Mountain Man BrewingToday we officially welcome the newest member of Ireland's craft brewing scene: Mountain Man of Macroom, Co. Cork.

The first beer released is called Green Bullet, a 4% ABV pale ale packaged in 33cl bottles.

Pending wider distribution and the official launches in Cork, Dublin and Sligo (see our calendar for details), Green Bullet can be found in Cork City at Bradley's Off Licence on North Main Street, The Abbot's Alehouse on Devonshire Street, The Franciscan Well on North Mall and The Bierhaus, Pope's Quay, as well as Blair's Inn in Blarney, The Mills Inn in Macroom and Galvin's Carry Out off licences across County Cork.

A second beer, Hairy Goat IPA, is due to follow soon.

For updates, follow Mountain Man Brewing on Facebook, Twitter, and at their forthcoming website.

EU flagThe Irish laws governing taxation on beer, including where the various tax breaks are applied and to what, are largely controlled by European law. Specifically, Directive 92/83/EEC allows member states to grant up to 50% excise duty relief on brewers producing up to 200kHL of beer annually, and allows for extra-low rates of excise duty on beer below 2.8% ABV.

Dungarvan Brewing Company bottlesThe Dungarvan Brewing Company has launched a redesign of its branding with the new bottle labels due to hit the shelves in November, to be accompanied shortly by a new-look website.

The Co. Waterford brewery was founded in 2010 and its original design was created to convey a safe, traditional and trustworthy feel. Almost three years on, following a spate of awards and a massive growth in the range of other Irish craft bottled beers available, the brewery has opted to modernise the look. The redesign was undertaken by Cork-based Greenhouse Design and is very much an updating of the Dungarvan Brewing style rather than a total rebrand. The Mine Head lighthouse which has served as the brewery's logo since the beginning still features prominently.

Beermats, glassware and merchandise featuring the new design will also be appearing shortly.

The beer, we are assured, will remain unchanged.

Sabotage IPA

Kildare-based microbrewery Trouble Brewing have just launched the third beer in their regular line-up: Sabotage IPA. This is a 5.5% ABV India Pale Ale which makes extensive use of Galaxy hops, a variety prized for its tropical fruit flavours.

Trouble was founded in 2009, originally in Allenwood, Co. Kildare. 2013 will see the brewery move to a bigger premises closer to Dublin, in the village of Kill.

The new beer joins Ór golden ale and Dark Arts porter in the Trouble line-up and will initially be available in keg and cask formats, with a bottled version to follow later in the year.

Porterhouse Beer and Spirits Festival 2014

The annual springtime celebration of independent Irish beers and spirits begins across the Porterhouse estate from 10th April, running to the 27th. During this period, beers will be available from Rascal's, N17, Kinnegar, Metalman, Hilden, Galway Hooker, Carlow, Trouble, Mountain Man and more. It will also see the return of The Porterhouse's own much-loved Chocolate Truffle Stout.

Beer isn't the whole story, now that the Dingle Distillery is part of the Porterhouse family. The Celtic Whiskey Shop -- arguably Dublin's most-respected spirits retailer -- will be hosting craft spirits tasting in various Porterhouse pubs over the course of the festival, in addition to the beer tastings run by producers and distributors. Keep an eye on the Porterhouse's social media for details of tastings.