6 days in a persons life can yield surprising variety and unexpected happenings, well, that’s the way of it in my world……… With a beer trip and related business in mind I set off for Dublin last week in my only vehicle, having seen to the permanent demise of my other vehicle. Approaching the exit for Nenagh and engrossed in a very loud rendition of Kate Bush’s” Aerial” album I heard a loud bang followed by a pile of smoke coming up through the floor of the van. With an attitude of, head down and foot to the floor, all will be fine, I willed and realised a freewheeling descent off the motorway through the exit before complete failure and cessation just past a roundabout.
Mostly I was upset with the interruption in my listening to Kate, she is descriptive, melodic and renders superior visions of positivity.
Mention of the young man who stopped and pushed the van off the road is a must, he was very gracious and even dropped me to a pub in town I knew would be possible to hook up with friends of friends. Una Powells a traditional pub in the town of Nenagh is a place all should make their way too.
Being part of this craft brewing industry it is also worth noting and celebrating the good will amongst fellow breweries, that said, Jamie from WhiteGypsy came to rescue the beer I was traveling with and then towed the dead van to safety. Further more he subsequently delivered the beer to Grand Cru Beers who mange to sell on to several outlets around the country. My trip took on a different shape with no vehicle or beer to deliver, which included in part a delivery of our autumn special Riasc Black brewed with fresh blackberries and blackcurrants………..
Along with a catch up with old friends and always keen to take in some visual art, I was so pleased to come across an exhibition in IMMA entitled “What we call Love from the Surrealists to Now” running until February……..an interpretation of all kinds of love from the obvious heterosexual and homosexual to maternal/paternal and even touching on a certain love of pets.,…there is an interesting opinion from both a Sociologist and Neurologist which give added dimension to understanding……. Then, on to Sean Scully’s exhibition in the National Gallery which I just caught at the tail end of it before it finished on the 20th Sep. Great reverence given to large paintings of singular colours arranged in strips with a room dedicated to some black and white photographs of stone walls in Connemara, I related entirely to the linear presentation of these and could recognise his visual reference and starting point for his paintings…… Oh to have opinions and a platform to express them! ……….
On to other business, I took in a Bord Bia conference which primarily I was interested in from the perspective of being a small drinks producer, naturally, their were several speakers whom I enjoyed listening to, primarily though, these events and there kind remind me of the importance of,,, “sticking to your guns” ……..Their are people who look for guidance and those who just wing it, the challenge daily is to figure out which category one falls into???!
Below a photograph of me to the left, surprisingly!, with Pat Mc Grath centre and Colm O Leary around 1988 ish in The College of Marketing and Design around about the time I thought I could be a full time artist.
And on the 6th day, back home in my own place, Bricks Pub/Tig Bhric, in recognition of Culture Night we hosted an event for our customers and nearby neighbours. In an attempt to equate our production of beer from well to bottle, cask or keg with indigenous expression of culture, synonymous as the local poetry, writings or visual art might be, we were delighted to offer a tour of our modest facility and garden explaining some of the processes involved in making beer.
With a backdrop of candle light, wood fire and live music supplied by Ina, Eoin and Tomas, on offer a tasting selection of 5 different draught beers;
2 on cask, Carraig Dubh a smooth luxurious porter and Blue Rose No.1 of our new Renegade Series, deliciously fragrant a dry hopped pale ale with hints of grapefruit.
3 on Keg, Black Elder No.2 of the Renegades dry hopped with high alpha American Summit and large handfuls of fresh Elder Flower which gave a distinct earthy presence, almost tasting of clay….. Cúl Doracha a very well balanced dark red ale with slight bitterness and suitable fruity finish, and finally Béal Bán a golden ale with a sweet character and malty caramel mouthfeel………………