Alltech’s International Craft Brews and Food Fair Opens at Dublin’s Convention Centre
[DUBLIN] – The 2nd annual Alltech International Craft Brews and Food Fair, Ireland’s largest craft beer festival, opened its doors today in Dublin’s Convention Centre with more than 150 brews from 45 breweries from around the globe, including Kentucky. The Kentucky Ale® family of beers and array of spirits from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company are being served at the Kentucky Tavern bar created especially for the Fair. For the first time, fellow Lexington craft breweries Blue Stallion Brewing Co. and Country Boy Brewing are also serving up their brews at the Irish event, along with Louisville craft breweries Against the Grain Brewery and Falls City Beer.
More than 1,000 tickets were sold online prior to the event opening its doors this morning and the two-day event is expected to welcome upwards of 5,000 attendees. While Ireland’s craft beer scene lags behind that of the United States, craft beer sales rose about 35 percent in Ireland last year, according to Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board.
Along with craft beer, the Alltech International Craft Brews and Food Fair is also offering delicacies from 17 Irish artisan food producers. Attendees can also learn about food pairing from the experts, including Irish TV chef Catherine Fulvio. World-renowned beer judges and international trade professionals will also be in attendance.
Among the entertainment acts performing during the Fair include famed Irish singer-songwriter Paddy Casey, Dublin-based indie rock band The Klares, and Irish TV and radio personality Hector Ó hEochagáin, who will preside over the Craft Beer Grand Slam taking place on Saturday, Feb. 8. The Grand Slam sees Irish craft beers pitted against their rivals in Wales ahead of the live screening of the annual Six Nations Championship, the international rugby competition that will feature Ireland facing off against Wales on Saturday.
The Dublin Craft Beer Cup will also return this year to allow craft brewers the opportunity to showcase their beers and have them rated by an international panel of experts. The award-winning brewers will receive gold, silver and bronze medals in eight different categories of beer, establishing the best examples of each style. The overall winner will be awarded during the Fair on Saturday, Feb. 8 with a medal presentation by Dr. Inge Russell, editor of the Journal of the Institute of Brewing, and Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. Winner of the 2013 Dublin Craft Beer Cup, Owen Scullion from Hilden Brewing Co., will also be exhibiting at the Fair.
The first two days of the Fair will feature three separate education streams at the Convention Centre:
- The Alltech Academy Sensory Short Course will provide hands-on experience to brewers, providing a compelling sensory experience as they sample subject matter and learn about the many flavor corruptors.
- The Pub Series Stream will educate the publican and bar man on how to get the most from their business and will feature presentations from the various experts in the field.
- The Health and Wellness Program will provide the audience with insight into naturally-enriched functional foods, their added benefits and how they improve overall health and wellness.
Last year’s Fair took place July 18-20, 2013 in Dublin as part of The Gathering Ireland 2013. Tickets to this year’s Fair are still available online via Entertainment.ie for 15 euros and can also be purchased at the door. Doors open to the public at 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 6 and 7, and at noon, Saturday, Feb. 8.