In keeping with its remit to support native Irish microbreweries and defend drinkers' rights, Beoir has made a pre-Budget submission to the Department of Finance and Revenue Commissioners.
The document sets out a three-point plan for encouraging artisan brewing in Ireland and making it more accessible for customers:
The full text of the submission is available for download here.
Now that the days are beginning to get longer it's time to look forward to some of the beer festivals coming your way over the next few months.
Cask and Winter Ales Festival, Cork, 15-17 February
At the opening event of the 2013 Irish beer calendar, The Franciscan Well will be hosting a celebration of cask-conditioned Irish beer, as well as strong and warming winter ales. Beoir members can avail of a couple of free drinks at the Friday evening session by showing a membership card at the bar.
Irish Craft Beer Village, Dublin, 14-18 March
A five-day spectacular in the Dublin docklands as part of the overall St. Patrick's Day festivities. Featuring live music, artisan food and a wide range of beers from the independent Irish breweries.
Easter Beer Festival, Cork, 30-31 March
One of Ireland's longest running beer festivals and always well attended by the breweries. Expect a mix of old favourites from around the country as well as new release beers and festival specials. Hosted by the Franciscan Well, it opens at 2pm on both days and admission is free.
The team behind award-winning Dublin pubs L. Mulligan. Grocer and W.J. Kavanagh's have recently created their own beer brand. Titled The Brown Paper Bag Project, the emphasis will be on innovation and experimentation, covering a wide range of beer styles, methods and ingredients and brewed at a variety of different breweries.
The first in the series was launched at W.J. Kavanagh's on 24th November and is a dark Belgian style ale utilising a single variety of hop called Dr. Rudi, from New Zealand, which also gives the beer its name. Brewed at the Eight Degrees brewery in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, Dr. Rudi is 7.4% ABV and available on draught in Mulligan's and Kavanagh's, as well as in 33cl bottles.
The Brown Paper Bag Project website is currently under construction here, and the Project is also on Twitter.
Some new seasonal beers recently arrived, and on the way, from Ireland's craft breweries:
Voyager IPA by Galway Bay Brewery
Expected to come in around the 6% ABV mark, this IPA has been thoroughly hopped with Pacifica and Pacific Jade. Available exclusiverly on draught in the Cottage Group pubs in Dublin and Galway.
Kindred Spirit by Eight Degrees Brewing
An export-strength stout aged in Irish whiskey barrels, adding a subtle oak-and-smoke effect to the chocolate stout notes. 7% ABV and available on draught.
O'Hara's Double IPA by Carlow Brewing
A bigger brother to O'Hara's Irish Pale ale, this dark amber ale is 7.5% ABV and offers smooth warming toffee malt flavours contrasting with zesty citrus from the generous hopping. Available on draught.
Equinox by Metalman Brewing
The latest beer in the limited-edition "Chameleon" series, Equinox is a 4.6% ABV wheat lager brewed with orange, lemon and coriander.
Mahon Falls Rye Pale Ale by Dungarvan Brewing
Based on the very limited special edition Rye-PA Dungarvan brought to the 2012 Irish Craft Beer Festival, Mahon Falls promises all the punchy bitterness and fruit flavours of the original. 5.1% ABV and available on cask and bottled.
Great news for craft beer in Ireland; our friends at The Porterhouse Brewing company, last featured in TheBeerNut's article about our visit to their brewery for the launch of Hop Head, have announced that they will be venturing into the realm of bottled beer.