Battle of the brewers has tasty results for beer fans – and charity

A BATTLE between amateur brewers at St James’s Gate has thrown up some exotic new flavours with the winning tipple now set to be sold in Europe and possibly on Irish shelves.

Top brewing boffins at Guinness were surprised with a selection of authentic beers after non-brewing staff from accountants to technicians were given a chance at concocting their own tipple. And it was all for charity.

The winning brew, called New World Amber Ale, used yeast from Kilkenny, German malt, New Zealand hops and South African water.

Winning team leader Colm Murphy, a health and safety manager at the plant, said colleagues had enjoyed getting their hands stuck into the brewing game.

“We started bouncing ideas of each other in the test plant. It’s not something we’d do on a normal day. We had fun with the ingredients.”

Up to 1,000 litres of the winning drink are set to be bottled and sold at an artisan brewery in Vienna after staff with Diageo competed in the amateur brewing test.

A total 120 employees from a range of departments at St James’s Gate took part in the Festival of Beer, creating 17 different and eclectic beers. All entrants to the festival this year managed to raise a total €11,500, which will towards Diageo’s Water of Life charity, which aims to provide clean water to Africans every year.

Other entries during the brewing festival included a “firecracker” stout, with flavours of chilli, chocolate and roasted malt.

Another drink called Saol – the Irish for life – involved sourcing ingredients used in the 1700s, before Arthur Guinness even ran the Dublin brewery.

The brains behind the competition festival, Diageo technical director Christian Von Der Heide, explained: “We had staff from all over the brewery and from different parts of Ireland involved. Some came up with classical recipes and then there were speciality brews.”

All the amateur brewing teams also came up with their own logos, bottle label designs and marketing campaigns for their creations.

Mr Von Der Heide said the winning entry may even end up on Irish shelves. Managers at the factory are also considering whether or not to open the competition up to the general public next year to see how non-employees could turn their own recipes into reality.


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