A weekend that will be hard to beat.
We recently found ourselves in a predicament when faced with what was the largest number of competitors to date. With 25 people registered, we had to figure out exactly how everybody was going to fit into the compact venue of the Cloud Picker Roastery. Weeks before the competition, we visited Frank and Peter to discuss the competition but each time we deliberated over the fact that the venue was going to be too small, but we couldn’t have been more wrong!
For 3 days the Cloud Picker facility was handed over to SCA Ireland to host the IBrC 2017 competition. With a marquee erected over the preparation area, the brand new Sanremo Café Racer for all the baristas to try, as well as an endless supply of amazing food (Pickler) and beers (White Hag) for every single judge, volunteer, competitor and visitor, there was nothing spared. The Cloud Picker team made sure that every single person left with amazing memories – Thank you guys.
Over the 2 days of the competition a range of amazing coffees were consumed by the team of national judges. From V60’s to Kalita’s to Aeropress every competitor showed an ever-increasing level of brewing skill and customer service. From a final 19 competitors who took part six went through to the finals on Sunday 23rd of April. The finals saw another step-up in performance levels from the six competitors who engaged with the judges and the audience showing that they were experts in coffee brewing.
Finally, the winner of the IBrC 2017 was announced as Stephen Houston from Bailies Coffee Roasters in Belfast. Using Kalitas and a natural Colombian from Finca Morte Verde, that he roasted himself, he became the 2017 Irish Brewers Cup champ. In second place was Aliona Budan (Fumbally) using a natural Panaman from Verve Coffee with Kalitas and in third place was Julia McKenna (Bailies) who used the winning roast as well but through v60s.
The Thank You’s
On behalf of SCA Ireland we want to send a big thank you to the national judges and WCE representative, Michael McCauley, and a special thank you to Anita our head judge who leaves Ireland in June.
Thank you to Frank, Peter, Tom and the entire Cloud Picker team for hosting this event and for looking after everyone so well.
Thank you to the support of Ian & Timea who kept the baristas on their toes and made sure the competition went smoothly.
In addition, thank you to every competitor for taking part in this year’s IBrC. Without each one of you there would be not competition of any sort.
Signing off for this year’s competitions and see you all towards the end of the year for the next round of competitions.
-Damian and Aidan
Events and Communications SCA Ireland