Killarney Beerfest 2017

Killarney Beerfest 2017

The last weekend in May has been a fixture in the Irish Beer Scene. The INEC venue as part of the Gleneagle Hotel has hosted the event for 3 years now. It is in literally one of the nicest parts of the country.


A weekend of beers, music, food, and good craic, what more could you want?

Running along side the festival is the Beoir Champion Beer of Ireland awards. Having earlier this year ran the Cider equivalent, it’s the third year, and there has been some Stellar winners in the field.

This year was no different. Fresh from winning the Beoir Brewery of the Year award, White Hag from Sligo won numerous categories, and nearly took home the best in show for their Róc modern Pils lager. But they were just pipped by the 2017 Edition of Galway Bay’s 200 Fathoms Teeling Whiskey Barrel Aged imperial stout. White Hag took 2nd with Róc, and 3rd with their Bourbon Barrel Aged version of Black Boar.

The full list of winners is here

One of the aspects of this festival I really like is there is an effort to do something for the punters along the lines of beer education also. On the Sunday, there was a session ran by Dean McGuinness who focused on the sensory side of things, explaining how we perceive taste, while a good friend of our blog / podcast, Christina Wade who gave a chat on Women in Beer, and the history of same. The fantastic Caroline Hennessy ran a beer and food course also, but we really enjoyed the Cider and Cheese workshop that was ran by Jacqueline Stedman which had loads of West Cork cheese paired with the champion ciders of Ireland, and we’ll be writing this one up seperately. The National Homebrew Club were also represented all weekend doing brewing demos for curious folks

Manor Brewing’s Stand

The breweries in attendance was a mix of the familiar faces, and some of our more westerly breweries who mightn’t be up in Dublin as often. So it was great to get to try some of their beers.

Some of the standout beers for us were as follows;

  • Manor Brewing; Mont Pilsner, was just what I needed on Friday evening on arrival, a crisp refreshing Pils, especially after the drive down. Really also enjoyed their Black is the New Orange, Black Lager that was served through a randal with fresh orange.
  • Killarney Brewing; A slightly changed recipe on their Saison, but it was a very well rounded saison, that is brewed using Dupont Yeast. Janice enjoyed their Scarlet Pimpernel, which is a red IPA
  • Wild Bat Brewing; They had brewed a New England IPA, which was in a single 19l cornie keg. It had all those big US hops as you’d expect, juicy fruit aroma, but had maybe a bit more bitterness than perhaps is de riguer for the style. Which I personally enjoyed, as it added a complexity and challenge to the beer that is sometimes lacking in the fruit juice NEIPAs. Hopefully they’ll brew this up again.
  • Boyne Brewhouse; they seem to have hit their stride now that the brew team is settled in, once again their IPA, Saison and Vienna Lager impressed. They’d brought a keg from their pilot series down, which was an imperial saison, if you embrace saison funkiness, you’ll love this. Though I preferred the standard version.
  • Independent Brewing; They brought their session porter, Coconut Porter, with a nice depth of flavour, loads of the afore mentioned nut, with hints of chocolate, and coffee. This really did taste like a bounty bar once it warmed up a little, and can imagine it’d be a real treat on cask
  • James Brown Brews; Semantic Pale Ale, that’s got a bit of rye in there to give a hint of spice, and liberal use of cascade and chinook hops it up nicely. Easy drinking, and sessionable.
  • St Mel’s; The guys had brought a new Black IPA to the festival, which more on the roasty malt side,  than IPA, but was a nice drinker. Janice also enjoyed their Brown Ale, which we sadly don’t seem to have too many of these brewed here.
  • YellowBelly; The stellar Citra Pale, Castaway and The Passion were all lovely and refreshing in the heat, but the fisheye for their Summer Ale, was just absolutely fantastic.

The food options at the fest were all reasonably priced, and varied. The wood fired Pizza oven was perfect, and was very filling. There was a taco stand, and a bbq stand, though a pity they only did burgers, and pulled pork. There was a real opportunity to maybe do brisket or ribs. Also fair play to the chip van guy, who was lashing out curry chips til all hours on the Saturday

Hopefully this event will remain in the calendar, as it’s a great event in its own right. It has a very relaxed vibe altogether, combined with good beers, good company, good music, and good food, what more would you need. Oh, this is the mountains nearby. A nice spot for a festival if I do say so myself.

Until 2018 Killarney, you’ve been great!


Podcast Episode Sixteen – Alltech Festival Wrap Up and Boyne Valley Cider

The latest episode from the team at Irish Beer Snob, see’s the team review the recent Alltech Brew’s and Food Festival in Dublin’s Convention Centre. 

Pierce and Wayne also do a side by side tasting of Boyne Valley Cider’s regular cider and their whiskey barrel aged versions.

Massive congratulations to the teams at Rye River Brewing Company, and Orpen’s for their competition winning Beer & Cider, the full list is available here well done to all medalists!

What were your highlights? 

Episode available in iTunes, and a direct link is available for those on other platforms here – don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS here and leave a review! 

Podcast Episode Fifteen – How to be a "Beer Pornographer" and a look forward to Alltech Brews & Food 2016

This week sees the first Irish Beer Snob podcast episode with a live guest recording alongside our Intrepid Duo. We have Instagram legend, Pierce Cooney of @Son0vaGun ( ) to share his tips for excellent Instagram Beer Photography.

We also visited McHugh’s Off Licence in Kilbarrack, Dublin for the beer for today’s episode – we had Mescan Brewery Red Tripel, and a Growler of Lagunitas Mozango IPA with Mango. 

Pierce and his padawan apprentice

Here are some practical tips for you to improve your Instagram photography from the master himself.

  • Plan your photo, sounds like common sense but really helps
  • Try use natural light if you can, however some people use Light boxes
  • Choose a nice background, use places of interest, landmarks etc, make it not just about the beer.
  • Take your photo from a low angle, turn your phone / camera upside down if necessary
  • Take plenty of shots, from a variety of angles, then choose your favourite
  • Use Hash Tags! (Save them somewhere and copy and paste them!
Helping to get that “Shot”
Pierce’s 3 Favourite Beer Photo Instagram Accounts
  1. @BeerFarts – Beer & Lego what’s not to love
  2. @FantasticFilm – Pierce’s #PrizelessPrize Nemesis
  3. @Commodore_NB_Pants – a US based instagrammer
We had great fun recording this episode, where we also have a look forward to the upcoming Alltech Brews & Food Fair in Dublin’s Convention Centre, Feb 5th to 7th. Loads more info on the website here tickets still available and if you’re there on Friday don’t forget to register for the Guinness World Record attempt for worlds largest beer tasting.

The good folk at Alltech have kindly given us a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky listener to bring themselves and a friend to the festival on a day of their choosing. Please note the competition will close on Friday 29th January at 5pm. Winner will be chosen at random, and must be able to collect the prize.

To win all you have to do is answer this simple question;

What was Pierce’s favourite beer in 2015?
Hint: Listen to the podcast to find out

Once you have your answer, please comment below this post on the blog – entries are only accepted if posted to this page.

You can now find our podcast by searching for “Irish Beer Snob” in iTunes, by direct download link here or by adding our RSS to your favourite podcast listening app which is

The Summer Series – Smyth’s on the Square Navan

This coming weekend, on Saturday 18th July – we are hosting the first of a summer trilogy of Beer Festivals in Smyth’s on the Square, Navan, Co Meath.

Those of you who were at our last event in Smyth’s in September 2014 know what to expect, but for those who haven’t here’s the gist of what to expect.

We are highlighting 4 Craft Breweries, and 1 Craft Cider Producer. We are delighted to be welcoming some new comers to our festival, and some returning producers. 

Who we have coming are 
  • Kentucky Ale (Kentucky USA) 
  • James Brown Brews (Ratoath, Co Meath)
  • 8 Degrees Brewing (Mitchelstown, Co Cork)
  • Brehon Brewhouse (Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan)
  • Dan Kelly’s Cider (Drogheda, Co Louth/Meath)
As if that wasn’t enough to get you excited, we will also be having BBQ food throughout the day, and live local musicians.

So come on down, to enjoy a nice relaxed atmosphere and enjoy some craft beer and cider. Get to chat to the producers directly and ask them any burning questions you may have had. 

Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages for details of competition to win tickets to this event.

We will be back in Smyth’s on the 15th August, and 19th September, with a different line up of producers.

#CraftBeerUnlaoisD2 – Portlaoise Craft Beer Festival Returns to Kavanagh’s on 20th June

Once again we are coming back to Kavanagh’s Pub in Portlaoise for a Beer Festival. This time we are doing it in Summer time! 

After having such a great event last time our we are really looking forward to coming back and we’ve teamed up with some great breweries to bring this event to you.

Local Lads 12 Acres from Killeshin will be there, no doubt bringing along their award winning American Pale Ale.

Representing Tipperary we have White Gypsy from Templemore coming along. Kildare is represented by Trouble Brewing. Offaly represented by Bo Bristle who are debuting this years Wild Irish Beer. Lastly we’ll have James from Vanguard Beer Collective who will be bringing along some Irish Beers & Ciders.

Entry costs €10 which includes 2 beer tokens and food. Doors open at 4pm til late

There is live music in the evening provided by Keelan Donovan as part of his Irish Tour.

It promises to be a great afternoon / evening

Portlaoise is very well connected in terms of public transport – you can easily reach by the following methods

From Dublin
Train from Hueston Station (
Bus from George’s Quay (
Bus by Dublin Coach (

#craftbeerunlaoisd – Beer Festival @ Kavanaghs, Main St, Portlaoise, 29th November

Our Second Festival is Coming up this Saturday in Kavanagh’s Pub on Main Street, Portlaoise, Co Laois.

Festivities start at 4pm til late, entrance is €10, which includes two beer tokens and food from the BBQ. There is also live music and DJ to keep you entertained.

Breweries in Attendance will be Bo Bristle, White Gypsy, and introducing, debutants 12 Acres Brewing and Slieve Bloom Drinks. Vanguard Beer Collective will also be here with some further Irish Producers and we will have Egan’s Off Licence showing their wide range of craft beer hampers.

Come along, you can buy tickets at, or pay cash on the door.