Several Kentucky craft breweries took high honors at the second annual Alltech Dublin Craft Beer Cup, presented at the Alltech International Craft Brews and Food Fair last month in Dublin. Facing off against 300 other brews, Lexington-based Blue Stallion Brewing won a gold medal for its Doppelbock brew, a dark and full-bodied winter lager with a hint of chocolate and roasted grain. The brewery also received a silver medal for its Smoked Lager, as well as a bronze for its Dunkel.
“Entering our first competition as a brewery, Blue Stallion Brewing is very excited to be recognized with a gold medal at the Dublin Cup for our Doppelbock,” said Kore Donnelly, co-owner of Blue Stallion Brewing. “It certainly comes as a pleasant surprise. We look forward to continuing to make great beer and representing our state.”
Louisville’s Against the Grain Brewery scooped up two silver medals respectively for its Scorched Monk Smoked Sour Amber and Chris Framboise Saison, while Lexington’s Country Boy Brewing won a bronze medal for its Cliff Jumper India Pale Ale, or IPA.
“Kentucky’s local craft brewers are clearly among the best in the world, and we are thrilled that several of them were able to take part in this global event in Dublin,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. “We’ve already decided that the fair will return here in 2015, thanks to the overwhelming response we’ve seen this year with capacity crowds and an incredible amount of excitement from the Irish craft brewing industry.”
While Kentucky brewers garnered many honors in the competition, Danish microbrewery Coisbo Beer claimed the coveted Dublin Cup for its “Four” Russian Imperial Stout. The 2014 Alltech Dublin Craft Beer Cup competition was facilitated by chief judge Dr. Inge Russell, editor of the Journal of the Institute of Brewing, and her team of international experts. The winner was announced on Sat., Feb. 8, along with 125 other gold, silver and bronze medal winners from all over the world.
The Alltech International Craft Brews and Food Fair, Ireland’s largest craft beer festival, boasted more than 6,000 attendees in its second year, with many would-be attendees having to be turned away as the festival reached capacity.
The selection of beers from more than 45 breweries from around the world delighted attendees. Beers available for tasting from Kentucky craft breweries included Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co., along with fellow Lexington craft breweries Blue Stallion Brewing and Country Boy Brewing. Brews from Louisville craft breweries Against the Grain Brewery and Falls City Beer were also featured. Paired with the beverages were cheeses, smoked salmon, breads and more from Irish artisan vendors. The fair’s sensory lounge allowed experienced brewers, home brewers and beer and spirits enthusiasts to taste whiskey, bourbon and beers to learn more about how to taste and the impact of different ingredients on flavor profiles.
The fair also welcomed the trade industry for a two-day conference targeted at brewers, publicans and beer enthusiasts, covering all aspects from flavors and yeast selection to pairing the final product. While Ireland’s craft beer scene is in an earlier stage than that of Lexington, craft beer sales rose about 35 percent in Ireland last year, according to Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board.