A Taste of Ireland: Beoir ‘A Tale of Ireland’s Craft Ale’ & the European Beer Bloggers Conference 2014

Beoir ‘A Tale of Ireland’s Craft Ale’  The full Short film

Beoir: A Tale Of Irish Craft Ale from Tall Story media on Vimeo.

 

 3 years ago this photographer went to visit Gordon Fallis of Innismacsaint brewery in Co Fermanagh. I was fascinated with a microbrewery opening in the Fermanagh countryside. Until then my only experience of craft beer had been the Franciscan well and Dungarvan brewing company, both novel breweries but novelty nothing more it seemed. Back then I was a Guinness, Smithwicks and Heineken drinker, (that’s all that was on offer wasn’t it?). As always with the meeting with Gordon I was more interested in the producer, his personality and story and how they came about to be doing what they were doing. I have to admit I knew nothing of beers. But Gordon`s story was brilliant and I published a blog post on it.  https://atasteof-ireland.com/2011/11/17/inishmacsaint-brewing-company/

The intention was also to finally write an all-Ireland version of my book “A Taste of Cork” and Gordon would be in it.

Fast forward 3 years I have just completed completed my second 30 minute short film “12 Mile” see trailer

and my first “Beoir A Tale of Ireland’s craft ale” is posted in this piece. I hope you enjoy this film as much as I enjoyed making it. Beoir the sequel is in production so watch this space.

12 mile the film trailer from Tall Story media on Vimeo.

At first I must admit I was more interested in the story behind the brewers. However, now I am afraid all has changed, the craft beer world that the wonderful Beoir organization http://www.beoir.org/ opened me up too has taken hold. Like someone discovering a new language or learning to use my eyes and see for the first time, the craft beer world is a world of whole new possibilities and adventure in flavor and variety. You will see from earlier posts I decided to release some of the brewery shorts in a series, this then in effect meant I had become a beer blogger. This led  naturally to the European beer bloggers conference 2014.

 EBBC 2014 (Note: All photos taken with a Samsung phone)

This was quite simply the best conference I have ever attended. Hosted at the Church bar in Dublin it was a conference where you get to meet brewers and beer bloggers and most of all taste new beers.
I didn`t bring my camera as I wanted to experience the conference as a participant rather than as someone documenting it (so apologies for photo quality taken with my phone only).

On arriving I was met by offerings from The Franciscan Well, Galway Hooker, Black Donkey, N17, Bru brewery and others. After some talks and advice on blogging it was off to Guinness for a tour and food. I must admit 3 years ago I would have been very excited at the thought of a trip to Guinness and the promise of free Guinness and food. I felt less excited and it is because things have changed.

 20140627_185959  20140627_190118

Despite being a small percentage of the current market, I now personally desire to taste more flavorful varieties of locally produced beers, I am much more likely now to drink Sarah Roarty`s N17 stouts https://twitter.com/N17Brew than that of a major brewer. Moreover there is a building tidal wave among younger drinkers for this kind of product. More than that as I experienced at the conference, these younger more educated/informed beer drinkers certainly communicated that they see the major familiar beers as something to be avoided and they are viewed by your average beer aficionado as bland industrial beers.

Guinness

But let me now speak of the Charlie in the chocolate factory experience I had at St James’s Gate, after all it was a beer bloggers conference, not a craft beer bloggers conference. Guinness certainly know how to do hospitality. On arrival we were walked through the historic site, which was a strange mix of buildings from a bygone era and modern industrial buildings and the trappings of that, which don`t look out of place on a pharmaceutical plant. The walk took us through a tunnel reminiscent of the London underground, linking the Guinness storehouse to the brewery block and delivered us to the new brewery codenamed Project Phoenix. This very impressive, shiny new & gleaming facility, pics of which I was asked not to post, should be capable of producing tonnes of Guinness for years to come.

After the tour well what can I say, I was brought up in a glass lift to foodie heaven, where we were treated to Oysters, Cheese, Fish & chips, BBQ ribs & Burgers, all paired with a different Guinness product. Personally I found the Oyster and Guinness pairing still a classic and a highlight. There was also a trial pilot Guinness product on offer called Night Porter which the appeared to go down well with the assembled beer experts.

Vaclav Berka
Vaclav Berka

Normally this would be enough to say that was great day, time to put the boots up, and go home, however I found that this was only half the entertainment planned. We were then bused to the no name bar and introduced to Pilsner Urquell’s master brewer Vaclav Berka. Vaclav personally and ceremoniously opened and tapped, several casks of his world famous unfiltered, unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell. A first for this beer drinker, another new world, “cask beer”.

The generosity of the sponsors didn`t end there and lunch the following day at the conference was a very generous BBQ and more cask Pilsner. This is were I left the EBBC as I had other commitments that evening, shame given the riches that were on offer.

Below I have posted the agenda of what was a really fine conference and I must mention the generosity of MolsonCoors returning the conference Stipend in return for blog posts.

Thursday, June 26, 2014
18:45                 Optional Pub Crawl (the #TrailofAle) of Dublin departing from the Main Bar of The Church and led by beer blogger Reuben Gray of The Tale of the Ale.  For details on the crawl please visit the blog post.

Friday, June 27, 2014
12:30                 Registration and Expo (Eat lunch first!) – Tower Bar
14:00                 Conference Opening – Cellar Bar
14:05                 History of Beer in Ireland – Cellar Bar
15:00                 Keg versus Cask and Bottle versus Can – Cellar Bar
16:05                 Panel of Irish Craft Brewers – Cellar Bar
17:00                 Break
17:45 -18:0       Depart The Church for 30-minute walk to Dinner and Tasting at St. James’s Gate hosted by Guinness and Smithwicks
21:00                 Dublin Beer Tour with Pilsner Urquell

Saturday, June 28, 2014
10:00                An Inside Look at the Irish Beer Industry – Cellar Bar
11:00                 Advanced Social Media Strategies for Bloggers – Cellar Bar
12:00                Pilsner Urquell Barbeque – Terrace
14:00                Supercharging your Blogging with WordPress.com – Cellar Bar
15:00                Video on Your Beer Blog – Cellar Bar
16:00                Irish Craft Beer Reception with Beer Ireland – Tower Bar
18:00                Dinner provided by Franciscan Well Brewery with keynote speaker Shane Long – Cellar Bar
20:30                Evening Party with Carlow Brewing Company – Tower Bar

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