|Yours truly pulling pints: Picture by Seán O'Reilly|
Other beers of note was the Kinsale Pale Ale on the hop randall. For those that don't know, a hop randall is a device that you pour the beer through. It contains fresh hops so you get a super fresh hop flavour and aroma. Sam altered the hops in the randall throughout the festival. This was a great idea because it kept people coming back for more to see what the different hops did for the beer. I suspect there will be more randalls in use next year.
Also in fantastic form was an old favourite of mine, Purgatory from Franciscan Well. Showing that they are not going to bow to any corporate pressure since becoming part of the Molson Coors family, their beers were in superb form. Purgatory was available in both regular kegged version and a double dry hopped cask version but it was the triple dry hopped cask version that stood out. It was outstanding and one of my beers of the festival. It was like there was equal hop to beer ratios in that cask. Fresh hop goodness.
Dungarvan's citra dry hopped Helvick Gold went down very well. I missed their IPA though, that's also a tradition now, myself missing one of the Dungarvan festival specials.
There are simply too many favourites to list, as a result, I have no specific beer of the festival, there are too many to choose from and since I did more working than drinking, I wasn't on the lookout for a festival beer. Don't worry, I got plenty of beer both during the event and when all the punters had left.
It wasn't perfect, no event ever is but we made notes for the organisers to help it run a lot smother next year. There really isn't much room for improvement, just some tweaking I think. The only question is, will the RDS be big enough? There are about a dozen breweries opening up between now and then so next year should be interesting.