From Galway Hooker to Trouble Brewing in Kildare, Cork’s Stonewell Cider and Metalman in Waterford, it’s becoming easier to find something good – something Irish – to drink in your local bar, restaurant or off licence. There’s an exceptional amount of quality Irish beverages being produced throughout Ireland and we – Caroline of Bibliocook and Kristin of Edible Ireland – want to tell you all about it!
We are thrilled to announce that we are co-authoring The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider, to be published by New Island in the autumn. The book will cover everything from the basics of how beer and cider are made to profiles of the people and stories behind the microbreweries that are fuelling Ireland’s craft beer revolution, all the way through to tips on matching beer and cider with food and Irish farmhouse cheese and recipes that incorporate craft brews.
Kristin is a cookbook editor and Caroline is a journalist, so when we’d get together we’d talk about beer, and books, and it wasn’t long before we started talking about doing a book of our own.
Caroline blames New Zealand. After all, if she hadn’t lived there, it might have been a very long time before she realised just how good beer and food can be together. Or if the Husband hadn’t been from NZ and had a yearning for the beer of his homeland, maybe he wouldn’t have started brewing his own. After all, homebrewing can lead you in very strange directions. One direction she really didn’t expect as she negotiated her way through the mess in the kitchen was that the Husband and the Aussie would go into business together and set up their own brewery.
Nor did she expect it to be so much fun. She suddenly had an almost unlimited supply of a new ingredient on her hands to play with, a whole new world of brewers and cider makers to meet and lots to learn about being a small producer in a world of multinational brewers.
For Kristin, it all started at the first Inishfood festival in 2011 when she was given a cup of Dark Arts as part of a beer-tasting event. Having never been much of a fan of Guinness, her first thought was Ugh, stout. But then she took a sip, and instead of the metallic tang of Guinness, she tasted roasted coffee. She took another sip, and tasted chocolate. Cue Green Eggs and Ham–style revelation: Say! I do like stout!
Fast forward a few years and that light bulb moment has evolved into a full-blown love of craft beer, especially beer and food matching. Come Friday night, you’ll likely find Kristin sitting at the kitchen table with her husband, sharing a beer and swapping notes on the taste and aroma – is that grapefruit? toffee? McVitie’s biscuit? – and debating how well it matches up with whatever is for dinner that night, be it chicken fajitas and an IPA, homemade pizza and a lager, roast pork and a cider or a stout and a brownie for dessert.
We’re currently keeping busy with the writing and research, but we’ve launched this website to keep our fingers on the pulse of all things craft beer and cider. You can also follow along on Facebook and Twitter or check out Kristin’s new beer of the month column for Georgina Campbell’s Ireland Guide ezine.
It’s an exciting time for craft beer and cider in Ireland, and we are so excited to be a part of it. Sláinte!