Looking for something different to do this weekend? Then why not pop along to the Irish Craft Beer, Cider & Whiskey festival, a celebration of Irish craft brewing, music and artisan food, which runs until Sunday in the RDS. With more than 200 different brews available to try from over 50 producers there is bound to be something for everyone. When you need a little soakage, you can take your pick from the artisan food stalls selling dishes chosen to complement the brews on offer. Try some of Jane Russell’s handmade sausages on traditional Waterford Blaa or hearty homemade pies from Cillian the Pieman, both of which have stalls inside the hall. If the weather is nice, grab one of the picnic benches and choose from the outdoor stalls selling crepes, Chinese food, and wood-fired pizzas.
Not sure where to start or new to craft beers? Then head on over to the Dublin Ladies Craft Beer Society and they will gladly help you on your voyage of discovery. They are full of knowledge and have tried nearly all the drinks at the festival so they will not steer you wrong. They can pick out the perfect drink based on your likes and taste preferences. When I told them I liked chocolate, they packed me off in the direction of Galway Bay Brewery to try their milk chocolate stout. When I told them I liked ginger they steered me gingerly (see what I did there?) toward Rascals Brewing Co. to try their ginger porter. These two choices were a perfect introduction to the world of craft beers for a non-beer drinker like me.
Want a little more in-sight to the world of Irish craft beer and cider? Then pick up a copy of the newly launched Sláinte: the Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider, which is available to buy at the festival. Want to start brewing your own at home? Then head on over to the National Homebrew Club who will happily get you started.
Over the four-days of celebrations, there will be talks on the craft beer and food revolution in Ireland, question and answer sessions with different brewers, as well as an awards ceremony. A host of Irish artists will provide live music throughout the day and DJs will keep the tunes pumping at night. On Sunday both the GAA hurling championship and Ireland v Georgia will be shown on the big screens. Tickets are available on the door and drinks cost €2.50 for a half pint. Get all the details here: https://www.irishcraftbeerfestival.ie/