St Patrick’s Day has become a ‘festival’ in Dublin and several events were organised to make sure the visitors to our fair shores enjoyed themselves (read: spent lots of money)!
The All Ireland Craft Beer and Cider Festival was on in the CHQ building. In previous years it had been outside but Ireland can be inclement in March. Ironically enough it was a fantastic afternoon when we arrived. Beer tokens were bought at the entrance a glass was one token and a pints or large bottles were two tokens. I was very disappointed to note that the O’Hara’s Nitro Red, Lublin to Dublin, Kinnegar’s Yannaroddy and White Gypsy’s Semoy were all gone, crossed off the blackboard menu. That left a grand total of one beer I hadn’t had before.
O’Hara’s Amber Adventure, which was a very nice session beer with Pacific Gem and Moteuka hops that were perfectly paired with Vienna, Amber and Crystal malts. That said, I wasn’t going to drink it all afternoon.
Myself and Mr Economical Edibles were chatting to The Beer Nut and we decided to have a bit of fun with the beers that were available to us. So we tried to catch each other out with our choices. I went first and picked:
Cul Dorcha from the West Kerry brewery. I first had this beer at the small but fun Annascaul Beer Festival. It’s a dark ale that’s rich, malty and nutty.
The other two colluded and gave me O’Hara’s Double IPA. It’s very sweet and malty and quite different to the last bottle I had of this. I got no hoppiness from it at all. So then I have to ask is it really DIPA?
I took a break from the brews and visited the Pie Man stand where I got some beautiful meaty sausages.
Then I had an IPA from Metalman. I hadn’t had one of these in a dog’s age and it’s as good as I remember.
I was talking to one of the lads from Bo Bristle and he reminded me that the first batch of their IPA that was dry hopped was on sale. How could I resist? If anything it’s an improvement on a beer that I already love.
Apart from the beer there was a duo playing music, the most entertaining part was when some small children ran up and ‘borrowed’ their shakers and tambourines and started joining in. The music finished when the rugby kicked off and the win made sure everyone was in high spirits. Oh and the Cider Correspondent complained that there wasn’t a great selection of ciders
Then we skedaddled across the city to Earlsfort Terrace for an ‘Enchanted Banquet’.
We made friends with some great people from Quebec and Alaska. The food was not what I’d usually eat but it’s good to get out of your comfort zone at times.
It was BYOB but I had left mine in the car which was the far side of the city. I wasn’t alone though and they were happy to provide wine for everyone.
The crab and lamb were my particular favourites. There was a performance in an adjoining room before the dessert. It was a story about a changeling that was sung and acted. I reckon this type of evening would work equally well at Samhain or Halloween. A very enjoyable event.
The newest Galway Bay Brewery pub Alfie Byrne’s is just across the road from Earlsfort Terrace. I felt it would have been bad of me not to call in.
I had one of their Pilot Series American Amber. It’s quite strong for an Amber at 7.5% but I didn’t realise that until I had finished it. A very good amber to finish the night with. The pub is quite dark but has a pleasant ambience. I will call in again if I’m in the area.