• Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC: Is there a gap for draught Irish craft stout?

Is there a gap for draught Irish craft stout? 6 years 4 months ago #1

Something about the Irish craft scene has been nagging at me for a while and I finally put my finger on it...

There's no recent craft traditional Irish stout that's widely available on draught:

[list:zezdyxb0]- Trouble, Sweetman, and 8 Degrees make porters that are very un-"pint of plain".
- Dungarvan is cask-only, limiting distribution.
- Porterhouse and Galway Bay make stouts, but they're served only (or mostly) on their premises.
- Fran Well has Shandon, but since becoming a Coors product has had [url=http://www.beoir.org/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9824:zezdyxb0]well-documented[/url:zezdyxb0] problems.
- Clanconnel do a classic stout, but I've never seen it on draught.
- Metalman, Kinsale, Kinnegar, Dingle, Donegal and Bo Bristle don't make a stout or porter at all. [/list:u:zezdyxb0]

That's every brewery I see with a tap head of their own, which only leaves... O'Hara's stout; lovely but that's been around for, what, 15 years?

I know nobody wants to take on Guinness head-to-head, but I would like to drink a craft stout sometimes or, more likely, try to convert friends who are willing to try a new brewery but not a new style.

Am I missing something? Does PH Plain get around more than I've seen? Are Galway Hooker or Bru stouts going to become more available? Does this bother anybody except me?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Is there a gap for draught Irish craft stout? 6 years 4 months ago #2

It bothers me too, especially since Irish breweries tend to be quite good at making stouts. I tried ordering Bru's Dubh yesterday on draught in Brewery lane but it wouldn't pour properly. Apparently the brewers themselves had the same problem at a recent event somewhere else.

Maybe you could urge Reuben to get his act together and brew his Dark Stranger commercially <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Is there a gap for draught Irish craft stout? 6 years 4 months ago #3

Leann Folain is the beer that taught me that it wasn't that I do not like stout, I just do not like Guinness. I wish there were more LF-alikes on the market but I'm very happy with just this one.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Is there a gap for draught Irish craft stout? 6 years 4 months ago #4

It's a [i:30qm31yl]very[/i:30qm31yl] difficult section of the market to enter. For starters, it requires a nitrogenator and extra equipment (stout taps etc) and the beer line chiller needs to be more accurately tuned.

The big problem though is sales. Lager drinkers will drink other lager, Smithwick's drinkers will drink other red ale but Guinness drinkers are very reluctant to drink anything that isn't "the real stuff". "I'm a Guinness man", they'll proudly proclaim, and any craft stout they taste will therefore always be compared to the Guinness benchmark. They'll completely fail to grasp the notion that it's not Guinness nor is it trying to be. It's so ridiculous that I've had people order "O'Hara's Guinness".

From a business point of view you're therefore facing a much more difficult challenge to make sales than if you start with a different style of beer.

Porterhouse, Galway Bay and Fran Well have the advantage of owning pubs so that makes it a lot easier to sell their own stouts. And then calling a beer a "porter" is one way of getting round the Guinness comparison.

Give it time, a few years ago you'd rarely hear Guinness getting slagged off but more and more people are realising that it's nowhere near the nectar of the gods it's made out to be.

Oh and Belfast Black is available on draught, though mainly up north. Hilden Stout might could an appearance down south soon too.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Is there a gap for draught Irish craft stout? 6 years 4 months ago #5

There are several issues with stout, some on which ye have touched on here. Gas is another major issue. I was always on the main boc gas line which is charged by the month. The reason we did not distribute shandon before this year was the gas line rental doubled if you did. Most breweries provide their own gas, if they have stout and an ale this means two gas bottles. More costs from rental and publicans do not like space been taken up.
The cost of getting the right equipment to keep the head is not cheap either,

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Is there a gap for draught Irish craft stout? 6 years 4 months ago #6

To be honest, I'm happy enough that we've got something of a range available, albeit not necessarily widely so on tap.

O'Hara's is pretty widely available, and it's damn good, so I'm not sure that there's a *major* gap in the market. If you're in Dublin then it's more feasible to head into a Porterhouse, so perhaps outside of Dublin it is more of a limit to what's available. The only other dry Irish that I see much of anywhere is Shandon, which is pretty uninspiring.

As I alluded to, all things considered I'm happy that we're seeing people trying something a bit different - Buried at Sea, Dark Arts etc. Yes, dry Irish stout is synonymous with Ireland, but I like the variation.

At least there's a range of bottles out there, if nothing else.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
Time to create page: 0.169 seconds