Podcast Episode 8 – It’s all about the Graft!

In this episode of the Irish Beer Snob podcast, Janice and Wayne have a sup of the New Rye River Brewing Beers made exclusively for Dunne’s Stores. Grafters is the name of the range, featuring presently a Pale Ale, and an IPA.

These are total new beers brewed from the ground up, and not re badges of the existing beers in the Rye River Portfolio.

We also chat about our brew day from 11th April where the Royal County Brewers brought down a bunch of homebrewers who were keen to brew in a Commercial Brewery and have a bit of craic as well.

And lastly – we have an interview with Tobias of To Ol from Denmark who we had the pleasure of meeting in Dublin this past week at a meet a brewer event organised by Four Corners in P Macs bar in Dublin 2. Tobias kindly settles definitively the correct pronunciation of his Brewery and the story behind it!

You can subscribe to us on Itunes, Stitcher Radio, and sticking this RSS into your mobile app you can get new eps when they go up – previous subscribers on Itunes please subscribe to this RSS also as we have change hosting providers.


The Direct MP3 link is http://traffic.libsyn.com/irishbeersnob/IrishBeerSnobCast-EP008-070515.mp3

Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair Feb 2015

Now in it’s third year, we saw Alltech’s Craft Brews & Food Fair take place in Dublin’s magnificent convention centre. An evolving festival that has come on leaps and bounds since their first event. This has to be one of the best put together festivals in Europe.

Alongside the consumer and beer fan event, Irish Pubs Global held their Global Gathering Event which brings together people from all over the world who own bars in many countries around the world. More of a trade show, there was a number of interesting topics that were covered under the learning side, but it was here I saw one of the most interesting exhibits, Core Coffee. Chilled Coffee served on Nitrogen. Sounds mental. It is utterly delicious. The potential is huge. Many thanks to the guys who invited me to have a look. 

Now, onto the main event. The festival itself opened up on Friday at 5pm. There was music, there was people, and loads of beer. Needless to say I’d a great three days. What makes this event stand apart from others is the truly international feel to the event, with a large number of foreign breweries, as well as some of the best of our indigenous. 

First thing I noticed was the organisers had addressed a number of the concerns from the year before, namely the food options. This year there were plenty of options, including Donal Skehan’s Skoff Pies, Wrights of Marino, Ballymaloe, Sheridans, a veritable who’s who of the Irish Food Scene. I can attest to the deliciousness of the Skoff Pies, though was pining for Mash, Peas and Gravy (Northern boys love gravy!). The token system was quite simple, a token was €1.25, and you bought them in multiples of 4. Made a pint a fiver, but anyone who’s a festival veteran knows, its tasters, or halves at most if you want to truly enjoy the event. Tokens were used for both the Food and Beer! 

Now onto some of the stand out beers of the festival for me. In no particular order. Of ones i’d not tasted before.

  • Redwell – Steam Lager and White IPA
  • Rye River Brewing Company – Double IPA, Brown Ale, and Berlinerweisse
  • 8 Degrees – The Gasman Rye IPA
  • Beavertown – Bloody Ell, and Londerweisse (A collab with Dogfish Head)
  • Blacks of Kinsale – HiViz, Model T (Rum Barrel Aged particularly)
  • Dan Kelly’s Cider – Dan Kelly’s Draught Cider
  • Trouble Brewing – Beoir #2, and Indian Pale Lager
  • Hara Punk – Mi Ujsag, Wagner Ur? (Spiced Ale with Sour Cherry)
  • Rosita – Rosita White IPA (with Juniper)
  • Coisbo – 11 (Russian Imperial Stout aged in Sherry Cask)
  • Wicklow Wolf – Kentucky Common
  • Kentucky – Honey Barrel 
So thank you to all the brewers who brought so many great beers, but also a huge thank you to all the staff notably, the two Johns, Tracey and Maeve who as ever were great! Now, i’d really love to see what the Kentucky one is like if anyone wants to sponsor that one! 


Chocolate Brownies with Solas Irish Stout

I decided as part of my new year resolution to “drink more beers”, I should start cooking with them too. So to start off I chose an Irish stout. Now this is a style of beer I really only started to enjoy late into last year. I was never really a stout/porter fan. And as far as cooking goes, its not something I enjoy. Mostly because I’m not really that confident with flavours and different cooking techniques. I especically dont like being watched in the kitchen. If left to my own devices sometimes magic happens. Luckily for me though Wayne is the chef in this household, and an excellent one at that. 

The dish I made was of course double chocolate porter brownies. I first started baking these after I was gifted the book Sláinte, The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider. This recipe is so easy to follow and so much fun to bake. I’ve since made them a dozen times, using a different stout or porter.

So this time I’ve decided to bake them using Solas Irish Stout, which is available in Tesco. Brewed by Rye River Brewing Company which are based in Kildare, not too far away from me. Also the brewers of Mc Gargles and the new craft beer range of lager, stout and red ale stocked in Aldi.

On pouring a nice head develops, which I found to disappear a few minutes later. The smell is malty with a mild taste of chocolate and coffee that leaves a lovely bitter finish. For me I enjoyed it as it was light to drink, not thick and heavy like others. At 4.5 % it made me wanting more, but into the brownie mix it went.

I found this a really nice stout to bake with and enjoyed sampling the end result, some lovely gooey double chocolate brownies made with an Irish stout. If I’ve inspired you to try these yourself, let me know how it goes. I enjoy baking them so much and even bring some to events I attend. So watch out for me, always a Tupperware of brownies in my bag.