Well that was a week. Wednesday saw the pre-launch of the Rye River Seasonal in the brewery tap room. (I work for Rye River- just in case anyone doesn’t know!) This week the first in a series of seasonal limited edition brews. First out of the traps was a Belgian Imperial Stout brewed with Trappist yeast. We invited a few friends out to the brewery for the first taste and the consensus was that we had created a great beer. So, for once, you don’t just have to take my word for it! Check out #ryeriverseasonal on the social medias. This delicious dark beer will be hitting selected shelves and taps this week, so, if you didn’t get the chance to try it at the Alltech event there’s still an opportunity to grab it!
The fifth annual Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair took place from Thursday to Sunday in the Convention Centre Dublin. Early on the Thursday the sad news of Dr Pearse Lyons’ passing came through. Having briefly met him at some of the earlier events I remember a genial gentleman who took time out to chat to my young twin daughters. He used his massive success in the Agricultural Sciences to fund his original passions of brewing and distilling, first in his adopted home of Lexington, Kentucky and then back here in Ireland. As well as the biggest Craft Beer Festival in Ireland we also have a brewery and a fine distillery on this island. In his memory we should use the hashtag; #askforcraft . There was many a glass raised to honour him over the weekend.
A small army of my colleagues and myself had a great time working at the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair. We enjoyed getting great feedback on our new beer as well as the core McGargles range. I was delighted with the new bar which was built by our Celbridge neighbours RKD.
On the first day I was very abstemious and had no beer, apart from a little quality checking early in the evening. I did enjoy one of Pieman’s Chorizo pies though! I also got stuck into some of Barry John’s Sausages and a Peanut Butter Rolling Donut, not in the one sitting mind…
On Friday afternoon I was lucky enough to be able to attend the very informative and educational Brewer’s Lectures. Logan Plant spoke passionately and candidly about putting on an event like Beavertown’s Extravaganza. I was able to have a short chat with him and share some of our beers with him at the intermission. Sound chap!
Friday evening I got the chance to sample beers from Lough Gill, Priory, Rascal’s and the aforementioned Beavertown.
I also poured my first (?) pint of cask ale – Hobgoblin, for myself at the Wychwood bar.
On Saturday I tried Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea and Porterhouse’s Bounty, bit of a nautical theme there! I foolishly didn’t take a picture of Black’s new Kinsale Gin which has some marvellous and appropriate sea faring inspired artwork. Tastes good too.
My buddy Dave from Stationworks brought me over a taste of their excellent NEIPA and I also enjoyed Carrig’s Starwolf.
I loved Hopfully’s Carnivale, Boyne’s Dubbel ticked my boxes and Five Point’s Pale Ale was tasting great on draught. I also had a drop of Hope’s Vienna Oatmeal IPA which was very smooth.
My beer blogging buddy Ian was rocking his new role as BrewDog Brand Ambassador and he gave me a grand pint of Off Duty Alien.
I tried a few other beers too from Bridewell, Larkin’s, had a small taste of Slingsby’s Rhubarb Gin and someone may have snuck in some cans of the just released Midlands Beer Collective beer. All told the standard of beer was very good indeed. The level of organisation that went into the event was excellent so thanks once again to all involved. And it was great to meet up with so many old friends and to make some new ones. Sláinte!