Belfast Craft Beer Festival starts on Thursday April 21 and runs for three days.
With so many great beers, ciders and spirits on offer it would be easy to get light-headed just trying to choose one to start the session.
Here’s a few suggestions to whet your appetites…
Gallopers have come up with a festival special – Revenge RPA – exclusively on draft at Belfast Craft Beer Festival. It’s a 5% ABV pale amber ale with fruity, citrus and herbal hop notes countered by a subtle dry rye spiciness.
As well as their established Finn and Foxes Rock brands, Station Works Brewery will be rolling out the barrel for a new ale. Keep an eye out for their hand carved Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale mini barrel font, a fantastic piece of craftsmanship. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is a unique barrel aged beer, the original craft brew of the bluegrass. It’s a best seller at craft beer festivals and we can’t wait to try it.
Northbound’s 34 Oak Smoked Beer from the Oak Leaf County (Londonderry) was launched in February. The smoked flavour is obvious but not overpowering. A great ale which gets better with each sip.
Although it’s billed as the Belfast Craft Beer Festival, there will also be some of the best Irish cider and spirits in the venue. MacIvors Traditional Dry Cider is one of our favourites. And it’s got the accolades to back it up – a Silver Medal at the 2013 International Brewing Awards.
It’s billed as a Formidable IPA and it lives up to its promise. Maggies Leap has a distinctive floral, hoppy flavour which comes from a blend of Australian, New Zealand and American hops.
Jawbox vs Shortcross
When it comes to quality gin, Northern Ireland has not one, but two big hitters. Both Jawbox and Shortcross will be exhibited their wares at Custom House Square. The only fair way to decide which is best is to try them both.
A very popular choice south of the border, beer fans in Belfast will get to taste this Drogheda brew at the craft beer festival. They’ve five different beers on the go at the moment, our favourite is Smiggy’s Amber Ale.