After a holiday in the sun, it was difficult to head back in to work on Monday. However, when I arrived into the office, I was welcomed by an email from the lovely Michael McCrory at Duffy Rafferty Communications, inviting me to attend the launch of the new 330ml cans from Ireland’s number one craft beer, Franciscan Well. The event, which took place last night at the Dark Horse, Belfast, was just the tonic to cheer me up.

When I arrived at the Dark Horse, Keith of course in tow as he’s a huge fan of craft beer, we were greeted by the delightful Ciara Kinkead, also from Duffy Rafferty Communications, who offered us two cans from the Franciscan Well range; I had the Chieftain IPA, a mouth-watering Irish pale ale and Keith sampled the Rebel Red, a very tasty red ale. The final canned craft beer available in the range is Friar Weisse, a tantalising wheat beer. As we found ourselves a seat and popped open our cans of beer, it was clear that the colourfully branded cans, which feature a brand spanking new logo, kept the beer as fresh and full of taste as a freshly pulled pint (we of course sampled a pint of the Chieftain IPA and Rebel Red, available at the bar of the Dark Horse, served in gorgeously branded glasses, for pure research purposes!).

As the Dark Horse got busier, guests at the event were treated to delectable canapés as well as music from the super talented Disco Beard. I have heard of this band but have not had the chance to see them perform, and seriously, I have been missing out. They are fun, fresh and ridiculously cool. With a repertoire that included everything from James Bay’s ‘When We Were on Fire’ to Christina Aguilera’s ‘Genie in a Bottle’, this is a band that can make any song sound good.

As if the night could not get any better, founder of Franciscan Well, Shane Long, spoke about how he had wanted to introduce cans of the Cork brewed craft beer to Northern Ireland for some time, and was pleased with this exciting development for the company, before he proceeded to hand out goodies to a few lucky guests who had been tweeting throughout the night. My hash tagging must have been on point as I was the very overjoyed winner of a stylish green Franciscan Well hoodie, an on trend t-shirt and a very practical beer can cooler sleeve.

Before we knew it, it was time to leave the warmth of the Dark Horse and head out into a dark and blustery night. After a fun-filled evening, it was clear that in the very near future there are several new things added to my to do list; return to the charming and distinguished Dark Horse, see the soulful and unique Disco Beard play another venue and, top of the list, stock up on cans of the award winning Franciscan Well’s Rebel RedFriar Wisse and Chieftain IPA craft beers, which are all available for the first time in off licences across Northern Ireland.

Published by Kellie Burch