My name’s Graeme and I like beer.

This week I was invited to The Dark Horse for the launch of Roundstone Irish Ale. Proof that if you say something often enough people will take heed.

Roundstone is the new kid on the Irish beer block, but some clever branding and marketing gives you the impression that bronze age man is likely to have whet his whiskers with this ruby red ale.

Roundstone 2

The back story to Roundstone is that it was created by two brothers in Tipperary who liked to race, climb and wrestle. When they weren’t acting the lig they built walls. And it was with two special stones they found while wall-building that they launched their new career as primitive craft beer brewers. Using the two stones (which may or may not have had magical qualities) they milled grain and happened upon an Irish ale. They called it Roundstone after the broad, flat and round stones used in the process. Within a month they’d sold their beer to Tennent’s NI and moved to Miami to spend the profits on the jet skis, luxury condos and crocodile shoes.

It’s fair to say that part, if not all, of this story has been embellished.

But let’s not take away from the beer itself. Weighing in at 4% ABV it will stand up for itself in Belfast’s bars between the old faithful draft beers and the IPA revolution. It’s colour is dark, but it’s taste is clean, smooth and refreshing. It’s brewed using three types of hops, but thankfully it hasn’t been marketed with a catchphrase as cheesy as “hop, hop, hooray”.

The tagline for Roundstone is “It’s made of stronger stuff” which immediately gives the impression of machismo. No coincidence then that there was a hog roast and arm wrestling competition at its launch in the Dark Horse.

It’s a beer that sits well in the hands of men with beards and checked shirts, as well as those with flat caps and those who consider tracksuits to be sports casual. I don’t imagine it to appeal to women so much but I’m willing to go pint-for-pint with any ladies willing to prove me wrong.

For information on where you can try this new product and for information on in-bar promotions visit or follow on Twitter @RoundstoneAle

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