The sixth Irish craft beer festival at the RDS was epic. Even though the bus strike on Thursday and Friday seemed to pare the attendance numbers down it was evident that this industry continues to gain popularity. I went on the Saturday and the place was packed, tickets were €15 and then a further €3 per beer token (worth a half pint) for anyone interested to know. A brewery who were new to me were Beaky Dargus Brewing with their delicious scotch ale and also their “Black beak juggler” stout, fantastic beers that I’ll be on the lookout for. Another one that I hadn’t yet heard of was Sullivan’s who poured a sessionable red ale with brilliant body and flavour.
Food; very important and it was well covered with the best burgers, pizzas, pies and hotdogs 2x tokens could buy, all the essentials to keep the beer drinking masses happy. While I’m talking food, I have to mention the bacon and maple sour beer that Dungarvan unleashed - wow that was potent! Another one I was glad to see again was N17 who some people might remember for their quality summer ale last year. This year it was an oatmeal stout, a chilli porter and a gorgeous golden ale, the guy at the stand told me that N17 are opening a brewery in Dublin this year - exciting!
Also noteworthy that Odell’s was on tap, if there was going to be any guest appearances from America I’m glad it was this one, I have been a fan of Odell's for 7 years. There were lots of great beers from breweries that have grown exponentially since first appearing in previous festivals, such as Metalman (I enjoyed a glass of Equinox), Wicklow Wolf, O’Hara’s, Porterhouse and more . The only things I would have liked to see would have been glasses instead of plastic cups and less mainstream whiskey stands, even though it’s all about the beer.
I chose to cap the night off with an Irish apple brandy by Longueville House which I cannot recommend enough, smooth, aromatic, dualling between sweet and dry, the perfect way to finish a great festival night.