Cormac was delighted recently to be one of ten international brewers to be invited to the UK to brew for the Wetherspoon’s Real Ale Festival 2015, brewing up O’Dwyer’s Irish Stout at Wadworth’s Brewery in Wiltshire.
All the brews took place at the UK breweries on the 9th February 2015, with all the brewers meeting in London for the social side of things the following evening.
Cormac (front and centre) with the other international brewers.
The beers are to be served alongside forty other UK real ales as part of the JDW Real Ale Festival which runs from March 13th – 29th, with ales going on rotation in the pubs across the UK. Each of the beers has been brewed using only British-grown hop varieties; a total of 24 different hop varieties are being featured amongst the festival beers, including established varieties (Fuggles and Goldings) and newer varieties (Boadicea and Jester).
The overseas beers on offer have been sourced from brewers in Brazil, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Spain, Ireland and Australia.
“The festival is the perfect opportunity to showcase the wonderful range of British-grown hop varieties and support British hop farmers” said beer festival organiser Gary Holmes. “It will give beer enthusiasts the perfect opportunity to enjoy a superb selection of UK and international beers, many of which have not previously been served in Wetherspoon pubs.”
O’Dwyer’s Irish Stout
Based on Dungarvan Brewing Company’s own Black Rock, this is a smooth, full-flavoured beer brewed using roasted barley to give a chocolate taste, complemented by notes by herbal hints of vanilla and aniseed.
Brewed with Challenger and East Kent Goldings hops.
Currently being served on rotation handpumps at JD Wetherspoon pubs across the UK, keep an eye out for it!
We have a very exciting collaboration taking place at the brewery this week… more details soon and keep an eye on our social media accounts for hints to the brewer coming to work with us, and the very special beer being planned…
We are delighted to have Ireland’s newest distillery, Blackwater Distillery, just a few miles from us in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, and were especially pleased when Peter from there made contact with us with an idea he had in mind.. a distilled beer, the first of its kind in Ireland.
Peter wanted to explore the idea running a beer through his still and putting the resulting spirit to rest in Sherry casks for a couple of months, to take on the colouring and some of the flavouring of the casks. So, in January Cormac brewed up a strong (7%) oatmeal stout, which was then transferred to the Cappoquin distillery where Peter continued the operation, turning 800L of stout into under 100L of spirit.
The spirit is currently maturing in the sherry casks, and it will be bottled at the beginning of April to be on sale in time for West Waterford Festival of Food, where it will be launched. There will be a very limited supply of this initial run of only 100 bottles. This is the first spirit of its kind in Ireland, which begins life as a beer rather than a wash which would be the normal process for making a whiskey. We are really looking forward to tasting the end result, especially to taste it side-by-side with the original oatmeal stout to see which of the flavours from it come through in the spirit.
Details of stockists and availability of the distilled beer will be coming shortly, if you are interested in stocking it please do get in touch.
During the West Waterford Festival of Food weekend there will be opportunities to visit the brewery and distillery for tours and workshops, and you can learn more about the products we make at the Irish Craft in a Glass series over the festival weekend.
We have a couple of great beer and food pairing nights lined up for August – one taking place in Dungarvan and one in Dublin, both teaming up with craft beer-loving chefs who have put together some amazing menus for you to feast on!
Merry’s Gastro Pub
First up, we are teaming up with Merry’s Gastropub in Dungarvan for a beer dinner on Thursday 21st August, featuring a five course tasting menu with each course being paired with a Dungarvan Brewing Company beer.
On the night, diners will be treated with dishes from Merry’s kitchen such as tuna carpaccio, Thai green curry with neck of lamb, black pudding with Ardsallagh goat’s cheese and homemade apple chutney, cheeses and dessert all paired with a different beer and served in the sumptuous surroundings of the recently opened Merry’s 1868 upstairs craft bar.
Dinner with accompanying beers is €25 per person and as spaces will be limited book yours now by contacting Merry’s Gastropub on (058) 24488. Further beer dinners will run with Merry’s throughout the autumn and winter 2014.
Brews We Plate
Following on from our dinner at Merry’s, we’ll be working with the Brews We Plate team for a beer and food pairing pop up at Sip and Slurp in Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Chef Eric has put together a mouthwatering menu which again pairs each dish with one of our beers, while Flo will be taking care of service on the night. We are delighted to be working with this exciting and innovative team and look forward to experiencing what they do:
#BrewsWePlate has a simple mission. We offer food and craft beer lovers a great pop up experience. We occupy a different location for each event and invite an exciting brewery over to serve and introduce the guests to their best Irish-produced beers. On our side, we put together a tasting menu in which each dish is specifically designed to enhance the flavours, various characteristics and qualities of each beer. We aim at uniting the best of what Ireland has to offer in unique venues with a great atmosphere.
The Brews We Plate dinner will be on Saturday, 23rd August and tickets can be purchased via Eric and Flo.
We are delighted to announce that we now have two accredited Beer Sommeliers at the brewery, with Claire and Tom both having been awarded the recognition following assessment at The Beer Academy in London last week. This brings to seven the total number of Beer Sommeliers in Ireland and both are delighted to be joining the illustrious group of Paul, Phil, Aidan, Sarah and Des.
Receiving the awards from Alex Barlow, Director of Training at The Beer Academy
(Photo from The Beer Academy)
The beer sommelier scheme offers recognition of a significant depth of knowledge of beer styles and beer and food matching for successful candidates and follows on from Claire and Tom’s ongoing work in the areas of food pairings, tutored tastings and beer education and staff training. Both are also qualified beer judges through The Beer Academy and have a wide knowledge of beer styles, flavours and food pairings and have been huge ambassadors and promoters of the craft beer scene here in Ireland over the last five years.
Join Claire and Tom throughout the summer as they host tours and tasting sessions at the brewery as part of our Summer Series, where you can learn more about our beers and try some samples with food matches and
test their knowledge hear their thoughts on the world of beer and food pairings! First of the series is this Friday, 11th of July at 5pm. For more information or to book a place, please contact the brewery.
Here at the brewery we just love summertime – especially with the weather we’ve been lucky enough to get so far this summer! When the sun is shining in Dungarvan there is no better place to be – whether it’s strolling along the quayside, hitting the beach or gowlie fishing in The Lookout, Dungarvan just seems to be thronged with happy people in the summertime.
A Brewery Visit and a Beer Tasting
For us, summer is one of our busiest production times as, would you believe, people seem to enjoy a beer when the sun comes out. We get a lot of requests for visits to the brewery during the the summer, from both locals and visitors to the area, which we find difficult to accommodate due to our schedules here. So, this year we have decided to hold dedicated visiting times on Friday evenings at 5pm. These sessions will include a look at the brewing equipment, a talk on the brewing process and the ingredients we use as well as a tutored beer tasting along with some food pairings including Brewer’s Gold cheese from The Little Milk Company.
Sessions will begin at 5pm and last 90 minutes, running on the following Fridays: July 11th, 18th, 25th and August 8th, 15th 22nd. Entry fee is €10. Group sizes will be limited, so advance booking is necessary. Get in touch with us either by email, on Twitter or on Facebook to make your booking. These sessions are for over 18s only.
This year’s festival season kicks off today with the West Waterford Festival of Food here in Dungarvan. This is a highlight of the year here in Dungarvan when chefs, producers and punters all come together for a huge range of events – from Dining Experiences to Trails and Tours, Discussion to Hands On events and of course our entertainment schedule and markets over the weekend.
Again this year we have organised an event with a bit of a twist – in the form of a Comedy Grub Club this Saturday night. We got on to our buddy Danny Dowling who got on to his buddy Joe Rooney and both will be performing their own brand of comedy in a double-header show.
Danny will be doing his current show Winner Winner Chicken Dinner in which, apparently, one lucky person will go home with a chicken (stay with us!) and Joe will be doing his stand up material and also getting the guitar out to amuse and entertain. Grub will be in the form of chicken wings (plus vegetarian option) provided by Lawlor’s Hotel and entry includes a pint of Dungarvan Brewing Company beer. Tickets still available online from the festival’s website.
But that’s not all!
We’ll also be a stop off for the Bus Bia Beer and Seafood Tour, and on Sunday Cormac and Tom will be taking part in the Talking Food chats – discussing the rise of the craft beer scene in Ireland in the newly-opened upstairs craft bar at Merry’s Gastro Pub. Our beers will also be on promo about the town, with all of our stockists having them on offer for the duration of the festival. Lots of restaurants are using the beers on their menus as well – try some Black Rock Chocolate Cake at Interlude, Helvick Gold Battered Fish at The Moorings or some Coffee and Oatmeal Marshmallows from Cloud Confectionary at the Sunday Market.
We’ve also been busy with new installations around town, with a tap currently being installed in The Anchor Bar on the Quay giving you another place to enjoy our keg-conditioned beer. Full list of local stockists is as follows:
The Tannery – full bottled range
Merry’s Gastro Pub
Handpumps: Mahon Falls, Comeragh Challenger
Tap: Helvick Gold (upstairs bar)Full bottled range
Handpump: Helvick Gold
Full bottled range
Interlude – full bottled range
Indian Ocean – full bottled range
Tap: Helvick Gold
Full bottled range
The Lady Belle
Tap: Helvick Gold
Full bottled range
The Local – full bottled range
Downey’s Bar – full bottled range
Nude Food – full bottled range
Lawlor’s Hotel – full bottled range
Gold Coast Hotel – full bottled range
And you’ll find our bottled range in these off-licences:
Apart from our own events, we’re looking forward to hanging out at the festival, having dinner in The Tannery and going to see Tomie James’s show Super Organic Me on Sunday after spending time at the huge festival market. And there might be time to take in a beer or two.
And when Monday morning rolls around it’ll be straight into preparations for the Franciscan Well Easter Beer Festival.
Fantastic news – we actually have a summer this year to accompany our summer seasonal! Perfect weather for a Comeragh Challenger, and our summer release is now available in all the top spots.
This is our second summer bottling Comeragh Challenger, which is a single-hopped, traditional-style bitter made with pale malt, crystal malt and Challenger hops. At just 3.8% abv it’s a great easy-drinking beer for these barbeque days. Goes well with red meat so perfect to have on hand when the grill is being fired up, but also wonderful with cold meats and strong cheeses – how about the classic ploughman’s lunch with some crusty Barron’s bread, a nutty cheese like the wonderful Little Milk Company‘s Organic Vintage Cheddar and a bottle or two of Challenger? Perfect lunch in my book!
Of course, since last year’s release we’ve reworked all of our labels so had to re-do Challenger to tie in with the new look – once again we turned to the design team at Greenhouse Studios and are delighted with the results, I think the label really reflects the fresh, grassy hoppiness of the beer.
Comeragh Challenger is being distributed throughout Ireland by Fourcorners and is available from independent off-licences, craft beer bars, O’Brien’s Wines, O’Donovan’s and Carry Out stores. We’ve also casked some of it up so look out for it arriving on handpumps, or call to Merry’s Gastropub in Dungarvan where it’s permanently on cask following a petition from their customers last winter. See more about the beer here.
The arrival of Comeragh Challenger also makes me realise that the Sean Kelly Tour is just around the corner. Having named the beer after the toughest route on the tour it seems fitting that I take part myself, maybe on a gentler route though… time to get the bike out and get into training – fortunately, I can think of no better post-training reward than a bottle of Challenger in the garden. Best of luck to all those taking part, see you in the Déise on August 25th.
It’s our birthday…
We celebrate our third birthday at Dungarvan Brewing Company today – we had our official launch night in The Tannery, Dungarvan on April 9th 2010, followed by a party in Downeys Bar for our friends and families. Thanks to everyone who has supported us along the way – we’ve been delighted and overwhelmed by the support we’ve received and the messages we’ve received along the way!
As part of our birthday celebrations we are running a competition on WLR FM each day this week. Tune in to the Ian Noctor show daily from 4-6pm daily and enter the competition to be in with a chance of winning a hamper of goodies from the brewery, plus each of the daily winners will be entered into a draw on Friday to win a two-night break at The Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co. Waterford including a tasting menu with matching beers in their Michelin-starred restaurant. There was huge interest in the competition yesterday when it began, and entries are being taken on the show’s Twitter and Facebook accounts also. Best of luck!
West Waterford Festival of Food
We are also busy busy at the brewery preparing for the 7th annual West Waterford Festival of Food which takes place in Dungarvan this weekend. This fantastic annual event showcases the best of local producers, chefs and restaurants and we are delighted once again to be involved with it. This year we are welcoming a Bus Bia tour to the brewery on Saturday – a bilingual tour which takes in the brewery before going on to Dungarvan Shellfish for tastings.
On Saturday afternoon we will be taking part in the local producers’ talks in the festival marquee in the Square along with Butler’s Ice Cream, Nell’s Farmhouse and other local artisan food producers, along with cooking demos by The Druid Chef.
We are also running a festival promotion throughout the town for the weekend, where you will be able to buy our beers at the special festival price of €3.50 from the following local bars and restaurants:
The Lady Belle
And you will be able to buy our beers for the special price of 4 bottles for €10 from the following off-licences:
Tommy Power’s – The Square
Twomey’s Eurospar, Abbeyside
Walsh’s Spar, O’Connell St
The festival is always a hugely enjoyable weekend in Dungarvan and we are looking forward to going to lots and lots of the events being run over the weekend – bígí linn!
If you can’t make it to the festival RTE’s Nationwide programme will be filming here for Friday 12th’s episode so keep an eye out for Dungarvan Brewing Company as Mary and the crew will be filming here with us. Nationwide screens on RTE1 Friday at 7pm.
We are also still on course to start delivering our spring seasonal Mahon Falls Rye Pale Ale – we’ll post more later in the week as we start delivering!
Festival season kicks off for us this weekend with the Easter Beer Festival at the Franciscan Well in Cork. This is the longest-running Irish craft beer festival, and where we made our entrance to the Irish craft beer scene for the first time in 2010 when we arrived with our first casks of Helvick Gold and Copper Coast and pitched our bar next to the other newcomers Trouble Brewing.
This year we are bringing Helvick Gold (dry hopped), Copper Coast (dry hopped), Coffee and Oatmeal Stout (last cask until Christmas) and our new seasonal, Mahon Falls Rye Pale Ale. We also have a few other festival specials that the guys have been brewing alongside our regular brews which will be tapped over the weekend.
Tom, Cormac and Jen at our first ever festival in the Franciscan Well in 2010.
Festival of Food
After this on the festival calendar is West Waterford Festival of Food which runs from Thursday 11th April until Sunday 14th here in our home town of Dungarvan. We are looking forward to this year’s festival in which we will be welcoming a Bus Bia tour to the brewery and we will be speaking at the Food Producers event in the Square on Saturday. We are also working with many of the local chefs and restaurants to have our beer featured on lots of menus over the weekend.
Also in April we have some in-store tasting events organised including one with Baggot St Wines who were the winners of the NOFFLA Beer Specialist Retailer of the Year for 2013 – comhghairdeas! As we confirm events we will be adding them to our event calendar on the site so keep an eye out there for where you can meet the team and taste the beers!
Happy Easter from all at the brewery. Black Rock Irish Stout pairs wonderfully with chocolate – enjoy your Easter chocolate with a glass of stout for a special treat!