Brew It Yourself, Franciscan Well, Cork 2009

On Saturday the 18th of April we loaded up the car with bottles of homebrew and some brewing gear and set off at a very early hour. We stopped to pick up Sean Billings who was wandering the streets with a corny keg full of beer while we tried to find his house. Eventually we were all loaded up and we headed towards Cork.

The Franciscan well Brewery kindly agreed to host the first Irish Craft Brewer Brew It Yourself event. The idea was that basically the ICB forum would come alive for a day and people could come meet up exchange advice, see the equipment and get to taste some quality home brewed beers.
A lot of organization went on from various members such as The Beer Nut, Beer Is The Reason, Ale Man, Sean Billings, Thom, TheSolutionTo, Geoff, N1umbus and many others (don't be upset if I forget you), mostly taking the form of many musings in this meandering thread.
The HomeBrew Company also came along so that people could actually buy equipment on the day. The event was also supported by The Bull and Castle pub.

We arrived early and set a few things up such as the shiny new Irish Craft Brewer banner. Ale Man arrived and set up his very cool mobile bar. This dispensed his pale ale and IPA which were both very tasty. Sean also had his lager on tap which was a lovely and hoppy. Lots of fantastic home brews were on show throughout the day. Taf had a lovely cider, there was a lovely simcoe ale from Shane of the home brew company. I really liked Thom's pilgrim ale, an american style pale ale with loads of cascade hops. My own Black Abbey Dubbel was an explosive hit. I think the gravity hadn't quite dropped enough when I bottled it so it exploded out of the bottles. When it settled down it was pretty nice and there were two gentlemen who followed me around asking for more.

There was more going on than just drinking and chatting about beer though. Peter and Paudie, brewers from the Franciscan Well, decided to make a demonstration home brew version of their Rebel Red beer. Beer Is The Reason also brewed a beer using ingredients donated by The HomeBrew Company. The smell of mashing and hops filled the air and drew many curious people over to see what was going on.

A good crowd of people turned up which was great to see. Many of them were people who had brewed in the past and were hoping to get back into it. I think most people were very impressed with the quality and range of beer you could make at home. I think a lot of people are put off home brew by dodgy kits made years ago. Nowadays kits can give you great results if you buy the right one. I also discovered that wearing a Cantillon t-shirt attracts beer nerds like a magnet. This was ok though as I like talking about things like spontaneous fermentation and for once people weren't getting bored listening to me witter on about beer.

The Beer Nut was twittering live from the event using the wireless internet. A glass was raised to Barry of The Bitten Bullet in his absence as it was his birthday. Barry is a founding member of Irish Craft Brewer who moved to Germany recently.

The sun shone down, there were lots of people talking about and drinking home brew. It was a fantastic day.

Here's Shane from the HomeBrew Company with his shop which was emptying out by the end of the day. A friend of ours who came along bought a starter kit so hopefully we'll be tasting that soon.

After all that we moved on for some food and then with steering advice from the ICB Cork members we headed to The Bierhaus to sample some of their great selection of beers. I had a Galway Hooker Dunkel Weiss which I thought tasted a bit less fruity than the last time I had it.
Then it was on to the Abbott's Ale House which is a cool quirky little pub with a great selection of beers. Talking and drinking went on into the night. I'm not quite sure what's going on in the photo below though I have heard reports that Bavaria and syrup de picon might have been involved.

For those interested here's a link to a full set of photos of the day. You can also read Beer Is The Reason's blog post about the day here.

5 Responses to "Brew It Yourself, Franciscan Well, Cork 2009" (Leave A Comment)

Barry M says
April 21, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Brilliant. Sounds like a great day, and I'm glad to see the banner looked well :D

I gotta get some Picon...

n1mbus says
April 22, 2009 at 3:00 AM

Nice blog post. We actually look professional there. ;)

headbrewer says
April 22, 2009 at 10:01 AM

Good post there, i didn't realise how much of a beer gut i had in that t-shirt lol. guess it's time i wen't back on the icb shop and bought me a new (larger) one. it was a real good fun day, some great beers.

Thomas says
April 23, 2009 at 5:55 AM

Nice round up. Let's hope we get the chance to do again soon.

Brian says
April 23, 2009 at 11:38 AM

I was sorry I missed it, I was wondering how it went - your pictures help increase my sense of having missed a good occasion. Glad to hear/see it was a success. And yes, kits can be good!