Meatopia at Guinness Open Gate Brewery

Words: Alex Denman   Photography by Alex Denman

Meatopia at Guinness Open Gate Brewery

Eat, meat, sleep, repeat.


Meatopia returned to the home of Guinness in Dublin for the second year in 2018. The event brought together international chefs, live fire cooking and world class beers with music, knife skills, and good times.

When you're looking to pair international flavours with a range of beers, then it makes sense do it at a brewery. The Open Gate Brewery at St James' Gate Dublin is essentially the test kit of the main Guinness Brewery. While the main brewery keeps the world’s supply of 'the black stuff' flowing, the Open Gate Brewery is charged with bringing experimental brews to the table. Over time new brews are tasted, tested and discussed alongside food, with the best of the best making it into production. If you’ve ever drank Hop House 13, know it started life in the Open Gate Brewery.

With Meatopia in town a trio of new beers were making their debut as pairings with international flavours. Pure Brew - Non Alcoholic Lager, Open Gate Pilsner, Hopped Crisp and clean and Citra IPA - a balanced juicy citrus pale ale.

The chef lineup included Jonathan Sawyer (The Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland, Ohio), Esther Choi (Mokbar, NYC) alongside a stellar lineup of chefs from closer to home including Pip Lacey (formerly Murano, London), Elizabeth Haigh (formerly Pidgin, London), Niall Davidson (Nuala, London), Dan Doherty (formerly Duck and Waffle, London) and Irish nationals Killian Crowley (Aniar Restaurant, Galway) and Liam Kirwan (The Montenotte Hotel, Cork).

If you didn't make it to Meatopia here's a taste of the stellar menu you missed:

• Jonathon Sawyer, equipped with some of the biggest knives in the business cooked up Nonna's Sunday Supper. Beef shank braciola with pork neck, bones and cheeks, ricotta cavatelli, tendon salsa verde, and suet scarpetta. Paired with Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.

• Esther Choi Smoked Kalbi on SSAM. Kalbi hung over alder wood and served with SSAM (lettuce wrap, grilled rice cake, scallion salad and roasted garlic) with grilled whole head kimchi. Paired with Gooseberry Sour.

• Elizabeth Haigh brought us a delicious Roasted Miso Chicken with chicken fat mayo, chicken skin furikake and bbq veg salad, paired with Citra IPA.

• Niall Davidson was right at home with his love of live-fire cooking and this weekend it was his signature Pork Belly with meadow sweet honey and pickled apple.

• Dan Doherty cooked Grilled Lamb Chop with burnt aubergine. Indian spiced grilled lamb chops with herbs, green chilli and lime with burnt aubergine and smoke yoghurt.

• Killian Crowley brought seafood to the table with his West Coast shellfish in the coals. A medley of Irish mussels, kelp and oysters cooked in sand or on the coals with pickled alaria and smoked Irish kelp, paired with Open Gate Brewery Pilsner.

One of the highlights of Meatopia is that you get to meet and interact with chefs, while you see, hear and smell what they are cooking. Jonathon explained that his slow cook dish required cooking all day and all night, so in fact he's serving you food that was put on the grills 24 hours ago, while you're watching tomorrows feast start the process today.

It’s fair to say this much smoke coming from the Guinness Brewery on any other weekend would have the Dublin Fire Brigage calling round. Charcoal and wood was supplied by London Log Co, you can find out more from London Log Company here.

Great to see all the Guinness crew, Aisling, Padraig, Alan, Cian, Ian and Declan. Looking forward to London Meatopia for more great flavours.

Till next time.