Tag Archives: Irish craft beer

European Beer Bloggers Conference – Dublin 2014

It’s just over a week until the European Beer Bloggers Conference kicks off on Fri 27th June (with a pub crawl the night before showcasing the best craft bars Dublin has to offer). Although there will be seasoned beer bloggers with thousands of followers who have done hundreds of posts over years, I’m glad I can be invited into the conference as a blogger despite my few posts (only 12 so far) and tentative steps in doing this sort of thing. It’s the first time I’ve been and I’m certainly looking forward to some of the blogging sessions and taking away some ideas to push this blog forward.

I tried some video beer reviewing a couple of years and uploaded around 50 or so reviews, but ditched the idea as I realised it was rather boring for some folk watching someone waffling on about some beer for 7 or 8 minutes.  Blogging seems a better idea as the reader can just scan the article in a few seconds and decide whether it’s worth bothering with – but blogging for me takes a lot more effort than yapping into a web cam for a few minutes and drinking beer, then doing some minor video editing afterwards (although my production standards were very minimal!)

Most of my beer ‘writing’ is adding reviews on rateBeer of which I aim to hit the 2000th one during the conference….it’s certainly going to be a good couple of days for beer ticking/reviewing. However, it’s really just writing tasting notes which follow the same format, with the same old snippets being constantly recycled. It’s a useful resource, despite it flaws, and I certainly encourage more beer folk to contribute to the site, especially in Ireland.

Anyway, back to the blogger’s conference…..I’ve downloaded the WordPress apps on to my iPad and Galaxy S3 phone and I’ll be ‘attempting'(!) to live blog it over the 2 days of the conference (apart from the pre-conference pub crawl)….hope the Wi-fi will be working! I’ll be rateBeerating the beers too so I’ll add some observations from there to the blog.

It’ll be great to meet fellow beer bloggers, brewers and enthusiasts contributing to this rapidly blossoming Irish craft beer scene, meet the real people behind twitter handles,  have a few beers and generally have a good time.


Whitewater Clotworthy Dobbin 5%

Here is a beer from Whitewater Brewery, based in Kirkeel in County Down, which was voted as one the ‘Top 50 Beers in the World’ at the International Beer Challenge in 2007. The brewery has been going since 1996 and claims to be the largest micro-brewery in Northern Ireland. I purchased this bottle in Tesco, so let’s see what it’s like…


The beer was a vibrant ruby brown colour, very clear with a big, quite fizzy, frothy head that dissipated fairly quickly away leaving a thin layer. The aroma was rather light overall, caramel malts, quite sweet dark fruits such as raisin and some tangy red berries with a dose of toasted malts. The taste delivered as was expected from the aroma. I got some more toasted malts, touch more tangy dark fruit, raisin and soft toffee caramel malts. It had a light bitter palate.

I found it a little fizzy in the mouth which gave a slight thin mouthfeel. The finish delivered more toasted malts, a touch of coffee and a few more light bitter hops. What I couldn’t understand is that it’s sold a ‘ruby porter style beer’. The overall aroma and flavour profile is difficult to pigeonhole – I certainly wouldn’t consider it a porter – more a ‘Irish red ale – Brown bitter’ hybrid. Again, I’d like to try this cask-conditioned where I hope it will have a bit more richness, but as it bottled beer it’s no way world-class, but worth checking out as it does have its own unusual edge a little way from the norm.