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.
The group is organised and administrated in an open and democratic manner by and for its subscribing members on a voluntary non-profit basis. Membership is open to all adults worldwide and costs €10 per annum.
Beoir is a natural development out of the former IrishCraftBrewer.com (launched in March 2007), an online 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 community raised awareness of quality beer and brewing in Ireland appearing on TV shows such as RTÉ's Highly Recommended (16/12/2007) and Capital D (09/04/2009) as well as Oz and James Drink to Britain on BBC2 (27/01/2009). Co-founder and current Beoir Chair Séan Billings provided technical advice for the brewing features of RTÉ's Living Lightly. The group has also been represented on radio shows for RTÉ Radio 1 (Mooney -- 17/08/2009), Today FM (The Last Word -- 15/04/2009), NewsTalk (Moncrieff -- 22/10/2009), 4FM (Weekend Magazine -- 05/09/2009), Dublin South FM (Grow It, Cook It, Eat It -- 21/10/2009) and Radio Kerry (Kerry Today -- 28/07/2009). In print, we have featured in articles for The Irish Times (30/03/2009), Irish Independent (31/03/2009) and Sunday Business Post (07/06/2009), in addition to a special piece in Food & Wine Magazine (July 2009).
In November 2012, Beoir joined the European Beer consumers Union (EBCU) representing beer consumers in Ireland. We were the 13th member at the time. This gave us a voice in Europe and the backing of other European countries if ever the need arises.
To join Beoir, you can subscribe on-line (after first registering as a user of Beoir.org) or by sending a cheque or postal order to the Treasurer, or through bank transfer (details available from the Treasurer).
Successive Irish governments have attempted to curb alcohol consumption by artificially inflating the price with alcohol duty. The logic behind this approach is that people tend to buy less of any commodity if the price increases. The recent recommendation, by the HSE to increase alcohol duty is perfectly in line with this logic and they point to the drops in per capita alcohol consumption, in 2002 and 2003, as proof that this works, because those years also saw a rise in alcohol duty on Cider and Spirits respectively.
On the face of it, this would seem like a reasonable conclusion to draw, but if we look at the figures in a little more detail, it soon becomes apparent that the situation is more complex than that.
Recently there's been a lot of new people coming to the website with an interest in home brewing and craft beers. This is great to see and long may it last. Irish Craft Brewer has been going from strength to strength and a few of our members are going to be appearing on the show Oz and James Drink to Britain (Tuesday 27th January, 8pm, BBC2). Hopefully a few of you will be inspired by the quality of beers seen on the show to give home brewing a try yourselves. This article is a run through of the website and some helpful links.
With £100,000 raised in just eight days, this round of funding is now closed. Congratulations Boundary Brewing!
The recent Irish craft beer boom has seen no shortage of novel methods of raising the funds necessary to get a new brewery off the ground. Those of us with bottles of Beoir#1 DIPA will remember Black's of Kinsale's Indiegogo project, and a succession of breweries and cider makers have made use of LinkedFinance to crowd-source loans, most recently Eight Degrees. Belfast-based Boundary Brewing is taking a different approach again and has established itself as a co-op, fully owned and operated by its shareholders. And from 1st December 2014 the founders are offering you the chance to become part of the project.
£70,000 is the total amount the board is hoping to raise with the initial share offer. Shares in Boundary are not subject to speculation and cannot be traded; once purchased they can be held or sold back to the co-op after a minimum period of three years. At the three year point if the business is profitable the first dividends will be paid to investors, as well as interest on each investment.
There are two levels of membership available to investors: the minimum investment is £100 which makes you an "ordinary member" whereas an investment of £250 or above grants "supporter member" status. Members have a vote at the AGM and may run for election to the Board of Directors. Organisations may also be members of either rank, though still only have one vote in decisions.
In order to be successful, every brewery needs beer enthusiasts behind it, and Boundary certainly has that. Matthew Dick is well known on the Irish homebrewing scene as the founder of the Belfast Homebrew Club and was a driving force behind the Brewbot project. Co-founder Matt Scrimgeour is a co-operative enthusiast who believes there is lots more space for ethical, principled businesses that operate democratically and value people over profits.
Fundamentally, Boundary is not setting out to make safe mainstream beer for the lowest common denominator of drinker. The company will be taking inspiration from Belgium and the United States for its recipes, to make high quality, bold flavoured beers.
Boundary hopes to have raised the target £70,000 by Monday 5th January 2015, at which point the initial share offer will close.