Vanguard Beer Collective


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5 Random Facts From The DBA Beer Course 

So we all know beer is great, but here are a few more things you should know about Ireland’s favorite tipple. Just a glimpse of what’s on at the next Beer Course at Dublin Bar Academy.


1. Beer can sometimes smell like cat piss!

And why that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We’ll talk about why.

(hint: it’s all about the hops)

2. Speaking of hops…

Did you know what other plant is very closely related to them?

(not that we condone this type of behaviour)


3. Learn how independent Irish brewers like Eight Degrees are taking on the big multinational breweries. And winning!

See how craft breweries market on a shoestring (or a G string in some cases)



4. Talk about testicles.

For the record this one has nothing to do with the previous pic! But you will hear about how some U.S. craft breweries are using some rather interesting ingredients in their beers.



5. And since we’re on the subject of meat…

…now is as good as time as any to mention the Charcuterie. We asked ourselves what we could do to make tasting 15 different great beers even more enjoyable. The answer was obvious…. Throw in some meat and cheese to go along with it.


Want to come along to the next one? Check out DBA for details of how to book. Dad have enough socks and ties already? Give him something he’ll actually enjoy and bring him along for Father’s Day.
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Craft Beer Locator Map


Welcome to our craft beer locator map.

Click on the breweries from the drop down menu on the left of the map to find craft beer near you!

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Craft Beer Staff Trainings

Let us help you get the most out of your Irish craft beer offerings.

It isn’t enough that craft breweries are popping up left and right all over Ireland.  Nor is it enough that the consumer is open and willing to try something new.  The success of the market depends on the knowledge and skills of the On and Off Premise staff who are selling craft beer.

James Winans, who hosts regular beer appreciation courses at the Dublin Bar Academy, is now offering craft beer training to all our customers at no extra cost. These trainings cover everything from beer styles and flavour profiles, to Irish brewery introductions and food pairings. Watch your craft beer sales rise as your employees offer a unique experience of knowledge and passion with every pint.

Consumers are looking to getting a little bit more out of their pint, they want an experience.  They want to know what is in their beer, they want to know who makes it and they want to know why it’s good.  This is where businesses need to step up if they are planning on stocking craft beer. It is the restaurants and pubs who show a real interest and passion for craft beer that move the most product.

We seek to create ambassadors with the knowledge, communication skills and, most importantly, the passion to inspire others to discover, respect and enjoy craft beer.

If you would like to schedule training for your staff please email
or ring Julie at (083) 175 1670.


Click here to learn more about the Dublin Bar Academy Beer Appreciation Courses.

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Follow the Randall

What is a Randall?

A Randall is a double chambered filter that allows you to infuse your favorite brew with all kinds of ingredients, like fresh hops for example.  It is an original invention of Dogfish Head Brewery, Delaware, USA, and we are lucky to have one of our own here at Vanguard.

At this year’s Beer Bloggers Conference not only were beer writers chatting up #EBBC14 all weekend, but there was plenty of Twitter talk about an inanimate object we all know and love as the Randall.  You see, James came up with this brilliant idea to put the Randall on tour to give people the opportunity to taste fresh hop infused craft beer in pubs all across Ireland. First stop was The Norseman (formally Farrington’s) as they poured Blacks of Kinsale KPA through Centennial hops.

It was during this Twitter beer banter that @DubBeerGirl and myself had a lightbulb moment thus #followtheRandall was born.  Now you can follow @VanguardRandall to find out where you the Randall will be next.

Currently, the lads at Simon Lambert & Son’s down in Wexford are hosting the @VanguardRandall and have enjoyed Bo Bristle’s IPA with Citra hops.  If you are a publican or restaurateur and are interested in featuring the Randall at your place give us a shout.

#followtheRandall @VanguardRandall

Want to learn more about the Randall? Visit Dogfish Head Brewery’s webpage here.

For the complete Randall user guide click here.


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Plum & Cider Popsicles

I don’t know about you but this heat is getting to me.  Perhaps these plum & Tempted? cider popsicles will do the trick.  Why make popsicles from anything else?

Another tasty treat from Chef and Food Stylist Jette Virdi.


2 fresh plums

1tsp vanilla paste/essence

1 bottle of Tempted? cider of your choice
We used the Dry Cider but any of them will do.  In fact, I recommend making a variety.



Cut plums into quarters removing stone and pop into a saucepan with a little water and the teaspoon of vanilla.



Cook on a very low heat until plums turn to mush and it turns quite thick rather than watery. Leave to cool.


Once cooled, split between the 4 popsicle makers and put into the freezer for 5 minutes. Take out and top up with cider then freeze overnight.


The result: Refreshingly sweet and tangy ice pops for those lazy Irish summer days.  Enjoy!



Jette Virdi is a regular contributor to Easy Food Magazine and Image Magazine and is co-founder of The Workshop People, a one-stop-workshop for an evening of bespoke food, DIY, meeting new people, plus a couple beverages, all under one roof.  You can follow Jette @WoodandC or visit her website

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Four Provinces Brew Co. Launch Party!

Join us in celebration of Four Provinces Brew Co’s first beer, The Hurler Copper Ale, this Thursday at L. Mulligan Grocer.  Come meet brewers Andrew and Feargal and enjoy some of their tasty new beer on us!

Who Four Provinces Brew Co.

What The Hurler Copper Ale Lanuch Party

Where L. Mulligan Grocer 18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7

When Thursday 5 June 18:30

The Hurler Copper Ale will only be available at L. Mulligan Grocer until its official release 9 June. So this is your chance to be the first to try Ireland’s newest craft beer!

Reserve your case and/or keg now by emailing

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Tempted? We are…

We are pleased to welcome Tempted? Irish Craft Cider to our product portfolio this week.  You can now stock premium Irish craft cider along side your Irish craft beer offerings!  Woohoo!

What do we love about Tempted? Irish Craft Cider?  Well, for starters they are an entirely family owned cidery based in Co. Down.  Davy began making juice and cider out of locally sources apples in his very own purpose built cidery at home.  For Davy quality is key which is why he hand picks only the best apples from Armagh and Tipperary for his cider.  Let’s say that again, he hand picks his apples.  We highly recommend learning more about Tempted’s brewing methods here.

So… a delicious, refreshing, high quality cider made in Ireland by a family of four? Are you Tempted?

The entire Tempted? range is now available in 500ml x 12 cases with the Summer Sweet also available in 30L KeyKegs.  For more info please email


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Talking Craft Beer & Food at Ballymaloe

This past weekend we were proud to be a part the second annual Ballymaloe Literary Food and Wine Festival in Co. Cork. The festival brought acclaimed chefs from all over the world for demonstrations, panel discussions, book signings and more.  Local producers sold and sampled artisan products while musicians and DJs carried us through the night.  Plus there wasn’t a big brand brew in sight!  Only Irish craft beer flowed through the taps at this event which was a refreshing, and delicious, change from normal events of this scale.

Our very own Julie Levy held an intimate Introduction to Food and Wine Pairing demo in The Big Shed on Saturday where she featured beers from Blacks of Kinsale, N17 Brewery and Eight Degrees with local fair (see delicious pairings listed below).  You see, we believe in tasty beverages full of flavour so it is only natural that we are big into the delicious flavours of food as well.  Contrary to what you might have been told beer is a much more versatile libation to pair with food than wine.  There are more variations and styles of beer so you know you can always find something to accompany even the most difficult to pair items like vingerary salad dressings or bitter dark chocolate (fyi berliner weisse and barely wine respectively). Not too mention you can pair different beers with the same dish for different, yet equally enjoyable, results.  For example, grab a big hoppy IPA to bring out the spice in Thai coconut curry or if you rather put out heat and highlight the other flavours go for a sweeter, yeasty beer like a Belgian tripel.

Much fun is to be had in the ways of matching beer and food, as you may have seen already in our other beer and food pairings here and here.  Watch this space for more beer and food pairing tips and recipes from Julie soon to follow.


Perhaps we should take this opportunity to officially introduce our fantastic marketeer Julie Levy who joined the team this March and who has, among other things, contributed fun, beer filled posts to this blog ever since.

Julie is from Calif-rado! That’s California & Colorado. Yep, raised in California, and fell in love with(in) Colorado, our Ms Levy is adventure. She surfs the cold waters off the Irish coast, trail runs in the Wicklow Mountains and enjoys cycling around the city. Described as a lover of noodles, craft beer enthusiast and superb parallel parker she knows which end of a camera to point and has a degree to prove it. Having worked for brewers on both sides of the Atlantic she knows her beer and wants you to know it too.  Which is why she loves leading staff trainings and beer tastings for our customers continually on a mission to bridge the gap between the brewer and the consumer. She manages all of our PR and digital marketing, including this here blog, she designs chalkboard menus, window displays, brochures and more.  Did we mention she is also studying graphic design? So you can blame her for those fancy Irish craft beer posters.  Be sure to try out her craft beer and food pairings below if you missed them at her demo on Saturday.


Blacks of Kinsale Pale Ale w/ Gubbeen cows milk cheese.

N17 Rye Ale w/ Gubbeen fresh chorizo.

Eight Degrees Knockmealdown Porter w/ Morton’s chocolate peanut butter cookies.