As Irish luck might have it, last fall Les Murray, president of TFOB and I got the opportunity to head over to Dublin for the Irish Craft Beer & Cider Festival. We brought 6 different Ontario brews with us and showcased them to excited Dubliners, while also enjoying some Irish brews ourselves!
With St Patrick’s Day around the corner, I’ve been thinking about all of the great beer we tried on that trip, and I thought I’d share some of my faves from it that you can get right here in Toronto!
Good news: They’re so good that we’re also working on bringing them over to showcase in the Irish Beer Pavilion at Toronto’s Festival of Beer this July. So even if the taps run dry this St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve got you covered.
This baby is brewed in Carlow, Ireland, right near Kilkenny. The brewery does a variety of different styles, seasonals and one-offs but the Irish Stout has got to be my favourite. Luckily enough, it is available in the LCBO riiiight by my house.
The Brú Rua from Brú Brewery, that only opened in 2013 in County Meath, has already made its way across to us! A hearty Irish Red ale made using Irish Malt and all-natural Irish Ingredients. Pop by Betty’s for a taste!
And a family they are! Each beer from this brewery is dedicated to a specific and wacky member of the family. You can find “Granny Mary’s Red Ale,” “Knock Knock Ned’s IPA,” “Uncle Jim’s Stout,” “Cousin Rosie’s Pale Ale,” and “Fancy Frank Lager”… Some of the fam will be at Toronto’s Festival of Beer, but in the meantime grab the taster at An Sibin Pub in Riverside and give the whole family a whirl.
Representing Northern Ireland on this list, Hercules Brewing was the first craft brewery to open in Northern Ireland over 160 years ago. They have since re-opened, re-vamped and started to produce beer yet again! Their Yardsman Lager pays homage to Irish men who worked in the mills of Ireland; and while you can’t get it in Toronto yet, it will soon be on a plane over to Toronto’s Festival of Beer, so you can at least get excited.
Made at the Guinness Brewery. Who would have known? Guinness steals the St. Patrick’s Day spotlight, but don’t forget this other gem they brew. Creamy, oh so creamy.
Other honourable mentions…but you’ll have to hop on a plane to try them:
Franciscan Well – Rebel Red
Hilden Brewery – Headless Dog
The Porterhouse Brewing Co. – Plain Porter
Posted by: Jen Murphy