Craft beer and Irish oysters

Eight Degrees Brewing - core range of Irish craft beers

You’ve surely heard of the Galway Oyster Festival? Yep, that’s the one that’s been named as one of the 10 Must-Dos in September on National Geographic, not to mention being described as “one of the 12 greatest shows on earth” in the Sunday Times. This year, as a prelude to the festival, Bord Iascaigh Mhara will host a one-day business conference for Ireland’s oyster growers on Friday 27 September. And what better match for Irish oysters than some good Irish craft beer? Think fresh, crisp Barefoot Bohemian and deliciously briny oysters. Think the hoppy citrus of Howling Gale acting like a refreshing squeeze of lemon on the bivalves. See how the caramel malt of Sunburnt Irish Red brings out the oyster’s sweetness, and don’t forget to go classic with Knockmealdown Porter – contrast the espresso bitterness in the porter with the texture and taste of these pearls of the sea. Caroline will be bringing our beers along to the oyster growers conference, talking about the challenges and opportunities of brand development in a competitive niche market and taking part in the oyster and Irish craft beer tasting and matching event which concludes the day. She’ll also be thinking of Seamus Heaney’s Oysters: “I ate the day/deliberately, that its tang/might quicken me all into verb, pure/verb. Galway Oyster Gathering with BIM 10:30 – 11:30 John O’Sullivan Action Coach www.actioncoachireland.com John will do an interactive session with the participants on the six key strategies for running a small business. 11:30 12:00 Chris O’Reilly Dollard Packaging www.dollard-packaging.ie Chris will explain how innovative packaging can add value to products. He will give some examples from the seafood industry and make some suggestions for new ways to pack and ship oysters. 12:00 – 12:30 Eight Degrees www.eightdegrees.ie Caroline Hennessy developed an interest in and appreciation

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Knockmealdown Porter Brownies at Electric Picnic

Eight Degrees Brewing - Knockmealdown Porter Brownies from Bibliocook.com

These are the brownies that Caroline has been baking for beer and food demos all over the country, most recently at last weekend’s Electric Picnic. Well worth trying out. Knockmealdown Porter Brownies A dark, full-bodied porter or stout is a good balance to the chocolate in these brownies. You only need 250mls for this recipe, so there will be a little left over to accompany the baked brownies 100g plain flour 50g cocoa 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 150g dark chocolate, 60% cocoa solids. Easiest use a mixture of 50% and 70% cocoa solids. 175g butter 200g caster sugar 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 250mls Knockmealdown porter Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fanbake). Line a rectangular 2 x 25 x 30cm Swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper. Sift the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder together and set to one side. Gently melt the chocolate and butter together in a large heavy saucepan over a low heat. Take it off the cooker and add the sugar, whisking until smooth. Allow to cool slightly, then whisk in the eggs, vanilla, porter and, finally, the sifted dry ingredients until just blended. Pour into the prepared tin – this is a very runny mixture, but don’t worry! – and bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until set and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Because of the amount of liquid used, you don’t need to underbake these brownies. Cool in the tin then cut into 30 pieces and store, if you have any left, in an airtight tin. These get more delectably moist the longer you keep them. Serve with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream and some warm Caramel Ale Sauce for a superb desert. Makes 30 brownies.

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Limited edition Amber-Ella for Irish Craft Beer & Cider Festival 2013

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock…time is counting down to this year’s Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival (with a small one of Whiskey). It all kicks off next Thursday, 5 September, at 5pm in Dublin’s RDS. Same venue as last year – Industries Hall, easiest to find via the Angelesea Road entrance. We have a substantial line up – see the whole list below – but our festival special is an American Amber Ale that we’ve called Amber-Ella. We’ve had our pick of the Aussie hop harvest so it’s all about Galaxy and Ella in this rather special limited edition brew. We’ll also have the very last kegs of our #hopoff ales. It’s Team Ireland with Hurricane or Cyclone from Team Aus/NZ. No pressure now. More on the #hopoff here: It’s a Hop-Off: Hurricane IPA vs Cyclone IPA Our offerings for the Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival Howling Gale Ale 5% ABV Our flagship pale ale – pours a pale golden colour and the malty sweetness is well balanced by the American Summit and Centennial hops. Howling Gale has a pleasant grapefruit and citrus aroma Sunburnt Irish Red 5% ABV A traditional Irish style with a twist, it has subtle caramel notes balanced with a pleasant fragrant aroma from New Zealand and Australian hops. Knockmealdown Porter 5% ABV Like tackling the Knockmealdowns in a blizzard, this beer is not for wimps. The robust malt-driven ale balances dark malts with some old world bitter hops. It won’t weigh you down like a stout and offers a rich chocolaty aroma with a burst of espresso. Rotation Tap. Bohemian Pilsner 4% ABV Bohemians are creative dreamers who defy convention. Our Bohemian Pilsner is just that, an unorthodox lager with complex biscuity malt, soft rounded bitterness and a twist of spice from the noble

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It’s a hop off! Hurricane IPA vs Cyclone IPA

Who has the best hops in the world? With an Aussie, a Kiwi and three Irishmen working at Eight Degrees Brewing, there’s always a lot of…erm…debate. It could be about sports, it could be about weather – it could even be about hops. The best hops in the world? Cam and Scott think it’s the Southern Hemisphere. The Irish Eight Degrees team of Mike, John and Paudy think it’s the Northern Hemisphere; the girls are wisely staying out of this bitter dispute. The solution: a good old fashioned HOP OFF. That’s right. We’ve brewed two versions of a hoppy IPA – a Howling Gale on steroids, if you will. Team Ireland went for a selection of American hops, including Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic; the Antipodeans decided on NZ Motueka hops – grown close to Scott’s hometown – and Pacifica, along with what Cam describes as “sexy Ella” from Australia. You get to decide who wins: vote for your favourite brew here.     Team Aus/NZ CYCLONE IPA 7% ABV, available in 330ml bottles and on draught Originating in the South Pacific, this storm rotates clockwise, opposite to a Hurricane. This IPA contains generous helpings of Down Under hops: NZ Pacifica, NZ Motueka and Aussie Ella. That means complex orange, grapefruit and spice notes and South Pacific brewing heaven. Batten down the hatches; this brew will knock your socks off. Team Ireland HURRICANE IPA 7% ABV, available in 330ml bottles and on draught A tropical storm originating in the North Atlantic Ocean, it rotates in the opposite direction to a Cyclone. This IPA only uses punchy American hops: Simco, Citra and Mosaic giving a fruit, lemon and pine taste bomb. Get it now while it’s Hurricane season – this Category Five brew will do more than tickle the taste buds.

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Eight Degrees beers in Italy

Eight Degrees Brewing - Cam in Italy at the Aliprandi Beermania event

Who would have thought it? Beer and food matching in Italy! And Cam there to oversee proceedings! Last Thursday morning, Cam – the mastro birraio della Eight Degrees – flew over to Verona to talk about the beer at an Beermania event organised by our importers, the Aliprandi Beverage Company. The beer was flagged (gotta love Google translator) as being “created by passion of a boy Australian and New Zealand.” Nice to see beer and food being taken so seriously – and everyone working so hard… MENU 1. BRUSCHETTA DELICATA E FOCACCIA BIANCA Barefoot Bohemian Pils 2. TARTINE AL SALMONE AFFUMICATO Howling Gale ALe 3. TARTINE AL FORMAGGIO CREMOSO E TARTINA AL ROASTBEEF Sunburnt Irish Red 4. DESSERT AL CIOCCOLATO Knockmealdown Porter

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Who has the best hops in the world? Part II – Team Aus/NZ & Cyclone IPA

With an Aussie, a Kiwi and three Irishmen in the brewery, there’s always a lot of – let’s call it – debate. It could be about sports, it could be about weather – or it could even be about hops. A “discussion” about the various merits of hops from the Northern Hemisphere as opposed to those from the Southern half of the world, led to the first ever Eight Degrees Brewing Hop Off. Team Ireland went for a selection of punchy American hops, including Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic; the Antipodeans decided on NZ Motueka hops – grown close to Scott’s hometown – and Pacifica, along with what Cam describes as “sexy Ella” from Australia. David Miller was, once again, pressed into service to shoot the video. This is brewing up a storm, Aus/Kiwi-style… You’ll find more about the details of the Irish team’s brew here: Who has the best hops in the world? Part I

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Who has the best hops in the world? Part I – Team Ireland & Hurricane IPA

Eight Degrees Brewing - Mike and John

Is it the Northern Hemisphere? Or does Down Under (including New Zealand, of course) have the hop edge? We’ve decided to figure it out for ourselves. Aussie Cam has banded together with Kiwi Scott – a rare turn of events, as I’m sure you’re aware – to go up against Mike, John and Paudy’s Team Ireland in the first Eight Degrees Brewing Hop Off. This week we brewed two versions of a hoppy IPA. You could call it a Howling Gale on steroids. Team Ireland brewed Hurricane IPA using only Northern Hemisphere hops, while Scott and Cam shifted the focus to hops from Australia and NZ in their Cyclone IPA. David Miller – because there’s no such thing as a visitor to the brewery that doesn’t get a job – shot this video of Team Ireland explaining the reasoning behind their Hurricane IPA.

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Irish Craft Beer on Marian Finucane

Eight Degrees Brewing - Mexican Night at the Bierhalle, Cork: Howling Gale Ale -

We’ve come a long way baby. Once upon a time – not a very long time ago – there wasn’t much awareness of craft beer in Ireland. Now? Now it’s being featured on RTE Radio 1’s Marian Finucane programme, getting more than 20 high-profile minutes in the run up to Sunday lunchtime. That’s one way to whet the appetite, especially when Marian sends reporter Eoin Sweeney down to Probus Wines and they get to taste some Eight Degrees. Growth of Irish Craft Beer Date: 14.07.2013 12:30 Presenter: Marian Finucane Program: RTE Radio 1 – Marian Finucane Craft beers have been up until fairly recently the preserve of Beer Geeks and Real Ale Bores but they are arriving in a big way in Irish pubs and, increasingly, high end, on-trend restaurants If Ireland follows what has happened in the States it could become a multi million euro industry Craft beer in the US commands 6% of the market. The market share here is perhaps as small as 1%) but it is rapidly growing. Bord Bia says it rose by 42.5% last year and predicts 35% growth this year. In 2005, Brian Cowen halved the excise paid by microbreweries, allowing them to retain more of their capital and re-invest in their business. Joe O’Shea journalist, Seamus O’Hara from the Carlow Brewing Company and Ronan Brennan, Galway Hooker co-founder, join Marian to chat about Craft Beer. LINK: www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer Joe O’Shea’s Irish Independent article: 02 JULY 2013

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Cam on Newstalk’s Kickstart Your Business

Cam working hard at the 2012 Irish Craft Beer Fest

Just in case you missed the lovely Cam – that’s him above, hard at work! – on Newstalk’s Kickstart Your Business, here’s the link: Hook’s Saturday Sit In 10:00 – 12:00 Saturdays Listen Back: 22nd June 2013 Part 2 Sit back and relax with George every Saturday as he lets his hair down & unwinds after the week. Music, films and banter. Listen here. Cam spoke to Tara Duggan and Ger Tannam about local business and good beer names. The interview kicks off (after, bizarrely, two repeats of the news) in the second part of the show at about 13.45.

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Cooking with Eight Degrees: videos from The Butler’s Pantry

We were delighted to be involved with the recent¬†Butler’s Pantry Irish craft beer and food event, featuring a selection of our beers. Chef Niall Hill, who has spent time working in Canada, cooking and tasting the selection of craft beers available there, put together a great selection of dishes on the night, using our Barefoot Bohemian, Howling Gale, Sunburnt Irish Red and Knockmealdown Porter. Caroline was also on hand to talk about beer and food – and provide plenty of tastings to the assembled company! The Butler’s Pantry have put some fantastic videos together so, if you weren’t lucky enough to be at the Miele Gallery on the night, check these out. Barefoot Bohemian Flatbread with Wild Mushrooms and Toonsbridge Mozzarella Howling Gale Ale Fried Monkfish Crowe’s Farm Pork Belly braised in Sunburnt Irish Red There was also a sumptuous dish of Knockmealdown Porter Braised Short ribs with Cashel Blue Potato Fritters which, alas, has been taken down. We might even have to do some experiments at home ourselves.

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Eight Degrees at Sheridans’ Irish Food Festival

Sheridans’ Cheesemongers will be hosting their fourth Irish Food Festival at their Virginia Road Station HQ, Co Meath, this Sunday, 26 May, and we’ll be there. Cam is doing a workshop with Kevin Sheridan, matching a selection of Irish farmhouse cheese to our beers – making, as they say, “a truly homegrown pairing.” Kevin will give a background on all the cheeses, and how they are made and Eight Degrees will take us through the basics of how their beers are brewed, the differences between them, and what makes craft beers and microbrewery produce so different from their mass produced counterparts. That workshop is taking place from 3pm to 3.45pm and, like all the other events at the festival, is free. You can register here and check out the other workshops, which include a kids’ baking one with Nessa’s Family Kitchen, sausage making with the inimitable Ed Hick and – not to be missed – the very first annual Irish Brown Bread Competition. More information here. The festival is well worth checking out – and good weather is even forecast for Sunday!

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