Artisan beer is one of the newest, and vastly developing industries within our agri-food sector. Which is a bit of a puzzle as to why it’s taken so long? We’re world-renowned drinkers of beer and our natural climate is very well suited to growing the raw ingredients, so where is the issue? To me it goes to the age old problem of our culinary heritage and intelligence. It’s taken until the last few years for us as a nation, to develop our indigenous food culture from everything-from-the-shelf-in-a-plastic-wrapper to a thriving artisan industry where people have started to accept that just cause everyone buys it, doesn’t mean it’s the best. As a consequence quite a number of small breweries have sprouted up that are now producing some really interesting beers,. So to celebrate this, the RDS in Dublin is hosting the Irish Craft brewers fair next weekend. (23rd to the 25th of September)
Boasting over 50 different beers from Ireland’s finest brewers and a number of artisan food producers providing tasty treats there will also be music and face painting for the kids (and adults who may have been sampling too much!)
In light of this I was given a few of the beers on offer to sample and review so here goes…
Belfast Blond by The College Green Brewery
This is light-bodied lager. Hoppy and fruity with Caramel flavour. Pretty good.
Sunburnt Red by Eight Degrees Brewing Company.
I personally never really got the jist of ruby ale; the Springsteen of beers – you either get it or you don’t! Coppery, bitter, creamy and just picked up by O’Brien’s Wines so must be good. Really great packaging.
Curim Gold Wheat Beer by the Carlow Brewing Company.
Particularly poor labelling, must be designed with the American Market in mind as they’re the only people in the world who think (to quote Dylan Moran) we are ‘twinkly eyed feckers, with a pig under one arm, saying “Ah I’ll paint your house, but I might just steal your ladder, whe whe whe”’. Labelling aside, quite pleasant, nutty golden tone with peach and honey flavours.
O’Hara’s Dry Hopped Ale also by the Carlow Brewing Company
Equally offensive labelling, very rich, lemon and lime flavours, nicely bitter. Not bad.
Copper Coast Red Ale by The Dungarvan Brewing Company
Ah now I get the jist of Red Ale, alkaline and soft. Deep red tone. Slightly bitter. Delicious.
More info at www.irishcraftbeerfestival.com
,in the meantime I have two weekend passes to give away so just leave a comment and you’re in the draw.