One of the best parts about working for a brewery is getting to go out to do tastings, festivals and other events that let us meet our customers face-to-face. We love to get feedback on our beers and see people enjoying them as we discuss all things beer and brewery-related. Some of the time we will be the only brewery present, but most of these events will have a few breweries on board for the day or evening. One such event was the O’Briens Craft Beer Fair in Naas last week. There were over 10 breweries onsite for the day, doing tastings, speaking about the process and pretty much having a good old knees up.
As brewers, we are always eager to see what our peers are up too. I am always very excited to go out and see what everyone else is doing: new types of hops, different breweries’ take on different styles. Usually at a tasting you would be too busy to go around sample all the great beers like everyone else so you are left with a lot to taste at the end of the day.
Lucky enough there is a strange unspoken protocol that happens at the end of most events in the trade. Most of the time it wont even be noticed by the ordinary punter. Just before we start to pack up we usually do a swap or trade for the beers we have been ogling all through the festival. Maybe we didn’t get a chance to taste that Ginger beer; maybe you tasted and would have loved a bottle or 6 of them. Either way if you watch carefully, at the next event you will notice the white boxes packed with mixed bottles being horse-traded around like it was the last hour.
Both Gabriel and myself got a box of goodies this time and there some lovely gems in it. My favourite had to be the Rye IPA by 12 Acres. Nice and sharp with a strong hoppy bite. I really like this beer and it suited my Saturday night perfectly. Also got some Scraggy Bay by Kinnegar which was lovely, and I finished the evening on Hope Brewing IPA. Lovely stuff.