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.
Ahead of Budget 2013, Beoir has made a submission to the Department of Finance requesting a re-think on the minimum pricing issue.
As an organisation, Beoir stands behind any genuine effort to tackle problem-drinking in Ireland. However, Beoir does not back the current proposal to introduce minimum pricing as it has already been historically proven not to work and it only serves to divert efforts away from tackling the issue in a real and proactive manner.
The full text of the pre-budget submission can be found here.
Now that the days are beginning to get longer it's time to look forward to some of the beer festivals coming your way over the next few months.
Cask and Winter Ales Festival, Cork, 15-17 February
At the opening event of the 2013 Irish beer calendar, The Franciscan Well will be hosting a celebration of cask-conditioned Irish beer, as well as strong and warming winter ales. Beoir members can avail of a couple of free drinks at the Friday evening session by showing a membership card at the bar.
Irish Craft Beer Village, Dublin, 14-18 March
A five-day spectacular in the Dublin docklands as part of the overall St. Patrick's Day festivities. Featuring live music, artisan food and a wide range of beers from the independent Irish breweries.
Easter Beer Festival, Cork, 30-31 March
One of Ireland's longest running beer festivals and always well attended by the breweries. Expect a mix of old favourites from around the country as well as new release beers and festival specials. Hosted by the Franciscan Well, it opens at 2pm on both days and admission is free.
In keeping with its remit to support native Irish microbreweries and defend drinkers' rights, Beoir has made a pre-Budget submission to the Department of Finance and Revenue Commissioners.
The document sets out a three-point plan for encouraging artisan brewing in Ireland and making it more accessible for customers:
The full text of the submission is available for download here.
Some new seasonal beers recently arrived, and on the way, from Ireland's craft breweries:
Voyager IPA by Galway Bay Brewery
Expected to come in around the 6% ABV mark, this IPA has been thoroughly hopped with Pacifica and Pacific Jade. Available exclusiverly on draught in the Cottage Group pubs in Dublin and Galway.
Kindred Spirit by Eight Degrees Brewing
An export-strength stout aged in Irish whiskey barrels, adding a subtle oak-and-smoke effect to the chocolate stout notes. 7% ABV and available on draught.
O'Hara's Double IPA by Carlow Brewing
A bigger brother to O'Hara's Irish Pale ale, this dark amber ale is 7.5% ABV and offers smooth warming toffee malt flavours contrasting with zesty citrus from the generous hopping. Available on draught.
Equinox by Metalman Brewing
The latest beer in the limited-edition "Chameleon" series, Equinox is a 4.6% ABV wheat lager brewed with orange, lemon and coriander.
Mahon Falls Rye Pale Ale by Dungarvan Brewing
Based on the very limited special edition Rye-PA Dungarvan brought to the 2012 Irish Craft Beer Festival, Mahon Falls promises all the punchy bitterness and fruit flavours of the original. 5.1% ABV and available on cask and bottled.