Issue 4 - Autumn 2016
Discover Craft Beer In Ireland
Meet the Brewers Featuring Travel: Explore
World of Beer
Winter 2015 Complimentary Copy
Business, Politics & Gender Imbalance And Much More
Featuring Articles From Internationally Recognised Beer Writers: Melissa Cole Tim Webb Jan Lichota John Duffy & Reuben Gray
Beoir is an independent group of consumers with a primary goal of supporting and raising awareness of Irelandâ€™s native independent microbreweries.
Molly Malone Statue opposite O’Neill’s Head Chef Dave carving from a selection of freshly roasted meats at the Carvery
Our fully-refurbished Roof-Top Beer Garden & Smoking Area
’Neill’s, conveniently set in the heart of the city, is one of Dublin’s most famous and historic pubs. Trade has flourished here uninterrupted for over 300 years. But having a long history doesn’t mean we’re behind the times. Here at O’Neill’s we have fully embraced the Craft Beer revolution. We have one of the largest selection of local Irish Craft Beers on draught in Ireland and aim to try and represent as many of the local Craft Breweries as possible. The passion and enthusiasm shown by these small breweries is infectious and our customers can’t get enough of these unique beers. The range of tastes means there’s a beer for every palette. To make your visit as enjoyable as possible we also offer you ...
M.J. O’Neill Suffolk Street, Dublin 2 Tel. 01 679 3656 www.oneillspubdublin.com
Extensive Irish Food Menu and Famous Carvery serving only the finest Irish Meat, Fish and Vegetables. In fact, Lonely Planet rate us as one of the Top 5 Places to find ‘Real Irish food in Dublin’.
Irish Music and Dancing 7 nights-a-week
Roof-Top Beer Garden and Smoking Area
Pour Your Own Pint tables
Free Wi-Fi to all our Customers
HD and 3D Screens for the Sports Fan with major international league games.
Mon-Thurs: 8.00am-11.30pm Fri: 8.00am-12.30am Sat: 8.00am-12.30am Sun: 8.00am-11.00pm SatNav 53.343958, -6.260796
Top 5 places to find Real Irish Food in Dublin
Traditional Irish Music and Dancing every night
What’s inside? Chairman’s Update Beoir Chairman, Reuben Gray gives an introduction to the magazine. Politics Nothing About Beer Is Simple What’s the future of beer in the world? Travel A look at Wrocław in Poland and the beer scene there.
Fun in Killarney A look at the Killarney Beer Festival and awards to find the Beoir Champion Beers of Ireland.
Bettering The Beer Community Melissa Cole, International Beer Writer, takes a look at sexism in the beer industry.
Verifying Irish Craft Beer How can you tell if the beer you are drinking is really from an Irish microbrewery?
Book Review Craft Brew by Euan Ferguson This book seeks to educate about homebrew and includes recipes.
Meet the Brewer Galway Hooker owner Aidan Murphy talks a little about the last 10 years.
Northern Ireland CAMRA update An review of the Belfast Beer Festival 2015.
Meet the Brewer Aine O’Hora Meet the head brewer behind Boyne Brewhouse.
Chairman’s Message: Welcome to the fourth issue of Beoir Magazine. Putting a magazine together in a voluntary organisation is tough work and I hope you enjoy it. The magazine is aimed at tourists and the general public alike. Please enjoy and support Ireland’s many independent breweries. Reuben Gray - Chairman
Red Borders About Beoir Launched on July 1st, 2010, Beoir is an independent group of consumers which seeks greater choice, quality and value-for-money for beer and cider drinkers on the island of Ireland. Our primary goal is to support and raise awareness of Ireland’s native independent microbreweries and craft cider-makers. Additionally, Beoir promotes and encourages amateur craft brewing, and the making of other fermented beverages. It seeks to assist amateur brewers in improving the quality of their end product through the sharing of information. The group is organised and administrated in an open and democratic manner by and for its subscribing members on a voluntary non-profit basis. Membership is open to all adults worldwide and costs €10 per annum. In November 2012, Beoir joined the European Beer Consumers Union (EBCU) representing beer consumers in Ireland. We were the 13th member at the time. This gave us a voice in Europe and the backing of other European countries.
Chairman’s Update By Reuben Gray The summer of 2016 has been one to remember. Never have there been so many beer events in one season in this country and it’s not over yet. This magazine launches in time for the Irish Craft Beer & Cider Festival at the RDS in Dublin. This is the 4th edition of Beoir magazine and I would like to thank all of the contributing writers as well as breweries and suppliers who help with the printing costs by taking out an ad. The ads are limited to only a few and they must be useful to the reader of a craft beer orientated magazine. They don’t cover the full cost of the magazine either so the rest is covered by Beoir membership subscriptions. To that end, if you haven’t joined Beoir, please consider doing so. Doing it online at Beoir.org is the easiest way and there are instructions at the back of this magazine.
By Reuben Gray Reuben Gray is currently serving as the Chairman of Beoir and magazine editor. Since 2008, he has been writing the successful beer blog The Tale Of The Ale. He also writes freelance for various publications such as FFT magazine and TheJournal.ie
Membership is €10 per year but you immediately get that back with €10 worth of vouchers for Galway Bay Brewery pubs in Dublin, Galway and coming soon, Limerick. You also get other discounts in other pubs and homebrew shops around the country as well as discounted entry to certain beer festivals, including CAMRA beer festivals in the UK/Northern Ireland and a number of other beer festivals around Europe such as Zythos in Belgium. Beoir is a member of the European Beer Consumers’ Union along with a dozen other countries which has a combined membership approaching 250,000 members. Please enjoy the rest of this free magazine and check out Beoir.org for info on Irish craft beer and related events around the country.
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Autumn - 2016
Nothing About Beer is Simple By Tim Webb Nothing about beer is simple; it is just made to look that way. The end of 2016 will see beer across Europe and in the rest of the world enjoying two distinct futures. The first dictates that more than 30% of the world’s commercially available beer will be produced by a single company, to be formed by the largest takeover in business history – of SAB-Miller by AB InBev – which should conclude shortly. The second sees more breweries than the world has seen in nearly a century, and a range of distinct beer styles available from them likely greater than it has ever been. Both futures are likely but beer lovers who focus on the latter ignore the former at their peril. You don’t get to control 30% of a €10 trillion a year trade without understanding how ‘control’ operates. Don’t hope the limited presence of ABI-SM on Irish shores will protect you. If Diageo was to tire of Guinness’s stiflingly unimaginative approach and sloughed it off, this new global behemoth might look kindly on the only name in global brewing to have retained the respect of serious beer drinkers, as a useful black brand would puff its portfolio. But what of the second future? Depending on who is counting them and how, there are between 189 and 253 countries in the world. At the beginning of 2016 just over 60 of these had enough interesting breweries to make them worth visiting. That may not sound a high proportion but compared to 1975, when there were just four (West Germany, Czechoslovakia, Belgium and the UK), it is a modern miracle.
Over the same period, the number of breweries has risen from around 4,000 to north of 30,000 and since 2003 the annual shift in spend from industrial to craft, traditional or “special” beers is about to reach €1 trillion. Most beer styles in the early 20th century canon have been revived and new ones appear frequently – though whether mango lassi gose or Hawaiian onion pilsner will hang around for long I doubt. So how does Ireland’s performance rate among all the competition? I’d say not bad at all. The growth of new breweries both north and south of the border is looking good. The 100th operator will likely have arrived by the time this piece appears and there is already reasonable acceptance of newer brewers’ products in pubs, restaurants, off-licences and even supermarkets, which is encouraging. Ireland can lay claim to numerous heritage styles to call its own among the drier stouts and lighter porters and a less authentic stayer hatched by desperate salesmen in the early 1980s – the mythical Irish Red. Being the country of origin of any style should help a nation’s brewers enormously when looking to export markets, particularly in North America and mainland Europe. It is hopeful too that enthusiasm for better beers in Ireland spans the age groups. There is no split like that found in Germany or the UK, where an older generation’s pro-Reinheitsgebot or pro-Real Ale bias has been set against a younger, cooler preference for new age craft brewing. If youth knew; if age could. So is it all good news? I fear not. When it comes to taxation, beer in Ireland sits firmly in the Protestant North of Europe alongside Scandinavia and the UK, nudging producers and consumers towards cheaply made brands, while the young must look to better value substances for their kicks. Continued... Autumn - 2016
Irish health advisors have yet to follow their British counterparts down the psychotic route, telling a baffled populous that there is no “safe” level of alcohol consumption, but be sure that the descendants of The Pledge still have the ear of public servants eager to tax the wages of sin. When saner politicians begin to take an interest in beer they spot that a craft brewer making interesting beers is running exactly the sort of business a country needs, offering a strong combination of creating jobs, paying taxes where they are based and giving communities a sense of local pride. Then there is the dangerous sense of entitlement found in big companies that somehow they deserve to be in charge, justifying all manner of coercion in pursuit of retaining their markets. The new Irish beer scene is growing up fast, and with it should come the consumers’ right to speak as the only true independent voice in a business that attracts on the one hand a cartel of bankers who make beer and on the other an anti-alcohol lobby dressed as nurses while cursing Satan. Supporting the right to drink interesting beers, honestly defined, at affordable prices might be common sense but suggesting it can happen without there being a loud and well-informed consumer group to make its case is naïve. Beer is not that simple. Tim Webb writes The World Atlas of Beer (Octopus Books: 2nd edition September 2016), with Canadian author Stephen Beaumont. He is also a member of the Executive of the European Beer Consumers Union (EBCU), which represents the beer consumer at a European level.
Out September 15th
By Tim Webb
a well rounded medium dry craft cider made from 100% lrish apples Autumn - 2016
Wrocław – Beyond the Capital of Culture By Jan Lichota - EBCU Officer & Bractwo Piwne Member. Wrocław’s popularity among beer lovers in Poland is not a denial. Interesting events, emerging breweries, a big tradition and a good selection of beers in many bars are strong assets for the city. It also helpful is that the city and the region of Lower Silesia are an interesting place for visitors. In 2016 Wrocław has been the European Capital of Culture, along with the Spanish city of San Sebastian. The city has won the national selection against other Polish cities and has prepared itself to host visitors from all over the world. In its programme it featured many music concerts, art exhibitions and artistic events of all kind. The official programme also included the 7th Festival of Good Beer, which over the years has become the biggest beer festival in Poland with nearly 80,000 visitors. This year Wrocław also became the first Polish city to host the European Symposium of brewing technology at the European Beer Convention (EBC), through the initiative of the Association of Polish Breweries (Browary Polskie). The theme of the symposium was “Modern brewhouse technologies and wort production”. A rich history Thanks to its geographical position and trade activities Wrocław was able to develop its beer since the Middle Ages. The guilds of innkeepers and brewmasters took care of proper beer culture over the centuries. On the market square you may visit the Świdnicka Cellar, the oldest restaurant in Europe, where the preserved architecture invites you to a historical journey.
Over the time the city has been part of the Kingdom of Poland, Czech Crown, Silesian Duchy & the German Empire, before becoming part of Poland after the Second World War. Belonging to different sovereigns had an impact on the city’s character and in its brewing heritage. The biggest development of Wrocław brewing occurred in the nineteenth century, when European industrial trends arrived to the region. Besides local ones, many investors from Prussian or Bohemian territories established breweries in town. Breweries like Under the Black Eagle, Zum goldenen Helm, Henschel, Haase, Hübner & Kipke were among the historical business of Wrocław. While many of the breweries were destroyed during the Second World War, their story has been well described by scholars and enthusiasts, and the Historical Museum in Wrocław, which dedicated a special exhibition to their presence in the city. A brewery that survived the war and was active until 2005 was the Scholtz Brewery, founded in 1872. It has changed its name several times, but it is most known for the Piast beer, which was launched in the late 40’s of 20th century. After the closure of the brewery’s production by Carlsberg, the building still has not found another occupation and may be seen in the north part of the town (direct tram from the city centre). Another brewery, Browar Mieszczanski (City brewery) has todau become an event area, where artistic events, photo and video shoots take place with a local food market on Sundays. 100 Bridges and more Today, Wrocław is also an important center for beer, thanks to the existing groups of enthusiasts, bloggers, students and tourists. For the foreign visitor, the city can be a great place to learn about the Polish beer scene in a nice setting. On the Market Square, various premises encourage visitors to try beers from different breweries from Poland, Germany and Czechia, the new name for the Continued... Czech Republic apparently. Autumn - 2016
A slighty bigger attraction is the restaurant & pub breweries, starting with Browar Spiż, the oldest one in Poland. In recent years, they have been joined on the opposite side of the square by the Zloty Pies (Golden Dog) and Bierhalle brewpubs. The multitude of pubs present in Wrocław, and the appearance of some contract breweries like Dr. Brew, together with sparkling evolution of the Polish beer scene has encouraged many beer lovers to open their own craft brewery. In 2014, very close to the former Piast brewery, opened Browar Stu Mostów (Hundred bridges brewery). The brainchild of Grzegorz and Arletta Ziemian is a modern brewery with a pub and restaurant (all in one open space). The brewery fosters its local character through the WRCLW and Salamander brands. It has also it launched some experimental beers imagined by its brewmaster Mateusz Gulej through its Art brand. The restaurant has also been highlighted in various gastronomic guides. They have also opened a shop with food produced from beer ingredients opened opposite the brewery earlier this year. The last two years have also seen the opening of other breweries such as Profesja, Warsztat Piwowarski and Prost. Their beers and other craft beers from Poland and abroad may be found in bars such as 4Hops, Kontynuacja, Szynkarnia and Targowa. Water and more Since beer is mainly composed of water, a very interesting visit may be taken to Hydropolis. This visitors’ centre explains everything about water using an impressive multimedia setup. Such knowledge may also serve students doing their postgraduate studies in brewing at the local University of Environmental and Life Sciences. In addition to the above mentioned Good Beer Festival held in June, Wrocław also hosts in the Beer Geek Madness event in April featuring many craft brewers. Other than events, it’s also worth visiting many of the surroundings castles, rural areas and wellness places in the Lower Silesia region. There is even a beer spa! Na Zdrowie.
Autumn - 2016
Book Review Craft Brew by Euan Ferguson. ISBN 978-0-7112-3733-9. 191pp., £14.99. For the beginner homebrewer, cloning recipes is one of the best ways to find your feet in the hobby. Pick a beer you know and like, find an approximate recipe, and see how it turns out. Internet forums have long offered such approximations, and books like the classic Clone Brews offer a more systematic approach. But the world of beer is forever changing and today’s beer-enthusiast-turned-homebrewer probably has less of an interest in making the world classics that these guides tend to offer. The cutting edge of beer has never been sharper and the amateur brewers are demanding access to the secrets behind this new wave. Iconoclastic brewery BrewDog were among the first to offer this, releasing their entire back catalogue in homebrew recipe form as DIY Dog, available for free download on their website. More recently, a new book is offering access to the recipe secrets of a cross section of the world’s best-known craft brewers. Craft Brew is the stark title, and this weighty hardback promises just fifty recipes. But it’s best of breed all the way, with recipes from Kernel, Siren, Boneyard, Evil Twin, Russian River, Mikkeller, Baladin, Omnipollo and 8 Wired all featuring, alongside perhaps more classical brewers like Anchor, Thornbridge and Brooklyn. It’s just one beer per brewery, covering a wide range of styles, but as well as an easy-to-follow recipe there’s also a useful description of the philosophy and ideas behind each beer, often including a short interview with its creator. It’s a level of insight that’s rare in the clone brewing scene.
Pleasingly, into this premier league of world brewing, two Irish beers have made the cut: Brú’s Rua red ale and Trouble Brewing’s Hidden Agenda pale ale: a clear sign that Irish brewing is well able to take a place on the world craft beer scene. Craft Brew isn’t just for the experienced brewing wonks. Introductory chapters talk the reader through the necessary equipment, ingredients and processes. If you knew nothing other than you love To Øl Black Ball Porter, and want to make your own version, then here you’ll find pretty much all the information you need to make that happen. This book is the ideal gift for the craft beer geek who wants to take the next step into production. It may not offer the keys to craft brewing success but it certainly offers pointers in the right direction.
John Duffy is the former Treasurer of Beoir and has been writing the successful beer blog: The Beer Nut since 2005. @TheBeerNut thebeernut.blogspot.ie
By John Duffy
Autumn - 2016
Meet the Brewer Meet Aidan Murphy from the Hooker Brewery in Galway.
10 years ago, the Hooker Brewery opened its doors in Roscommon and launched their iconic beer, Galway Hooker. The beer was named after a type of boat but that didn’t stop them having some fun with it. I recall the phrase “Call for a hooker” used back then. This was the first hop forward pale ale brewed in Ireland. We got our first real taste of the citrus qualities of American hops like cascade. Our eyes were opened and have stayed that way for the last decade. Since that time, the brewery has moved to Galway into a state-of-the-art facility with plenty of room for expansion. This has allowed for new beers to be added to its portfolio. I caught up with Aidan to do a little Q&A session. Aidan is one of the nicest and most approachable people you are ever likely to meet so if you see him at a beer festival, don’t be shy, go have a chat. Where was your first brewing job and how many breweries had you worked at before setting up Galway Hooker? My first brewing job was with Okell’s in the Isle of Man. This is where I cut my teeth after studying for a M.Sc in Brewing and Distilling. I worked there for approx. two years before returning to Ireland to set up Galway Hooker. I never worked full time in any other brewery, but I did some short term stints in other breweries and some consultancy work. Oh I nearly forgot, my very first job was in a brewpub in San Francisco in 1996 when I was on a J1 visa. Only lasted one day before being let go. Perhaps not the most auspicious start to my brewing career!!
In 2006, there were only a handful of pubs serving independent Irish beer. Was it tough back then? It really was a different world back then. Craft beer was an alien concept in the main, although there were some pioneers such as the Porterhouse and Carlow. Having said that, I must acknowledge that the trade were always very supportive and willing to give us an opportunity. The problem wasn’t getting on shelf; the challenge was to get the beer moving once it was there. I believe we were the first brewery to really try to push a pale ale so this style of beer was very new to the Irish market. This meant that we needed to spend a lot of time educating both the public and trade on what we were doing and the various styles of beers we were producing. For example, when we launched a Coffee Porter in 2008 most people thought we were bonkers. What kind of changes have you seen over the last 10 years at the brewery? It’s night and day really. People are so much more educated about the different styles and flavours in beer. I think it can best be described by the following example. Back at the Franciscan Well Beer Festival in 2007 the most common question we were asked was “what do you have that is like Budweiser/Heineken?” Nowadays people are always asking “what do you have that is new or different?” People are open to new ideas and flavours and that’s really a great thing. The other obvious change is the number of craft breweries in the country. When we started there were only half a dozen; there are at least ten times that many now. Continued... Autumn - 2016
Strictly as a consumer rather than brewery owner, are there any issues you would like to see addressed in Ireland? As a consumer, I would want to see more transparency about the provenance of beers. Who makes them? Where are they made? What goes into them? There are a lot of smoke and mirrors and I don’t believe that this is fair to consumers. What’s next for the brewery? We have a number of parties planned to celebrate our ten year anniversary. We are also in the process of pushing out our new beer: a limited edition Double IPA. Outside of that, we have plans to increase our exports in existing markets and to develop new ones. We will also be expanding in the brewery next year by installing additional fermentation capacity and a new keg washing/filling line. We also have ideas for some new beers. Thanks to Aidan for taking the time to answer these questions and I hope this gives you an insight into the influential beer that is Galway Hooker. I would also like to add that over the years, Aidan has brewed a number of other beers. Capacity issues meant they were short lived but I’ll always recall his outstanding Bohemian Lager which was a one off at the time. These days, the Galway Hooker Amber Lager acts as their regular lager and I’m delighted because it’s a beautiful, flavoursome lager which reminds me of a Vienna style lager. Beoir visited the new Hooker Brewery in January 2015 which I personally missed but when I have a free weekend, I’ll certainly be popping by for a look.
By Reuben Gray Reuben Gray is currently serving as the Chairman of Beoir and magazine editor. Since 2008, he has been writing the successful beer blog The Tale Of The Ale. He also writes freelance for various publications such as FFT magazine and TheJournal.ie
Autumn - 2016
Northern Ireland Update A report from the Northern Ireland CAMRA branch
Pub of the Year 2016 Congratulations to the winner ‘The Dirty Duck’, Holywood, Co Down. If ever near, pay it a visit: great cask ale, great food and convivial atmosphere! CAMRA (NI) AGM 2016 Held at Hilden Brewery, Hilden, Co Antrim. CAMRA formed a new committee for 2016/2017 and Clive Talbot was elected as chairperson. Clive believes that great beer brings people together and that in the beer world there is little to be divisive about and a lot to celebrate! Local Breweries The increase in the number of local breweries in Northern Ireland is staggering - we now have 31, a remarkable rise in just a few years and the number is set to increase further! A huge tribute must be paid to the ‘old timers’ who started it all off and are still going strong – Northern Ireland’s oldest Brewery, Hilden, was formed in 1981 and its biggest, Whitewater, began in 1996. What is CAMRA doing? Licencing Reform: Unlucky 13th Category? Yes please! The biggest issue facing our breweries is undoubtedly that of Licencing Reform. In Northern Ireland the law has designated 12 categories of premises where beer can be sold and guess what- breweries are not included! Local breweries have told us that: “The main battle we have at the minute is allowing Northern Irish breweries to sell from their premises and get licenses to do events. The increased margin from direct sales will be the difference in maintaining the microbreweries in NI or them being decimated or worse!” – Knockout Brewery
“Really the main issue for me is not being able to get a personal licence in Northern Ireland. I’d love to be able to take my beer down to local markets and sell there, and I’d love to be able to sell online. We are really disadvantaged here compared to the rest of the UK in that regard.” – Bull House Beer “I think the main issues facing the drinks industry as a whole are the well reported licensing restrictions in Northern Ireland. Not being able to sell directly to the public being one of our biggest issues, if we were based in England I could have a personal licence to sell alcohol yet over in NI this is completely restricted. For Belfast to become a major European City that is attractive for tourists the licensing laws need to change. Relaxed licensing laws will create a positive knock-on effect from pubs/clubs to hotels to taxi firms to wholesalers right back to the producers.” – Night Cap Beer So, Breweries in England, Scotland and Wales ARE eligible to apply for a licence which allows them to sell at source, at events and online (including to Northern Ireland!)-and our breweries can’t! This situation really cannot be allowed to continue. It is not fair. CAMRA (NI) has written to each MLA in the new Stormont Assembly to canvass support to allow us to compete on an equal footing with the rest of the UK. Their response has been encouraging. Favourable replies have been received from all sides of the political spectrum. We are also asking MLAs to recognise that small brewers find it increasingly hard to access the market because many pubs are locked into contracts that restrict them from selling locally brewed beers. CAMRA would like to see the Northern Ireland Executive encourage global brewers to voluntarily allow pubs to offer a guest beer option in their contracts to ensure that local brewers have access to the market. The fact is that our brewers need help from both Government and the Community and our clear message is ‘Support your local Brewer’ Continued... Autumn - 2016
What Next For CAMRA? CAMRA is now 45 years old. We are a hugely successful consumer organisation of nearly 180,000 members. We were founded in Killarney in 1971 by four guys who were so frustrated by the lack of quality beer available and also worried that 99% of beer was made by a few giant companies probably more interested in their balance sheets. Like anyone our age (if you haven’t got that far yet, you will!) we have paused to take stock of where we’ve been, what we’ve done and we’re asking ourselves ‘where do we go from here?’ The lack of quality beer might be considered now as a thing of the past. Is this true? What about Pubs? Are they safe? What about the Health Lobbyists? Are they going to be allowed to ban beer? How can CAMRA be even more relevant to the Beer world in the 21st century? We’ve launched a nationwide series of consultation meetings on our future direction. The Belfast meeting has been arranged for Saturday 10 September. [Unfortunately, this date clashes with the Irish Craft Beer Festival in Dublin but happily it won’t prevent us from lending you our support on the Thursday and/or the Friday!] 17th Belfast Beer & Cider Festival 2016 We’re delighted to announce details of our popular annual event which again will raise the profile of local brews as well as others from around the British Isles. It would be great to see you there and to welcome you to Belfast! Date: Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 November 2016 Venue: The Ulster Hall, Bedford Street, Belfast. 100+ beers and ciders; pub games; live music; food & great craic! Details at www.belfastbeerfestival.co.uk
Autumn - 2016
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Brewed and Bottled in Connemara
Autumn - 2016
Meet the Brewer Meet Aine O’Hora from the Boyne Brewhouse in Drogheda.
I caught up Aine from Boyne Brewhouse in Drogheda to find out a little bit of background from one of Ireland’s latest women brewers. I ask the questions and she answers. Aine, I have read that you were enticed back to Ireland from Australia. When did you leave Ireland and why? I left Ireland in 2005 to go to Scotland to study brewing and distilling. When I finished college brewing jobs in Ireland were few, I heard that Australia’s craft beer scene was good, so I went there. How long were you in Australia and what did you do while there? All up I was 8 years there, most of my first year in Oz was working in animal pharma, then I got a job with Matilda Bay Brewery stayed there for 3 years and then moved to the Mother Ship brewery CUB until I left for home. So I did everything from a small craft 25 hL a day brewery, to a giant 1200 hL every hour brewery and then onto new product development and process improvement. Did you move back to Ireland first and then find the job at Boyne Brewhouse or were you essentially poached and couldn’t refuse the opportunity to come home? I moved home with the job, I had come home for a holiday 8 weeks previous and was really surprised by how much craft had come on in Ireland. So I said I’d ask around to see what jobs were here. Came up to see Pat and the plans and could not say no to the opportunity of being head brewer / distiller for an exciting new project.
As well as being the head brewer, you are also the head distiller. Do any of the Boyne beer recipes influence the recipes used for the distilled products and if so, how? As we aren’t distilling yet I haven’t had a chance to explore combining the recipes, but it is definitely something that I think will happen. We also have a little gin still that’s capable of distilling beer so I’m excited to get going on those experiments. What are the main differences you have found being a brewer in Ireland versus Australia? The floors dry quicker in Australia! On a day to day basis not much, fortunately brewing is a universal process, but from the craft beer culture side of things there’s a difference. Australia’s craft scene is now quite mature, while in my opinion we are still only starting out in Ireland, so it’s great to have that youth and exuberance around for new styles and tastes and the overall approach to beer. Interview over, here’s a little info about the brewery. The Boyne Brewhouse craft brewery is part of the Boann Distillery and Visitor Centre, an ambitious project which will produce craft whiskey, gin and this innovative range of craft beers for the domestic and export market but as Aine said, they haven’t started distilling yet. The brewery uses a 3 vessel 30 hL Kasper Schulz brewhouse and produces their core range in both 500ml bottle and on draught, with 330ml cans coming soon. There will also be speciality beers and seasonals. All bottling, canning and kegging is done in house on what they term as the most sophisticated independently owned packaging lines in Ireland.
Autumn - 2016
The Boann Distillery and Boyne Brewhouse are part of Na Cuana which is owned by the Cooney family. Pat Cooney built the Gleeson Group to be a major player in the Irish manufacturing and wholesale drinks business over the last 40 years with €300 million turnover and employment of 750 people. The Gleeson’s water bottling part of this business was sold in 2012 to C&C whilst a cream liqueur facility (RA Merrys and Co) and cidery (Adams Cider Company) were retained by the Cooney family and is produced in Tipperary. The sale of Gleeson’s water to C&C provided the money to invest in a large new microbrewery and distillery in Drogheda. There’s almost no room for expansion which is unusual for a new microbrewery. The company has opted to go straight for the largest size possible and is capable of producing up to 35,000 hL of beer per year if they wish. However, their intention is to remain under the 30,000 hL limit for the microbrewers’ lower rate of duty for the time being. At the time of writing this it has also just emerged that their Long Arm Dormunder Export won the country award for Ireland in that category at the World Beer Awards. Best of luck when the full winning list is announced on September 23rd. By Reuben Gray Reuben Gray is currently serving as the Chairman of Beoir and magazine editor. Since 2008, he has been writing the successful beer blog The Tale Of The Ale. He also writes freelance for various publications such as FFT magazine and TheJournal.ie
Autumn - 2016
Fun in Killarney The 2nd Killarney Beer Festival and competition.
The Killarney Beer Festival took place in May (27th-29th) and we couldn’t have asked for more perfect conditions. The sun blazed, the beer flowed and the people enjoyed themselves. I heard from the organisers that they had more attendees on the Saturday than they had for the whole weekend last year. It wasn’t just beer festival numbers that were up. We had double the entries that we received last year for the Killarney Beer Awards with 165 entries. As well as our local Irish judges, we flew over experienced European judges from around Europe. The way we work it is this, all judges take part in round one where a score is assigned to the beer. If it got 40/50 or higher, it automatically went through to the next round. Then judges chose 3 beers from each category resulting in a category winner going through to round three. There were 8 categories so eight beers went through to round three. This is where the top three beers of the competition were selected and the Beoir: Champion Beers of Ireland would emerge. For round three, the Irish judges recuse themselves and the international judges (pictured left) make the final decision. That’s because they can be more impartial, they are less likely to recognise a beer than an Irish judge and wouldn’t
be familiar or friendly with any breweries which could influence their decision. The top three winners of the competition were: Beoir Champion Beer of Ireland: Kinnegar Brewing, Flying Saucer First Runner Up: Trouble Brewing, Stakeout Second Runner Up: The White Hag, Púca There was a great showing of local beer at the festival from around Kerry and Cork as well as further afield. The lovely guys at Killarney Brewing and Torc Brewing represented Killarney itself. I’m happy to report that both of the local breweries placed in the best-of-category awards. Torc got Bronze for their Anything Gose. Meanwhile, Killarney Brewing got a silver for Scarlet Pimpernel IPA in the most difficult category of all, pale ale. More impressively, they got a gold for their wonderful Spailpín Saison. Of course, we can’t forget the wonderful Longford lads at at St Mel’s who won gold for their Spring Bock lager making it the best lager in Ireland for 2016. You can find the rest of the results on the Beoir.org website. I expect next year to be bigger again so see you all in Killarney at the end of May 2017.
By Reuben Gray
Autumn - 2016
Bettering the Beer Community Melissa Cole looks at sexism in the beer world and the media.
It is interesting, both within and without the media, that sexism and vitriol seems to come so easily as a social norm against women journalists and other experts. There’s always been that arched eyebrow approach to women who choose to do something a little different… female war correspondents must be delighted that part of their jobs is to ‘keep the troops happy’, women motoring correspondents just want to ‘handle a big stick’ and female football correspondents must have ‘seen a lot of balls’. As a beer writer I’ve had some particularly choice comments sent my way over the years but luckily I’ve got pretty thick skin, but I also don’t see why I should put up with it just because I’ve got boobs – as it goes it also means I’ve got a better palate but I don’t rub that in people’s faces every five seconds (nor do I do that with my boobs for that matter!). Insults like ‘bruiser chick’ or ‘big old unit’ or ‘fat’ are fairly standard but I’ve been also been widely accused of being gay because, not only do I dare air views on beer AND drink pints, I also play cricket and go fishing. This, I have been assured by many vocal (yet anonymous) visitors to my blog, hands me immediate ‘dyke’ credentials – always nice to have these things brought to your attention, I shall file for divorce immediately and stop leading my poor husband on. I have also had the (dis)pleasure of being named as part of the Guardian’s feminist conspiracy, simply because I dared to air my displeasure at being patronised
by a company that had made a beer especially for girlies and their delicate little taste buds. Sadly, I think the biggest driver of all this hate is that some of the women commissioned by the papers don’t help the situation but do cause clicks and coronaries in equal measure, and therefore continue to get column inches. And that’s before we even address the entire dumbing down of the media agenda to consistently pander to a generation of readers whose most burning desire is to read about, and possibly emulate, some bunch of people who are oddly famous for being only vaguely famous. And what worries me even more is that editors seem increasingly happy for their female and male columnists to turn themselves into these vilified figures. The problem is, that means there’s still a dearth of positive female role models in life and every time these columns appear, they drag down the collective intellectual image of 50% of the population and that I take very great personal and professional exception to. Whatever happened to wanting your journalists to the next Kate Adie? Or emulating Moira Stewart’s authoritative calm or even Angela Rippon, a woman who managed to combine sexy high-kicking on a comedy show with total professional aplomb when delivering the headlines? Or even going all the way back to Nellie Bly in the late 1800s exposing the awful practices of mental hospitals in the US? Sure, we still have women in the public eye who deserve the most tremendous amount of professional respect, Alex Crawford for Sky and the late and muchmissed Marie Colvin are names that spring immediately to mind - and everyone should check out Standard Issue for some very strong female writing. But what does this all have to do with beer I’m sure you’re asking yourself? Continued... Autumn - 2016
Well, the point is, that women are still horribly misrepresented in the industry and female drinkers are still put off by sexist branding so all this is a general plea to the burgeoning, and frankly, brilliant Irish craft brewing industry not to fall into the often tone deaf and lazy trap of not thinking about the female consumer. How to combat this though? Well, here are three things that I think all brewers should think about when seeking to address the female market, it’s not exhaustive but I do think it’s a good start. 1. If you have a blonde beer in your portfolio DON’T, for the love of all that is holy, use any imagery of a blonde woman - it is a tired, lazy trope that doesn’t need another ‘re-imagining’ 2. If anyone, but most especially a woman, approaches your bar at a beer festival don’t automatically assume that a) they don’t know anything about beer or b) that they will want the lightest, fruitiest thing on offer - if you think about what women have been pushed into by social norms over the last few decades it’s actually stronger, more complex drinks - ask them what they normally drink first and then work from that flavour profile 3. Put yourself in the shoes of a woman working behind a bar before you name a beer - think about the doors it might open for harassment and then consider if that was your friend, wife, girlfriend, sister, mother pulling those pints, would you want your thoughtlessness to expose them to abuse? 4. And finally, we still desperately need strong female role models to be front and centre in brewing industry so that future talent and committed beer fans have someone they can look up to - this isn’t just a feminist issue, it’s a commercial one, do this and you have a far superior chance of capturing the imagination of just over 50% of the Irish population Thank you for listening and I can’t wait to get back over and see what great leaps and bounds the business has made since I was last there, sláinte. By Melissa Cole
Melissa Cole doesn’t always complain about feminist issues in beer, in fact she’d much rather be making it, drinking it, evangelising about it, writing positively about it, cooking with it and then drinking more of it!
Verifying Irish Craft Beer Is that “craft beer” really from an independent brewery?
When is craft beer really craft beer? That’s a difficult question to answer most of the time but in Ireland, it should be relatively straight forward. Beoir defines Irish Craft Beer in much the same way as The Revenue do so if they are in receipt of the lower 50% duty rate for microbreweries. Primarily, the beer needs to be brewed at a brewery that is independent of any other brewery. Is Irish owned. Produces less than 30,000 hectolitres of beer per year. Is produced on the island of Ireland. These criteria only apply to the brewery itself by the way. It means that any contract brand produced at an Irish brewery qualifies as Irish Craft Beer to Beoir. There are two industry groups representing Independent Irish Breweries in Ireland. The Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland (ICBI) and Beer Ireland. Both have recently launched their own logo to be put on bottles and perhaps taps. These will indicate to the consumer that the beer meets their criteria of Independent Irish, micro-brewed beer. Both organisations use the same definition that we do in Beoir except you have to be a member of the respective organisation to use it. I would say that most breweries are a member of one of the organisations in question but not all. Beer Ireland were the first to launch their logo back in the spring. It’s pictured on the left here and as you can see, it verifies that the beer is micro brewed and that the brewery is a Beer Ireland member. This logo has been appearing on bottles of beer from member breweries around the country and is becoming more prominent. Continued... Autumn - 2016
Not to be left out, the ICBI are in the process of rolling out their own logo. The Independent Irish Craft Beer symbol offers reassurance to consumers that the beer they are buying is what it purports to be and that the brewery the beer came from is independently owned, small scale, a registered micro brewery as recognised by Revenue, and that the brewer has complete ownership of the brand. While this logo was designed by the ICBI, one does not need to be an ICBI member in order to use it, you just need to meet the criteria. So what you might ask? What do these logos mean to the consumer? What it means for the consumer is that they can easily identify a beer which comes from an independent Irish craft brewer and make an informed choice, based on the provenance of the beer. Why does this matter? Well, to many people it doesn’t. The majority of people probably don’t care who makes their beer or where it was made. For those that do though, the information is available to find out and having a logo like the two mentioned here helps the consumer stay informed. They know that they are supporting independent local companies rather than multinationals which are headquartered in other countries. There has been a sharp increase in what we like to term faux craft appearing on the market. These are often from large multinational drinks companies trying to tap into the growing craft beer market. Some are being fair and clearly state provenance on packaging. Guinness make it quite clear that the likes of Hop House 13 and West Indies Porter belong to them. Some pubs might decide to call it craft beer but the consumer can easily see that the beer was brewed by Guinness at the St James’s Gate Brewery.
Unfortunately, not everyone is playing nice. Some brands have started to appear that not only donâ€™t state the provenance, in some case the consumer is completely misled. Beer with made-up brewery names in locations where no brewery actually exists. They get away with it because itâ€™s just a brand and a name but it leaves the consumer in the dark because these brands are usually not mentioned anywhere on the producerâ€™s own website. To play devilâ€™s advocate though, there are some independent breweries that produce beer but donâ€™t state on the packaging where that beer comes from. That can be difficult or undesirable on draught beer but thereâ€™s no excuse for bottles or cans. Beoir keeps an A-Z list which keeps track of all brands. If it has a green tick, it was produced at an Irish micro brewery. To bring it a little futher, the European Beer Consumersâ€™ Union, of which Beoir is a member, has been campaigning at a local and European level to force breweries to inform the consumer on packaging exactly who produced, where it was produced and whatâ€™s in it? The consumer has the right to know every ingredient they are putting into their mouths. Regulation 1169 was supposed at least provide us with a list of all ingredients but alcoholic beverages were excluded after lobbying from industry groups outside of the beer sector. They simply didnâ€™t want people to know what went into their product. While most beers share the same ingredients, thatâ€™s not always the case and the consumer has a right to know what they are consuming. By Reuben Gray
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Autumn - 2016
Regular Beer Festivals in Ireland
January/February: Winter ales & Cask Festival - Franciscan Well - Cork / Alltech Brews & Food - Convention Centre - Dublin Easter Weekend: Easterfest Beer Festival - Franciscan Well - Cork St Patrickâ€™s weekend: The Irish Craft Beer & Whiskey Festival - RDS - Dublin May: Killarney Beer Festival - Kerry June: Bloom In The Park - Phoenix Park - Dublin / Kilkenny Craft Beer Festival - Kilkenny July: Franciscan Well Cider Festival August: Hilden Beer Festival - Hilden - Antrim / Doolin Craft Beer Festival - Doolin - Clare September: Irish Craft Beer & Cider Festival - RDS - Dublin November: Belfast Beer festival - Belfast
Dates Are indicative. Please See the beoir.org calendar for more info.
Beoir is Ireland’s craft beer consumer group. We are a volunteer run, non-profit organisation seeking to raise awareness of Ireland’s independent breweries. We also campaign on a European level with our partners in the EBCU. We are the voice of the Irish & European beer consumer. We are only as effective as our membership and we are always seeking new members. Beoir membership costs just €10 per year, a very modest amount considering what you get back in return.
Did you know that not being a Beoir member actually costs you money? It’s true! Here’s how: • Beoir members get €10 worth of vouchers for use in Galway Bay Brewery bars. That’s your money back right there. • Members get 10% off Irish Beer & Cider at Drinkstore.ie • Members get substantial discounts on entry to many beer related events around the country and Europe. • Access to many brewery & beer launches throughout the year. • There are too many discounts to list here, see the member benefits page on Beoir.org for more details.
Do I have to get involved in activities? As with everything in life, you get out of it what you put in. If all you want to do is support us and use the member benefits, that’s fine. If you volunteer your time at events, you will get more out of it than you can imagine.
How do I join Beoir?
Beoir Needs Your Help! Here’s what we use the money for: • Website & Hosting costs. • Printing of marketing items such as beer mats, flyers and any other items we need. • The cost of this very magazine to inform general consumers and tourists about Irish Craft Beer. • App Development • Beoir Awards trophies • Competition prizes • And much much more
The quickest way is to join online at www.beoir.org Select Join Beoir from the Membership menu.
Autumn - 2016
ENJOY WITH: 1. Friends 2. Lovers 3. Heroes 4. Card sharks 5. Colleagues 6. In-laws
TAKE IT WITH YOU... 1. On a picnic 2. Camping trip 3. Barbecue 4. House party 5. Bus tour 6. Waiting for a plane 7. Music festival 8. Watching movies 9. Poker tournament 10. Neighbourhood bonfire 11. Pub
Available from Galway Bay Brewery pubs and most good off-licences
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