What a weekend at Hagstravaganza! There has never been such a unique and free-spirited beer festival in Ireland. The brewers were there, their trade customers were there, the press and bloggers were there and most importantly of all, fans of great beer (and cider) were there! Everyone together, everyone having a great time, everyone tasting some of the most delicious and unique beers ever poured in the country. They even got some half-decent Irish summer weather!

“We noticed that the best events are run by breweries hosting other breweries and we’ve wanted to create that type of event since soon after we started out,” said Paul Mullin MD at White Hag Brewery. “This year we’re cranking it up a notch, and inviting the best breweries we’ve met on our travels to bring beers never poured in Ireland to descend on Sligo with Ireland’s Craft Beer community.”

And so, Greg & Sarah from Mac Ivors Cider Co were lucky enough to get an invite to the hottest beer ticket in town. They brought a Dry, Still Perry made from Perry pears harvested in Armagh in 2015. A delicious drink more akin to wine than cider with a perfumed aroma and a beautiful bone dry finish. It was challenging and it was meant to be hence the name ‘Grow a Pear’! It went down really well among a knowledgeable crowd and sold out before the festival was over.

In addition to this, White Hag were pouring Silver Branch Apple Sour Beer, a collaboration brew made with Mac Ivors Cider. Here Mac Ivors single varietal Bramley Apple Brett cider met Head Brewer Joe’s sour golden ale also brewed using a wild yeast. The resulting brew was then aged for six months in French Chardonnay casks as part of White Hag’s innovative barrel aging programme. The finished product was amazing, a unique and complex sour beer.

And so the crowds piled in all day, 1,000 of them and tasty local food stalls ensured that no one went hungry. They left on the 10.15 train from Ballymote – a carnival atmosphere on the loudest train in Ireland. They sang their way into Sligo town where a night of festivities lay ahead in those great Sligo pubs.

A huge thank-you to all of the team at White Hag Brewery.

Next year can’t come quickly enough! #followthefox