So this train just keeps on trundling on, the craft beer train that is. I’m glad to say since I last posted about my native Navan in Oct/Nov last year there has been steady progress in bars stocking craft beer, international and Irish.
The award winning Central Bar in Navan has broadened its range once again, and to celebrate their increased range they hosted a Craft Beer tasting on Thursday 10th April. Now carrying 4 Irish on Draught in the main bar, and complemented by a wide range of both Irish & International bottles.
|A table full of samples! (Photo taken from the central’s facebook page)
For a Thursday evening the place was buzzing, loads of craft beer virgins in attendance. Hopefully now they’ll be asking for craft beers in future. The event had 50 people there, a great amount. I was the loon running around in the burgundy polo shirt.
In attendance on the night were the following;
1: Patrick Hurley from Brú Brewery
2: John Devlin from Premier Beers
3: Phil Tavey from Grand Cru repping the Porterhouse beers.
On draught now, the Central are pouring, Porterhouse’s Plain Stout, Herrsbrucker Pilsner, and Hop Head with the ever popular Brú Rua taking the fourth tap. So you got a sample of each. John was also giving out samples from the wide range from Premier.
Each of the lads talked about their beers in detail, with Patrick bringing you through the brewing process with sample grains and hops. Then Phil as a qualified Beer Sommelier (one of only 4 in Ireland) explaining what kind of flavours and aromas we should expect. It was very informative and enjoyable experience. Was great to finally meet Phil after interacting a good bit on twitter. He also is a Punk Rock DJ so keep an eye out for him in The Thomas House in Dublin.
To top it off then a pint of your choice from the selection and nibbles. For €10 this was unbelievable value. I got talking to Mick the bar manager and Mick the owner, that could get confusing. Its great to see their enthusiasm for it and hopefully it continues to grow for them and they take on more and more of the many interesting beers out there. Specially as Grand Cru carry some great beers.
If I was to be a little critical It may have worked better in one of the other bars upstairs, but when speaking to Mick (Bar Manager) it became clear they only had 16 confirmed paid in advance, and a load on the list that hadn’t paid, and some who just turned up for the craic. The staff handled the extra workload admirably and were great.
Also I do feel the prices on some of the bottled beer is a little on the high side. Given there is already a premium over the main stream products (70c in the case of Porterhouse Plain vs Guiness) its a bit of a stretch to pay €6.10 for O’Hara’s Pale Ale. Hopefully that will be kept under review. Don’t get me wrong its a great beer, but it can be got in Dublin City Centre in D2 for €5.50 for a pint or less.
|The €5 Beer Paddle – 4 samples of Irish Craft!
|As an aside I was there in advance of Thursday and had a paddle, made locally in Carnaross these things are great. Caulfield Boards (http://www.caulfieldcountryboards.ie/) excellent craftmanship on the boards and work really well. I really want to get myself one from their shop for a cheese board, or even a serving platter for a roast.
The Central is listed now on Beoirfinder, and proudly displaying a Beoir “Irish Craft Beer on Sale Here” sticker.
Hopefully I get to start writing more about the scene closer to home and spread the good word. In Navan itself now, we have two very good bars serving a good range of Craft, The Central and Smyth’s on the Square. Beggy’s a very popular spot on Bridge St has just taken in a Brú Rí tap, along with Rebel Red from Franciscan Well – baby steps, but progress none the less.