Award-winning Irish craft beers

Beerista: has your favourite beer won any awards?

We’ve always had a good name for brewing in this country – mainly down to the production of one particular stout, it has to be said. And while there used to be many smaller breweries back in the days of old, they were mostly bought out by bigger operations and so it is only now, over the last few years with changing tastes and styles, that a new wave of microbreweries has started to emerge.

Our craft brewing industry is still pretty young – if you’re comparing to the UK or US, for example – but already it’s starting to make some noise on the international scene. At this year’s World Beer Awards, Irish microbreweries were up against some of the finest breweries from across the globe – and scooped some impressive wins.

“It shows we’re now able to compete on a world stage,” says Simon Broderick of Kildare’s Rye River Brewing Company. Their Mc Gargles Little Bangin’ Session IPA won in the world’s best styles category. “It’s a pretty prestigious award,” Broderick says, “so we’re very happy.”

Beers considered

Based in London, the World Beer Awards judges selected from more than 1,900 beers from 36 different countries, with styles divided in 72 categories. Interestingly, the other Irish winner in the top category at the awards was Guinness, for its West Indies Porter.


Awards are also given in separate country categories, and Sligo brewery Lough Gill won three, including for their (very tasty) brown ale MacNutty.

Galway Hooker, one of Ireland’s older craft breweries, was also a  winner in the country category with their Amber Lager. Boyne Brewhouse picked up best in country for their Saison, while among the other Irish best in country winners were Mont Brewery for their lager, and Wicklow Brewery’s Hopknut and WB-40 ales.

Do consumers pay much attention to awards stickers when choosing a beer for the weekend? It’s hard to know – but plenty of these Irish winners certainly deserve a sampling.