Killarney Beer Fest 2015
After being crowned Beoir Champion Beer Of Ireland 2015 at Killarney Beer Festival, we asked the man himself , James Brown to give us some feedback on the event :
'With over 20 fantastic breweries in attendance, several lovely food stalls, live music and sports coverage, what more could you want from a weekend in Killarney? From the 5th to the 7th of June 2015 the first (of what I hope will be an annual event) Killarney beer festival was held in the INEC in Killarney. What turned out to be fun exciting weekend didn’t really start off the way you’d expect.
The Killarney beer festival is the first beer festival that I attended as a brewer and to start off it didn’t go too well. We forgot the beer line for the taps, which is a pretty bad move when you’re trying to sell beer at a beer festival. Fortunately there’s always spare beer line going and all the brewers were very helpful and got us up and running in no time.
Just before the festival started we all gathered in the beer tent to be given the rundown on how everything was going to work and the weather did not bode well for a fun weekend. We could barely hear the organisers’ speech over the sound of the wind nearly ripping the roof off the tent and the rain was crashing down making the event very inviting to anyone wanting to attend.
Thankfully though the weather cleared up and people started arriving and the beer started flowing. The atmosphere in festival was electric and with locals, tourists and avid beer lovers from across country the craic was mighty. On the Saturday there were how to brew beer talks with guys from the Irish homebrew club and meet the brewer talks which were on throughout the day.
On the Sunday the award ceremony took place at 3:00pm. There was some joking between some of the brewers, asking each other “Do you have your speech ready?” Reuben Gray the chairman of Beoir and main organiser of the event stood up by the stage and explained that the judging had been very stringent and that for the sake of fairness, the beers that were being considered for the Beoir champion beer of Ireland were judged only by the foreign judges and that there were 81 beers all from commercial breweries in Ireland and they represented over 1/3 of the Irish beers on the market. He then proceeded to call out the winners.
As Reuben went through the categories each of the winners walked up to collect their certificate and a wooden plaque. With the sun beating down I waited patiently till Reuben got to my category. “The bronze medal for the stout and porter category goes to a brewery that aren’t here today, Kinnegar Brewing and their Yanna Roddy.” And everyone clapped. ” The silver medal for the stout and porter section goes to another brewery that aren’t here today, Jack Cody and their Hail Glorious St Patrick” and everyone clapped.
At this point I thought any hope of winning anything was lost. “And finally the gold medal for the stout and porter category goes to, James Brown Brews and their Chocolate Orange Stout” I was quite shocked I had won the stout and porter category and nervously made my way down to Reuben to collect my certificate and plaque. Reuben continued through the rest of the categories and the winners went up to collect their prizes.
He then finished off the categories and reiterated how stringent the judging process was and said “The award for the Beoir champion beer of Ireland 2015 goes to, James Brown Brews and their Chocolate Orange Stout.“ This took a minute to sink in and I was pretty shocked to be honest. I made my way down to Reuben and had my picture taken. I was still in so much shock they had to ask me to smile.
Prizes or no prizes the Killarney beer festival was one of the best beer festivals I’ve ever been to and that’s down to the hard work all the guys at Beoir and the INEC working together to make a great festival and a fun weekend.
Exhibitors: O Brother, Tempted, Torc, Eight Degrees, Black Donkey, Black's, Bo Bristle, Cotton Ball, Dungarvan Brewing, Kerry Brewing, St. Mel's, Jack Doyle's, Mountain Man, Munster Brewing, Franciscan Well, West Kerry, Killarney Brewing, Dingle Brewing, James Brown Brews, 9 White Deer, JJ's'