Monday, July 31, 2023




Pictured at the Into Kildare ‘Meet the Buyer’ UK event week at Windsor in the UK were (left to right) Tristan Jacob, Ronan Mackey, Ted Robinson, David Wardell, Orla Canavan, Orla McCabe, Gisele Mansfield, David Doherty, Grace Shannon, Paul Keane, Adrian Mooney, Chloe Kimmins, David Mongey, Aine Mangan, Daragh Fitzpatrick, Reetu Susan Jagan


Into Kildare, the County Kildare tourism board, together with the Dublin Convention Bureau brought 12 County Kildare conference and hospitality providers to meet the top 20 key meeting and incentive buyers in the UK for a Meeting Incentive Conference and Events (MICE) event. The ‘Meet County Kildare Conference’ took place at Windsor Racecourse in the UK on Monday, 24th of July and provided Into Kildare members with the chance to promote their conference and events offerings and leisure facilities.  

The event was a great success and was attended by some of the county’s leading hotels and tourism outlets including Barberstown Castle, Cliff at Lyons, Irish National Stud & Gardens, Kildare Village, Kilkea Castle, Killashee Hotel, Newbridge Silverware, The Club at Goffs, The Curragh Racecourse, The K Club and Lawlor’s of Naas.

Councillor Darragh Fitzpatrick, Cathaoirleach of Kildare County Council was also in attendance on the sales mission and spoke about how impressed he was with the camaraderie the Into Kildare members have with each other. Speaking at the event he said, “County Kildare has much to offer when it comes to meetings and events. This sales mission in the UK, facilitated by Into Kildare allows our great conferencing, hospitality and tourism providers a wonderful opportunity to connect with key buyers.  By working together, we can ensure our network of hospitality providers always offer a warm welcome to visitors to County Kildare.”

David Wardell of the Irish National Stud concurred and said that the event offered great opportunities to connect with those people who wanted to experience truly unique and immersive experience such as the new Irish Racehorse Experience at the famous Kildare stud.  Ted Robinson, General Manager of Barberstown Castle was also delighted with the outcome and was very pleased that Into Kildare was able to attract premier conference buyers to the event which offered fantastic networking opportunities for conferencing outlets and centres such as Barberstown Castle.

Racing TV broadcast live from Windsor Racecourse on the day and interviewed various Into Kildare members at the conferencing event which offered even more opportunities for promotion for the county.

Áine Mangan, CEO of Into Kildare said, “This sales mission to Windsor in conjunction with the Dublin Convention Bureau is part of our ongoing strategy to promote County Kildare as a great place for meetings and incentives.  The Meeting Incentive Conference and Events industry (MICE) has huge potential and is worth over €720 million to the Irish economy while also supporting some 20,000 jobs. 

We have a wealth of fabulous conferencing facilities in County Kildare as well as superb accommodation providers.  Ireland attracts a huge number of international conferences and those delegates will often extend their stay beyond the duration of the conference itself. County Kildare has lots to offer for both the business and leisure traveller and this is particularly attractive to incentive buyers who want to offer both pre and post conferencing activities and experiences to their delegates.”  She went on to say, “The inclusion of bespoke activities on conferencing itineraries such as golf, horse racing, or private tours of visitor attractions ensures a longer stay by the delegate and results in the sale of more bed nights and a higher ‘per delegate’ spend in the county.”

Into Kildare’s next overseas mission in conjunction with the Dublin Convention Bureau will take place on the 30th of August in New York and follows feedback from Into Kildare members who requested sales representation and support in the US market.  For more information on Into Kildare please visit

Press release


Pictured at the announcement are Alex Petit, Group Executive Chef, Trigon Hotels; Elaine Murphy, Communications and Fundraising Manager, Cope Foundation; Pierce Lowney, Director of Food & Beverage, Trigon Hotels; Sandra Murphy, group event creation and production manager with Trigon Hotel along with Ger Whealey and Troy O'Sullivan, persons supported by Cope Foundation.  Pic: Brian Lougheed

Trigon Hotels is to celebrate its ongoing partnership with Cope Foundation at a gala event where guests can sample local and artisan dishes created by Trigon chefs.  ‘The Garden Table’ is a fundraising dinner taking place at the Beech Hill Garden Centre in Montenotte on the evening of August 24th.

Cope Foundation is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation supporting over 2,000 children and adults with an intellectual disability and / or autism throughout Cork city and county. Through its charity partnership, Trigon Hotels has supported the group in a wide range of fundraising initiatives. 

‘The Garden Table’ dinner promises to be a top class culinary event, where people supported by Cope along with team members of Trigon Hotels will come together for an evening of camaraderie and shared purpose. Guests will be welcomed with a selection of refreshments, including prosecco and non-alcoholic mint & cucumber cordial. Attendees will then be treated to a meal showcasing a wide array of culinary offerings under the creative guidance of Trigon Hotels Group Executive Chef Alex Petit. Each dish will incorporate freshly harvested fruit and vegetables from Cope Foundation’s sensory garden, a collaborative project established by the charity in Montenotte in 2021 with the support of Trigon Hotels.

The menu at ‘The Garden Table’ will include starters with a sharing board of local artisan food, Irish produced meat and fish plates, and a range of desserts to choose from such as masala chai Crème Brûlée and raspberry tartlet, West Cork strawberries and lemon verbena financier, chili and cocoa profiteroles, and salted caramel and chocolate fudge.

Kathleen Linehan, Strategic Director of HR Trigon Hotels said; "We are honored to join hands with Cope Foundation for what promises to be a really special evening. The Garden Table is not just a fundraising dinner; it is a testament to our shared values of diversity, inclusion, and environmental responsibility. I believe that when we collaborate, we can create a positive and lasting impact on our community, fostering a brighter and more inclusive future. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all partners and supporters for their unwavering dedication to this shared vision.  The funds raised during the event will further ensure that projects such as the Cope Foundation sensory garden continue to flourish.”

Sean Abbott, Chief Executive Officer, Cope Foundation said; “This event is a great way to showcase and highlight our longstanding partnership with Trigon Hotel Group. Over the years, people we support have gained employment and work experience through Cope Foundation's Ability@Work Programme in Trigon Hotels.  Together, we have developed a sensory garden which brings a great sense of joy to Cope Foundation and it helps Trigon Hotels with their sustainability efforts.  They have used their time and expertise to create a really special and unique dining experience in The Garden Table, all while raising much needed funds in aid of Cope Foundation.  These funds will allow us to continue providing invaluable services to people with an intellectual disability/and or autism across Cork city and county.  We are really looking forward to an evening of fun, delicious food and celebration.

The event takes place at Beech Hill Garden Centre, Montenotte on Thursday, August 24th 2023 from 6pm - 9:30pm. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Dangerously likeable! That's the Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (as well as the cuddly doggy, of course).

Dangerously likeable! That's the Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (as well as the cuddly doggy, of course).

Il Bucco Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (DOC) 2021, 12.5% ABV,

About €15.00. Widely available, including O’Donovan’s Off Licence and Bradleys.

Montepulciano is a popular Italian red grape found mostly labelled as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Not to be confused with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano! That’s a completely different wine made of Sangiovese grapes from the town of Montepulciano in Tuscany (on the west coast).

Now that you know the grape, perhaps you already did 😄, you may be asking where is Abruzzo. Easy enough to answer that one. If you are in Rome, head east over the Apennines and you’ll land in Abruzzo; if you overshoot, you’ll get a soaking in the Adriatic.

This one by Il Bucco delivers cherry and berry on the nose and then typical black fruit flavours including plum and blackcurrant with a touch of sweetness on the finish. The length is good without being overly long. No doubt you’ll get better versions but not at this price.


Check my growing list of top wines for 2023


Check out my Good Value Wine List here


The best examples deliver complex black fruit flavours and a smoky-sweet finish. The Vivino site recommends Beef, Pasta, Veal, and Pork as pairings. Bradleys of Cork, a local stockist, say it’s a great all-rounder to drink with pizza, pasta dishes, chicken and pork while Donegal’s Counter Deli suggests Tapas. Versatile, isn't it?

If you do fly over the mountains and end up at a restaurant in the region you could well be offered the local version of mortadella sausage, spicier and with more garlic than the Bologne version. For a few euro more, break out and go for the Abbacchio al Diavolo (spicy roasted lamb).  Vino Italiano says its soft tannins won't clash with the spice, “making the wine a fruity pillow for the fiery dish”!

This well-priced bottle, with the loveable doggy on the label, is very gluggable indeed and I've seen it described as delicious and dangerously drinkable. I would not argue with that. Great everyday drinking for small money.

Highly Recommended. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #35, Highly Recommended Craft Collaborations with O Brother, Galway Bay, Whiplash, Mescan, Third Barrel

CorkBillyBeers #35

Highly Recommended Craft Collaborations with O Brother, Galway Bay, Whiplash, Mescan
 and Third Barrel


Galway Bay Sour IPA 6.2% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys 

Came across this first at the Franciscan Well Easter Fest where @SimonSaysBeer introduced us. Very impressed. With the beer. And with Simon also of course!!

Galway Bay: Another new beer snuck out of the brewery last week. When we had a visit from our great friends @begylebrewing Chicago we knew we needed to pull out something interesting, a bit of a challenge. Brewed on a pillowy light base of pilsner malt, wheat, oats and rice. Hopped with fresh Nelson Sauvin, Talus and Citra then co-fermented with an acid-producing yeast and a wine yeast. We landed on a new yeast strain that produces a soft sourness but isn't the kettle sour technique you might have seen before.

Sister Cities (6.2%), a Sour IPA with citrus, apple, a touch of elderflower and a balancing acidity. Very drinkable indeed and looking forward to a few in the garden in the better days ahead! 

The colour is more lemon than orange, somewhat on the hazy side. Citrus and yeast notes in the aromas and that sour citrus impresses on the palate, apple also, with a grape skin influence and a bit of mango and weak lychee also, tropical mainly, though you may get a hint of elderflower. Well balanced and not overly sour on the way to a pleasant finale.

Highly Recommended. This small batch may well be sold out by now, even though I got this can quite recently.


O Brother (x Bierhaus) Lionn Buidhe Bhrighde Sour 4.3% ABV, 440 ml can No 21 Coburg St

O Brother had quite a time brewing this up in collaboration with Bierhaus, a Galway pub. “it’s been a week, we need a drink, so looking forward to cracking open our latest special brew Lionn Buidhe Bhrighde. Buidhe or “bui “ meaning yellow, for its delightful colour, is a beautiful dry hopped sour, in a Berliner Weiss style”.

They further tell us that the title of the beer, “humbly provided by scholar Louis de Paor”, translates as “Bridget’s yellow ale”. It is in honour of the patron saint of brewing, and totem of the Celtic spring festival Imbolc, Saint Bridget.

Colour is light gold, a little on the hazy side. The aromatics are quite complex but mainly citrus, floral and pine, true to the characteristics of the Mosaic. Brid’s Yellow Ale is indeed sour, quite tart but also deeply refreshing, all achieved through the yeast I suppose as no adjuncts are listed in the ingredients.


In any event, it is exquisitely balanced between sweetness and acidity.

and is the kind of sour that could give the style a good name and is Highly Recommended.

We let the brothers have the last word. “We’re so proud of it, and our connection to @bierhausgalway, long may it continue. Also, shout out to @galwayswestend @thisisgalway and @jeanconsidine for the image and as always to @kate______tings for the design.”

So what is a Berliner Weisse? Functionally, it’s a wheat beer with a touch of sparkling acidity from the Lactobacillus, according to And, in Berlin, when you order a Berliner Weisse, the waiter will often say “rot oder grün?” Which simply means “red or green?” He or she is referring to which syrup you'd like with the beer. Red is usually a sweet raspberry syrup. Green is a more traditional grassy herb known as woodruff. 


Whiplash & Mescan The Climb Dry Hopped Saison 7.1% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys notes, that today, interest in ancient grains is rising, and craft brewers in Europe and the United States are starting to rediscover spelt. “Used at proportions approaching 50% of the grist, spelt malt gives mild, nutty flavors backed by tangy acidic notes.” And The Beer Bible confirms that Spelt was extremely common in saison back in the day.

Irish brewers Whiplash and Mescan have noted this also and their recent collaboration features spelt malt which is a pale, well-modified malt-aromatic product made from spelt, a hard-grained heirloom wheat.

Whiplash is happy: The first Saison to ever come out of Whiplash, and who better to collaborate with than Mescan? We used Spelt in this brew, really putting the mash filter to work. With these farmhouse-style beers, it's always nice to experiment with the grains and in this case, we've been left with a beautifully silky beer.

Mescan also: Had our first one today and we couldn't be more pleased with how this collaboration with @whiplashbeer turned out! A Saison - traditionally brewed to quench the thirst of farm workers - it's the perfect beer for this weather.

And they can count me in.

Colour is a hazy light orange. Flavours are mildly nutty backed by tangy acidic notes. there are also moderate malt notes, nutty and bready, and then lemon, orange rind and black pepper come through making for a perfect sunny-day-beer. Packed with interesting flavours, this is perhaps more for the grafters out there rather than the iPad tappers in here. 

Neither East Coast nor West Coast. Not a million miles from a wheat beer with its mild banana and clove notes although a little spicier perhaps. 

Suits me fine though. 

Highly Recommended

The Climb is available now on the webshop

Geek Bits

ABV 7.1%

440ml Cans & Draught

Artwork by @izzyrosegrange

Mescan invite - Take a spin along the side of Clew Bay, between Westport and Louisburgh, and come visit us at the brewery in the foothills of Croagh Patrick, on one of our tours - most Friday afternoons through the summer. We look forward to having you. *Prebooking required through our website*


Third Barrel Ár gCairde Cold IPA 5.1% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys

Cold on the double.

A Cold IPA?

1- “..a Cold IPA is an IPA fermented at lower temperatures than what is normally used to ferment an ale,” writes Skip Schwartz, head brewer at WeldWerks Brewing Co., in conversation with Hop Culture. Fermenting an IPA at colder temperatures means brewers often use a lager yeast or a combination of a lager and an ale yeast.

2- Sierra Nevada: A Cold IPA delivers India Pale Ale hop intensity while keeping the malt character restrained and ultra crisp — yet still hitting a respectable ABV target, like the 7% of Cold Torpedo.

The cold is not referring to the drinking temperature but to the temperature while it is fermenting.

The beer under consideration here is the result of a collaboration between Third Barrell and Mo Chara. Check them out here 

Our Cold IPA has an amber colour and a white head that doesn't hang about for too long. Aromas are quite intense, mostly from the hops, tropical and resinous. Refreshment is immediate, a lively effervescence invigorating the palate. A terrific balance of flavours plus a pleasant bitterness that lingers. This is the first Cold IPA that has come my way and I am certainly impressed.

But there is another “cold” twist. Rice is not the only unusual ingredient. The hops are Galaxy and Amarillo and one called Cryo Pop. Cryo Hops® pellets can be utilised anywhere whole-leaf hops and hop pellets are traditionally applied. Along with cost savings, it offers an enhanced contribution of hop flavour and aroma and reduced grassy and vegetal characteristics

The collaborators on Ar gCairde are very pleased: “The body of this Cold IPA is light and crisp, reminiscent of a lager, offering a clean and refreshing mouthfeel.

The finish is dry and inviting, with a pleasant bitterness that lingers, enticing you to take another sip. The overall balance of flavours is impeccable, showcasing the skilful craftsmanship of the brewers.”

“Its tropical and citrus hop profile, combined with its refreshing nature, makes it a perfect companion for sunny days or any occasion where you crave a burst of hoppy goodness.”

Highly Recommended

Friday, July 28, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #34. Craft Pale Ale with Wicklow Wolf, Whiplash, Lineman, Sullivan's

CorkBillyBeers #34

In the wild: Elevation at Lynam's Laragh

Craft Pale Ale with Wicklow Wolf, Whiplash, Lineman, Sullivan's 



Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale Ale, 4.8%, 440ml can SuperValu Mayfield

Golden Pineapple Delight

This light gold, slightly hazy beer pours with a mild hoppy aroma. The first sip reveals juicy pineapple flavours that lead to a moderate, yet noticeable, hop bitterness. The bitterness is balanced by the sweetness of the pineapple, making for a very refreshing and easy-drinking beer.

This beer is a sessionable crowd-pleaser, and it's no wonder that it's the brewery's best-seller. You'll have no trouble finding a can of this beer, and it's easy to find on draught in its home county.

A Beer for All Occasions

This beer is perfect for any occasion. It's light enough to enjoy on a hot day, but it's also flavourful enough to pair with a meal. Whether you're having a barbecue with friends or just relaxing at home, it is a banker.

This refreshing and flavourful beer is Very Highly Recommended.

They say: An incredibly drinkable Pale Ale bursting with juicy fruits of pineapple and grapefruit from an abundance of hop additions. Refreshing.

Geek Bits

Food pairings: roasted or grilled meat.

Cheese Mild or medium cheddar.

Serve at 8 degrees. It is unfiltered, unpasteurised and the IBU is 40.

Hops: Mosaic, Mandarina Bavaria, Calypso

Malt: Pale, Cara Ruby, Melano, Wheat.


Whiplash Body Riddle Pale Ale 4.5% ABV, 330ml can, No 21 Coburg Street

Label Pic via Whiplash

A Citrusy Treat

The Whiplash Body Riddle Pale Ale is a light and hazy gold beer with a fluffy white head. The aroma is a blend of citrus fruits, with lemon, grapefruit, and orange leading the way. There are also hints of pine and herbs, which add a touch of complexity.

The flavour is even more citrus-forward than the aroma, with lemon and grapefruit dominating. There is also a touch of sweetness from the malt, which helps to balance out the bitterness from the hops. The finish is dry and refreshing, with a lingering citrusy flavour.

The Body Riddle Pale Ale is brewed with a blend of Lemondrop, Galaxy, Simcoe, and Ekuanot hops. These hops all contribute to the beer's citrusy flavour profile, while also adding a touch of bitterness and complexity.

This beer is perfect for a hot day or as a sessionable beer to enjoy with friends. It's also a great beer to pair with food, as the citrus flavours can complement a variety of dishes.

But don't worry. There’s more than citrus here with the other hops, Galaxy, Simcoe, and Ekuanot all getting into the action and helping in the balancing act.

Lots of hops but no domination - IBU is a very presentable 26 - making sure you get flavour galore without scaring away the newbies. Absolutely enjoyable, from start to finalé. Not too much more to say about this gem but, with me, that’s often a good sign. I’ve made up my mind early and the verdict is a major thumbs up for the little can. Best of goods in small parcels.

Very Highly Recommended. Good for a session too!


Pic via

Sullivan’s Pale Ale, 4.7%, 500ml bottle SuperValu Mayfield

They say: Fermented using our Sullivan’s yeast and our ‘No-Rush’ brewing process for a delicious, classic balance.

Complex, Refreshing!

This Kilkenny Pale Ale is a beer that defies expectations. The colour is more amber than gold, and the aromas are more resinous than citrus. The evergreen effect continues on the palate, with fruit flavours (peach, apricot) having a say, even a touch of marmalade. The malts are of course also in evidence, but they are not the star of the show.

This beer is complex and refreshing at the same time. The resinous hops provide a touch of bitterness, which is balanced by the sweetness of the malts. The fruit flavours add a touch of complexity, and the marmalade note gives the beer a unique flavour profile.

There's a lot to like about our Kilkenny Pale Ale. Very Highly Recommended 

Geek Bits

Traditionally brewed with Vienna and Pale Ale malts, chill-hopped with Amarillo hops.

Malts - Irish Ale, Vienna.

Hops - Magnum, Admiral, First Gold and AmarilloBrewery:


Lineman Fluid Dynamic Extra PA 4.8% ABV, No 21 Coburg Street 

Mid gold is the colour of this Extra Pale Ale from Lineman, a beer that has been around for a while. It is slightly hazy but no problem in spotting the fountains of bubbles rising to the white head. Returning to a previous tasting, I’m glad to see I mentioned that it “could well have wide appeal”. 

Still going strong with citrus and pine in the aromas and with flavours from citrus to mango to pine with a peppermint hint thrown in for good measure on the palate.  Unpasteurised and unfiltered, the beer is a soft and pleasant one on the palate, brewed deliberately using barley and wheat malts to make it light and clean and let the hops take centerstage but without taking over.

It is named Fluid Dynamic and the hops chosen were the all-American trio of Citra, Idaho 7 and Chinook. They give it quite a supple touch yet it is well balanced with barley and wheat malt helping a light clean beer emerge that lets the hops shine through, a hefty drink to have in hand in the summer and autumn hours between sun and dark.

Very Highly Recommended.