By Charlotte Okonji
Last Wednesday, 28th of September, saw Guinness’s Open Gate Brewery throw open its doors to announce a 2-day celebration in honour of Oktoberfest. I was lucky enough to be there to get taste of what’s on offer.
Located on Thomas Street, the Open Gate Brewery opened last year to rave reviews, offering thirsty punters the opportunity to sample beers which aren’t usually available in Ireland, in the heart of a working brewery. To coincide with Oktoberfest, the Guinness team have opened the iconic black gates and are welcoming in the public to partake in a feast of fine German food and of course, sample a range of beers from around the globe.
Wednesday evening’s festivities kicked off at 6.30 pm but the delicious smell of hops and slow cooked pork reached us a good 15 minutes before that. Grabbing a bratwurst hotdog from the caravan parked at the entrance to the brewery, we trotted up the stairs to find that, yes, we were in fact in a working brewery, a fact attested to by the large beer vats and kegs which dominated the far end of the room.
Being more of a gin and tonic girl myself rather than a beer guzzler, I was at a bit of a loss. Which beer could I choose that wouldn’t leave me with a face reminiscent of a bulldog sucking on a lemon? Luckily, the brewery’s resident beer experts were on hand to point me in the right direction. Having established that I’m partial to a drop of red wine now and again, beer guru Darren suggested Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. As he promised, this hearty brew really was reminiscent of a good red wine. Primarily found in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, at 7.8% alcohol by volume, it certainly packed a punch, and has earned, in my good self, a new fan. Oktoberfestbier, a fruity concoction created especially for the event, was a refreshing alternative and perfectly complimented the wonderful array of German pork specialities on offer. Galway butchers McGeoughs showcased their fantastic dried, smoked and cured meats, while Longford artisan butchers Herterich, whose family business was founded by a German great-grandfather, dished up delicious pork belly and Haslet, a fantastically meaty pork loaf.
The Open Brewery Oktoberfest comes to an end tonight, and is the perfect way to get your weekend started. Tickets are €15 and includes entry, a flight of beer and fabulous German food. Doors open at 5.30 pm and tickets can be purchased at http://www.guinnessopengate.com/