- 08 Sep 17
For obvious reasons, we didn't get to all 40-plus of the stands but here are a few recommended tipples to get you started, plus details of Friday's Hop Press Talks!
Even by its own exalted standards, the first night of the Irish Craft Beer Festival in the Dublin RDS was a cracker!
First up for Team Hot Press was a tasting at the American Brewers Association stand hosted by beer sommelier Lotte Peplow who seriously knows her stuff. From the Hopulent India Pale Ale and No-Li Wrecking Ball Imperial Stout to the O’Fallon Smoke Porter and modishly attired Pink Vapor Stew, it was all very good!
Detouring via-Black Donkey who treated us to a sup of their excellent Bog Fire Smoked Rye Saison, we then spent a most convivial hour with the good folk from Lough Gill who, in addition to a top secret “go on, guess what it is?” tap, have brought their Imperial Coconut Porter, MacNutty Macadamia Nut Brown Ale, Irish Sloe Barley Wine and Flanders (as in Belgium, not Ned) Red Ale with them to the RDS as part of a both quality and quanity eleven beer line-up.
Still on a high from their gold medal win at the International Brewing Awards, Sullivan’s had the 5% export version of their Maltings Red Ale, which has become a cult favourite in Buffalo, NY. There was also a first public outing for their Kiwi Lime Pale Ale special, which is as delicious as it sounds.
Watch this space for a little something that we’re hatching with the lads!
Beoir.org’s Reuben Grey insisted that we go and check out Larkin’s, the new Kilcoole, Couty Wicklow family micro. We’re glad he did because their Kolsch is awesome! Other prominent debutantes included Tallaght’s Priory Brewing whose Original Sin is one of the best IPAs we've tasted this year - and let's be honest, we've tasted a lot! - and Costello's from Kilkenny whose full-blooded Spelt Dinkel also tasted of “more!”
Western Herd, who normally confine their activities to Clare, have a brilliant Wit Bier, which is a riot of coriander and citrusy flavours.
We’re not sure if it counts as one of your five a day, but Trouble Brewing’s Mandarin Crush is another zingy delight. They’ve also got some killer new t-shirts (hint: we’re a cuddly XXL).
Michael Cowan and the rest of the Mont crew were in cheery form, as they should be having just turned two! As part of the birthday celebrations, they've come armed with a special twist on their trademark, gong-winning lager.
Feeling fruity, we made sure to get a snorter of Scotts’ summery Elderflower Cider, which has a delicious dry bite. Near neighbours Micil and St. Patrick’s Distillery wouldn’t let us go until we’d tried their respective Irish Poitin and Moonshine, which 20 years ago would’ve probably earned them a spell in clink! Thankfully, they no longer have to skulk around on remote hillsides with their stills, and are both finding favour with the hip cocktail set. Being firmly of the non-umbrella and chunks of fruit persuasion, we prefer 'em both neat with a little ice.
The first Hop Press Talk brought Western Herd’s Michael Eustace, Wicklow Wolf’s Quincey Fennelly, the aforementioned Lotte Peplow and Mickey Lynch from Dublin’s new Urban brewpub together for a lively exchange.
Michael from Mont, Reuben from Beoir.org, Lough Gill’s Tony Wickham and David Morrissey from The Porterhouse were our second group of very eloquent Talkers.
Friday’s equally star-studded line-up is:
6pm HELLO AMERICA!
Paul Mullin, White Hag
Richard Sibbery, Black Donkey
Ian Hamilton, Sullivan’s
7pm THE BEER AND CIDER NECESSITIES 2
Jonathan Scott, Scott’s Cider
Aidan Murphy, Galway Hooker
Stephen Clinch, Trouble
Lotte Peplow, American Brewers Association BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!
Due to demand, we’ve been moved on to the main stage so we’ll see you there!