SeptemberFest, Farmleigh, Dublin, September 2008

On the weekend of the 14th and 15th of september Bord Bia hosted a national independent drinks festival at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park. I think nearly all the craft brewers, distillers and liqueur makers of Ireland were in attendance.

Those taking part were Beoir Corca Dhuibhne, Boozeberries, Bunratty Mead, Carlow Brewing Company, Cooley Distillery, Double L Cider Company, Franciscan Well Brewery, Galway Hooker, Hilden Brewery, Hot Irishman, Kinsale Lager/Johnny Jump Up, The Porterhouse, White Gypsey/Mssrs Maguire, White Water Brewing Company.

All in all a great selection of small Irish drinks producers were present. Dave and I cycled down to the Phoenix Park. We got there early just as everyone was setting up. We did a quick whip round the marquee and stopped off to get a half of Clotworthy Dobbin for breakfast. It was early but we decided we deserved it after the cycle. It's a lovely dark ale that tastes of toffee.

From Septemberfest, Farmleigh, September 2008

We also said a quick hello to Ronan of Galway Hooker. His enthusiastic demeanor may be related to the fact that the brewers were out the night before and he was still waking up. The Hooker tasted lovely as always. It seemed to be very popular throughout the day and rightly so.

From Septemberfest, Farmleigh, September 2008

After having beer for breakfast we decided some real food was in order. I ended up covered in salsa from a tasty hot dog. Then it was back into the tent to have a look at Beoir Corca Dhuibhne a new microbrewery who have set up in two pubs near the small village of Ballyferriter in Co. Kerry. Dave gave them a cupla focal and they gave him a half of their pale ale from the cask. I liked the ale it reminded me of the tasty session ales you get in the UK. I'd say this would go well with food. Hopefully we'll get to go visit sometime and try it out in it's home environment. The brewer said it's selling well so far and that the locals have been converted. Great to see and hopefully we'll start seeing more brewpubs around Ireland.

From Septemberfest, Farmleigh, September 2008

From Septemberfest, Farmleigh, September 2008

Look at that happy smile and the reason? That's MM Imperial Smoked stout from the cask in my hand. The last cask in existence. This beer is lovely, the smokey taste reminds me of the taste of play doh, I don't know why but it's not a bad thing. There was more good news from the brewer Cuilan Loughnane. He's setting up White Gypsy brewery and hoping to start production soon. So hopefully there'll be more real Irish beer on the market. He had also brought along some oak barrels that he hopes to use to age some beer in. There followed a long and geeky discussion of the use of oak over a pint of plain. I was chatting to a few people at the stand who home brew or used to and told them to check out Irish Craft Brewer. The more converts the better.

A few friends of ours arrived and checked out the cider. Johnny Jump Up was well liked. The Double L cider is nice, it really tastes of apples. I preferred the dry cider.

From Septemberfest, Farmleigh, September 2008

I also checked out Boozeberries, this is berries preserved in spirit so that the liquid tastes of berries. I really liked this stuff and bought a bottle of the blackcurrant. It would be lovely in cocktails, in champagne or poured over ice-cream.

I also wanted to talk to the people at Bunratty mead given my mead obsession. The lady I talked to wasn't very knowledgeable so after telling her Bunratty was actually a pyment I decided I might annoy her if I asked any more odd questions.

The hall really filled up as the day went on. It was a rainy day so that probably drove people inside. For some mad reason the guys in the tiny tent across the field kept playing music even though there was nobody in the field to listen to them. It was a good mixed crowd, lots of families and foodies. Hopefully they might think about buying some Irish craft beer next time they're out and about.

From Septemberfest, Farmleigh, September 2008

3 Responses to "SeptemberFest, Farmleigh, Dublin, September 2008" (Leave A Comment)

The Beer Nut says
October 1, 2008 at 6:51 AM

The last cask?!

I thought Johnny Jump-Up was dreadful stuff. Double L at €3 a bottle, however? I think I'd have cleared him out.

I wouldn't really count myself as a cider fan, but the fact that it's almost impossible to buy proper cider in Ireland leaves me hankering after it.

Luke McKinney says
October 1, 2008 at 1:43 PM

Looks like fun and a half! I will have to join y'all for a future fest.

Iamreddave says
October 2, 2008 at 2:19 AM

"I wouldn't really count myself as a cider fan, but the fact that it's almost impossible to buy proper cider in Ireland leaves me hankering after it."
I would be the same. The state of cider in Ireland is so bad as to make any effort to promote good Irish cider has to help it.