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Beoir Membership Benefits
Places that stock Irish Craft Beer
Irish Craft Breweries
Beoir Membership Benefits By joining Beoir, you help us to raise awareness of Irish Craft Beer and we give you back far more than your joining fee in benefits. You can read more about joining Beoir here. Join Now   Read the Full Story
Places that stock Irish Craft Beer Finding beer from Ireland's craft breweries can be a daunting task. We are not yet at the stage where one can walk into any pub in Ireland and find something brewed locally. However, the beer is available and for the discerning drinker it is simply a matter of knowing where to look. Read the Full Story
Irish Craft Breweries The number of craft breweries in Ireland has been growing over the past few years, providing greater choice and quality to beer and cider consumers on the island of Ireland. Beoir maintains a list of these breweries so you can learn where you can find them and what they make. Read the Full Story

What is Beoir?

Beoir is an independent group of consumers with a primary goal of supporting and raising awareness of Ireland's native independent microbreweries. You can read more about Beoir or learn how to join, here. There are some fantastic benefits for members.

The Beoir Directory

Beoir maintains a directory listing the micro breweries on the island of Ireland and, more importantly, the bars and restaurants where you can enjoy their produce. Find the places near you on our directory or download the BeoirFinder app.

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Review: CAMRA's Good Beer Guide: Belgium

CAMRA's Good Beer Guide: BelgiumVeteran beer writer Tim Webb has been publishing a guide to Belgian beer and pubs since 1992. This and the previous edition in 2014 were co-edited by the Europe-based American writer Joe Stange. A short essay by Webb at the front of the book charts the origin of the guide and announces his retirement from it. That means the next one will have a different feel to the current edition, because this is not simply a list of Belgian pubs and breweries, but rather a series of personal observations. This unusual approach really captures the idiosyncracies of Belgium's beer culture.

It does work perfectly well as a guidebook too. Every brewery in the country is listed alphabetically and given a short description with noteworthy beers highlighted, and then there's a couple of hundred pages of pub listings by region. Where it really shines is how it takes you off the beaten track, including the landmark bars of course, but offering plenty of alternatives too. One criticism, from some field-testing during my last trip to Belgium, is that by separating the breweries from the pubs you don't get an at-a-glance guide to wherever you are. Looking for places to drink in Mechelen, for example, there are six recommended pubs on the page dedicated to the city, but no mention of the Het Anker Brewery, one of the highlights -- it's covered elsewhere.

As well as the listings there are articles on Belgian beer history and culture, as well as the inevitable piece on food. There's also a fun, if not exactly helpful, guide to identifying client brewers from the real thing: "If the person fronting the business has a marketing-team smile, beware". A run-down of the annual festival calendar rounds it off. The tone throughout is cheery and enthusiastic, if a little snarky at times, and reflects well the authors' genuine affection for Belgium.

Overall, it's a well-pitched book: easy to follow for the newcomer exploring Belgium and its beer for the first time, while also having plenty of new perspectives and ideas for the seasoned Belgophile.

CAMRA's Good Beer Guide: Belgium, 8th edition, 2018, is published by CAMRA Books and the cover price is £14.99.

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New EU proposals on excise duty structure

EU flagThe Irish laws governing taxation on beer, including where the various tax breaks are applied and to what, are largely controlled by European law. Specifically, Directive 92/83/EEC allows member states to grant up to 50% excise duty relief on brewers producing up to 200kHL of beer annually, and allows for extra-low rates of excise duty on beer below 2.8% ABV.

The European Commission is now proposing a revision of these rules, in a way likely to have a significant impact on the craft drinks industry in Ireland. Proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 92/83/EEC on the harmonization of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages aka COM(2018)334 can be downloaded from this page, along with associated impact assessment documents.

Three particular proposals are of note:

  • An increase in the threshold for low-strength beer duty from 2.8% ABV to 3.5% ABV

  • The creation of a pan-European certificate for independent microbreweries to assist with claiming the lower rate of duty in other member states

  • The extension of the microbrewers' duty cut to cider makers.

Of these, the final one is perhaps the most impactful and is something that Beoir and Ireland's cider producers have been calling for for several years. The Commission's proposal sets a limit of 15khL of cider to avail of a maximum 50% excise duty cut.

Feedback is being sought on the proposals from anyone interested (link). The closing date is 20th July 2018. For its part, Beoir welcomes the proposals and will be requesting that they be implemented.

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Indie Beer Week 22nd June - 1st July 2018

Show support for your local brewer!

The second annual Indie Beer Week begins on Friday 22nd June and runs through to the following weekend. This is an initiative by the Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland and is made up of a series of events all across the country. 28 independent Irish microbreweries are involved, from Kinnegar to Black's of Kinsale and Bridewell to O Brother.

There will be tours, talks, tastings and tap takeovers, with many of the breweries opening their doors to the public and offering a rare glimpse at their processes.

For a full list of events, see the Indie Beer Week calendar, and follow the week on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for live updates. And most importantly, go to your local events and bring a craft-curious friend!

Beer of the Year 2018

2018 is the seventh consecutive year in which Beoir has chosen a Beer of the Year and two runners-up. As always, the net is cast as widely as possible, with votes coming in from Beoir members all over Ireland, and abroad, and beers selected purely on merit alone, regardless of style, strength, availability or brewery size or ownership. The only criteria is that beers be brewed in Ireland and commercially available during the previous twelve months. It is the purest impression possible of what the discerning drinking public appreciates in Irish beer.

This year a total of 107 different beers received a preference from the voters. From this a top three was chosen mathematically and for the second year running the highest-scoring brewery overall was awarded the best brewery prize.

 

2018 Beer of the Year
Saturate
a double IPA by Whiplash Beer, of no fixed abode

It has been a momentous year for Whiplash, beginning of course with it winning Beoir's 2017 Beer of the Year for a previous double IPA, Surrender to the Void. Since then there have been no fewer than five new beers in the same style using different hop combinations. Despite this variety, quadruple-dry-hopped Saturate won drinkers' hearts, topping the table by the highest margin in the history of the competition. The recipe showcases Mosaic hops, employing 20g of hops per litre of beer, and captures their tropical essence perfectly.

Late 2017 saw Whiplash move from its usual headquarters at Rye River and become fully independent, with co-owners Alex and Alan making the project their primary occupations. Alex is working temporarily at Larkin's Brewery in Co. Wicklow, and it's expected the next batch of Whiplash beers will be from there.

 

1st Runner-Up
Ambush
a pale ale 
by Trouble Brewing, Kill, Co. Kildare

Despite a number of near misses over the years, and some very deserving beers, this is the first time Trouble Brewing has featured in the Beoir awards. Ambush's success is a combination of persistence, fashion and of course sheer beer quality. Version 1.0 arrived in early 2017 and two further numbered editions were to follow, all excellent, before the brewery settled on the recipe which is now regularly available, on draught and in cans.

There's a nod to the New England style in here, with its cloudy appearance, soft texture and low bitterness. It avoids the extremes, however, keeping everything fun, juicy, and very drinkable.  

 

2nd Runner-Up
The Hare & The Hag
an Irish coffee stout 
by 
The White Hag Brewery, Ballymote, Co. Sligo and
Kinnegar Brewing, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

At the 2017 Alltech Brews & Food Festival, Kinnegar and The White Hag shared a stand and launched this collaboration beer, brewed on the White Hag kit and presented as the first in a North-Western collaboration series. Though there's nothing new about putting coffee in stout, or ageing it in whiskey barrels, and certainly nothing new about serving it nitrogenated, the combination of these elements here is greater than the sum of its parts. It's smooth without being dull; warming without being boozy and flavoured without being a gimmick.

Of course, as a special edition beer, it may never return to draught again. There might still be a rare bottle or two around, however.

 

The Oliver Hughes Award for Best Brewery 
Whiplash Beer
no fixed abode

OK, so it's not a brewery as such. Recently, Whiplash has produced beers at Rising Sons in Cork and Boyne Brewhouse in Drogheda, as well as its original home of Rye River. We've had collaborations with Galway Bay (Ireland), Max Lager's (USA) and Beerbliotek (Sweden). Though pale 'n' hoppy is the principal specialism, with a significant portion of recent output being double IPAs, 2017 saw the first Whiplash Berliner weisse and its first quadruple. A black IPA is apparently in the tanks for early 2018 release.

Though Saturate (above) garnered far and away the most votes, the other double IPAs scored highly too, indicating that Whiplash is very much in tune with what the Irish beer enthusiast enjoys drinking.

 

Thanks as always to everyone who voted, and congratulations to all the winners.

 

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