Vanguard Beer Collective

Ballymaloe Lit Fest

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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.

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May Craft Beer Events

We are looking forward to some fun, beer (and food) filled events this month.  Take a peak!

First up is the Killruddery House and Gardens Craft Beer and Cider Market this Saturday 3rd of May from 10 am to 6pm.  This is your chance to meet the people behind the beer and cider as they serve up some tasty brews.

Then we have a Bo Bristle Brewer’s Night at Hugh Lynch’s Pub and Restaurant Friday 16th May at 8pm where head brewer Dave Guilfoyle will talk about the beer with free samples and a Q&A sesh.

Lastly, we are thrilled to be participating in this year’s Ballymaloe Literary Food Fest 16-18 May where we will giving a short food and beer pairing demo in The Shed.