An insider's look at the Irish Beer Industry by Dean McGuinness

He's Newstalk's beer guy, beer importer & brewer, beer talker & educator, and is @BeerMessiah on twitter.

Ireland is probably around the level of the US beer industry in the 1990s, it's in its 'adolescence' phase. It's learning from others, following the successes and learning from mistakes that have happened to others.

Nice chocolate touch but got a bit much
Brewing in lreland dates back millennia, 19th century they had many local breweries, supported by local bottlers & distributors. In 1928 they formed the Wholesale Bottlers Association SDBBA, later BCI. During the 20th century consolidation of the industry happened, breweries closed and the whole market changed resulting in less choice for beer drinkers.

Thwaites 13 Guns & Black Sheep Progress were used as examples of modern-styled beers brewed by breweries which have been around a long time but continue to adapt to the challenges that face a brewery in an everchanging marketplace.

Black Sheep Brewery was 'born' at the same time as the Irish craft beer industry, in the early 90s. They focus on quality, heritage & approach. They have a new small pilot brewery allowing them to produce alternatives to their steady core range.

Marc's Chocolate Bock is part of a new beer range from Maisel, 7.5% powerful stout with dark chocolate notes and a warming finish. This was used as an example of where a brewery is pushing in a new direction, it's from a German brewer but doesn't conform to their Rheinheitsgebot tradition due to the addition of chocolate in the brewing process.

We need to insist on choice - diversity is good. We need to teach and be taught, don't be afraid to ask. Respect a beer's heritage, many Belgian brewers use adjuncts and we need to value breweries who maintain heritage.

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