With the new bill to allow craft breweries & distillers to sell their own produce on-site without acquiring a bar license a mere handful of bureaucratic footsteps away, & in sight breweries like Hope Beer in Kilbarrick in Howth, County Dublin are excited & already in the process of putting together their taproom to complete theirpiece of the puzzle like so many other craft brewers in Ireland. So, I took this opportunity to take a visit to see Hope’s brewery, check out the taproom & catch up with my old drinking buddy, their headbrewer Mark Nixon.
Murkbombs. Pint o’Murk. New England IPA. NEIPA. Murkbier. Cloudybeer. Whatever you wanna call it, New England style IPA’s are popping up everywhere. If you’re a brewer, you want a piece of the sales action on this style right now. And if you are already as a brewer, kudos to you. It’s good for business. But, I’m just not down with the haze-craze. I was over it before it even began.
One of the great things about being a beer enthusiast is how easy it is to visit independent micro breweries at your leisure on your own country. It’s a heck of alot easier than wine afficianados, who unless they live in a wine producing country, they’ve a fair amount of travel. There are many reasons I like visiting breweries, & believe it or not, tasting beers for me is actually not anywhere near the top of the reasons on my list. Meeting/catching up with the people at breweries is the single best part of those reasons to visit for me. On a miserable day in the usually sunny south east, I took a trip to Wexico City to visit Yellowbelly.
It is no secret of my love of the craft beer revolution in the U.S.. Inthe past I’ve been rightfully accused of being harsh with Irish craft brewers for being too placid about macros coming in to eat their lunch before they’ve even finished making it. Irish Craft Brewers in the last two years have in my mind made the fastest global jump in quality & ingenuity of any craft beer scene. And I’ve made no secret either of both my admiration & my happiness. But, this week pride was added to that list. We (Ireland), beat the Americans to the chase. And that I believe now provides a unique opportunity to take the fight to macro on a scale never before seen in craft beer.
We are officially one year on the interwebz unleashing our own IBU powered, hopped up OpEd, Beer Reviews & Vermont IPA hazed ramblings on craft beer in Ireland. Obviously not doing this for the money or free beer, but because we love to share in the journey & people of the scene & the conversation, antics & shenanigans of the scene with those who regularly or irregularly check out our wee corner of the beeriverse online.
Between swallowing up craft brewers with bags of money, locking out taps, closing off distribution loops & closing routes of access to raw materials, you’d think Big Beer couldn’t stoop any lower. But, like all beer produced by men in suits around a board table, new lows in the pursuit of market domination are the order of the day. Enter Diageo’s Guinness with a whole new low.
Every time Ellon’s team post a blog about a new BrewDog bar opening, the comments generally become littered with mention of Dublin and or Belfast. Sure, BrewDog are opening up bars all across the UK, Italy & every other mannerof exotic place you can stick your dirty, greasy, hop covered thumb on, & over the last few months Dublin has gone from being ‘coming soon’ to not being mentioned by BrewDog at all any more on these announcements. Some, including myself thought it was because BrewDog has given up on trying for Dublin. It seems we were wrong.
Selling out. Buying-in. Value this. Value that. Impatience. Private Equity. Big Beer. It’s a never ending circle of good-beer-loving-folk beating the shit out of each other over something outside their control that’s pointless, right? It is just beer after all? Why is there even a fuss over craft breweries selling to Big Beer Inc? Who cares? The arguments get deeper, more frequent & it’s all leading somewhere a little too familiar.
Yoga is nothing new. But it has become insanely popular. Hell, even this hoppped up hellraiser loves yoga & swears by DDP Yoga. But, what if ….. just what if you could combine yoga AND craft beer together. At the same time. Well, it’s a thing. And not just a ‘new thing’.
In case you missed it, today was the second stage debate of what’s been dubbed ‘#CraftDrinksBill’, which is an ammendment to our licensing laws to allow craft brewers, cider producers & distillers to sell their beers/ciders/spirits on-site for on and off-sales.
Irish cheekyfuckers, brettmeisters & craftbeer misfiterati from Wexford, Yellowbelly Brewing are hitting a BrewDog bar near you in the UK this coming St. Patrick’s Day. And, they are bringing their heavy hitters to party. Irish style.
Today, the American Brewers Association has released its annual list of the top fifty craft brewers in the U.S. which is based on sales volume. While there’s no major surprises in the list, it makes for interesting reading as a consumer of craft beer in Ireland. And for Irish craft brewers, a reminder that as our market grows, there are importers here who are ‘selling us’ as a market destination for growth, which presents a fight for shelfspace to brands that have long established reputations, & can gain traction here from that alone.