BrewDog makes its first trip to Ireland
I had the great pleasure of visiting our distribution partners in Belfast at the end of last week, to host a tasting event, where I was able to experience firsthand the hospitality of the people and the great opportunity for our beer, in what has to be one of the most vibrant City's in the world.
After checking in with Conall and Peter at their Gap Wines HQ and devising our strategy for growth (not just in the North but also filtering into the Republic through soon to be opened channels) we were bound for The Garrick.
We had sold out the event long before the night in question and unfortunately people were being turned away at the door, - but have no fear we will be back as soon as the schedule allows and with even more groundbreaking news and brews.
The format of the evening was kept simple-a quick intro to the BrewDog business, our philosophy and plans for the Irish Market, followed by an exclusive screening of the TNP launch video which went live on the same day. (James Naked and shivering on a large cinema screen is enough to put anyone off their Ballymaloe-and it took some convincing and a few sneak previews of some special beers to win the audience back round)
I was able to meet every single one of the intimate and engaged crowd as we tasted, first 5am saint and then the mighty Bashah-everyone was blown away by both.
There was also a plentiful supply of Punk IPA, Harcore, 77 and Trashy Blonde to keep the party fuelled and the crowd left in no doubt that we had arrived on their fine shores and we mean business.
There is the same problem in Ireland as we have here, in that most of the bars are tied into deals with large companies and cannot stock independently craft brewed beers-but we certainly managed to get in front of the few that can - so here are some of my hot tips for where you will be able to get your hands on BrewDog beers in both NI and ROI in the near future.
Key Distributor = http://www.gapwines.com/
These gents are out go to guys in the North and if you have any BrewDog requirements (both wholesale and retail) then they will take great pleasure in sorting you out.
A great place to eat = http://www.labocabelfast.com/
My new best Irish mate Pedro and fellow raconteur is the owner of this fine establishment, where there will be three Brewdog Bottle options on the menu to match with his top class Argentinean cuisine + 77 Lager on draught coming soon.
A great Live Music bar = http://www.thejohnhewitt.com/
Brewdog appearing on their Guest Ale list from December
Just a great Bar = The Garrick 29 Chichester Street Belfast, BT1 4JB - 028 9032 1984
So straight up and down that it doesn't even bother with a website-old school.
It is safe to say that we have made some great new allies in the revolution and it won't be long before we will be back to see how things are progressing.
PS You can follow me @Brewdogsales on twitter to keep up to date with our events, launches and to join us for a beer on our travels. http://twitter.com/Brewdogsales