Cancel all your plans, the most important craft beer event in Ireland is upon us. The Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival 2014 takes place this weekend at the RDS. Over 40 Irish craft breweries have set up their stalls and there are around 200 beers on offer. If you’re going to one craft beer event this year, make it this one. This is the chance to meet all the brewers in person, chat to them about their beers, network with everyone in the Irish craft beer industry and sample lots of delicious beer. 10,000 people are expected to attend over the 4 days (yesterday – Sunday). Make sure you’re one of them!
This is the Dublin Ladies Craft Beer Society’s 2nd year attending. Last year’s festival was our first event ever! We have our own stall together with our friends from Beoir and the National Homebrew Club. You can’t miss it, it’s right in front of you as you walk in the door. We’ll be there all weekend and we’re looking forward to lots of you popping by, having a chat and joining (it’s free)!
As we all know, the craft beer scene in Ireland is booming. One highlight of this year’s festival is the many new breweries that didn’t even exist this time last year. They’re exhibiting alongside all the “old” favourites and have some really exciting and delicious beers on offer. Many breweries have also made special festival beers that will only be available for the weekend.
Besides craft beer, there are 7 Irish craft cider makers, 3 whiskey stalls and 5 guest breweries from abroad. You can find the full line-up here.
The festival got off to a great start last night with the launch of a fantastic new book, Sláinte, The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider. It was written by Kristin Jensen and Caroline Hennessy, two very talented and extremely lovely writers/editors and food bloggers.
Sláinte covers everything from profiles of craft brewers and cider makers, the basics on how beer and cider are made, to beer/cider and food pairing advice and recipes. It can help anyone - craft beer experts, people just getting into craft beer, foodies looking for beer and food pairing tips, and even tourists. A book like this was long overdue and very much needed. Interest was huge last night from both the craft beer and the foodie scene. Lots of food bloggers came to the event and even Donal Skehan popped in. The press was out in force, so we’re sure to see pics and reports from this launch in the papers as well. Caroline and Kristin asked 3 of us from the Dublin Ladies Craft Beer Society to help out at their special beer stall for the launch, and we had great craic pouring out samples for everyone. Congrats to them on a very successful launch.
Attending a craft beer festival and being faced with such a huge selection of beers can be quite daunting. You’ll never be able to taste them all, so here are some tips on how to survive ICBCF and get the most out of it in the process.
Be prepared: download the official ICBCF App. Do it now before you go to the event. Search for “ICBCF” in your app store and you’ll see it sporting the official ICBCF logo. This app has all you need to prepare, from a map showing the venue location to a section listing all the breweries (tap on one to see their beers) and another section listing all the beers. It brings you the latest news and general festival info as well. It’s a real lifesaver.
Read this fantastic survival guide by Aidan Sweeney, one of only 7 Certified Beer Sommeliers in Ireland. He provides great tips on how to get the most out of sampling and talking to the brewers about their beers. Follow his advice on trying different beer styles in a certain order so that you will be able to taste them the way they’re meant to taste.
Talk to us! We’re there for a reason. We want to help people discover craft beer and find something that suits their tastes. You’ll easily find us at our stall or buzzing about in our purple t-shirts with the Dublin Ladies Craft Beer Society logo on them. Don’t be shy, we love to help! The same goes for the guys from Beoir. And of course the members of the National Homebrew Club will be more than happy to answer all your questions about making your own beer at home.
Tickets are available online, at the door and in some pubs. Buy yours asap, and I’ll see you there! Sláinte!