The Easter Festival run by the Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork provides a unique opportunity for people to experience a huge range of quality Irish Craft Beers in one location. With this in mind, a group of ICB members converged on the Well to sample with gusto. This fantastic festival also provided an opportunity to compare and contrast the beers made available by the various breweries on that weekend, which is exactly what the ICB members present did. The result of this was a set of ratings by our members which, we feel, recognises of the quality work Professional Craft Brewers are doing in this country; so much so, that it has spawned the first Awards that IrishCraftBrewer.com is proud to present.
As anyone who has read any of my articles, or posts in the forum will know, I am a pretty obsessive amateur brewer. And, like most amateur brewers, I harbour the dream of going professional and brewing for a living.
Now, I have no formal training in brewing and have learned everything I know about the subject from books, the internet and trial and error. I would like to think that, at this stage, I have a fair bit of brewing know-how, but how much this applies to the world of commercial craft brewing, I have no way of knowing.
From their website: http://www.brewlab.co.uk
“What is Brewlab?
We are a recognised centre for brewing studies and microbiological services, based at the University of Sunderland in the North East of England, and have been trading since 1986.
We teach various brewing courses such as Start Up Brewing and British Brewing Technology and also provide specialist training in taste evaluation, microbiology and small scale bottling.
Our analyses services assist brewers with quality control, Tax & Excise compliance, and yeast storage and culturing. The due diligence service helps breweries to maintain quality and to comply with industry codes of practice.”
Galway Hooker is one of Ireland's newest craft beers, having only been on the market since the summer of 2006. It's a style that hasn't really featured on draught in Ireland before, a flavour packed hoppy pale ale.
I recently visited Hooker brewery and had a chat with brewer Aidan Murphy.
Well, according to the Brewers of Europe it is. At least in moderation! They produced a booklet called "The Benefits of Moderate Beer Consumption", currently in its third edition (2004) which is based on a symposium held in October 2003. This conference was billed as revealing that moderate beer consumption can "reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, potentially protect against late onset diabetes and reduce the risk of osteoporosis amongst other benefits". This article takes a quick look at the booklet, and pulls some of the key points out, tongue firmly in cheek!
This article was written by American Beer Writer George Lenker aka Beernut and originally appeared in 'The Republican' newspaper, Massachusetts. Keep an eye out for Business & Finance Magazine which will shortly feature his article on Irish Craft Brewing. You can view other articles by George at www.thebeernut.net [site now defunct - Ed, Feb. '08].