What is Beoir?

Beoir is an independent group of consumers with a primary goal of supporting and raising awareness of Ireland's native independent microbreweries. There are some fantastic benefits for members. Find out more about Beoir or learn how to join:
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Stella ArtoisI report on my recent trip with TheBeerNut to Leuven for the (main) purpose of acting as Beoir delegates at the 47th EBCU (European Beer Consumers Union) meeting. I was unable to fly to Brussels until the evening of Thursday so by the time I arrived at the first venue of the weekend (M-Café) the delegates had assembled and were at an advanced stage of sampling the beers on offer. It is a wake-up call when you get to a country like Belgium and find a museum café that has 80 different beers on offer!

The following morning we assembled at 8.30 to walk to the Stella Artois brewery for the EBCU meeting.

Chilling at MeantimeHaving previously told us about Bateman's of Wainfleet, James Keane was back in England this summer and took the Meet the Brewer tour at the Old Brewery premises of the Meantime Brewery in Greenwich, London.

We arrived to Greenwich and we had a look around the Old Brewery bar and restaurant. The premises are shared with a historical centre. We arrived a little early and took a good look around. Our initial impression was that no brewing was taking place here at all and that this was a flagship bar used for publicity and marketing. Happily we were soon proved wrong!

Shepherd Neame

I am a somewhat frequent visitor to Kent so I thought I should take the time to visit Faversham and the oldest surviving brewery in the world, particularly since I do enjoy many of their offerings and eagerly await the start of each new season for the seasonal specials. However I was aware that not everyone on the IrishCraftBrewer site is a fan and that the burning question for some time has been: why clear glass in the bottles and not brown to avoid skunking?

Armed with my ICB t-shirt and my brother-in-law for moral support I showed up at the visitor centre on Saturday morning. The tour starts, as many of these things do, with a short video presentation on the history of the site and brewing in Kent. The guide then elaborated that it had been thought that brewing started here in 1698 but recent papers discovered had shown brewing taking place on the site as far back as 1500.   

Bateman'sI made the tour but missed the food - though luckily due to a few people being absent we got our tour given by the very knowledgeable Dave Phillips.

The tour starts in the reception and a quick history of the brewery is given. This began with the explanation that the brewery was started by a farmer purchasing the Crowe Brewery in 1880. Unfortunately only a couple of sentences' reference was given to the famous 'Mr. George', the buy-out in 1987 and the subsequent formulation of the 'Victory Ale'. (I would highly recommend watching Michael Jackson's The Beer Hunter to get a real sense of the romance of this tale.) Further information on the complete history is in the links below.

First stop was the Maris Otter and the malted barley. We were brought straight upstairs to the malt stores. The germination and roasting process was explained, this is where my lads got involved - they got to pass around the barley at different stages of roasting - I was pleasantly surprised with the level of detail the tour was taking!

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