|Drinking order: from right to left|
I have met Hardknott Dave a number of times over the last few years. Beginning when he ran his old brewpub and moving on to when he sold that and moved his microbrewery to a new premises. Some of the things I like about Dave is that he is uncompromising when it comes to quality and also he loves to experiment with his beers. Think Brewdog but without the attitude that comes with them.
Dave has been twice over to Dublin this year in search of an opportunity to get his beer in to Ireland where I know it will go down very well. It's hard to believe but this was the first time he had been to Ireland and while the first trip was more of a package deal for small businesses, the most recent trip was simply themselves as a brewery going around and getting a feel for the Irish drinks market and most importantly, meeting with prospective importers.
Both times I met up with Dave and his better half at L. Mulligan Grocer. I had tried to get him to meet the proprietor as he himself is a beer importer but Colin was on a plane and only arrived after they had left. Not to worry as this time there was an actual meeting arranged well in advance. Though Colin was still coming in from the airport as it turns out.
We sampled 12 of the Hardknott beers that Dave had brought along and I have to say, they were all very impressive. Some I have had before and not thought a great deal at the time. I am happy to report that the recipe has either been altered for some of these beers and they are now wonderful, tasty beers or in the case of some of the bigger beers like Rhetoric, have been allowed to age and are now at the ideal time for drinking.
Colin brought out his own Dr Rudi but unfortunately it seems to have gone past its best by because there was a wet cardboard like oxidisation going on and Colin was very apologetic. Dave picked out Oysters and I thought it pretty tannic. If you want to know what it should taste like, TheBeerNut already talked about it last year.
After this, we headed to The Brew Dock for a few more beers before calling at a night. It was a great beer filled evening.
Anyway, I don't know if a deal has been struck between Hardknott and any of the people he talked to and I imagine it's a little too soon anyway but it does seem fairly likely that Ireland is going to get Hardknott beer at some point this year if we are lucky and not just bottles but hopefully kegs too.
If I hear anything more, or they start to appear, I will mention it on here. In the meantime, keep an eye out yourself.