WHAT? All-Ireland Craft Beerfest (aka Paddy’s Pints, but with epicurean overtones)
WHEN? …from last night through to the final dregs of the Bank Holier… or, from 15–19 March 2012. In other words, right now! Why aren’t we there already?
WHERE? George’s Dock, where most of Dublin’s large-scale communal piss-ups, I mean beer festivals take place. Which is down in the Irish Financial Services Centre, for those who may not know it. And sure, if there’s a more poetic a place than the IFSC for us all to forget our daily economic woes and drown our collective sorrows, I sure as hops can’t think of one.
WHO? Lots of great Irish breweries attending: O’Hara’s Brewery, White Gypsy, Eight Degrees, Metalman, Dungarvan Brewing Company, Porterhouse, Galway Hooker, Dingle Brewing Company, Trouble Brewing, Messrs Maguire, Franciscan Well and more. And if you time it right today or Sunday, you might catch one of the 30-minute presentations from members of Beoir (www.beoir.org), the Irish craft beer appreciation group. I did a beer tasting a couple of years ago with these guys. (It was for FOOD&WINE Magazine’s Guinea Pig Tasting: a regular tasting – usually of wine – which I conduct with readers of the mag. I’m always looking for volunteers should anyone wish to do so. Mail me at email@example.com, or leave a comment below.) But I digress… My point is I’ve met some of these guys (and girl) from Beoir and they seem to know their beer almost as much as they love it. Which is to say, a lot. Worth catching them if you can. They’ll be presenting ‘Brewing Since the Time of St. Patrick’, showing how brewing in Ireland has evolved over the ages with the opportunity to sample and discuss different beer styles. These guys (and girl) do like to discuss different beer styles.
HOW MUCH? €10 entry, including a souvenir tasting glass. I’m not sure how much, if any, free beer you get with that but there’s only one way to find out. Oh and it’s free in before 7pm today if you feel like starting the weekend early.
WHAT ELSE? There’s a promise to show the rugby over the weekend but I’m determined not to let that put me off. It’s counterbalanced for phili-rugger-stines like myself by the promise of artisan food stalls, ie dinner (aka soakage) sorted. And there’ll be live music for anyone who may lose their inhibitions and feel like a bit of a pint-slopping dance, and presumably a sideline on which to stand and giggle. Oh yeah, and they’re open from noon until 11.30 (closing 8pm Monday). And it’s over-18s only.
CONTACT? www.irishcraftbeerfestival.com, where you may find any unanswered questions answered – or you can drop em a line if you don’t.