On Thursday 23rd March the Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016 will have its second stage debate in Dáil Éireann. If passed, this legislation will allow breweries and distilleries to sell their produce directly to the public, revolutionising the Irish artisan drinks industry while also bringing it into line with almost every other country in the world.
Taprooms will increase beer tourism, help stabilise the current industry and attract new players to this tentatively growing field, all across the country. Independent Irish beer makes up less than 3% of the market at the moment; the presence of taprooms will help build that to the level found in fully developed beer markets of around 12-15%.
Since it was first published late last year there has been a small but positive reaction to the Bill. However, some major influencers on the legislative process, including the Government itself, have yet to express an official position. It's entirely possible that those who do not want the Bill to pass are simply waiting quietly for it to be stifled in the Dáil. As it's a private members bill introduced by a Labour Party deputy, there's every chance that that could happen.
And this is where you come in. Contact your TDs, from all parties. Write, email, telephone, meet them at their constituency clinic. Tell them that the Bill is due for second stage on Thursday 23rd. Ask them if they will consider co-sponsoring the Bill: this will give it more time in the chamber and increase its chances of surviving. At the very least ask them to vote for it, and remind them that you will be watching on the day. If the Bill doesn't make it to the next stage, at least you can say you did your bit.
For details of your representatives, see www.whoismytd.com.
So opened a section of the Atticus column in The Sunday Times of 15th December 2019. It had been prompted by a tweet from the Irish Museum of Modern Art, celebrating a co-operative venture among companies and organisations in Dublin 8. IMMA staff were expressing their delight at visiting the nearby taproom of Rascals Brewery. "We had so much fun", they said, according to Atticus.
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...
For those who weren’t at the ICB brewery tour at Trouble HQ recently, we announced a tentative plan to hold a brewing competition. The competition will select a home-brewed beer to be scaled up to a commercial batch size in our Allenwood brewery and be sold at the Franciscan Well Easterfest in 2011.
Here’s the T&C’s:
The first Dublin Craft Beer Cup was held at the Alltech Gathering Craft Brewing and Distilling Conference at Convention Centre Dublin. The two day conference culminated with the announcement of the gold, silver and bronze medal winners from among a wide selection of beers from Europe, North America and the antipodes, judged by an international panel of experts. In taking the top prize, the Co. Antrim brewery beat such high profile producers as Stone, Thornbridge, Sierra Nevada and Three Floyds.
Medals were also awarded to Carlow Brewing for their Leann Folláin stout (gold), Irish Red (gold), Barrel-aged Leann Folláin (silver), Irish Stout (bronze) and Pale Ale (bronze). Newly arrived Kinsale Pale Ale won a bronze medal and Hilden also took a bronze for their Barney's Brew wheat beer.
Founded in 1981, Hilden is Ireland's oldest independent brewery. Twisted Hop, a 4.7% ABV beer made with Galaxy and Brewer's Gold hops, is one of the newest additions to their range.
For a full list of the winners in the Dublin Craft Beer Cup, click here.