We had an ICB Meet up at the Bierhaus on Saturday afternoon, 16th February. Indications in advance were that we would have a small attendance but we felt that what was lacking in quantity we had in quality!!! The ever-modest people that we are!!!
Rebel, Beeristhereason, Andy, Peter, his good wife Anne, and Andy Scribbles turned up – Dave whilst working was unable to sit in with us fully.
Rebel and Ger met first and jointly sampled an O'Hara's Red and bottle of Schiehallion from the Harviestoun Brewery. Dave had had this in for a little while - one of his occasional cases. It's from the same brewery as Bitter and Twisted which has become a regular fixture in the Bierhaus. Whilst Ger has had this drink before Rebel and BITR sampled this for the first time and were both very impressed with it. A decent aromatic blonde beer it sure is. The O'Hara's was very good as it always is too.
Rebel presented two home brews for our perusal / consumption. The first was his Cork Light Ale made primarily with Fuggles. This was only brewed in the past three weeks or so. The scribe of this article is not a brewer so hopefully my terminology is OK!!! Brian also presented another ale which he previously showcased in November last. Tasting it again three months later we felt it has matured nicely. Rebel was a bit embarrassed at the compliments he received about its quality. As brewing is an evolving process and the eventual outcomes of different brews can change so much by slight alterations in recipes / techniques, every brew is an individual offering and this is the beauty of the offerings that were presented.
Ger then presented a few bottles of Karmaliet Tripel for consumption / comments. It was the first time anyone present had sampled this other than Ger. Not surprisingly, this beer received a very good response. We of course felt it was most appropriate to be offering a Karmeliet offering during the season of Lent!!! Whilst Rebel has a preference for ales and generally not a huge fan of Belgian beers, he was most impressed with this beer and I think BITR is also a convert – not that he needed much converting!!! Peter's wife Anne was also a big fan of the Karmeliet.
We also discussed the forthcoming Franciscan Well Beerfest and how we would run a competition for the best beer of the festival . The advice from Peter to how best we should do this was most helpful and Rebel will shortly be doing a separate thread about this. That event is only a month away so something worthwhile in the offing shortly!
Lots of practical talk between Rebel, BITR and Peter re brewing techniques took place - this is of course well out of my range!! Again all here in agreement that without this site being set up this could not have happened – at least we would not have all met. We also discussed arranging to continue meeting on a perhaps two-monthly basis or so, with different ideas of where to meet, what to do etc.
Following the sampling of the above beers we then each had a pint of Galway Hooker. Unfortunately whilst we are all big fans of Hooker we felt the pints we drank were not as good as previously, which would suggest that Dave is currently using one of the barrels made from the recent brew that Aidan feels that there may be some doubts about the quality of the grain supplied. Hopefully in the next brew this will be resolved as Hooker is a really a great beer and we are all behind Aidan and Ronan in the ongoing development of Hooker.
We then moved to the Franciscan Well and sampled the Messrs Maguire Winter Warmer / Scandinavian Raging Bull which all agreed is a lovely rich warming beer. As long as we have brewers of the calibre of Cuilan, Russell and Peter from the Well, and Aidan and Ronan from Hooker, the future of quality craft beers in Ireland will hopefully remain healthy.
It is again our hope that the number of people who can attend our Meets will increase. We feel that there are a number of members of ICB based in Cork and its environs who would be most welcome to come to our get-togethers which are most informal and good fun. Where else can you wax lyrically about drink without being told to shut up!!! We also hope that more lovers of decent beers might be temped to join our merry group!
Again sorry people – no cameras were brought!!! Something we must rectify real soon!!!
A special thank you to Dave for his hospitality in facilitating our meet.
Roll on Easter Saturday 22nd March at the Well - Our next ICB Meet in Munster!
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