A decatet of brewers!

Northern Ireland brewer numbers will have near doubled by the time 2013 is over. Northern Ireland is finally waking up to the beer resurgence going on in both Britain and Ireland! Along with the Red Hand brewery in Donaghmore and a top secret brewery development in County Down in conjunction with Belfast's Love and Death Inc, we're gaining new breweries in both  Fermanagh and Tyrone.

The first brewery I read about in Easyjet's in flight magazine of all places! I'm not sure how George wangled that but its certainly gained him a lot of notice, with orders and enquiries for his flagship blonde ale flooding in over the last week. Have no fear that this will be another generic golden ale/lager substitute producer as a stout and an IPA are also both on the way.

As a chemist he should certainly know his stuff and I'm looking forward to trying his first beers in the coming weeks and months. He's delivering to the vineyard in Belfast this week; so be sure to go check it out. The brewery itself is housed in a picturesque building, with George and his wife Helen also running a tea room next door.

Closer to home for me is Pokertree Brewing. Darren is also planning a blonde ale, alongside other such Irish staples as a red ale, stout and pale ale...but with a twist. Ghrian (blonde) will be hopped to the hilt with tasty antipodean hops - galaxy, green bullet and Nelson Sauvin whilst the red ale Ruby Earl will be robust with a darkside. Completing the quartet are Tain a Rye Pale Ale and a Treacle oatmeal stout. 

All of these beers have been through pilot batches and are moving onto the shiny new full size kit with the first brew due this week. Bottle conditioned beers should hit the market in time for Christmas and in the meantime we may get our appetites whetted with the cask he hopes to have ready for Belfast Beer Festival.

I look forward to sampling these new beers and chatting further with both Darren and George, perhaps even having a nose around their breweries if they'll let me!

So by my reckoning that gives us two brewries each in Co. Tyrone (Red Hand and Pokertree) and Co. Fermanagh (Innishmacsaint and Sheelin), four breweries in Co. Down (Ards, *secret*, Strangford Lough, Whitewater), Clanconnel in Co. Armagh and Hilden in Co. Antrim. Come on Derry/ Londonderry brewing potentials, pull your finger out!

You can read about other breweries in Ireland on my new Irish beer page

Edit: Beer Nut remidned me Clanconnel are now contract brewed at Hilden, meaning Armagh are strictly sans brewery too.
Strangford Lough Beer Co may no longer exist due to a $1.7m lawsuit ruling. Certainly their main staff were laid off.


  1. The "Red, Pale Ale and Stout" is usually known as the Holy Trinity...

    1. I like it! though the norn iron holy trinity substitutes blonde for pale (at least pales have some hop character!)