In 2018 I was pretty lazy with this blog but I was busy with work, life and beer. The lines got blurred and some of my beer highlights were while working, which is lucky for me I suppose! Anyway, here’s a look back at some standout beers, bars and events. One of the first beers that stood out was Trouble Brewing’s Protect Ya Neck, a Wu Tang Clan inspired milkshake of an IPA. I enjoyed it and hopefully it will show up again in the summer of 2019.
YellowBelly’s Kellerbier was another highlight from the early part of the year. It helped me to embrace my Viking heritage.
I had my last pint of Independent beer in Guy’s bar in Clifden as they were one of the casualties of 2018, the baton is passed to Bridewell to keep the flag flying in Connemara.
Spring saw two London breweries land over here, Five Points and Gypsy Hill. I’ve probably had more of the Five Points during the year as I came across them. Solid beers.
In the freak snow myself and my buddies hunkered down in our hut with Rascal’s Flanders Red which warmed us right up.
In work we launched the first in an exciting series of Rye River special brews. The Belgian Imperial Stout was lovely.
And the next day we had the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair. I always enjoy this event and 2018 was no exception. Looking forward to 2019 when it takes place right before St. Patrick’s Day.
In early April I was in the north of Italy. Il Covo Beer House was a great surprise find. If you’re near Peschiera Del Garda you need to check it out.
In May my friends helped me celebrate my 40th, we enjoyed a keg of Daragh’s Session IPA in the sun.
Also in May I enjoyed meeting Giles from Wild Beer in 57 The Headline where he guided us through a tasting of their beers.
And then there was the time I gave Leo Varadkar some Miami J at Bloom. He liked it too.
Kinnegar put out some great cans this year. They tasted every bit as good as they looked.
In June I was at my friend’s wedding in the Czech Republic where I had one or two Lagers.
Speaking of Lager, Larkin’s Helles went down very nicely indeed at the Harbour Brewha. That was a cool small festival, hopefully Mark ‘Antrim Man’ Molloy is going to organise it again in 2019.
The BrewDog Cinematic Circus was an interesting event during the summer where I was able to try their Overworks sours for the first time.
My own small event, the Midlands Craft Beer festival was good craic as always. I think Liam from St. Mel’s even enjoyed it. Planning for 2019 will commence shortly. It’ll be the 5th year of the event.
On a slightly different scale, the annual trip to Ballymote for Hagstravaganza was great fun with some lesser spotted beers to sup.
I enjoyed a few of Dot Brew’s Fridge Art over the Summer.
The Big Grill was a feast of barbecue and beer, and the weather was good for the most part which was a bonus.
I finally made it in to the Guinness Open Gate brewery where I was able to try their rather good Belgian inspired brews and the collaboration with Timmermans.
The Irish Craft Beer Festival got a bit of a needed shake up and was moved to the Leinster Cricket Grounds in Rathmines. I think the event benefited from the changes to scale and venue.
Dead Centre’s Moondust showed that there was more to them than just Pale Ales and IPAs, looking forward to the brew pub opening in February 2019.
I visited Mother Mac’s in Limerick for the first time. It’s a cool spot, worth checking out.
In November I was in Belgium. Billie’s in Antwerp was probably my favourite spot.
To round the year off I organised some tap takeovers with Rye River and McGargles beers. The first was in November in one of the coolest bars in Dublin – Underdog.
I enjoyed doing a Beer Advent Calendar.
And the final event of the year was the tap takeover in The Salt House, Galway which just happens to be one of my favourite pubs . . . ever! There’s one coming up in Abbots Ale House in January for all of the Cork beer fans.
Thanks for joining me on this journey, 2019 is looking like another great year of beer. Happy New Year and Sláinte!