Eight Degrees in Beirut

When we got the call from Irish Craft Beers about sending beer to Beirut last year we immediately said YES – and started arguing about who should go there on a hypothetical trade trip. When that opportunity became a reality, for St Patrick’s Day, there was even more squabbling. The Kiwi – just about – won that battle and we headed to Lebanon with the lads from Irish Craft Beers, and several other Irish drinks producers for a weekend of showcasing the incredible beverages that Ireland produces, celebrating links between Ireland and Lebanon, developing friendships and learning that there were some members of the party that knew all 57(ish) verses of The Rattlin’ Bog. We brought beer to the table, as did Antrim brewery Hillstown Brewery and fellow Corkonians Blacks of Kinsale. There was gin from Blacks, Waterford’s Blackwater Distillery and Ballyvolane House’s Bertha’s Revenge. Irish whiskey came from Northern Irish Echlinville Distillery and Co Clare-based whiskey bonders Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey. In short, everything you might need for the St Patrick’s Day to end all St Patrick’s Days. We did work, at events in Backroom Beirut, Fattal Group, Golden Star, EddéYard and Kalani Beach Resort, as St Patrick’s stretched over three riotous days and nights. There was singing. There was dancing- a Siege of Ennis, the likes of which Lebanon has (fortunately) never seen before – and there was almightly craic. Thanks to Liam and Shane at Ireland Craft Beers for inviting us along and a huge thank you to Paul Choueiry, GM of Botella at Fattal Group for organising everything in Lebanon. We’ve already signed up for St Patrick’s Day 2019…        

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