Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Alltech Craft Brews & Food Festival 2015 Part 1 "Indigenous Brewing"

My first year, but  now in its third  the festival appears to be going from strength to strength. I kicked of the festival with The Beer Nut  in trying Hilden's  new double IPA (DIPA), Bucks Head 7.2%. The body of the beer is  of an English heritage, rich an malty and  a good dash of crystal  flavor too. But there  is a firm  nod to the US with part of the bittering coming from Citra/ First gold and Cascade for aroma. For a big beer the alcohol was in the background, making this 7.2% a very easy sipper. Given the big rich malt, I think this a one DIPA that could take a bit of aging and still have something to offer the drinker.  

Keeping in theme somewhat with the DIPA's,  Rye River Brewing and brewer Alex Lawes had an execlent DIPA, very fresh and busting with C hop aroma. A dry finish made this very drinkable and something I do like to see in american centric  DIPA's. Up next was their Berliner weisse, a handy foil to  refresh the plate after the DIPA and refresh it did.  Two other notable mentions  where their saison and the dry hopped Cousin Rosies's pale ale.
Berliner weisse

Next a trip over to the lads 8 degrees, Firstly to be present for the award of  Beoir's  beer of the year 2015.  For their Full Irish IPA.  A cracken beer but  personally I though their nelson  saison piped it. For flawlessly melding a Belgian yeast with New Zealand nelson sauvin hops IMO. But the IPA was a firm favorite among Beoir's members.  They also launched their new IPA "Gasman" 7.8%.  A rye IPA to be precise, Orange in hue and a big flavored IPA,from the resinous  hops,  No doubt from the generous  use of Topaz and Vic secret. Head on over to The Irish Craft Beer Show for interviews with 8 degrees and brewers at the festival, by Brian and John "The beer Nut"
Beoir award 

Gasman IPA
I had a nice long chat with Quincey Fennelly from Wicklow Wolf about how they began the brewery. From the amount of breweries staring in Wicklow, it could well become Ireland's version of  Oregon in the US. Two beers I was look forward to trying  were their Wicklow common, a style of beer I don't think has been seen in Ireland before. The second was their Solar Eclipse, a dark Saison no-less and its something to see the Irish brewing scene staring to push the boundary's of this beer styles. 

Wicklow wolf beers 
Popping over to Trouble Brewing I finally got to taste the  Beoir #2 collaboration beer.   A big hoppy Imperial red  with lots of aroma you would expect and at 7.8% and its hidden well in the beer.  Very popular from what I heard. Picture via Alltech. 

Trouble Brewing 
Last of the  beery happy snaps falls with Rascals . Pictured is one of their two sliver medals, for Wit woo and Ginger porter.  Their Kiwi Pale Ale  as the name suggest was loaded with New Zealand hops,  Motueka and Wakat I believe . Light and thrust quenching, more one the resinous side that citrus but lovely none the less.   

Cider from Dan Kellys  was a welcome change from all the hoppy beers and always good when I have had it. Sadly I did not take anymore notes, I probably was talking to much! The other  cider had was from Fallen Apple tasty and a welcome replacement to the Clonmel stuff.  One to look out for. 
Dan Kelly's 

Other notable mentions, but no pictures sorry !

Dungarvan Mine head and Mahon falls
Metalman  Alternator
Kentucky Brown Honey Ale
Blacks  Model T 

A very big thank you to all at
 Alltech and the brewers to for a great day.