Armed with my program and my pass I was ready to begin the serious business of trying as many beers as I possibly could. Heck, I was born ready! I had a full crew with me and they were all rearing to go.
I had heard on the grapevine that N17 Brewing’s Oatmeal Stout was running low so I made their stand my first stop. Sarah, who has just started this business has taken a very wholistic approach to brewing. She aims to minimise waste and so granola and dog biscuits were made from the by products. A few people got the two confused but I thought it was clear enough, the bone shaped ones were meant for humans, right? Anyway, back to the beer, this brand new Oatmeal Stout took home a bronze medal on it’s first outing. My friend the, ahem, Classic Liberal declared it his favourite of the day. A fine stout indeed.
My next destination was the far side of the hall for Blacks of Kinsale’s Cascadian Dark Ale (Black IPA). I’ve wanted to have one of these since I first heard of it. I was not one bit disappointed, it’s a beauty. A perfect balance of bitter hops and sweet fruitiness. This beer won a well deserved silver medal. My friend the Dottie Designer (cf: my business cards) decided that their Kinsale Pale Ale (KPA) was her favourite of the day.
Denmark’s Coisbo won the second annual Dublin Beer Cup for their Single Batch 004 Russian Imperial Stout. It’s a serious beer that gives you a bear hug that demonstrates it’s strength (10%).
Last year’s cup winner was Hilden Brewing’s Twisted Hop. Lovely beer. I said I’d have a Mill Street Red Ale though as I hadn’t had one of those before. It’s quite good and you wouldn’t think it’s as strong as it is (6%).
Redwell’s Pale Ale was my next tipple. It’s a grassy ale which is very moreish. Apparently this is made with unicorn tears. Talk about hand picked ingredients!
Donegal’s Kinnegar Brewery make some very special beers, I plumped for the Devil’s Backbone Red Ale and I was not sorry. A full flavoured red, it would go very well with a meaty dinner.
I am never slow to sing the praises of Galway Hooker, one of the first craft beers I enjoyed many years ago. They had their stout which is every bit as good as their flagship Pale Ale. It’s currently only available in a few places in Galway, I hope that changes in the future.
Next I had a Lambic beer from Elgoods called Coolship. This beer is made with wild yeast in the Belgian style. It is sour and fruity. The only fault I could find with it is that I was ruined for the next beer, Hunter’s Best. I’d imagine it’s a perfectly fine session bitter but I’ll have to try it again with a fresh palate.
Stone Barrel’s Rotation Series was on C No Evil IPA when I arrived at their stand. It was just the trick to revive my flagging tastebuds. It’s an American style ale with mucho hops. Not a million miles away ( about ten feet) I found Trim’s Bru Brewery. They recently released their Ri IPA. Ri is an Irish word that means King, and Meath was traditionally the seat of the old Irish High Kings. I’m telling you, this is a beer fit for any King!
To conclude the afternoon’s activities we had a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale, this beer is Alltech’s most popular brew and with good reason. It was a real hit with the Digital Marketing Expert. The bourbon flavours mean it’s a real treat. Speaking of treats, there was plenty of delicious food to try as we worked our way around. Some that really stood out were the Bretzel Bakery’s bread, De Mad Food Company’s chorizo flavoured white pudding, Cashel’s Blue Cheese and the Man of Aran’s Fudge Spread..mmmmmm! I even brought some home with me.
What a fantastic day, I can start counting down the days til next year’s event now!