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.
There’s rarely a day goes by that you don’t see an item in your social media feeds as a craft beer fan about hop shortages & how they will/are/could hurt craft brewers. And sure, craft breweries that have skin in the game long enough are getting bigger, & as a result they contract a colossal amount of hops up to three or four years into the future when much smaller beer producers can’t even say if they’ll be around in 12 months. For example, BrewDog contracts something ridiculous like 80% (I’m open to correction here) of the hop harvest for Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand for its production of its flagship Punk IPA beer. So how in the hell can small producers innovate when the bigger craft producers are like the bigger hungry pigs at the hop trough?
I say this often, but it is very true – beer writers/bloggers are a fortunate & incredibly lucky lot when they get invited to events to cover them, receiving incredible levels of hospitality from event organisers & attendees alike. And this year’s AllTech Craft Beer & Food event was no exception. So, on the final day, Saturday I headed down to check it out as a media guest of the organisers.