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State of the craft beer market in Ireland

Started by TheSumOfAllBeers, June 21, 2017, 12:40:02 AM

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June 21, 2017, 12:40:02 AM Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 01:29:40 AM by TheSumOfAllBeers
I have been managing to make it back to ireland twice a year or so and have always managed to sample offerings from newer breweries.

If I am in Dublin or Galway that can include very interesting offerings, but mostly I am limited to supermarket craft beer.

Choice is improving a lot, but quality is a lot more variable than I would expect.

Bottle Conditioned/store upright is brewery slang for "ruined if knocked over by cashier" in many cases.

Style descriptions can be applied haphazardly with little regard for similarity for the archetypical examples.

Does anyone know if a curated Good Beer Guide for Irish beer? The Irish market seems especially crazy - a lot of little guys trying their hand, macro beer mutton dressed as lamb, and quite a few bandwagon operations trying to cash in on an uneducated beer market.

I have tried quite a few over the last 10 days, and wasn't expecting the "meh" count to be as high as it was.

Not interested in starting a flame war here.


Not sure if there is a guide out there. Generally the media dont call it as it is, maybe afraid they wont get free beer or something, so I dont rely on media / blogger sources. There are a few great breweries in Ireland, doing top notch work. But generally the beer is pissy enough. 'The state of it is right'.



I'm afraid that the meh count is high all right. Have not seen or heard of a good beer guide yet.
Dei miscendarum discipulus
Forgive us our Hangovers as we forgive those who hangover against us


Plenty of meh beers out there alright.

In terms of guide books, Sláinte was released a few years ago but the problem is obviously that it is outdated by the time it even hits the shelves. I would tend to follow The Beer Nut's blog and use it as a reference for new beers. If I'm in the pub I'll get a sample first as well but I do find myself sticking more and more to the reliable breweries. Kinnegar, in my mind are the best for ensuring you get a decent beer.


Ok so it's not just me then. Was worried my tastes might have been spoiled.

The better question is which breweries have opened in the last 1-3 years are producing good beer.

It really is a crapshoot taking a chance on a newer brewery that you have never heard of.


You are spot on. In my experience most Irish beers are below average and are not worth the entry fee. Was recently at the beerfest in Killarney and I'd only repurchase 4 of the 15 beers I tried. I find the likes of Whiplash, Yellowbelly and White hag to be better than most.


I'd also flag Yellowbelly, Whiplash and White Hag. And add Dot Brewing.


Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter


8 Degrees, Kinnegar and O Brother are all of a high standard too. I'd lob in Blacks also.
"If you do not enjoy my beer, then I say it is a pity for you!" Armand DeBelder-Drie Fonteinen


Anyone brave enough to start a shit list?


Quote from: molc on June 21, 2017, 03:59:12 PM
Rascals are always good too.

Their IPA is one of the better ones around alright. Actually lasts more than a couple of weeks on the shelf before it loses all its flavour and aroma.


Would love to see something like this. Love trying new beers, but keep going back to the same few. Many of the beers, i've thought to myself,  that id be disappointed if i brewed this, (and i don't brew good beers, believe me).
Think this idea was purposed before, but not pursued due to the clubs close association with homebrewers turned  pro, and the such ( but, would be nice to see good beer praised- doesn't have to turn into a slating of beers/breweries. Focus on the positives)


Quote from: johnrm on June 21, 2017, 04:39:38 PM
Anyone brave enough to start a shit list?

Five Lamps
Irishtown Brewing Co

mr hoppy

Quote from: TheSumOfAllBeers on June 21, 2017, 12:40:02 AM
Style descriptions can be applied haphazardly with little regard for similarity for the archetypical examples.

Whatever about the other points here, this is wide of the mark. The BJCP guidelines put it best when they say:

Not every commercial beer fits our styles. Don't assume that every beer fits neatly into one of our categories. Some breweries revel in creating examples that don't match our (or anyone else's) guidelines. Some create beers called a style name that deliberately don't match our guidelines. It's perfectly fine for a commercial beer to not match one of our styles; we have not attempted to categorize every commercial beer – that is not our intent or our mission.


+1 on the meh beers I'd say a good 70% of the time when I try an Irish Ipa I'm disappointed.