- Paul O'Connor
After a good four and a half minutes of soul searching, we made the momentous decision to revisit the Troublemaker competition for 2012. We've also made a few tweaks to the rules and regulations after feedback from the inaugural competition (winner Rossa O'Neill, pictured right). This time round a greater weight will be placed on the taste, rather than the practicalities of brewing the beer.
We'll also endeavour to provide feedback on each of the beers after the judging night, rather than just the final score, which was one of the main items that was requested as an improvement.
And since the resulting brew will be a once off we're looking to make a non-Reinheitsgebot beer, though this is by no means essential, so brewers are encouraged to brew a beer using ingredients other than water, barley and hops. (Though using yeast as that radical non-compliant element won't win any friends nor influence people!) Anyway just to restate the rules...
Friday: It starts with a trade session. A good number of people come through the door. Many are pubs looking for new options for their customers. They've picked the right place to come. With the major exceptions of Hilden, Dingle and Clanconnel, almost all the Irish Craft Breweries are here. Hilden, just having finished their Hildenfest have run out of beer; Dingle Brewing are at the Dingle Foodfest and don't have enough people to cover both festivals; Clanconnel are moving into their new premises. So all can be forgiven for not making it.
4pm, the doors open to the general public. As can be expected the footfall was a little slow to start but by 8 o'clock the hall was well filled. And a word about the hall. It's a great venue with a lot of character: old Victorian Ironwork posts which break the space up nicely. The breweries are placed on both sides of the hall and all of them have bars set up. Attendance was decent; though it was competing with Culture Night, the kickoff of Octoberfest and the Arthur's Day hangover. Talking to the brewers afterwards, they certainly seemed happy with the footfall. The comedian Joe Rooney was a no show (he demanded more money at the last minute) but the final set from Jerry Fish was fantastic - worth the entry price alone.
- Dr. D
The title of this book is ambitious, and the author’s credentials are certainly impressive enough to back up the book's claim to completeness. George Hummel is a home brewer and writer from Philadelphia. His shop, Homebrew Sweet Homebrew, has been located in the city since 1986 and both his beers and writing have won numerous awards. Don’t be fooled by the title though, this book is not a complete guide to the art of brewing aimed at the established brewer. Instead, it’s aimed very much at the novice brewer. Simple and accessible, it focuses exclusively on extract brewing. With 200 recipes from ales and lagers to extreme beers and even ginger ale, George Hummel may have written the complete guide to extract home-brewing.
- James Keane
Having 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!