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​ABV Fest Belfast Review

Posted By Shane McCarthy on June 2, 2015

The Titanic Drawing Offices were historically a hub of ideas, innovation and great design and last weekend at ABV Fest we might say the same creativity was bounding between those walls. Rather than focus be placed on the craft of shipbuilding, the spotlight shone brightly on the craft of beer.

Given our new business venture, Ireland Craft Beers Ltd saw this festival as a perfect opportunity to meet and build rapport with people in the industry and most importantly sample some awesome craft beers. We arrived in the Titanic Quarter just after mid-day with our good friend and photographer Marco Mori, who took full advantage of the sunshine by snapping some amazing shots around the Titanic Quarter, prior to hitting the Festival.

We were greeted upon arrival by one of the organisers and following a ticket scan we were let loose to explore and do some tasting. We were equipped with an ABV branded beer glass, beer menu and a pencil to take note of whatever beer we sampled and this also came in handy the next day when looking for something to blame the hangover on! There was a buzzing atmosphere which was inevitable with a combination of the warm summer weather and an abundance of cold craft beer.

The Stars of the Show

There were two rooms which each had 11 and 12 varieties of craft beer on tap. Also available for sampling was bottled beer, cider and beer cocktails. There were some really interesting flavours and collaborations (particularly between Boundary Brewery and Galway Bay) and beer names which kept us well entertained throughout the afternoon.

I think all three of us pretty much sampled a bit of everything there was on offer and our personal top 3 beers of the day are as follows:

Pokertree’s Dark Nirvana, Tiny Rebel’s Fubar, Galway Bay’s Of Foam of Fury, 8 Degrees’ Nelson Sauvin Saison Beer and Kinnegar's Swingletree Saison Beer.

The Grub and the Company

Obviously we came for the beer, but we were never ones to pass up on good grub if it’s on offer and today it was! We sampled the pulled pork bap with relish and apple sauce, a hot dog, selection of cheeses, the beef and black pepper hot dog with apple relish. Two words, top notch!

Along with drinking and stuffing our faces we also got to chat to a few of the breweries particularly Darren from Pokertree, Cameron from 8 Degrees and Chris from Galway Bay. The guys from Reflex Studios were out in flying form and after staring at craft beer on our website for a few months, we thought it was fitting they come and try some too! We also had great banter with Mr and Mrs Beer Snob who stocked up on a few crafts for their train journey back to Navan.

Overall

We had a fantastic day and the event was very well thought out and ran really smooth. The only downside was that we didn’t get tickets for another couple of sessions to get a chance to sample more beer and meet more people. But that’s what next year is for! We look forward to meeting everyone again soon at the next event and for those of you who weren’t there we would definitely recommend attending next year.

View our photos from this event on our Ireland Craft Beers Flickr account.

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Posted by Ireland Craft Beers on Tuesday, June 2, 2015