A toast to craft brews!

by Jordan Upshaw

THE sixth annual Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair, Ireland’s biggest craft beer festival, is coming to Dublin from March 8 to 10.
The three-day, three-night event will take place at the National Convention Centre at Spencer Dock.

The fair will feature more than 50 exhibitors and 400 different craft brews, ciders, gins, whiskeys, artisan foods and more.

In addition, there will be plenty of entertainment such as live music all weekend and screenings of Natwest Six Nations Rugby matches between Ireland and Scotland on Saturday.

There will be special options available to cater to fairgoers with dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, vegetarian and non-alcoholic beverages and foods. Ask each exhibitor about their products prior to sampling ant, while gluten-free stickers will be visible on stands with related options.

The fair will also be serving up plenty of brand-new brews and features for 2018. One such feature is the Distillers Quarter – and area that will be set up in the style of a cosy lounge where visitors can sample a variety of spirits and cocktails, some of which have been created exclusively for the event.

Several new Irish drinks companies will be featured, such as Kinsale Mead Company (Ireland’s only contemporary meadery); Ha’Penny Gin (introducing new rhubarb gin); Beara Distillery (specialising in gin); and craft breweries Ballykilcavan Brewing Company and Larkins Brewing Company.

Limited edition and seasonal brews featured include Reel Deel Brewery’s Juniper and Orange Ale, Rascal Brewing Company’s barrel-aged beers, Boyne Brewhouse’s imperial stout and pilot series, Galway Hooker’s new honey beer, and many more.

Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair spokesperson Conor Farrell said: “We are really proud of how our fair has evolved and grown over the past five years and it has been fantastic to witness the craft sector flourish in this time.

“Being an annual event, it provides a great benchmark to track key trends in the sector and, of course, to taste the latest innovations!”
Doors will be open on Thursday and Friday from 5-11pm, and on Saturday from 12:30-11pm.

Each ticket includes access to all fair events that day, one EcoCup, and six tokens, which can be used to purchase drinks inside the fair and are worth €1 each.

The tokens are non-refundable, but can be used at any point over the course of the three-day fair, provided your ticket grants you access on the day in question.

Generally, a half-pint of beer or cider will cost three tokens and a full pint will cost six. Drinks that are stronger, featured in the Distillers Quarter and/or are limited edition, will cost slightly more but prices differ.

Additional tokens can be purchased online in advance, at the event and from the mobile token sales team during the event.
Ticket prices vary depending on the day and can be purchased at www.alltechbrews.ie. Special deals for multiple day tickets as well as deals for groups of 10 or more people are available.

For groups of significantly more than 10 people, email hello@alltechbrews.ie for assistance with booking.
Underground parking will be available but patrons who will be consuming alcohol are urged to use public transport and, of course, to never drink and drive.

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