Well we managed to survive the 2013 Irish Craft Beer Festival. It was brilliant craic and we had so much fun.  We’re already making plans for next year, but I decided we’d better have a quick look back at how we got to this years festival before we get ahead of ourselves.

Our Mountain Man bar under construction

Our Mountain Man bar under construction

To start with we had no bar so we needed to do a bit of bar building so we’d have some sort of level surface to serve you boys & girls some of our tasty beer.  I knew you wouldn’t want Mountain Man to have a nice smooth bar with lovely shiny silver taps, so I got to work with my saw, crowbar and hammer.  It took me a while to pry off part of the barrel board ship lap from the cabin, but I’m persistent.  Anyway, it’s still summer(ish) and I knew it wouldn’t be that cold for another month or two.  An ould turf bag would cover up the worst of the scars on the cabin until we returned from the RDS.

Next up came a few of the floorboards to make the top of the bar.  I was only borrowing them and since I’d be at the RDS, who’d be walking across the floor while I was up there anyway?  Then came the forest.  Well, the bar looked a bit lost without having some woods around it, so out came the saw.  The first few trees I cut down just wouldn’t fit in the van, so it took a bit more chopping to get some trees that would fit.  I realise now that I could have cut the first trees a bit shorter, but when you get the smell of chainsaw oil in your nostrils you tend to drift into a kind of frenzied wood cutting haze.  I don’t remember much after the first 17 or 18 trees.

 

Clancy Barracks Ammo Box

Ammo Box or Lunch Box?

While out hunting some deer and the odd lost tourist in Killarney, I came across this old ammunition box from Clancy’s Barracks in Dublin and I thought to myself “what could I use this for?”  A lunchbox for one of the kids?  Something to store old socks in?  or something to pour our beer through?  I believe the writing on the front is Swedish for “Not For Transporting Kittens”.

 

 

 

 

 

Beer Tap with Antler Handle for Hairy Goat

Beer Tap with Antler Handle for Hairy Goat

 

We here at Mountain Man believe in reducing, reusing and recycling, so with a bit of simple carpentry skill I turned a former container for dispensing something that could blow the head off ya into a different container for dispensing something that could blow the head off ya.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Van can carry a LOT more that YOU can

A Van can carry a LOT more that YOU can

 

Once we had the bar built, we headed off down the mountain on our way to the Big Smoke!  Once we reached Macroom we realised Dublin was a lot further that we thought and I’d never make it on foot with the bar digging into my shoulder.  So we turned around, headed back up the mountain and loaded up the van.  The next time we left we got a lot farther before I needed a break.

 

 

 

 

 

Finished Stand at the RDS

Finished Stand for the RDS

Once we arrived at the RDS for the Thursday opening of the Irish Craft Beer Festival, we got cracking to set up our Mountain Man cabin stand before they opened the doors and let the thirsty crowd in.  We were located down in the “Nano Bar” section of the festival which housed all the new breweries.  We landed ourselves next door to the lads at Donegal Brewing, West Kerry Brewery and Blacks Kinsale Craft Brewery.  We rotated Green Bullet and Hairy Goat on draught throughout the length of the 4 day festival and changed the sign hanging from the trees each time we rotated.

 

Your Mother Would be Proud

Your Mother Would be Proud

 

 

 

 

Once we had the bar all ready to go, we needed some signage to warn unsuspecting or new drinkers of the potential hazards of beer festival tasting and to provide some helpful festival guidance.

 

Remember Rule No. 1

Remember Rule No. 1

 

 

 

Most people were well behaved, but we had quite a number of people tell us that their significant other was “over there breaking Rule No. 1.”

 

 

 

 

The doors are opened

Move aside, I can’t see our stand

 

 

Slowly but surely the crowds started to arrive in to sample what was on offer at this years festival.  It generally didn’t take long before the RDS filled with more and more people with throats on them that could grind marbles.  We had a plan to cure them of that aliment and it involved a flavoured alcoholic liquid.

 

 

A quiet Saturday night drink

A quiet Saturday night drink

 

 

 

 

In an effort to spread the love of craft beer, my undercover attempt to infiltrate a wedding show next door and “rescue” some weary couples with the promise of relief from cake samples and the Notting Hill soundtrack, was thwarted by some well dressed doormen smelling of lavender and roses.  I’m pretty sure that in between the aromas of Citra & Galaxy hops, I smelled that distinctive flowery aroma later that night so I don’t think my efforts went unrewarded.

 

 

 

Now we couldn’t end our overview of the weekend without acknowledging the best beards of the festival.  These lads are now officially full members of our Festival Beard Club.

Festival Beard No. 1

Festival Beard No. 1

Festival Beard No. 2

Festival Beard No. 2

Festival Beard No.3

Festival Beard No.3

And before I forget, we also wanted to thank some of the finest Men from fantastic micro-breweries such as Metalman Brewing, Blacks Kinsale Craft Brewery and Kinnegar Brewing (who was in the “Gents” at the time of this photo).

Are there any WOMEN here today?

Are there any WOMEN here today?

See you all again next year. Same Bat Time. Same Bat Channel.