Tag Archives: Craft beer


This afternoon.

Labour TD Alan Kelly speaks about the party’s Craft Brewers Bill at Leinster House.

From the Explanatory Memorandum of the Bill

Many distilleries and breweries, including micro-breweries, are tourist attractions and welcome visitors on guided tours. Under the Licencing Acts, however, unless the owners acquire a pub licence or an off-licence, it is not possible to sell those visitors the product that is made on the premises.

The purpose of this short Bill is to rectify that situation by permitting the sale by distilleries and breweries of their own product to tourists and other visitors. The Bill also covers the making of cider and perry.



Read the Bill in full here

Pic: John Whelan

Joe Kearns_TheWhiteHag copy

Joe Kearns, Master Brewer of The White Hag, Ballymote, Co Sligo,

Joe Kearns moved  from Ohio almost two years ago to take up the role as Master Brewer at The White Hag brewery in Sligo..

Yesterday, Joe hosted a group of visitors from the local Teagasc training centre.

As guests were leaving, they asked if they could buy some beers….

Joe writes:

Welcome to Ireland. We have one of the world’s fastest growing craft beer sectors in the world. We also have a massive tourist industry, and it just so happens that a lot of these tourists are coming from the States and they like local beer.

Beer tourism is on the rise. Unfortunately, after the brewers go thru an hour long dissertation on what makes their beer so significant, they have to then tell the party to go elsewhere to try their wares. Because, in Ireland it is illegal to serve, or sell, someone beer from the brewery.

And, if you want to, the license costs €70,000.

What about the local pubs? Wouldn’t they be affected? Not if the law was changed to reflect what they do in the States. Brewery tasting rooms typically close by 7pm. They also cannot sell wine and spirits. These aren’t pubs.

They are tasting rooms, and they’re overdue.

“During a conversation I was having with my long-time friend back in the States, I had came to an interesting conclusion: In Ireland, we’re fortunate enough to be able to still buy our bread at the local baker; buy our beef from the local butcher, yet we still can’t buy our beer from our local brewer.

In 2011, Ohio was one of the last states to implement the Brewery-on-premise-tasting-room laws. Up until that time, breweries were required to purchase an additional license to offer on-trade sales. The additional license cost $4,000. The motivating reason behind changing these laws was to promote tourism within the state; which it did.

White Hag Brewery

Pic via Belgian Smaak

Thanks Paul Mullin and Bob Coggins


“So what’s this about? I’m honestly bemused. If you don’t like a beer, don’t f**king drink it. What on earth gives this person the motivation to go to the effort of getting this [sticker] printed, going down to the shops and putting this on a basket that I packed by hand and sent out into the world?

…I’d like the person who is doing this this to know that they’ve properly pissed off 7 talented homebrewers and me – as an effort to hurt the livelihood of people who learned their craft over years in their kitchens out of crippling obsession and passion, and it is the most lousy thing I can think of…”

Alex Lawes, Head Brewer, Rye River Brewing Company, Kildare-based makers of McGargles.

Recent Attacks On McGargles (Beoir.org)

Thanks Bill


You may recall Friday’s Dine in Dublin festival competition?

Voting for the winner of the craft beer tasting night TONIGHT with Cameron Wallace of Cork’s Eight Degrees Brewery at the Gotham Cafe in Dublin was unanimous.

Derdiedas: “I deserve the Dine in Dublin craft beer event tickets particularly after the week I’ve had where I finished a contract (so I’m now unemployed), had a contract cancelled (Yay, more unemployment!!) and I found out I need to get two teeth extracted. That’ll happen on Tuesday. I won’t be able to eat for three days afterward so that tasty Gotham ‘za could be a last supper of sorts.”


Thanks all.

Dine in Dublin – Gotham Cafe


Beer nut Mister Mo sampling the Wicklow Wolf Black Perle Porter (above)

Part of a year long challenge to taste ALL Irish craft beers on the market.

Martin writes:

An ex-workmate of mine has set himself a rather interesting craft beer related challenge!. The production quality just gets better with every episode! :)

Beers reviewed by Mo so far:

Jack Cody’s Smiggy
Brehon Blonde
Wicklow Wolf Porter
Trouble’s Sabotage Pale Ale



Controversial Sligo brewer White Hag at the Irish Craft Beer and Cider festival in the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin right NOW.

Bob Coggins writes;

“The White Hag’s first outing [at the festival], and a momentous one, with the brewery’s SEVEN beers on tap all receiving widespread praise from the beer hacks and bearded hipsters alike. If you like stout, we’ve ‘The Black Boar’, a 10.2% imperial stout here waiting for you. Ten point two!”

Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival


For your consideration.

Beoir: A Tale of Irish Craft Ale

A timely short by Sean Monaghan of Tall Story media about micro-breweries in Ireland and the search to find a better tasting beer.

Includes the Poker Tree brewery [founder Darren Nugent, top] in Tyrone, The Donegal brewing company, Innishmacsaint brewing company, Mescan brewing company and Kinnegar brewing company.

A nation of Guinness lovers can’t hold them back.

Joe Kearns_Master Brewer

White Hag Master Brewer Joe Kearns with ‘Fleadh Ale’

Further to the banning of independent White Hag Brewery from the Fleadh in Sligo. after complaints by publicans and the Vintners’ federation of Ireland.

White Hag founder James Ward writes:

“Since we were turned down for our licence last week to run a Craft Beer Emporium over the Fleadh, we have had to devise a new route.

We’re launching our ‘Fleadh Ale’ a special one -off beer, to coincide with the hosting of the Fleadh in Sligo in 2014. The ’Fleadh Ale’, a Red IPA, will be launched this weekend 9th August in The Swagman, Sligo just ahead of the Fleadh opening.

It’s one-off batch and is priced the same as the rest, but we felt it was worth the coincidence of our launch and the Fleadh happening together.

Lillies, 5th on Teeling, Shoot the Crows and The Dail Bar are also hosting The White Hag’s ales and beers, which can be sampled throughout the Fleadh in Sligo. It’s a testament to the commitment of these pubs to supporting local business that they will take on our beers and ales and put us on their counters during the busiest week of the year.

For the first time in over 50 years Sligo will produce and distribute its own beers and ales, creating not just a unique collection of craft beer, but a brewery the people of the North West of Ireland will be proud of.

Regarding our licence application, it’s beyond belief that a small group of self-serving publicans can effectively prevent a new local business from benefiting in full from the exposure the Fleadh will bring to Sligo.

People across the country and worldwide are seeing a seismic shift in brewing, and in the beers customers want, but some publicans in Sligo are stuck in the past, and its simply not good enough for any group in any town to behave like this

Thanks also to Broadsheet for your support, And to the readers, we’ll give away our very mixed first crate, with a 4-pack of each of our 6 bottled beers. Simply give us the best excuse why you need this beer…”

Lines MUST close at 5.45pm 6.30pm

UPDATE: winner here

White Hag Brewery

Previously: Just A Phase We’re Going Through

Thanks Bob Coggins