Musically inclined beer festivals, designer whiskey, sweet beet hummus & the GastroGays are all on this fortnight’s menu.
There’s a pronounced rock ‘n’ roll flavour to this year’s Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair, which runs from February 23-25 in the Dublin Convention Centre and over its three days features the likes of Rackhouse Pilfer, Hermitage Green and Ryan Tubridy’s mates the Camembert Quartet.
On the beery/apply/grainy front, those taking part include Achill Island Brewery, Black Donkey, Blacks of Kinsale, Boyne Brewhouse, Galway Hooker, Eight Degrees, Dan Kelly’s Cider, Nephin Whiskey, Wicklow Wolf, St. Patrick’s Distillery, Rye River, Long Meadow Cider, The White Hag, 5 Lamps, Rascals, the Lexington Brewing & Distilling Company and lots, lots more!
Soakage will be provided by the likes of Barry John’s Sausages, Keogh’s Crisps, Mr. Donuts and Cornude Artisan Popcorn whose Mouthy Masala variety received a much-deserved 2016 Blas na nÉireann nod. Tickets are available from eventbrite.ie.
Meanwhile, those of the DIY persuasion have until April 21 to enter this year’s Smithwick’s Homebrew Challenge, which will earn the winners €1,000 in cash and their own tap in the Guinness Open Gate Brewery for a limited period.
“We’re looking for a summer fruit ale made with any fruit or combination of fruits – a pint you could enjoy with friends that would quench your thirst on a warm summer evening while the BBQ is on the go,” says Smithwicks Brewer Steve Gilsenan. Get the full lowdown at smithwicks.com/homebrew.
February 27 is a red-letter day in the foodie calendar as the Dine In Dublin Festival returns for a week of bargain feasting in some of the capital’s finest eateries. From Gino’s Gelato, The Saddle Room and Pitt Bros to Taco Taco, Dada and Jewel In The Crown, all tastes are catered for. dineindublin.ie.
Hot Flavours was delighted to make the acquaintance last week out at TV3 of the GastroGays, AKA Russell James Alford and Patrick Hanlon who met at DCU in 2010 and have been “inseparable and insufferable in equal quantities since.”
We didn’t think anybody could out-enthuse the Happy Pear twins, but these Duracell bunnies make David and Stephen seem positively sedate! Currently based in London but zipping back regularly for their The Six O’Clock Show appearances – last week Martin and Deirdre were treated to Chicken & Black Pudding En Croute – the duo’s gastrogays.com blog and snapchats always make for tasty reading and viewing.
They also pen a column for Gay Times in the UK, and will be in a state of mild hysteria in May when the Eurovision returns.
The honour of designing this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Jameson bottle falls to Steve McCarthy, a Dublin illustrator with a big, bold, humorous style.
His label incorporates both the ‘Sine Metu’ (‘Chance Your Arm’) motto that’s been at the heart of the company since 1780 and brand spanking new NFC technology.
Recently arrived in SuperValu, who do a great job of supporting artisan Irish producers, are the aforementioned Happy Pear’s Sweet Beet and Original Hummus pots, and the Black Castle range of sodas, which include Bramble Sting, Red Lemonade and a particularly wicked Ginger Beer. All of which, in case you’re watching your waistline, come in at way (or should that be weigh?) below 100 calories.
Finally, we are loving the new 41% Wild Botanical Gin from the good folk at Glendalough Distillery who recommend that you pair it with a Poachers Tonic.
Tipple of the Fortnight
ABV Pater Dubbel
It’s rare that we look beyond these shores for our drinks of quality and distinction, but LIDL have started stocking some extraordinary European beers at equally extraordinary prices.
Having never previously spotted it before in Ireland, we bagged ourselves a case of Abbaye de Vauclair, a 6.5% French Blonde with Caramel, which costs just €2.99 for a 75cl bottle.
Narrowly outpointing it, though, is this revival of a classic Belgian Dubbel that was first brewed by Flemish monks in the 1390s.
Dark mahogany in colour and boasting rich plum, fig, chocolate and brown sugar notes, it’s an absolute steal at €7.99 for a 33cl four-pack.
A new law allowing Irish breweries to sell beer in their own taprooms moved another step closer this month. Stuart Clark reports.Read More
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Having captivated America with her co-starring role in Loving, Limerick actress Ruth Negga is among the bookies' favourite to win a Best Actress Oscar in February. Stuart Clark charts her dramatic rise.Read More
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It wasn’t just the execrable Donald Trump that tens of millions of Americans voted for, with marijuana referenda passed on both coasts.Read More
The pair previously met in DublinRead More
Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine and California have all said "yes" to its recreational use.Read More
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Normally a Republican stronghold, Texas has become one of the fiercest Presidential battlegrounds, with Donald Trump's lead over Hillary Clinton rapidly dwindling. Alt-right talk show hosts, errant libertarians and Satan himself star in an election story worthy of the great Hunter S. himself.Read More
Brian Jones, Amy Winehouse, David Bowie & Lemmy are paid tribute to on the lead singleRead More
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Bruce Springsteen has spent his whole life battling with depression.Read More
Heroes In Hiding, Marc O'Reilly, Drive-By Truckers & Run The Jewels supply the back-up!Read More
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Quality tuneage is also provided by Auxiliary Phoenix, Action Bronson & Flaming LipsRead More
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Waterboy Steve Wickham & Shane MacGowan both guest on the parent albumRead More
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The superstar rapper is over next February.Read More
The seasonal annual will be hitting shelves before Christmas.Read More
Pat Kenny was the Lifetime Achievement recipient at last night's gala affair in Dublin.Read More
The four Hall of Fame inductees include Dave FanningRead More
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Jerry Fish is among the first acts to climb aboard The BoweryRead More
L7, The Ruts DC, James Vincent McMorrow & Neil Hannon are among the supporting cast!Read More
The RTÉ star was in the Big Apple for International Bridal Fashion Week.Read More
U2 fans might recognise the location!Read More
There's also an album, pop-up shop & free gig to look forward to next week!Read More
U2 passed on a message to the Republican candidate from the Irish people...Read More
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They were recorded guerrilla-style on tour.Read More
We've also got footage of her Dive Bar tour stop-off in Nashville.Read More
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It's a must-listen for Boss fans!Read More
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Between The Jigs And Reels includes a treasure trove of rarities.Read More
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Needless to say, Peter is in the thick of the action!Read More
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He joined Bonehead for a riotous post-screening Supersonic Q+A.Read More
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'Around The World' finds the band firing on all southern boogie cylinders.Read More
Come November one of them could be ten grand better off!Read More
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Entertaining if flawed documentary on the Fab FourRead More
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Padraig O Griallais is the fifth generation of his family to make poitín - and the first to do it legally! Using an 1800s recipe that has been passed down from father to son,the former Connemara school teacher has set up micro-distilling shop at the back of the Oslo, which used to house the Galway Bay brewery. Despite weighing in at a hefty 44% ABV, there’s a real complexity of flavour with the bogbean botanicals giving Micil both gin and vodka-like characteristics. A big hit at last weekend’s Irish Craft Beer festival, it’s great in cocktails with several sussed Dublin mixologists using it instead of whiskey in their sours. We’re partial to it neat on the rocks, and with a generous dash of cloudy lemonade if we’re trying to pace ourselves. Expect to pay around €36.99 for a 50cl bottle in the likes of the Celtic Whiskey Store on Dublin 2’s Dawson Street.Read More
New Order's killer new album was on the on the agenda for Electric Picnic as Stuart Clark talks to Gillian Gilbert.Read More
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Anything Barney and Hooky can do...Read More
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Day One at Stradbally was an absolute belter!Read More
The ABC legend was in sparkling form!Read More
Gillian Gilbert says the band are in top form ahead of their Electric Picnic headlinerRead More
The Trinity Orchestra lead the way with their Saturday set of classicsRead More
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ABC, Nas, Whilk & Misky and the Super Furries are all on his 'must-see' list!Read More
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The term ‘disco biscuits’ takes on a whole new meaning as Nile Rodgers’ drumming pal Ralph Rolle graces the Theatre of Food. Interview Stuart ClarkRead More