On June the 27th, Dublin will host the 4th European Beer Bloggers Conference. As many of you know, I have attended all three so far and was successful in my attempt to bring it to Ireland to showcase Ireland's growing beer scene. This will be the first time the conference has left the UK but we expect a strong attendance due to Dublin being a short and cheap flight away and also the novelty of visiting another European city. You would be surprised by the number of beer writers who have never been to Ireland.
The great news here is that Ireland will have about 100 beer writers from around the word writing and tweeting about Irish beer, Irish pubs and Irish food. Some are beer bloggers like myself, others are journalists and some are full time beer writers who make their living writing about beer. The potential impact is somewhat staggering. I get about 13,000 readers every month. Multiply that by 100 and the number becomes quite impressive. This to an international audience, not just Europe, we often get some people over from the US and beyond. I would hope that this will help set Ireland up as a beer destination and increase tourism. Beer tourism is a real thing and Ireland could do with a piece of the action. We already get beer tourism in the form of people visiting Guinness and the like so let's showcase our independent micro breweries to the world.
The conference is now open for registration and costs €95 but the first 60 citizen bloggers (people like me) who sign up and show up will get a stipend from Molson Coors, our elite sponsor which makes the conference free. Even if you miss the boat on the free part, what you get for the €95 is well worth the money.
If you're a beer blogger, I encourage you to sign up now. If you are thinking about starting a beer related blog, now is the time to start and when the conference comes along you will learn a lot and have a fantastic weekend at the same time.
This Saturday, our friends at the National Homebrew Club will be hosting what is probably Ireland's first homebrew beer festival. This is a completely free event both in terms of entry and beer. In fact, it has been worked out that there are roughly 500 pints of homebrew going for free.
This isn't any old homebrew either, this is award wining homebrew. The winners of the NHC national homebrew competition earlier in the year are back with their brews so everyone can have a taste and ask questions of the brewer. This festival will highlight the sort of quality you can achieve with amateur brewing and this in turn can lead to brewers going on to open their own brewery and add to the ever increasing list of Irish micro breweries in Ireland, a number that should be over 40 by this time next year.
I will be there myself with my Dark Stranger Stout which won silver medal in the stout category and was also one of the few beers to get 44, the highest points on the day.
The beer will be served from corny kegs in a cask setup with hand pumps and since the beers are keg conditioned, this will be a real ale affair.
The event kicks off at the Bernard Shaw at 12pm and all are welcome.
It's not a brewery and it's not on a corner, but Kilkenny's leading craft beer pub can now boast national recognition having been awarded the 2013 Craft Beer Pub of the Year by Licensing World Magazine.
Even though the pub has only been in business for less than six months, the award will come as no surprise to anyone who has visited: perhaps uniquely among Irish pubs, every beer on tap comes from an Irish microbrewery and the selection is wide-ranging. Although the premises is owned by the Carlow Brewing Company it is heartening to see such support being given to the smaller producers.
The pub itself is clean and modern with some nice traditional touches including open fires. The staff are well trained, extremely helpful and show a genuine enthusiasm for craft beer.
Congratulations from Beoir to all who have made Brewery Corner such a success in a short space of time.
Brewery Corner: 29 Parliament Street, Kilkenny.
(Picture from Facebook)
Oktoberfest season is upon us once again, the annual celebration of strong Bavarian lager served in one litre mugs. It's the time of year when you can expect to find even the most traditional of Irish pubs decked out in blue and white and flying the flags of either Paulaner or Erdinger.
Usually, The Bull & Castle in Dublin is no exception to this, but they've taken a different tack for 2013. From 20th September through to 6th October the Beer Hall will be celebrating its first "Irishtoberfest", showcasing limited edition beers from Irish microbreweries.
The line-up includes Eight Degrees Amber Ella, one of the best-received beers at the Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival earlier this month. Brand new specials include Smokescreen: a dark smoked ale from Metalman, and Fuzzy Logic: the first wheat beer by Trouble Brewing. If you simply must have a maßkrug of lager there's O'Hara's Helles and Eight Degrees Barefoot Bohemian Pilsner to quench your thirst.