- 15 Dec 17
A very good night was had by all in their John Street Taproom...
Christmas came early this week as Team Hop Press travelled to Kilkenny for the unveiling of the festive 7% Barley Wine that our man Stuart Clark has curated with masterbrewer Ian Hamilton and the rest of the Sullivan’s crew.
There was a moment of hush – followed by a hearty round of applause - as Stuart started his welcome address by saying: “We were all very saddened by the death last month of Willie Meighan of Rollercoaster Records fame. He did so much for music and the arts in Kilkenny – and will be sorely missed. Thank you, Willie…”
Ian Hamilton then explained the noble art of the top-up, whereby you take a generous sup of Sullivan’s Maltings Red Ale and then replenish your pint glass with a generous glug of Barley Wine to produce an altogether different kind of winter cockle warmer.
“I really am blown away to be down here tonight,” resumed Stuart. “My expertise lies in drinking beer – not making it – so it was wonderful to get a masterclass from Ian who’s brewed his way from Kilkenny to Lagos, and back again.
“It was a tough gig. I was on the 7.24 red eye train down from Dublin to Kilkenny. Much mashing, mixing, stirring and decanting was required. They also got me to do lots of Maltings Red Ale quality control. Like I say, tough gig... As an experience, I can honestly say it was up there with watching The Clash in the Lyceum and Johnny Cash in the University of Limerick Concert Hall.”
Along with beer, wood-fired pizza and lots of convivial chat, there was live music from local singer-songwriter Shane Joyce who made a splash this year with his EP, An Introduction, and follows up early in the New Year with his debut album and a Hot Press Hot For 2018 inclusion!
Among those helping to jolly things along were Marian Flannery, Malcom Noonan, David Dooley,
John Cleere, George Peet, Anne Teehan, Sinéad Gargan, Michelle Treacy, Seán Ó hArgáin and John Stephens, the Beoir.Org treasurer who journeyed down specially from Dublin.
You can sample the Hot Press/Sullivan’s collaborative Barley Wine in their John Street Taproom in Kilkenny and such fine drinking emporia as The Exchequer on D2’s Exchequer Street. Slainté!