Vanguard Beer Collective

Irish craft beer

By in News 0

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.

By in News 0

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.

By in News 0

Have you met Seán?

We think it’s right time for you to get to know our team here at Vanguard Beer Collective.  And to start off we have our fabulous craft beer representative, Seán Kenny, answering a few questions about beer, dead people and Irish expressions.  (Just be glad we didn’t ask any questions about his cat ;-)


Coffee or tea?

Tea, milk, no sugar please.

What was the best meal you had this week?

Cheese burger in Bunsen, Wexford St., yum yum.

Which famous person in history would you like to meet for a pint?

I never think about pints with dead people. I met Cam of 8 degrees, Sarah of N17 & David the Dublin Brewer so a pint with more of the Irish craft beer revolutionaries would be great.

What beer is in your fridge right now?

None- don’t get high on your own supply or I can resist anything but temptation :-)

If you were a type of beer which one would you be?

What beer is light, pale, a li’le interesting & occasionally a bit heady?

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Cheese alert. The beer sells itself so the people I meet & the places I get to visit are the juice. One place has a Muckser, Goose, Maverick and TwinkleToes to name but a few!

Favorite thing to do on a sunny Dublin afternoon:

That’s easy, go have a look under the sea – I’m a diver!

And your favorite Irish idiom:

I’m waiting for my very next opportunity to add some version of the following to a conversation- ‘and then all the toys were thrown out of the pram’!