There was a massive jump in Dublin’s craft beer population over the weekend. Fidelity belatedly returned after an enforced hiatus. Just to get everyone warmed up there was a load of tap takeovers in Dudley’s, Beer Temple, Black Sheep and Big Romance on Thursday night. In Black Sheep I particularly enjoyed Victorian Futurism, a Triple Fruited Sour from Stu Mostow. I also had the pleasure of meeting the guys for the first time. And there was even some talk of a visit to Poland!
Then it was time to cross the river to Black Sheep where Chris Treanor formerly of Galway Bay Brewery and now with Fuerst Wiacek was waiting. I really liked his Berliner Landbier. Finback’s Foeder Pils was pouring too and it went down a treat.
Tom, head brewer of Galway Bay Brewery asked if I could lend a hand behind the Land & Labour bar at Fidelity. Land & Labour, for the uninitiated, is his highly rated spontaneous fermentation brewery. This was the first time Finnberry was available, it is a spontaneously fermented beer with Irish raspberries, blackberries and black currants. It poured a beautiful shade of pink and proved to be a big hit with a long que of thirsty folks and indeed it was the first keg kicked at the festival.
Donzoko’s Lemon Summer Beer, a collaboration with Newbarns was recommended and it did not disappoint. Really refreshing stuff. At the other end of the scale I threw caution to the winds with Jackie O’s Decorating Pieces of Time Barrel Aged Barley Wine. I can imagine this being amazing with some blue cheese whilst sitting by an open fire. But there was no time for such indulgence, on to the next beer! I had met the lads from Verdant earlier in the day and they had mentioned Every Day is a Different Dose in passing. It was a very pleasant American Wheat Beer.
I did try a few more beers and the standard was very high, I just had one dud, which I’m not going to name. The event was also a chance to catch up with a few people I hadn’t seen in a long time and make a couple of new friends. The atmosphere was great. The fresh water and rinsing stations were welcome. I missed food other than the tasty Blanco Nino tortilla chips. Luckily one man came prepared with a lunchbox full of cheese that he seemed happy enough to share with random strangers. It was a very enjoyable evening. I have busy few weeks ahead with festivals in the Deer’s Head, Belfast, Hagstravaganza, Ballymote, The Big Grill, Dublin and of course the Midlands Craft Beer Festival, Moate looming large in my calendar. Hopefully I’ll see some of you along the way. Sláinte!