It’s coming back! The Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair, Ireland’s largest international craft beer festival, will make a welcome return to Dublin’s Convention Centre for three days from Feb. 27 through to March 1, 2015. This will be the third time Alltech has hosted the event, which this year welcomed more than 6,000 visitors who tasted a range of craft beers from more than 45 brewers from 18 countries around the world. This is one festival that I make sure I take time off to attend. The launch party took place last week in Sam’s Bar and it was great to be asked to be involved.
“For years Ireland has been synonymous for brewing and rightly so,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. “Budget 2015 has seen an increase in the annual excise relief production ceiling for Irish microbreweries from 20,000 to 30,000 hectoliters. Craft beer in Ireland is paving the way by providing local employment and it continues to make inroads into foreign markets. There is a craft beer revolution going on right here in Ireland and what better way to highlight that than by showcasing some of Ireland’s finest local craft beers side by side with some of the world’s finest?”
The event also includes the prestigious Dublin Craft Beer Cup competition, which allows craft brewers to showcase their beers. After two days of blind tasting by a panel of independent industry veterans, top brewers will receive gold, silver and bronze medals in eight different categories of beer, establishing the best examples of each style. The Dublin Craft Beer Cup boasted more than 300 entries last year, and it is expected that 1,000 beers from around the world will be entered into the competition this year. International brewers are invited to enter their craft beers for The Dublin Craft Beer Cup on the fair’s website. Closing date for entry is Feb. 15, 2015.
Winner of the 2014 Dublin Craft Beer Cup, Anders Coisbo from Coisbo Beer in Denmark, received phenomenal success following his win at the 2014 Fair. “It has been a fantastic year for us. Winning seven medals at the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair, including the overall winner, and a further nine medals in the United States. I am very proud that our beers are being so well received, both at home and abroad.”
Craft brewing and distilling is a rising trend not only in Ireland but the world over. According to Aidan Sweeney, Ireland’s only independent beer sommelier, “we are in the midst of a craft beer revolution here in Ireland. I’m excited to see Alltech Craft Brews return in 2015, and by the time the third incarnation of this event arrives in February 2015, I predict the craft brewing landscape will be flourishing.”
Tickets are now on sale from €15 from the Fair’s website. All tickets will include four free drink and food tokens, a souvenir glass, and free entertainment. They’re available online via the fair website, eu.alltechbrewsandfood.com, ticket agent Entertainment.ie and can also be purchased at the door. Doors open to the public at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27 and at noon, Saturday, Feb. 28 and Sunday March 1, 2015.
Be sure to join the conversation on Twitter using @alltechbrews. At this year’s event, I circulated my top tips for enjoying a beer festival. It’s a useful source for finding out what’s coming up (ahead of the festival) but also finding out what’s happening when you’re at the festival and what beer’s you absolutely shouldn’t miss.