I have unwittingly been drawn into rugby world cup madness. I’m not necessarily a fan, but I live with a rugby maniac and – don’t tell him this – but it’s been kind of fun getting into the excitement of the world cup.

Sadly, my home country of Canada did not make it to the World Cup. However, it might be for the best as it provides less division in our mixed household.

When it comes to watching sports matches on the television, the snacks are what really excite me. Neven has once again hit the nail on the head with his Entertaining at Home recipes; sharing the ultimate game-day snacks ideal for your family or if you have friends coming over. When it comes to the right drinks pairing, there is no way I’m matching these recipes with wine. Sorry! That said, I wanted to pair beers which can be easily purchased while you’re out shopping for other ingredients.

Living in rural Ireland has so many benefits, but being able to source small-batch brews and special ingredients is not one of them. So while we’re still supporting Irish craft beer, we are also featuring breweries with the capacity to supply shops all around the country.

Irish craft beer

These two Irish craft breweries enjoy a nationwide presence in both off-licenses and in supermarkets. Their beer is delicious, crowd pleasing and a much better game-day bevvy than your European mass-produced alternatives (not naming any names!).

Beer for Neven Maguire recipe

Kinnegar Bucket & Spade Session Rye IPA (4.2%)

Everything about this Co Donegal beer is pleasing – its vibrant colour; its crisp and refreshing mouthfeel and its well-balanced flavour. IPAs (India Pale Ales) can be bitter. However, Kinnegar’s Bucket & Spade – made with (you guessed it!) rye – has a beautiful malty finish and crisp citrus notes. This is a bit dangerous because it’s the kind of beer you can easily sink into and drink in multiples while watching match after match.

This is the kind of beer you want to have with Neven’s Buffalo wings and hot dogs. The balanced malt and citrus flavour pairs well with both sauces.

In even better news for rural dwellers, Kinnegar beers are very accessible. I most recently found a selection of their beers on the shelf in my local Lidl and purchased the Bucket & Spade in my local Dunnes Stores (€3.50 for a 440ml can).

Of course, you can also order this beer online or check in with your local off-licence. kinnegarbrewing.ie

Beer for Neven Maguire recipe

Brú Citrus IPA (5.5%)

This Co Meath brewery has a great story, and we featured them in a 2021 edition of Irish Country Living. Among their desire, when starting out, to brew high quality beers, they also really wanted to create an accessible line of craft beers for all kinds of beer drinkers to enjoy.

I have been drinking and enjoying Brú beers for many years. Mainly because they were one of the first Irish craft beers I could find in our local supermarket. Like the Kinnegar Bucket & Spade, I found their Citrus IPA at my local Dunnes Stores (€2.80 for 440ml), but you will find Brú brews all over the place.

Where the Bucket & Spade is malty and refreshing, the Brú Citrus IPA is punchy and bright with a pleasing level of bitterness. This bitterness will cut through those cheesy nachos; creating the perfect pairing. There is a small hint of pineapple, thanks to the types of hops they use to make this beer, which is a great match to the spicy jalapenos.


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