2017 was a good year for beer, I had the chance to try some amazing beers at home and abroad and met some good folk along the way. The year opened up with a trip to a rather chilly Copenhagen. Fermentoren and Warpigs were highlights. I would recommend a trip but bring a few bob with you! You can read more here.
February brought the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair, a perennial favourite of mine. I was behind the McGargles bar for much of it and that’s one of the best ways to meet friends new and old. We even picked up silverware for best IPA and best Wheat Beer. Happy days! Alltech is on in early March 2018, you can buy tickets now and read more about this year’s bash here.
Fast forward to May and the summer festival season kicked off with a small but interesting event in JJ Harlow’s in Roscommon. A good atmosphere and a warm welcome are always guaranteed in Harlow’s and this has the advantage of offering even more drinks than they normally stock! More pictures and words anseo.
The June Bank Holiday weekend saw me pulling pints at Bloom. I managed to to go the whole long weekend without seeing a single garden!
The July Bank Holiday saw the return of the Midlands Craft Beer Festival which I am involved in organising. This year we had a mix of old favourites and new faces and it was great craic. Dead Centre launched at the festival and have seen continued success since then. Read more here.
Later in July we had a family holiday to Bath and Bristol a particularly memorable pub was the Bag O’Nails! Full of felines and quirky character.
To round off a very busy month I headed up to Ballymote, Sligo for Hagstravaganza 3. White Hag’s third birthday bash. They brought some of the best breweries from home and abroad to pour some never before tasted in Ireland beers. Tickets for the 2018 have already gone on sale at eventbrite!
In August I was invited to the launch of the very cool Urban Brewing. The CHQ houses this excellent restaurant with it’s own experimental brewery.
Later that month I hit The Big Grill.
Hopfully launched at the event and I love their artwork and the beers are pretty good too!
August finished on a high note with a trip to Altes Mädchen Brewpub in Hamburg for their Craft Beer Days event. It’s a great spot and you should check it out if you are in Hamburg.
In September I made the annual pilgrimage to the Irish Craft Beer Festival. Ironically one of the standout beers was American. The festival marked my first encounter with new comers Larkin’s and I would say they will be ones to watch in 2018.
In early October I was in fair Verona launching McGargles Francis Big Bangin IPA as a seasonal special. While there I checked out a couple of small craft beer bars and found the tap badge of the year!
Later that month I was in Salzburg (via Munich) for the Beer Tasting event. I met loads of really friendly people from around Europe as the maxim about beer people being good people held true. And I got to try some more interesting beers!
I was a bit quiet for the rest of the year but I was lucky enough to bag a few nice beers to sup over the Christmas break. Galway Bay’s collaboration with Boundary; Harmonic Convergence was for me, a late entry but one of the most enjoyable I’ve had all year. There may be a few bottles left so you could do what I did and drink one now and keep the other up for a while. This 12% Barrel Aged Barley Wine should age beautifully. Thanks for joining me on this journey and here’s to a great 2018, sláinte!
Living the dream Simon, many happy returns, have a lovely rest of the Christmas off, and happy new year.
Happy New Beers, Simon!
The same to you sir!
Happy New Year to you fella, sláinte.
Same to you Roy!