Beoir would like to offer a heartfelt congratulations to Seamus O’Hara on his appointment as the new Chairperson of the Irish Brewers Association (IBA). Seamus set up the Carlow Brewing Company in 1996 which celebrates its 20th birthday this year.

To say that Seamus was a pioneer of the craft beer industry in Ireland wouldn’t do him justice. Seamus has helped to see Ireland in to the 21st century in terms of beer choice and the promotion of independent brewing and has been at the forefront of what some might term the craft beer revolution in Ireland. He was also among the first independent breweries to export beer outside of Ireland and has done so for the last 20 years.

Beoir has an excellent relationship with Seamus and we expect that to continue in his new role. While independent brewing still makes up a small part of the market, it is growing every year. This is despite the fact that global beer consumption has been slowing down. It shows a new level of respect for what was once a fledgling industry. There are approximately 75 independent breweries on the island of Ireland now and that number increases every year.

 

We wish Seamus the best of luck and expect some interesting times ahead for independent brewing in Ireland.

 

Christmas is coming and more importantly; not one but two Beoir Christmas parties. The main one is on the 13th of December at the Black Sheep on Capel street. Kicking off from 7pm with free finger food and if you are wise enough to be a full Beoir member, a free pint of Galway Bay beer when you arrive.

The second party, for those that can't make the first; is on the 20th at the same location and time. I'll be at both though, any excuse for a night of fine company and excellent beer.

Don't forget tonight, the Dublin Ladies Craft Beer Society have invited us to come along to J.W. Sweetman's for a tour and some drinks afterwards. It kicks off at 7:15 so don't be late if you plan on coming.

As usual, there will be no ICB meet in December but expect one in January at The Bull & Castle from 7pm on the second last Wednesday of the month.

So for now, have a very merry Christmas and keep an eye out for the Christmas specials from our wonderful Irish microbreweries.

When you think of great beer cities in Ireland, you wouldn't normally include Limerick in that list but things have changed significantly in Limerick. We just had the Beoir AGM there last Saturday and were met with a very warm welcome. Craft beer aside, there are some fantastic pubs there and now with local Limerick beer available in many. While specialist craft beer pubs are short on the ground, the ones that are there are doing an admirable job.

Mother Macs and the recently opened Wickham Tap are flying the flag for not just Irish Craft Beer but especially local Limerick beer such as Treaty City. Both pubs do serve regular macro beer too but they are both biding their time until that's no longer necessary.


Treaty City Brewing themselves went above and beyond by providing us a wonderfully entertaining and informative brewery tour thanks to Stephen.

What makes Limerick so special? We really needed to be there to understand it but Limerick seems to lack a lot of the big chains that have blighted many Irish cities. Everywhere you look there's a local café or bakery. A local barber, local pub, local shop. The only big chain coffee shop we noticed was in the train station, although I believe there's one other somewhere in the city. I'm sure there are plenty of other examples of big, foreign chain retailers in the city but the area we were in was all about the local community. The biggest chain of anything we saw were a number of pubs called Flannery's which is only a chain in the sense that they are run by the same family. However they are run separately by different members of the family.

What does such a close community do to promote local craft beer and local pubs? They join forces and brew a community beer.

The night before the AGM, the beer was launched and Beoir members tried it on Saturday morning while visiting Mother Macs, before the AGM started. It was a very good beer too.

Here’s some of the press release surrounding the beer:

The beer is the result of a unique collaboration between the publicans of the Market Quarter and Treaty City Brewery.

Developing a beer from scratch is a long process that includes extensive research and numerous tasting sessions.

The result is the creation of ‘The Market Quarter Beer’, a light beer with a floral, citrus hop aroma.

“The Market Quarter beer is slightly floral and fruity with a medium malt flavour. It is an incredibly drinkable session beer low in bitterness and light in colour” explains Stephen Cunneen of Treaty City Brewery.

Not only is the beer unique, but the way it was developed is unique. It began with the Market Quarter publicans discussing the potential for a common beer, which would be exclusive to their pubs only. The publicans then met and discussed what could be done with Stephen Cunneen of Treaty City Brewery and a partnership was formed.

This is the first time this sort of approach has been undertaken anywhere in Ireland. It caters for traditional drinkers and craft beer enthusiasts alike.

James Lennon, Chairperson of the Market Quarter described the launch of the Market Quarter Beer; “We’re delighted with the launch of our Market Quarter Beer. It’s something that has brought us all together as a group. People are looking for a different drink experience, we can see that in the expansion of the craft beer and gin market. Customers want something more authentic. Therefore, we have developed this beer and want our customers to experience a new brew that’s interestingly delightful, and most importantly 100% Limerick made. We have loved creating it so we hope that you will love tasting it!”

The pubs where the beer is available are as follows.

  • Smyths Icon
  • The Red Hen
  • Mother Macs
  • The Old Quarter
  • Phil Flannery’s
  • Clohessey’s
  • Nancy Blakes
  • Charlie Chaplin’s
  • Angel Lane
  • Molly’s
  • The Library
  • The Office

 Here's the full list of entries and their places. If your beer isn't listed, it might not have scored high enough for a medal. Scoresheets with feedback will be posted out by the INEC.

Brewer Beer Medal Category Place Overall Place
O’Brother Brewing Bonita Silver    
O’Brother Brewing The Dreamer Silver    
O’Brother Brewing The Chancer Gold 1st Place Pale Ale 3rd Place
O’Brother Brewing The Fixer Silver 3rd Place Dark Ale  
Jack Cody’s Duxie Grapefriut Tea Pale Ale Silver    
Jack Cody’s Puck Pilsner Silver 3rd Place Lager  
Jack Cody’s Smiggy Amber Ale Bronze    
Jack Cody’s Hail Glorious St Patrick Stout Gold 2nd Place Stouts/Porters  
Jack Cody’s Blackjack Cream Stout Silver    
Blacks of Kinsale Black IPA Silver    
Blacks of Kinsale Kinsale Pale Ale Silver    
Blacks of Kinsale High Vis Double Silver    
Blacks of Kinsale Model T Bronze    
Kinnegar Brewing Lime Burner Pale Ale Silver    
Kinnegar Brewing Yanna Roddy Stout Gold 3rd Place Stout/Porter  
Kinnegar Brewing Scraggy Bay Pale Ale Gold 2nd Place Pale Ale  
Kinnegar Brewing Blackbucket Gold 1st Place Speciality 2nd Place
Kinnegar Brewing Swingletree Belgian Silver 3rd Place Belgian  
Franciscan Well Summer Saison Bronze    
Franciscan Well Friar Weiss Silver 3rd Place Wheat  
Franciscan Well Chieftan IPA Bronze    
Jack Doyles Premium Stout Bronze    
Jack Doyles Proper Order Irish Pale Ale Silver    
Jack Doyles Proper Order Irish Pale Ale Bronze    
Radikale Brewery Radikale Pale Ale Silver HM  
Munster Brewery Munich Helles Lager Bronze    
Munster Brewery Firbolg Lager Bronze    
Munster Brewery 12 Towers RedAle Bronze    
Black Donkey Sheep Stealer Silver 2nd Place Belgian  
Black Donkey Buck It Silver 3rd Place Speciality  
Black Donkey Scythe Belgian Pale Ale Silver    
Elbow Lane Arrow Weisse Silver 1st Place Wheat  
Glens of Antrim Fairhead Gold Silver HM  
Bo Bristle Amber Pale Ale Silver    
Bo Bristle IPA Pale Ale Gold    
Bo Bristle Stout Silver    
Independent Brewing Independent Connemara Pale Ale Silver    
Independent Brewing Independent Stout Silver    
Independent Brewing Independent Connemara Gold Ale Silver    
Independent Brewing Independent Connemara Red Ale Bronze    
Carrig Brewing Company Poachers Ale Silver    
Carrig Brewing Company Pilsner Lager Silver 2nd Place Lager  
Carrig Brewing Company Carrig Lager Bronze    
Carrig Brewing Company Rowers Red Ale Silver HM  
Carrig Brewing Company Pipers Pale Ale Bronze    
West Kerry Brewing Beal Ban Golden Ale Silver    
West Kerry Brewing Strong Cul Dorcha Silver    
West Kerry Brewing Carrig Dubh Porter Silver    
St Mels St Mels Pale Ale Silver    
St Mels Springbok Lager Bronze    
St Mels Brown Ale Silver 2nd Place Dark Ales  
JJ Craft Abbey Stout Bronze    
JJ Craft Hugo Lager Silver    
Trouble Brewing Remix Lager Gold 1st Place Lager  
Trouble Brewing Dark Arts Porter Silver    
Trouble Brewing Wandering Star Pale Ale Silver    
Trouble Brewing Graffitti Pale Ale Silver    
McGargles Brewing Granny Marys Red Ale Bronze    
McGargles Brewing Knock Knock IPA  Bronze    
James Brown Brews Chocolate Orange Stout Silver 1st Place Stout/Porters 1st Place
Cotton Ball Lynches Stout Bronze    
Cotton Ball Indian Summer Pale Ale Silver    
Cotton Ball Kerry Lane Pale Ale Silver    
Cotton Ball German Pilsner Lager Silver    
9Whitedeer Stag Ban Pale Ale Silver    
9Whitedeer Stag Rua Dark Ale Bronze    
9Whitedeer Black Lightening Silver 2nd Place Speciality  
Killarney Brewing Company Scarlett Pimpernal IPA  Silver 3rd Place Pale Ale  
Hillstown Brewery Massey Red Ale Bronze    
Hillstown Brewery Goats Butt Silver 2nd Place Wheat  
Hillstown Brewery Horny Bull Bronze    
Hillstown Brewery Spitting Llama Silver 1st Place Belgian  
Torc Brewing Company Torc Kingdom Porter Bronze    
Torc Brewing Company Torc 5 Malt Ale Silver    
Torc Brewing Company Torc Amber Ale Gold 1st Place Dark Ale  
Torc Brewing Company Torc Wheat Beer Silver HM  
Mountain Man Green Bullet Silver    
Mountain Man Hairy Goat Silver    
Mountain Man Sneaky Owl Bronze    
Mountain Man Crazy Horse Silver    

 

Last month, Beer Ireland launched their Micro Brewed badge and it has since started to appear on bottled beer and possibly on pump clips too? I'm not sure about that one. 

For those that don't know, Beer Ireland is one of the two industry groups that represent craft breweries in Ireland with the other being the ICBI. Don't forget, Beoir represents the consumer and not necessarily the interests of the industry, though the two tend to go hand in hand when it comes to craft beer.

Beoir welcomes an attempt to provide a label that consumers can use to identify a beer as being independent. While being from an independent brewery doesn't necessarily mean the product is better, it does mean that it comes from a small brewery that supports local jobs and industry rather than a foreign owned multinational. One could consider it similar to the Guaranteed Irish badge except that it's more restrictive. At its core, the badge allows the consumer to make an informed choice to support a verified independent brewery.

To qualify for a Beer Ireland Micro Brewed badge, you need to meet the same definition Beoir uses for Irish Craft Beer with the addition of one.

  • The beers have been produced in a brewery on the island of Ireland.
  • The brewery is legally and economically independent of any other brewery.
  • The brewery meets the legal definition of micro brewery.
  • The brewery owners are professional members of Beer Ireland.

The last one means that the absence of the badge doesn't mean it's not a micro brewed beer, it simply means they are not a member of Beer Ireland and are perhaps a member of the ICBI or perhaps even not a member of any industry group at all. It's also worth noting that the criteria is all about the brewery that produces the beer, not the brand. A contract brand brewed by an independent brewery would still qualify in the same way it qualifies as Irish Craft Beer under our definition.

If you are ever in in doubt, just check the Beoir A - Z list. If it has a green tick, then it is a micro brewed beer and meets our definition.

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