Well the dust has settled and I hope the organisers and brewers are having a well earned rest after a long weekend. I’m glad I was able to pay a second visit on the Sunday.
My first stop on Sunday afternoon was the Trouble Brewing stand where I was given a pint of Beoir #2, a pint of an 8.5% Imperial Red Ale, what a way to kick off the day!
After that I headed to the Redwell encampment to pick up a pair of their very smart cans of Steam Lager. Their White IPA was excellent too.
As always it was good to see a few familiar faces and I think there was a good balance of meeting, eating and drinking going on.
Kinnegar had a new beer, and American Wheat called White Rabbit. It had a pleasing hoppy taste which I wasn’t expecting from a wheat beer. They were also proudly displaying their silverware!
Cathal from Rascal’s was very proud of their new Kiwi Pale Ale and I heard some very positive customer feedback as he poured me one.
I had the best crisp sandwich evar which provided some much needed soakage. It came in a blaa which had real Kerrygold Butter, Ballymaloe Relish, O’Donnell’s crisps and some delicious mature cheddar. I think this sandwich should have won some kind of special category award.
I enjoyed Wicklow Wolf’s Solar Eclipse Saison and I had a good chat with Simon, one of the main men behind the brewery, it sounds like I’m going to have to pay them a visit during the Summer!
Beavertown’s stand was very popular over the weekend and I had been tipped off about their Londonerweisse, a collaboration with Dogfishhead. It’s only 2.8% but there’s a whole lot of mouth puckering taste packed in there!
John from Alltech pointed me in the direction of their American Brown Honey Ale which was delicious, and in the grand Kentucky tradition a deceptively easy to drink 10%! I also tried the new whiskey, James Street which won’t be fully available for another year, only 120 bottles have been filled for now. I’m no whiskey expert so I gave Sarah 5 Minutes of Finney a sip and she declared it ‘pretty good’!
I stuck with the spirits for my next taste adventure. The Blackwater Distillery has made a batch of hopped vodka from the mash of Hi Vis from Black’s of Kinsale and I was advised to try them together. It was a unique sensation, and I mean that in a good way!
I made my way over to the Premier stand and had a chat with both of the Deans. I also had some Chimay cheese which was very good indeed and made a bit of a mess with some Ilkley Mary Jane IPA.
As I snaked my way to the exit I picked up one of Donal Skehan’s Skoff Pulled Pork Pies. It was fantastic, he’s giving the Pieminister lads a run for their money with this range.
Just in case any of you are worried about the state of my liver, some of this actually happened on the Saturday and for some reason I didn’t include it in Part 1, which I wrote at the end of a long and eventful day. I’m going to finish right at the start when I paid a visit to The Shebeen which was parked outside the Convention Centre. It’s a caravan that has been cleverly converted into a proper Irish bar. It’s available for hire and I imagine it would be a great talking point at a wedding.
Once again well done to all involved in organising this very enjoyable event. See you in 2016. Sláinte!