Winter Craft Beer & Cider Festival – Kilruddery House Bray

The bar in the Marquee.

On the weekend of the 2nd November, Kilruddery House in Bray hosted along side its regular weekly farmers market, a Craft Beer and Cider event. 

I was piggy backing in with the lads from Bru Brewery, but also in attendance were Mountain Man Brewing, Trouble Brewing, White Gypsy, and Dungarvan Brewing. On the Cider side we had Orpens, who will be setting up shop in Slane, Co Meath next year, and Craigies from Wicklow. Also in attendance was The National Homebrew Club, and True Batch Brew.

Firstly, if you get the chance to go down to this farmers market you should, they’ve a lot of local food producers, including the ever delicious Hicks Butcher. 

The day was long, and the conditions were very cold, I wouldn’t have liked to be running the Hell and Back the next day. Fair play to anyone who did.

Trouble brewing brought along a keg of the pumpkin ale, quite possibly the last keg, and it was delicious as always. They also rotated the 2nd tap between Sabotage IPA and Dark Arts. Our neighbours from White Gypsy were pouring a lovely Baltic porter called Gota, and Belgian ale called Semoy. 

On the Bru Stand we had the three products flowing, and after initial teething issues with the gas on the Rua we got things pouring great. The Dubh went down really well, but there were plenty of plaudits for the Amber Lager. 

Mountain Man probably had the busiest stand, his stand has evolved from the RDS where now one of the taps is actually made with a 50 cal bullet casing for the green bullet. Phil is a gas man, and it was great to meet up with him again, and Mrs Mountain Man was great too! Hopefully you enjoyed your snack box on the way home! 

One of the most interesting stands for me though was the team behind True Batch Brew. Essentially its a 1 gallon all grain brew kit contained with all the ingredients you need to make a small batch without loads of home brew equipment cluttering up space. They’d samples of their pale ale, and porter. The pale ale was very tasty. It was their first outing and judging by the visitors they seem to have captured the public’s imagination. The kit is €45 and comes with very clear instructions. Well done guys, I hope to pick up a kit to test and post the results on my blog! Best of luck with the venture.

Lastly, the ciders, Orpens cider, coming soon to the royal county, taking up home in the Old Mill in Slane near the infamous bridge on the banks of the Boyne. The cider is lovely medium dry, and it very refreshing, I can’t wait to have it more. Well done. We also had Craigies from Wicklow, who were there with their lovely cider. A bit on the dry side for my taste, but as I was tasting it I was thinking of the food matching possibilities, pork belly and cider mmm. Anyway, they’ve some pretty interesting plans for bottling into the future, and best wishes guys. A very tasty day.

A good day was had by all, and i’m sure there were some valuable introductions for all the exhibitors on the day that hopefully will mean we will see more of these bespoke, artisan, hand crafted products in more places in the future.

The day wound up pretty quickly from about 7 on wards it was very quiet, one or two comments from people locally was they were unaware it was on. Even though there was shuttles in operation and phone numbers for local taxi drivers in supply the crowd was a little light after the farmers market finished up, maybe for the next event, they could target market the locality, in pubs like Hollands, and others in the area. 

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