Andy Hamilton is a Bristol-based home brewer, teacher, gardener and forager. His first book, Booze for Free, was a guide to growing and foraging ingredients for making your own beer and wine. Brewing Britain, subtitled The Quest for the Perfect Pint and How to Make It has a wider scope, still covering the brewing element but adding a more general guide to beer and beer styles as well.
The format is very much that of a practical handbook for the total novice, starting with how to analyse beer: the colour, aromas and flavours and how they're achieved; glassware, serving temperature and cellaring. The second section moves us on into making our own beer, introducing the basics of sanitising, taking readings, priming and bottling, followed by concise descriptions of what's involved in kit, extract and all-grain brewing, and a guide to trouble-shoooting problems in finished beer.
Christmas is coming and more importantly; not one but two Beoir Christmas parties. The main one is on the 13th of December at the Black Sheep on Capel street. Kicking off from 7pm with free finger food and if you are wise enough to be a full Beoir member, a free pint of Galway Bay beer when you arrive.
The second party, for those that can't make the first; is on the 20th at the same location and time. I'll be at both though, any excuse for a night of fine company and excellent beer.
Don't forget tonight, the Dublin Ladies Craft Beer Society have invited us to come along to J.W. Sweetman's for a tour and some drinks afterwards. It kicks off at 7:15 so don't be late if you plan on coming.
As usual, there will be no ICB meet in December but expect one in January at The Bull & Castle from 7pm on the second last Wednesday of the month.
So for now, have a very merry Christmas and keep an eye out for the Christmas specials from our wonderful Irish microbreweries.
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BeoirFinder is a free, handy geo-location tool for finding pubs, restaurants and breweries in Ireland that serve Craft Beer. There has been a major boom in Irish Craft Breweries in recent years; This App is vital for anyone who values choice when it comes to beer selection. Beoir is the Gaelic for beer and is also the name of an independent group of consumers in Ireland. Our primary goal is to support and raise awareness of Ireland's native Independent microbreweries.
The BeoirFinder App is available on both the Apple Appstore and Google Play (Android). It's perfect for finding where you can get beer from an independent Irish microbrewery and often what's available at that location too. Future editions of the app will allow adding and updating entries from within the app.
Watch out for the gold icons in the app. These are the highly recommended or must visit destinations as voted for by Beoir members.
On June the 27th, Dublin will host the 4th European Beer Bloggers Conference. As many of you know, I have attended all three so far and was successful in my attempt to bring it to Ireland to showcase Ireland's growing beer scene. This will be the first time the conference has left the UK but we expect a strong attendance due to Dublin being a short and cheap flight away and also the novelty of visiting another European city. You would be surprised by the number of beer writers who have never been to Ireland.
The great news here is that Ireland will have about 100 beer writers from around the word writing and tweeting about Irish beer, Irish pubs and Irish food. Some are beer bloggers like myself, others are journalists and some are full time beer writers who make their living writing about beer. The potential impact is somewhat staggering. I get about 13,000 readers every month. Multiply that by 100 and the number becomes quite impressive. This to an international audience, not just Europe, we often get some people over from the US and beyond. I would hope that this will help set Ireland up as a beer destination and increase tourism. Beer tourism is a real thing and Ireland could do with a piece of the action. We already get beer tourism in the form of people visiting Guinness and the like so let's showcase our independent micro breweries to the world.
The conference is now open for registration and costs €95 but the first 60 citizen bloggers (people like me) who sign up and show up will get a stipend from Molson Coors, our elite sponsor which makes the conference free. Even if you miss the boat on the free part, what you get for the €95 is well worth the money.
If you're a beer blogger, I encourage you to sign up now. If you are thinking about starting a beer related blog, now is the time to start and when the conference comes along you will learn a lot and have a fantastic weekend at the same time.