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I won myself a pair of tickets to the Lughnasa Bottled Beer Festival on Friday at the Pod Complex, on Dublin’s Harcourt Street – many thanks again to Joerg at the Dublin Event Guide for running the competition.  The festival was run by Deveney’s of Dundrum, (follow @RuthDeveney on Twitter!), and while I’m not a big drinker, I do like a decent bottled beer so this event was right up my alley :).

So on our arrival, we were given five ‘beer punts’ apiece (each being worth one 140ml sample of beer), a tasting glass and a map.  Additional beer punts were available to buy at the beer bank outside for 1.50 each.  After a quick mosy around to get our bearings, I opted to kick off the sampling with some Helvick Gold Blonde Ale, a bottle conditioned vegan friendly beer from Dungarvan Brewing Co.  I like the idea of the bottle conditioning process – as their website explains, ‘conditioning in the bottle means we have a naturally carbonated, unfiltered and unpasteurised beer that doesn’t need any further enhancers or additives to stabilise or improve them’, so thumbs up from me on that count. It was a lovely light ale with a definite hoppy taste which went down very easy and put me in the mood for more 😛   Joe, my partner in beer for the day chose Affligem, a Flemish beer brewed from the same recipe since 1935, at the Affligem Abbey Brewery. I had a little taste and found it really smooth and slightly sweet – nice 🙂

My next choice was orange and coriander infused Blue Moon  from the Colorado Blue Moon Brewing Company .  I loved this, just the right amount of orange without losing the beer taste or being too sweet, my favourite of the day I think.  Extra brownie points to the girls at the Blue Moon stand for being so nice and smiley and helpful,  and their guy outside with the paint by numbers, which we were all encouraged to take part in – cool idea 🙂 (Check out their website btw and see the Blue Moon Art Project).  Joe opted for O’ Hara’s Irish Pale Ale from the Carlow Brewing Company , which he thought was quite bitter and crisp with a real kick.

Next, we both sampled Crabbie’s Ginger Beer which was situated outside in the yard/beer garden part – this stuff is addictive,  quite sweet and very gingery, served with ice and lemon… I’ll definitely be getting this again, perfect sunny weather drink and perfect for the setting outside yesterday –  gorgeous evening sun, lots of smiling faces and live music by Dublin bluegrass band Prison Love (these guys are brilliant, I kept expecting them to launch into Man Of Constant Sorrow 😛 – I’d go see them again for sure).

We stuck around outside in the sun for our next samples, which we chose purely because we liked the names of them hehe – I went for Trashy Blonde from BrewDog Brewery, which was light but strong with quite a kick – the blurb on the website says, ‘a titillating, neurotic, peroxide, punk of a pale ale. Combining attitude, style substance and a little bit of low self esteem for good measure; what would your mother say?’ – can’t argue with that I guess!  Joe went for  the somewhat more manly Speakeasy Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy brewers which he informed me would put hairs on your chest.  Last sample of the day for me was Floris strawberry beer from the Huyghe family brewers in Belgium, very sweet and very strawberry flavoured, another great one for a BBQ or a picnic in the sun.  His nibs tried some Svyturys Raw from the Lithuanian Svyturys Brewery (a nice proper grown up beer I thought, despite being a total lightweight, I could probably down a few of these quite easily).

By this time we were both getting a little tired and a little tipsy, and the place had really filled up, so we decided to make tracks… I must say I had a great time – it was very well run and the atmosphere was great, everyone manning the stands was really friendly and helpful and the samples were fairly generous.  It’s a shame it only went on for the one evening as I would have recommended it to some friends had it been a weekend long event… but hey, there’s always next year 🙂

(Pics by my beer buddy Joe :P)

Answers on a postcard…

(Or a comment :P)

Happy, Happy, Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all had lots of fun ringing in the new year… I couldn’t have had a nicer one – good music, good company, it snowed, and I even got a kiss at midnight 😉

It’s been a hell of a decade hasn’t it?  I hope it’s been mostly good for you, and I hope you’re all as excited to be heading into a new one as I am.  A big thank you to you all for reading my blog, and for your feedback and comments 🙂

So, to start Twenty Ten on a positive note, here’s a little help with your New Years’ resolutions in the form of the 2010 resolution generator over at Monina Velarde’s site ….

Here’s what it told me… ahem 😛

And to get you in the mood, here’s a little tune for the New Year – enjoy 🙂

I’ve been on a minor blog-break – normal service will resume shortly 🙂

Show people what you’re made of with the Human Ingredients T-Shirt

human

via Inspire Me, Now!

Artist Stuart Semple has released 2,000 smiley face Flogos into the London sky… why?  To cheer people up!

happy face clouds

via Craftster blog 

Get The Hint label tags from Unica Home.  With lots of  juicy F-words.  I don’t know why I find these so funny…. maybe because I’m picturing myself attaching them to folders at work 😛

fucklabels

via BB-Blog


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