Taste of Beer kicked off on Wednesday night, and was an evening of celebration not only of the Taste of Dublin, but also for the Open Gate Brewery's brand new experimental brews.
And we can tell you that they are well worth celebrating.
How? Well, we popped along last night. And, since you asked so politely, we're going to tell you ALL about it.
Go on so...
WELL. On arrival guests were handed a bundle of vouchers to redeem both at the bar and at the gourmet food stalls.
Guinness partnered with some unique Irish food producers to serve food infused or inspired by the brewery's brews. And luckily for us they will continue to work with these guys for Taste of Dublin.
Well that sounds nice
So what did you drink'n'dine?
We started at The Little Milk Company stall, where we got an exclusive taste of their organic blue cheese, which isn't yet available in Ireland but was previewed on the night to compliment The Open Gate Brewery’s Antwerp Export, Dublin and West Indies Porters and, of course, classic Guinness.
Anyway, moving swiftly along – both from that joke, and on to the next stall – we slurped down a few fresh oysters that were dribbled with the new Strawberry Porter, created specially for Taste of Dublin 2016 and served up by Simon Lamont.
Honestly, SO good. Porter really compliments oysters well, especially when mixed together and gulped down the hatch.
Indeed. Then, sticking with savoury, we weaved our way through the crowds over to The Asian Supermarket's table where there were a variety of unreal delicacies to choose from – all complimenting the brews.
The chilli peanuts and wasabi peas in particular went perfectly with Guinness's Nitro and Tropical IPAs. The perfect bar snack.
Ah here. Why didn't you invite me?
Because we don't like you.
Anyway, cutting to the chase we decided it was time to let that sweet tooth do the choosing.
Naturally, we began at The Cupcake Bloke, whom you'd recognise from Coppinger Row.
That right there, my friends, is a strawberry cupcake – but not just any strawberry cupcake.
This is a Strawberry Porter cupcake, with strawberry and basil frosting, meringue and a pipette filled with actual Strawberry Porter. Mental.
As if the cupcakes weren't enough, we topped that off with Cúlcow's Strawberry Porter ice-cream.
Honestly one of the coolest/most bizarre things we've tried to date, but absolutely FANTASTIC.
Expecting to taste ice-cream but getting that distinct beer taste instead – so cool, aaaaand getting to wash it all down with actual beer. The dream.
Finally we took a trip to The Natural Bakery to load up on some carbs before enjoying some more brews at the bar.
When I say that their Guinness sourdough is the best bread I've ever tasted, I'm not exaggerating. Seriously. Especially with West Indies Porter.
The Natural Bakery were also serving up a generous amount of macaroons. And of course, we took advantage.
There was one filled with the Strawberry Porter and the other filled with the beaut Chocolate and Vanilla Stout.
This was a one-of-a-kind event, celebrating all things food and beer.
But if you missed out, fear not, because the crew from The Open Gate Brewery and all food suppliers will be at Taste of Dublin next weekend so make sure you check 'em out.
Here's a handy lil map to find what's what. No excuses now...
Open Gate Brewery
There has been an experimental brewery at St. James's Gate for over a hundred years. Now, for the first time in history, it's gates are open to you.
We invite you to come along and try our new beers, meet our brewers and soak up the unique atmosphere inside the walls of our experimental brewery.
Some of these beers will end up on at your local pub or the far side of the world. Others will never leave these walls.