If you’re a fan of craft beer and want to indulge in some sumptuous food treats, the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair in Dublin will offer the perfect social hang out tonight (Saturday.)
Ireland Today checked out the festival, Ireland’s largest craft beer festival, on Thursday and we certainly were not disappointed.
The atmosphere is festive and all that’s missing indoors at the Convention Centre aka the Tin Can at the heart of the Dublin Docklands, is a smattering of snow to really influence the almost Christmassy feel of the event.
There’s a staggering 400 craft brews to sample (don’t worry, we really aren’t expecting you to get through all those and we do encourage you to drink very responsibly)…and 50 exhibitors in total at the event, a host of pub games, from pool to table soccer.
And if you fancy a dance or just want to chill out and listen to some live music, tonight, Pop Gods, a fun band who offer an array of tunes from the 70s to the noughties, will be helping the crowd loosen up before The Camembert Quartet, who play Swing, Latin and ’60s music, along with other tunes, will perform later.
So if you feel like relaxing after the rugby, there’s no better place to do that tonight.
The only problem is sampling a good selection of the beers. Out of the dozens of beers on offer, from home grown and international micro breweries, there are just so many to choose from. But when in Rome…we tried as many as we could between a group of us at the event and compared notes and it seemed Wicklow Wolf IPA came, one of the IPA category on Thursday night, was our favourite tipple.
But we also gave the thumbs up to a selection of Kentucky Ale beers and if you want something a little different Schneider Weisse Leicht beer, from Germany, offers a banana aftertaste that is rather interesting. And the Austrian barman serving this drink did a fantastic job at selling his product telling us to “Drink down a good gulp, no more,” to really savour the after taste. “See, can you taste banana?” We could and we wanted more but other beers had to be sampled too.
One way of getting around several drinks is to ask for samples instead of going straight to half pints or pints and that way you can practice at being a serious beer connoisseur, rather than someone who really has drunk a little too much on a Saturday night and is dancing to that band styling the very best drunk dad moves.
In fact, we suggest samples is the best way and skip the pints and opt only for halves instead for your favourite drinks and that way you will fit in more variety.
Rather than dealing with cash at the selection of bars, you have to buy tokens inside the venue. This adds to the fun of the experience and it’s important to try to learn a little about the beer while you’re ordering and hey, the person who’s serving you. Though the guys at Wicklow Wolf were inundated that night, they still had time to be friendly, which we liked.
On Thursday hundreds attended the event – it was busy but not too packed but we imagine tonight will be even more lively. And recommendations are to get there early as seats are at a premium.
Why not come dressed for the occasion too. Perhaps don one of those beer hats with the plastic tubes on though of course you won’t get served with one of those on and it’ll only be for the very merriment of the evening. Or get your lederhosen on and bring some colour to the event.
We really enjoyed the mix of 70’s disco and ’80s pop on Thursday night and at least one of our group felt if the festival had thrown a bit of Phil Collins in there, it would have made our perfect night (unfortunately he isn’t joking.)
Don’t miss it! It’s fun. Tickets are €20 and are available here www.alltechbrews.ie/buy-tickets