June 27, 2014

Title TK #EBBC14

Pre-conference pub crawl's set list (HUGE thanks to Reuben Gray from @TheTailofAle for organizing):
1) Galway Bay Brewery Stormy Port Porter (cask) at The Brew Dock
2) J.W. Sweetman Porter (cask) @ Dublin's only proper brewpub
3) Rascals Brewing Co. Ginger Porter The Norseman as well as...
4) O'Hara's Irish Craft Beers Leann Folláin ("Imperial" dry Irish stout, 6%)
5) Someone's amber ale. Forgot name of bar. Remember that only porter they had was Founders Brewing Co. but I'm in Ireland not Mich (and why don't they ship to Oregon dangit?)
6) Porterhouse Brewing Company Plain Porter @ their public house.
Now I know why they call it porter. I needed someone to carry me home!

Brewing beer responsible for setting up first farming society/civilization

Epic of Gilgamesh

How many craft breweries in Ireland? Not even close to 50, not counting the UK's Northern Irish breweries that operate under different regulations. 43 brewing companies (including contract brewed ones) on the island. Another 20 coming soon. Closer to 30 physical brewing facilities.
51 in the Republic and 15 in N. Ireland according to Ratebeer.

June 25, 2014

European Beer Bloggers Conference ahoy

I've been so busy with beer writing deadlines that I realize I need to take a deep breath and enjoy a beer (or several) just for the sake of it. Living in Europe as I've been doing for the past several months has been very cool and loaded with new experiences and ex-beeriences. I've had locally crafted beers in Portugal, Germany, France, and, oh yeah, Belgium. I had a Danish asparagus beer in Denmark. And then, of course, all the Dutch beer I've been exploring here in the Netherlands from our home base in Amsterdam. One place I've always wanted to go to is Ireland: it looks beautiful, I love porters and stouts and Irish whiskey and redheads and those thick, wool sweaters. So when the EBBC announced it'd be held in Dublin this year, I had to go.

What's more: I love Guinness. That's right, a dyed-in-the-wool, avowed craft beer drinker who always champions the little guy has always been particularly fond of the nitrogenated, creamy, roasty, NOT-filling, dry Irish stout regardless of the fact that it's brewed by Diageo (including other Irish juggernauts Harp and Smithwicks plus Kenya's Tusker, Jamaican Red Stripe, and Bailey's, Smirnoff, etc.). Guinness for strength. My goodness my Guinness. All that stuff. It's not that I once dated an Irish ginger or partied into the night with the guys (and gal) from Flogging Molly drinking pint after pint after pint of the stuff. It's just good drinkin'.
Most importantly, I'm looking forward to spending a weekend geeking out and being a geek among an entirely new set of beer lovers who, I'm ashamed to admit, I'm almost entirely unfamiliar with (I've gotten nerdy with Mark Dredge, I've admired Martyn Cornell from afar, and I've recently and virtually become a fan of Dublin's Reuben Gray. All new faces, all new beers, all new places, all new everything. I'm eager to sip, to learn, to befriend.

The work beers and deadlines can wait til the party's over.