The Great American Beer FestivalWhen the lads from Galway Hooker were installing their brew in the Bull and Castle, I quizzed them about their inspiration for producing an IPA. Ronan told me about their experience at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver and said that if I ever got the chance that I should go. I took note and when Jerry Kolbly from The Newport Beach brewery in Orange county visited us in the Bull and Castle and also mentioned the GABF, adding that he could get me a brewers pass for the weekend, I was there!

Autumn at The Bull and Castle

The Bull & Castle in Dublin is running a two-month long autumn festival for all of September and October. A range of special and seasonal beers will be available on rotation during the event including, appropriately enough, Eight Degrees Ochtoberfest Bock, one of the stars of the 2015 Irish Craft Beer Festival at the RDS. There will also be a new beer from local outfit Five Lamps, a Dark IPA of 6.9% ABV.

And there'll be a selection of infused spirits, cocktails and something called an Orange & Nutmeg Bourbon Hot Chocolate. BUT the real action is at the handpump. On the cask roster is:

  • Rascal's Wunderbar German IPA (6% ABV)
  • Rascal's Big Hop Red (5% ABV)
  • Dungarvan Seaweed Saison (6.5% ABV)

The latter of these, a collaboration brew with Norwegian craft beer pioneers Nøgne Ø, went down a storm at the RDS and has been in very short supply around the country. A cask in Dublin is a coup; €4.50 a pint makes it unmissable.

All beers are available for a limited time while stocks last. Click here to see the full festival menu and keep an eye on the Bull & Castle's Twitter and Facebook for updates on what's on when.

 

 

Here are the results of the Killarney Beer Awards for 2016. We had 165 entries which was more than double compared to last year.
Judging started on Saturday at 11am and the final round was completed by 7pm. A massive thanks to Kellie Dawson and her team of stewards who worked the mamoth task of preparing the bottles on Friday. Kellie worked from 10am until 10pm on Friday categorising bottles. Unfortunately, a lot of time was wasted due to many entrants either not covering up their labels correctly or else not bothering to cover them up at all.
We will have to be more strict about entries next year.
 
Images from the event can be found on the Beoir Flickr page. Direct link here.
 
The scores from the first round of judging are being compiled and will be sent to breweries along with their feedback.
 
Beoir Champion Beer of Ireland 2016Kinnegar Brewing, Flying Saucer
 
First Runner Up: Trouble Brewing,  Stakeout
Second Runner Up: The White Hag, Púca
 
Best of Category
 
Pale ale
  1. Yellowbelly Brewery– Yellow Belly, American Pale Ale
  2. Killarney Brewing – Killarney, Scarlet Pimpernel IPA
  3. Farmageddon Brewing Co-Op, Farmageddon IPA
 
Belgian style ale
  1. Killarney Brewing Company, Spailpín Saison
  2. O Brother Brewing, Huck Saison
  3. Rising Sons Brewery, Mayhem
 
Dark ale
  1. Yellowbelly Brewery, Fierce Mild
  2. JJ’s Craft, Bills Red Ale
  3. Brehon Brewhouse, Killanney Red

Specially Commended: Two Sisters – Brigid's Ale
Specially Commended: O Brother – The Fixer

 
Lager
  1. St Mels Brewing, Springbock
  2. Trouble Brewing, Kill Lager
  3. Manor Brewing, Mont Irish Mountain Beer
Specially Commended: Rising Sons – Sunbeam
 
Porter & Stout
  1. Kinnegar Brewing, Flying Saucer
  2. The White Hag Brewery, Black Boar
  3. Trouble Brewing. Dark Arts
 
Wheat Beer
  1. Trouble Brewing, Stakeout
  2. Kinnegar Brewing, White Rabbit
  3. Hillstown Brewery, The Goat’s Butt
 
Speciality Beer
  1. Yellowbelly Brewing, The Passion Brewing
  2. The Porterhouse Brewing Company, Louder Barley Wine
  3. Rascal's, Ginger Porter

Specially Commended: White Hag – Barrel-Aged Black Boar

Sour Beer

  1. The White Hag Brewery, The Púca Dry Hopped Lemon Sour
  2. Otterbank Brewing, This is Berlin / Die Wikinger Kommen
  3. Torc Brewing Company, Anything Gose
 
Cider
  1. Stonewell Cider – Esterre Sparkling Prestige Applewine
  2. Stonewell Cider – Stonewell Dry Cider New World Cider
  3. Stonewell Cider – Stonewell Medium Cider New World Cider
 

 

 

The 2017 Cask Ale & Experimental Brews festival over the weekend seemed like it had the largest number of cask beers available compared to previous years. In fact, there were only three kegged options on the main bar and about 23 casks on at any one time. There were further kegged Franciscan Well beers available inside at the regular bar.
 
We had about 40 beers to get through with 7 judges. Beoir Treasurer: John Stephens did most of the running around/beer collecting while Cider Officer & Regional Rep: Steve Lamond ran the competition. This was the second year of the Beoir Cask Competition. The beers judged were those available on the day of judging along with a number rescued in growlers before they ran out during the rest of the week. A number of beers were not judged on Saturday as they only went on after the competition came to a close.
 
 
Best in category 2017
Stout/ Porter: Brehon - Shanco Dubh Barrel-Aged Porter
Pale: Franciscan Well - Chieftain IPA
Red/ Amber/ Dungarvan - Mild
Specialty: YellowBelly - The Passion Lager
 
Best Overall 2017
3rd Dungarvan - Dark Mild
2nd Brehon - Shanco Dubh Barrel-Aged Porter
1st YellowBelly - The Passion Lager
 
For completeness, here are the winners from 2016
 
Best Lager - YellowBelly Rosehip Schwartz
Best "Pale" - West Cork Roaring Ruby
Best Stout - Black's World's End
Best Specialty - Otterbank Pine Needle Berlinner Weisse (since named "The Vikings are Coming")
 
3rd Otterbank - Pine Needle Berlinner Weisse (now branded YellowBelly "The Vikings are Coming")
2nd Black's - World's End
1st West Cork - Roaring Ruby
 
You will see a difference in the categories between 2016 and 2017. There were not enough lagers to form a category so we placed them in specialty as they were specialty beers anyway. We had enough red/ambers to give them their own category this year.
 
Thanks to the Franciscan Well for hosting and to the judges and stewards who gave up their time on the day.

The second Bierhaus Beerfest was held over the weekend of Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd June 2008. It was run in conjunction with the Shandon Street Festival which is a community festival held on the Saturday.

While Dave, owner of the Bierhaus, made great efforts to have everything up and running for the festival unfortunately the one thing he did not book was the weather! Saturday was a really horrible wintry day, which was more of a damper to the outdoor events at the Shandon Festival which I visited before adjourning to the warmth of the Bierhaus.

We had hoped to have an ICB meet-up but this did not materialise, but a few members were there at different times on Saturday and I hope this article is in tandem with their thoughts of what beers were on offer.