The 13th Belfast Beer and Cider Festival, organised by the Northern Ireland branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, opens at the Ulster Hall on Thursday 22nd November and runs through to Saturday 24th. Over 100 beers and ciders from all around Britain and Ireland will feature during the three days, representing styles as diverse as session-strength blonde ales and lagers, all the way up to scrumpy cider and imperial stout. And everything, or course, will be completely naturally conditioned in accordance with CAMRA guidelines.
For the first time this year, over 30% of the beers and ciders available will come from producers in Ireland. Breweries from the Republic such as Dungarvan, Eight Degrees, Metalman and Trouble will be represented, joining their Northern counterparts Ards, Clanconnel, Hilden, Inishmacsaint and Whitewater.
Highlights from among the English beers available include two from Coniston Brewery which currently holds the Champion Beer of Britain title, and Dark Star's American Pale Ale which was awarded Champion Beer of Belfast at last year's event. Festival-goers are advised to get in early as the most popular beers often sell out by the Saturday evening.
A full beer and cider list, prices, opening hours and the entertainment programme are available at www.belfastbeerfestival.co.uk
Today marks ten years since Beoir was formally established, on 1st July 2010. It doesn’t seem like all that long ago but it’s safe to say that the world of Irish beer has changed immeasurably since then. Beoir’s objectives have similarly moved with the times.
Back then, “craft beer” was very much a minority interest, and Beoir sought to serve that minority with information on where independent beer could be found. A one-page national list of pubs that sold Irish craft beer became a Directory, and eventually the BeoirFinder app. An early stated aim of Beoir was to encourage independent beer and cider production by increasing consumer awareness and demand, to the point where every establishment could be relied on to have at least one craft option available. In urban Ireland, at least, this mission was largely accomplished by the beginning of 2020.
Please let a member of the admin team know if this is not the case.
As you may have noticed, Beoir was down for a number of days. This was due to a problem with the old hosting server we were using. The server had become more unreliable over the past month or so. A new version of the site was being tested on a new host and we were due to migrate after some further testing.
When our host went down, we were forced to move to the new site sooner than expected.
The result is that we now have a more or less fully functional website.
The main problem is that the bridge between the main site and the forum is a newer untested one and seems to be causing problems.
We hope to have this resolved soon, please bear with us.
Beoir has become the newest member of the European Beer Consumers Union, Europe's umbrella group for organisations which promote beer culture and drinkers' rights. The unanimous decision was made by the delegates of the EBCU's existing member organisations at their most recent biannual meeting in Copenhagen on November 3rd 2012.
The EBCU was founded in 1990 and currently consists of thirteen national member organisations, representing 170,000 paying members. High-profile EBCU member groups include CAMRA in the UK and Zythos in Belgium. The umbrella group provides a platform for campaigning at the European level and its activities include an annual reception for MEPs and production of a manifesto on drinkers' rights in the lead up to the European elections. The 2009-2014 manifesto may be found here; an updated version for the 2014 elections is currently in production.
As a full EBCU member, Beoir now has access to a broad range of campaigning experience from across the continent. We are now able to participate in a shared approach to the problems which face the beer drinker today, not least of which is the ongoing neo-prohibitionist denormalisation of alcohol. And on a symbolic level it is right and fitting that Ireland -- one of Europe's highest per capita consumers of beer -- now takes its place among the organised and united beer drinkers in the rest of Europe.
The EBCU's press release on Beoir's accession is available here.
Irish Craft Brewer is pleased to announce the establishment of Beoir, a consumers' lobby for beer drinkers on the island of Ireland, and for all who seek to improve the variety and quality of beer available here. The new group will concentrate on the promotion of beer and cider from Ireland's micro-producers, as well as encouraging quality imports, and continuning Irish Craft Brewer's work in providing a forum -- both in real-life and online -- for the country's amateur craft brewers.
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.