Following on last weeks preview of The Irish Craft Beer Festival, this week Irish Pubs Global looks at the festival itself, which took place between the 7th – 9th of September at the RDS in Dublin, and the opportunities open to Irish craft beer on the export market.
The festival began on Friday afternoon and featured over twenty Irish craft breweries, including The Carlow Brewing Company,The Porterhouse and Metalman, as well as craft cider producers Stonewell and Tempted, along with guest brewers Sierra Nevada and Lexington Brewing, with over seventy different beers and ciders to choose from.
Speaking of the rising success of Irish craft beer, Shamus says; “People are interested in Irish culture, which translates over to Irish beer in general; with the home market better established now than it was when I started fifteen years ago, I anticipate more craft brewers going into export. Craft beer is now considered a category on the home market; the more craft beers there is, the better the awareness builds and the more customers we have.”
Seamus believes that there is a future home for more craft beers on the export market; “The market has been booming for the last twelve or eighteen months. I’d say that the craft market has more than doubled during that time. It puts everyone under pressure, but it puts more opportunities on everyone’s doorstep. There are big opportunities for Irish craft beer abroad because there are so few of them out there.”
The three-day festival was supported by a number of events including; music from a number of groups including The Kelly Redmond Band and Andy O’D, food supplied by Pieman Café amongst others, along with a televised screening of the Leinster game on Saturday.
For anyone planning to go into independent Irish craft brewing, Shamus suggests the following; “It is easier now than when we started; there are a lot of breweries around. There is a group called Beoir, which is dedicated to supporting and raising awareness of craft beers for consumers. On the business and financial side, you will still need to do your homework because it’s still an expensive business to get into.”
Source: Conor Flynn, Irish Pubs Global