Independent Irish Beer and Whiskey Festival at the Porterhouse

Last night was the press launch of the Porterhouse's Independent Irish Beer and Whiskey festival. The festival runs from the 26th of March to the 5th of April. The festival is hoping to create public awareness of Ireland's small independent breweries and to showcase their beers.

Ireland is often seen as a country with great beer but I really don't see why. Most people drink macro brewed lagers. The beer enthusiasts talk about all the stout here but the reality is that stout is a small section of the beer market. There are only three big stouts and in most pubs you can only get Guinness. If you want something different from macro lager and Guinness in most pubs in Ireland, you're out of luck. Most pubs don't have a choice and don't have any interest in stocking anything different or from an independent brewery. From what I've seen it would appear that the majority of customers don't want choice either.

It's pretty depressing but there are some glimmers of hope. The Porterhouse has been going for many years now making and selling their beers in their own pubs which is one solution to the problem of publicans not wanting to stock your beer. It's very hard for a new brewery to get it's beers into pubs. So it's great to see a festival like this where the Porterhouse is stocking beers from independent breweries north and south. It's a great opportunity for people to sample these beers and taste how good they are. Then hopefully they'll ask for them to be stocked in more pubs.

The breweries involved in the festival are The Porterhouse, Galway Hooker, Whitewater, Franciscan Well, Messrs Maguire and Hilden.

A crew of eight from Irish Craft Brewer were invited along to the press launch. I signed up right away. I've had most of the before but there were a few new festival beers to tempt me. First of all I made a beeline for Purgatory pale ale by the Franciscan Well. This is a new batch brewed for the festival season. It's a wonderfully hoppy pale ale and just as good as it was last year. I also tried the Porterhouse's Chocolate Truffle Stout and really enjoyed it. It smelled exactly like a chocolate truffle and was very rich and tasty. Galway Hooker also had a new special beer a dunkel weiss. I really liked this, nice fruity yeast and a good toffee background.

Anyway I won't bore you with any more descriptions of beer. Really you should go down to any of the Porterhouse pubs and try the beers for yourself which would be much better than listening to me waffling on about them.

4 Responses to "Independent Irish Beer and Whiskey Festival at the Porterhouse" (Leave A Comment)

headbrewer says
March 24, 2009 at 9:47 AM

very nice, won't be able to make it up to dubbyland though, all the same wish i could. anyway of safely transporting me down a pint of the choc truffle stout for the easterfest at the well? lol

knutalbert says
March 24, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Hope there will be a few of those in Porterhouse Covent Garden in two weeks!

Bionic Laura says
March 24, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Hopefully they'll have them in London too. It would great to see the Irish beers get a bit more exposure in the UK.

We could put it in a flask or something!

Luke says
March 24, 2009 at 2:02 PM

What the hell is this "bore you with descriptions of beer" nonsense? We're reading a beer and knitting blog, there's a 50% chance of a deep love of beer - rising to 100% at the end of an article basically titled "My chance to try, and describe, new beers!" Tell us what you think!

Even in the microbreweries the lack of interest causes problems - the last three times I've been back in Ireland, Messrs Maguires simply didn't have any of the Extra Stout I craved. I can only hope there happens to be some about, because they certainly aren't being pressured (or even encouraged) into it by the masses.

Ireland should have an active brewing population, and I'm glad to know some of those who are making that the case - looking forward to trying some of these, and your, brews when next I'm back!