The kegs are finally tapped. After three rousing days of celebrating craft beverages that drew record numbers of visitors, the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair at the Convention Centre Dublin wrapped Sunday to rave reviews. The beer fair, the largest in Ireland, boasted a staggering 500 craft beers to sample from 60 breweries from around the world – including many seasonal and special release brews. The dynamically growing Australian craft beer industry was represented with over 20 beer entries, vying for the ‘Dublin Craft Beer Cup’ of which seven were awarded third place.
As craft beer has come to be recognised and appreciated more and more in Ireland in recent years, the excitement and passion for the diversity of taste has reached new heights. Brewing is an entrepreneurial venture, with great potential for growth, noted Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech.
“We’ve been in this brewing and distilling business for awhile now in the United States, and it’s so special for me to come back to my home country of Ireland, near where I started my career at Guinness, Harp Lager and Irish Distillers, and see today’s brewing and distilling entrepreneurs coming together at this wonderful event. We were wall-to-wall all weekend and it was spectacular to see the excitement for this industry.”
The third annual ‘Dublin Craft Beer Cup’ went to Coisbo Beer of Denmark, for their imperial Russian stout aged in sherry barrels. It was the second time the brewery had won the cup in two years. The first annual ‘Supreme Cider Award’ went to McCashins Brewery of New Zealand for their Rochdale Three Berry Cider.
The Australian craft beer industry had a strong presence at this year’s Beer Cup and a total of seven Aussie brews won silver and bronze awards. Gareth Lewis, Ambassador for ‘Premium Food and Wine’, State of SA attended the event and represented the South Australian breweries.
“It was amazing to see our local South Australian brewers compete on a world stage, the quality and innovation shown at the Craft Beers & Food Fair was astounding, so it is a great acknowledgement of our industry that we can hold our own. Many people in Ireland weren’t even aware that SA had any craft brewing industry, until now. I am so proud to represent our local heroes in this manner,” said Gareth Lewis.
Australian silver medal winners
- Prancing Pony Brewery – Black Ale
- Clare Valley Brewing Company – Bulls Eye Pale Ale
- Clare Valley Brewing Company – King Kong Stout
Australian bronze medal winners
- Prancing Pony Brewery – India Red Ale
- Lobethal Bierhaus – Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
- Vale Brewing – Vale Ale
Australian bronze medal winner – Cider category
- The Hills Cider Company – Apple Cider
Attendees not only packed out the space to sample food and beverage from top vendors from across the globe, but Sunday also brought live music from Jerry FishElectric Sideshow as well as the Beer Grand Slam tasting event by Hector Ó hEochagáin, to warm up Irish and English fans before the Ireland vs. England Six Nations rugby match shown on the big screen.
In the centre of the floor was the Kentucky Tavern, dispensing Alltech’s range of beers and spirits to thirsty guests. Brews included the brewery’s seasonal brew, Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale, as well as the flagship Kentucky® Bourbon Barrel Ale.
Free educational seminars on brewing and distilling topics hosted by the Alltech Brewing & Distilling Academy on Saturday and Sunday were a hit, often filled to capacity with interested attendees learning about the growth of the craft brewing industry, the Kentucky bourbon boom, and the “secret life” of yeast.
The Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair will return to Dublin in 2016. Catch up on all the fun and photos at @alltechbrews or #alltechbrews.