Alltech Brews & Food – February 2015 – Launch event!

Its hard to believe just how quickly this year has whizzed by – Its nearly the end of October and we are already talking about events for 2015!

Next year sees the third incarnation of the the Alltech Brews & Food Festival in Dublin’s Convention Centre. On Wednesday Mrs Beer Snob and I attended the launch event in Sam’s Bar on Dawson Street. The gathering of a who’s who in the craft beer arena, bloggers, brewers, foodies and the good folks from Alltech.

Mrs Beersnob brought along her now legendary Brownies, this incarnation was made using Kentucky Ale’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. They were absolutely delicious again. Everyone who got to sample them was extremely effusive in their praise of them.

The night itself saw focus on the seasonal Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Pumpkin Ale, which weighing in at 10% is very drinkable, and for me not too sweet. Which I sometimes have with most pumpkin ales, the ageing in barrels has fortified this beer. Luckily everyone in the audience got one in the good bags! I know what i’ll be drinking on Friday. There was also some great cocktails on display, and a spiced version of the Pearse Lyons Reserve which was interesting, but I prefer the original myself. We also got to sample the Town Branch Rye which is currently only available in the Duty Free in Dublin Airport

The 2014 edition was very successful, and 2015 is aiming to be bigger and better again, the team at Alltech have listened to the feed back and some of their ideas are going to be great. There are going to be more brewers, and distillers at this event, and more importantly the food side of things is being ramped up with local food vendors going to feeding the masses.

Another change is the event is running Friday to Sunday which should ensure a larger attendance. There will also be entertainment including live music and the rugby will be televised also. The dates are 27th February to 1st March 2015

Tickets are on sale now via the link below, and at €15 including a glass and four tokens they represent great value for money, I look forward to seeing you there.

Irish Beer Snob Podcast – Episode 4 – Brewdog Russian Doll

In this the 4th episode of the Irish Beer Snob Podcast, our intrepid duo take on the very impressive Brewdog Russian Doll four pack.

Big thanks to Ian from that arranged the pack for us as this is going to be difficult to source in Ireland due to the limited quantity that came over from Scotland. There are a few in Dublin and Cork who have it – get on to your local indie to see if they can hook you up.

In the news this week.

1: Brew Dock, one of our favourite bars in Ireland, has received international recognition as one of the best 21 Beer Bars in the world according to the link is here and there are now more pubs to add to the beer bucket list!!

2: Galway Bay Brewery have announced their 6th bar in Dublin, this will be called The 108, in Rathgar Dublin 6 – Scheduled to open in Early November. Shane from Against the Grain will be heading up the venture – so best of luck to everyone involved. Great to see expansion from a native Irish Brewery

3: White Hag from Sligo have announced the bottles of their beers which will be available nationwide shortly – whats more they will be coming in handy four packs of 330ml bottles.

4: Royal County Brewers now established in Meath – we held the first meeting in The Central Bar in Navan, and if you’re a home brewer in Meath who wants to come along, our meetings will be first week of each month at a different venue. If you’re looking for more info – there is a twitter account @RoyalCountyHBC and email – Look forward to seeing you there.
Please see our home on National Homebrew Club’s website – here

The link to the mp3 is here

The podcast is also available through iTunes, and Stitcher Radio.

Cooking with Cider – Dan Kelly’s Brined Pork Fillet, with Fennel, Apple, Onion and Creamy Mash

Anyone who knows me well, will know my immense dislike for cooking but my love of eating good food. I have a short list of dishes I can cook well, but I’m not great at trying new things. I leave that to Wayne! To my surprise I actually found a recipe I was dying to try. I was even so excited about finishing up my working week on a Saturday night to come home and prepare this delicious meal for myself and Wayne. Even he couldn’t believe his luck! 

So what’s the recipe I hear you ask? How about Cider-Brined pork fillet with apples, onions and fennel, found in Sláinte The complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider. A wonderfully written book by Caroline Hennessy & Kirsten Jensen. This book has become an invaluable source of information to me. 

So my choice of cider for this dish was of course that of Dan Kellys. I sat the pork fillet in the brine, using a bottle of the cider and salt, the night before and put it in the fridge. 

The next day I was counting down the hours to get home. Bounding in the door like an excited child, I began to prepare everything else. By searing off the pork, to chopping up the onion, fennel and apple. After a quick sauté I placed the veg in a casserole dish and placed the pork on top then into the oven to roast for approximately 25 minutes. 

 Once cooked through, I let the pork rest while I mashed up the potatoes I steamed. Using milk and butter to make a lovely creamy mash. After carving the pork and I served up. Thank God it was only for myself & Wayne as my nerves in  the kitchen were gone! I’m not a very confident cook at all. So I’m delighted to say this was  made so easy thanks to Sláinte.

Now that I’ve done the trial run on this dish and seeing how much Wayne enjoyed it, I’ll be more than happy to cook it again for family and friends. It was so tasty, the pork itself was so juicy and the flavours were amazing. 

We washed it down with a bottle of Dan Kelly’s Fiona’s Fancy 2011 Vintage Cider, it was the perfect matched cider. Now i’ve seen how easy it is to cook using cider as an ingredient I can’t wait to try more of the recipes in Sláinte. 

The First #Snobfest Event – Smyth’s Beer Garden Festival Sat 27th September

So this past saturday was the 1st Smyth’s Beer Garden Festival. It was many firsts, the First Beer Festival that Smyth’s on The Square in Navan had hosted. Despite having one of the broadest ranges of craft beers in the county. More importantly it was also the first event i’ve organised from conception to inception to delivery. Nerve wracking stuff.

With a great venue in the back, a lovely beer garden, well sheltered, we had the perfect space for plenty of vendors, and plenty of punters. The only thing we could pray on was the rain staying way and thank fully it did. On the day itself we had a local feel to it with many coming from not to far away. 

We’d barbecue food, and local musicians playing music all day, it all added to a great atmosphere for everyone who was there.

We had local favourites Brú Brewery who were there with their bottle beers, and excitingly a keg of their new flagship beer Brú, a pale ale thats very well made, but also very accessible and will attract no doubt a lot of your typical heineken drinkers. I loved the fact they served the 30l keg using a party pump. If that isn’t craft I don’t know what is.

Picture taken from

Next up locally we had from Drogheda, we had newcomers Jack Cody’s – who came with their Amber Ale “Smiggy” and Pilsner “Puck” in bottles, and always the beer was a cracker, it’s a very steady seller in Smyth’s and was good to see Geoff again talking to people about his great beers. 

Also from Drogheda we’d the delectible Dan Kelly’s Cider, Olan brought their two varieties, the Fiona’s Fancy which is my favourite, and their normal Dan Kelly’s cider. Thanks for coming Olan and bringing your lovely cider.

From Kentucky USA via Dunboyne Co Meath we had Kentucky Ale with their range of beers, and also their stand out Town Branch Bourbon, and Pearse Lyons Reserve Single Malt – these guys also proved very popular.

Continuing the trend for Irish Beers, James Winans came down from Vanguard Beer Collective, the only distributor out there who only distributes Irish Craft Beer, he carries a great range of bottles and kegs, and on the day that was in it, he brought two from 8 Degrees Brewing their Howling Gale Ale, and Knockmealdown Porter, and the topical Four Provinces The Hurler. My FIL was very impressed with the Knockmealdown Porter, and as always James was fantastic.

Next up we’d from Clane, Kelly’s Mountain Brew with their Justice Pale Ale, both in bottle form and draught. The Justice is a really well made pale ale, very accessible and was pouring lovely.

Ronan and Jacqui were great, even Jacqui ended up serenading the crowd when the musicians had finished for the evening. Great craic altogether. 

The fantastic Bo Bristle Double IPA had just been tapped!

Young Dave Guilfoyle from Bo Bristle was there also, bringing the beer from Offaly, more specifically Banagher. We had some of their amber and IPA in bottles, but on draught as the day went on, they rotated through their range. Starting with their punchy refreshing Pilsner, moving up to their fruity and citrussy IPA, up next was its big brother the Double IPA, and then finally the imperial Red, which was great. Thank you Dave for bringing these two festival special beers.  Even if you did have to chase me away from the taps!

I couldn’t find a glass! Don’t judge me!!!

Last but not least we also had McGargles from Kilcock there who were pouring three of their range, the lovely Cousin Rosies Pale Ale, Granny Mary’s Red, and Knock Knock Ned IPA, as always their bar stood out with those distinctive taps and tankards! 

Thank you to all you brewers who attended, and hopefully we’ll see you at another #BeerSnobFest in the future. If you are a publican and are looking to do something on a small scale like this, get in touch and we’ll see what we can put together.

Overall we have received very positive feedback from people who were there, including brewers, the owner of the premises, and most importantly the customers who gave their €10 for their entry. To be clear the €10 entry included, your entry, your food, and 2 beer tokens. The entry fee also covered the fact there was 4 musical acts entertaining you all day. Above all else we wanted to give value for money.

There has been one of two comments re the cost, we took the decision to drop the entry fee to €5 after 9pm which at that stage we had actually stopped serving food. This reduced rate still included your 2 beer tokens. One comment I read stated food had stopped at 8 pm, this was not the case. As always i’d prefer to have been made aware of this at the time so at the least we could have attempted to correct it, it was disappointing to read this after the event when there is no way to fix it up, but most importantly it’s not constructive criticism.  

Have we learnt anything doing this? Of course, we’ve learned heaps on what to do next time, and more importantly what not to do. I always endeavour to write this blog in a fair and balanced manner and if i do have issues I will communicate these promptly and directly in private to allow for a discussion. 

Lastly, i’d also like to thank Kieran Tuke a friend of mine who was snapping photos all day, you can follow him on Twitter @tukekieran.

Anyway, here are some of the links to the thoughts of some of the bloggers who were at the event also.

Simon Says You Should Drink this Blog Review
11pm Somewhere Dedicates an Episode to the festival
The Thoughts of Corrigan Says Blog
Bru Brewery even had a mention!

Here’re some Verbatims taken from around the place;






Irish Beer Snob Podcast – Episode 3 – Craft Beer Growlers

Here we have the 3rd Episode of the Irish Beer Snob podcast, here we have Janice and Wayne discussing the merits of “Growlers” and how they are a good addition to the Irish Craft Beer scene.

Having intially come across the Pegas system at the Alltech Brews Festival in Dublin, Wayne was excited to see that this has finally reached the retail environment in Dublin 15, in the Carry Out off licence in Tyrellstown Dublin.

There is currently one outlet in Ireland serving Growlers through the Pegas system, and it truly is a great sight to see. Janice and Wayne enjoyed their filled growlers of Black Donkey Sheep Stealer & Metalman Pale Ale with a smorgasboard of cured meats and Irish Cheese.

If you are in the Dublin 15 area then you should call in to Carry Out, and not only do they have the growlers, but a great range of international craft beer in bottle’s and cans.

More info on the Craft Beer Growlers system is at on stockists and how it works

As always the feed is if you want to copy and paste this to your podcast player.

Also available on iTunes, and Stitcher Radio

Irish Beer Snob Podcast – Episode 2 – Review of the Irish Craft Beer & Cider Festival 2014

Here we have it, the second episode of the Irish Beer Snob Podcast, in a first, its a joint one with Mrs Irish Beer Snob. Here we discuss our recent experiences at the Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival in Dublins RDS, this past weekend.
It was four days, 200 different beers, numerous festival specials and great food.

Janice and her conquering beard!
Here’s the link here don’t forget you can also find me on iTunes, and Stitcher Radio

Here is some further info on the items we spoke about in the news section;

1: Meath Homebrew Club – 1st Meeting is the 7th October in The Central Bar Navan, more information is available at this thread over at National Homebrew Clubs Forum

2: This is big news, Smyth’s Beer Garden Festival in Smyth’s on the Square in Navan on Saturday the 27th September from 4pm, we have 6 brewers, 1 cider maker and one distributor on board meaning some great local beers in a great local. Tickets are €10, and can be bought at the bar / off licence in Smyth’s, online via, and cash on the door. Your entrance includes, Food, live music, and 2 tokens (which is a pint or two halves!)

Thanks for checking out my podcast, and any feedback is greatly appreciated as we’re still getting used to this.