"Give me one year" asks Shane Long, co-founder of The Franciscan Well. As the news officially broke last week regarding the Molson Coors buyout of the Well, speculation and opinion has been rife regarding what this means not only for the Well but also for Irish Craft Brewing.
Shane has been in the business longer than most. "It"s been 14 years" he says "I still remember the early days, sleeping in the back of my van before doing the deliveries up in Dublin or on floors of friends apartments." And Shane is deeply passionate about beer as anyone who knows him would agree. So why the sale to Molson Coors? "I needed to expand and I couldn't do it alone. I had demand for our beers that I couldn't fulfill."
Shane's need to expand came earlier in the year when he was given a very viable opportunity to increase his sales by exporting to America. "They [the new customer] came here last March because of the awards we had won and once they tasted the beer they brought me to New York to arrange an import agreement."
Trouble Brewing launched their Trouble Maker brewing competition last summer with the closing date for entries at the end of October. All entries were judged by a panel of experts and the winning beer was to be recreated on a commercial scale. Trouble Makers - The Final Showdown took place on November 15, 2010 in the Bull and Castle. In a huge stroke of luck I won and became the Champion Homebrewer of Ireland (I’m not sure who coined that but it’s something that doesn’t sit well with me). Anyway I was shocked to hear I had won and delighted the panel enjoyed my beer, and the thought of it getting to a wider audience really excited me.
On April 3rd 2011 I went to Trouble Brewing to brew the commercial batch. Here is how I got on…
Welcome to the new Beoir.org website.
Launched on July 1st, 2010, Beoir is an independent group of consumers which seeks greater choice, quality and value-for-money for beer and cider drinkers on the island of Ireland. Our primary goal is to support and raise awareness of Ireland's native independent microbreweries and craft cider-makers. Additionally, Beoir promotes and encourages amateur craft brewing, and the making of other fermented beverages. It seeks to assist amateur brewers in improving the quality of their end product through the sharing of information. Beoir.org is now the on-line presence of Beoir, providing a place for those interested in supporting Ireland's native micro breweries to join a community of like-minded people, and play a part.
Beoir is a natural development out of the former IrishCraftBrewer.com (launched in March 2007), an on-line community for beer lovers in Ireland. At a high level, IrishCraftBrewer.com was about appreciating good beer, and promoting choice in Ireland. Although not officially organised as a campaign, members of the IrishCraftBrewer.com community raised awareness of quality beer and brewing in Ireland appearing on TV and radio shows as well as in the printed media. By setting up Beoir, the intention is to become more organised with these activities, and to further increase the awareness and appreciation of locally-brewed beer.
On Saturday April 3rd, the fourth and final Irish Craft Brewer Beer of the Year Awards were announced at the Franciscan Well Easter Beer Festival in Cork. As with 2009, voting had been open to all members of the community and every beer brewed and available on the island of Ireland was eligible for a prize. An additional prize was also awarded for a beer of particular merit which was available at the festival but not normally on sale elsewhere.
The winners were an interesting mix of cask, keg and bottled beers and represented all four provinces of the island.