A quick visit to the 2016 Irish Craft Beer Festival 

Yesterday afternoon I went along to check out the action at the Irish Craft Beer Festival in the RDS. I started off with Sullivan’s Maltings Red Ale. This beer is very new on the Irish market but the family have a long history of brewing in Kilkenny. It’s a chewy, tasty and malty ( no surprise there) Red Ale that does exactly what it sets out to, a decent start to the day. 

Rascals were rocking a very cool disco keg and they had an array of festival specials on offer. I went for the Nitro Mint Chocolate Stout. I had no After Eights with me but my wife gave me a piece of her chocolate chip cookie to accompany the beer. A beautiful rich, smooth Stout. 

Gratuitous keg shot. 

Wicklow Wolf were launching their new Session IPA; Easy Lover which for some reason put Hall and Oates ‘Maneater’ in my head. Yeah I know it’s the wrong song but it’s 80s cheese so, close enough. The beer is anything but cheesy, and whatever about being an Easy Lover, it’s certainly an Easy Drinker, session on! 

I swung by Trouble Brewing’s stand and they had the slushie maker running again, I had the excellently named Weisse City, a Berliner Weisse. It was rather tasty and then I asked them to top it off with the Mandarina Bavaria Lager slushie, the result was a heavenly Germanic mash up. 

Brewer Ian had made Crosswalk, an East Coast IPA and Head Brewer Dave had made Gunslinger, a West Coast IPA. So it was an IPA off. I have to say this round went to Ian, for his excellent East Coast IPA, the first Irish one I’ve tasted, and hopefully not the last. 

Stars of TV3 Richard and Michaela gave me a taste of their Black Donkey Sheep Stealer which they had ran through Blackberries and paired with Cloonconra hard farmhouse cheese. Farmhouse beer and farmhouse cheese. Whopper. I had a mouthgasm. Apparently there are only 120 Irish Moiled cows in the country and these are milked to produce the award winning cheese. The soft cheese was also delicious, I need more of both in my life, and I need to figure out a way of adding Blackberries to Sheep Stealer at home, t’is the season after all.  

I made my way to the Wicklow stand to try their Beerimisu, which had also featured on TV3. I had it paired with their 16 Stout and the lady explained how to make it to my wife who is a dab hand at the tiramisus herself. Lovely combination, I need to visit Redcross before the year is out. 

My penultimate stop was O’Hara’s stand for their Festhalten Hefeweizen. Conor the brewer was drinking it himself and that’s always a good sound. It’s better than a lot of the beers that will be served at the Oktoberfest! I also had a wee sip of their Grapefruit IPA which smelled great and didn’t taste too bad at all. 

I finished off the afternoon with Eight Degrees Supernova. It’s a super finisher and at 8% it was definitely time for me to head for the hills. Hopefully we will see more of this one soon! I had a great afternoon even though I didn’t get to try some of the beers I had planned to but that’s the nature of these things, I met up with a lot of good people and the beers I did try were damn tasty. Sláinte! 

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5 Responses to A quick visit to the 2016 Irish Craft Beer Festival 

  1. Looks like a great time. I have to say I have never heard of beer slushies before!

    In regards to the IPA I would have to profess my love for the East Coast IPA style. Being on the West Coast of Canada it seems the IPA style is getting stale to me. This sucks as it’s still by far my favourite style.

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