- 15 Mar 19
Team Hop Press thoroughly enjoyed themselves in the Convention Centre Dublin!
The Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair got off to a very fine start last night in the Convention Centre Dublin. Running again today and tomorrow with Six Nations Rugby on the very large screens, there are over 300 beers, spirits and ciders pouring by the Liffey.
Responsibly covering the opening for Hot Press was Stuart Clark.
“It really is Christmas come early for beer fans,” he says. “My first snifter was Carnavale, a coconut and guava ale from Hopfully, a Dublin micro who know how to pack flavour into their beers. They’re cohabiting on their stand with Lough Gill from Sligo whose 9.1% Chukee Larmz Imperial Marshmallow Milk Stout is inspired by a certain American breakfast cereal. It’s a muscular beast, well balanced and very, very tasty. They also have an unusual 7% No-Boil IPA and 4.6% Raspberry Sour that should be on your ‘must-try’ list.
“It was a first public run-out too for Froots & The Maytals, a punsomely named Mango & Passionfruit Milkshake IPA from Rascals, which is sunshine in a can. Blacks of Kinsale are pouring Ireland’s first ‘High PA’ made from cannabis. There’s no need for the Gards to be called as the active THC has been extracted. It does have quite a different mouthfeel, though, and is well worth a slurp.
“Next up was the Seville Orange Gin from Gaslamp, a Dublin microdistillery who again have the balance just right. Ditto the Gin Spritz from Míl, the first Irish mixed drink in a can, which comes with its own tonic water and zingy fruit twist. The grapefruits aren’t from Ireland, but the gooseberries most certainly are.
“From Dublin 24 with much love came Priory Brewing’s 4.3% Plenary Indulgence Porter, a top class pint of plain which has been doing brisk business in Shamrock Rovers’ Tallaght Stadium. Making it extra tasty is the fact that Priory is Ireland’s first social enterprise craft brewery, with all profits being re-invested in local economic development and jobs. We’ll certainly drink to that!
“Another very fine drop of the black stuff is Foxes Rock Stout. They're pouring at the main Alltech bar where we also managed to squeeze in a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. The most enthusiastic man in Irish brewing, David Cummins, literally sprinted over with a pint of the Porterhouse's brand spanking new SMASH (Single Malt And Single Hop) brew. If only that happened every time I walked into a bar! As usual, David's enthusiasm is well-placed with this highly sessionable newbie a riot of grape, grapefruit and lemongrass flavours.
"Justifiably proud of themselves were Kinnegar Brewing whose stand was festooned with Alltech Beer Cup medals. Their Scraggy Bay 5% IPA really is peerless, and brought the curtain down on an excellent first day of the fair. Sláinte!”