- Séan Billings
Despite its name, this book by ICB’s own Les Howarth is not a recipe book. It says as much on the back cover: “It is a database of ingredient information that should assist the home or craft brewer in creating their own recipes in order to replicate commercial beers…”
What Les has done here is trawl through all of the recipe books and podcasts you might look to if you want to clone a commercial beer and extracted the ingredient information. He is completely up front about this and lists the source of the ingredient information with every beer listed.
It will take time to build our momentum into something more than the ad hoc group we currently have, but the aim is very much to become an organisation as active in publishing, managing events and being visible in the media as CAMRA in the UK, or the many beer consumers' unions active on the continent and beyond.
At the moment there is a draft Constitution available for members to debate, and the intention is to ratify it on 1st July, when Beoir will officially come into being.
If you'd like to be part of this next stage of the revolution in Irish beer, annual membership costs €10 and more information on the group and how to join may be found here.
Cuilan from White Gypsy is not what I would picture as a champion of fair-trade eco-aware local produce. But behind the Munster jersey is a very clear vision of where Irish brewing should go. And I mean vision. Here is a brewery that avoids the target-marketed focus-grouped inanity that infests our age. White Gypsy's stated aims are for a good beer brewed with local ingredients bought at a fair price and drank by people who actually care what they drink.
I know what you're thinking: this is not a city for lovers of beer, and in some respects you'd be correct. You won't find any cask ale here and for the most part the beer on offer is very bland and very cold, but happily the beer consumed in Barcelona, particularly in the heat of an August afternoon hits the spot nicely. You hardly find yourself drinking for gastronomic reasons, more as a means to stay alive, lest thirst and heatstroke kill you. Perhaps I'm being a little melodramatic, but ice cold beer in these conditions really does offer a revival to a body past its thermal comfort zone.