in dark mode. This is The Pepper Canister from Post Card, claiming extra Mexican points by substituting the corn syrup with agave. Yum yum. It's a muddy dark brown in colour and is beset with floaty gobbets of something unwholesome. Not very sunny to look at. There's an unexpected, but pleasant, buzz of porterish roast in the aroma, and the flavour carries that too, but makes it crisp; the lagering (I guess) bringing a kind of Schwarzbier effect. It's reasonably simple but very nice, and big-bodied for just 4.5% ABV, with lots of chewy brown breadcrust. I don't know that I get anything especially Mexican from it, but then I'm not attuned to the niceties of the style. What you do get is a very decent, if slightly rough, medium-dark lager with no flaws or off flavours despite the butt-ugly appearance. I'll take it.

We finish with another darkish lager: Brewmaster Dunkel Bock from Dundalk Bay. I had a tough time tracking this down, it wasn't in any of the usual places I'd expect to find the brewery's beers, but thankfully Yards & Crafts got me sorted. It's mildly dunkel, being a calming sunset amber, but significantly bock at 6.8% ABV. Bitter and peppery noble hops make up the aroma and do nothing to prepare one for a seriously malt-forward flavour. Fruitcake, milk chocolate, toffee, cola -- several different types of sweetness all at once, with minimal bitterness split between that aroma and a tinny finish. I didn't think I would like it, but the assertiveness of it all has a certain clumsy charm, and is completely cleanly flavoured. It's perhaps better suited to winter than summer, but if that's the worst I can say, it must be doing something right.

So none of the three was what I would regard as typical for cream ale, Mexican-style dark lager or dunkel bock. Maybe that's to be expected when local brewers try their hands at styles which Aren't From Around Here. I appreciate the experimentation regardless, and hope they all learned something useful from it.