We are delighted to announce that we now have two accredited Beer Sommeliers at the brewery, with Claire and Tom both having been awarded the recognition following assessment at The Beer Academy in London last week. This brings to seven the total number of Beer Sommeliers in Ireland and both are delighted to be joining the illustrious group of Paul, Phil, Aidan, Sarah and Des.
Receiving the awards from Alex Barlow, Director of Training at The Beer Academy
(Photo from The Beer Academy)
The beer sommelier scheme offers recognition of a significant depth of knowledge of beer styles and beer and food matching for successful candidates and follows on from Claire and Tom’s ongoing work in the areas of food pairings, tutored tastings and beer education and staff training. Both are also qualified beer judges through The Beer Academy and have a wide knowledge of beer styles, flavours and food pairings and have been huge ambassadors and promoters of the craft beer scene here in Ireland over the last five years.
Join Claire and Tom throughout the summer as they host tours and tasting sessions at the brewery as part of our Summer Series, where you can learn more about our beers and try some samples with food matches and
test their knowledge hear their thoughts on the world of beer and food pairings! First of the series is this Friday, 11th of July at 5pm. For more information or to book a place, please contact the brewery.
Here at the brewery we just love summertime – especially with the weather we’ve been lucky enough to get so far this summer! When the sun is shining in Dungarvan there is no better place to be – whether it’s strolling along the quayside, hitting the beach or gowlie fishing in The Lookout, Dungarvan just seems to be thronged with happy people in the summertime.
A Brewery Visit and a Beer Tasting
For us, summer is one of our busiest production times as, would you believe, people seem to enjoy a beer when the sun comes out. We get a lot of requests for visits to the brewery during the the summer, from both locals and visitors to the area, which we find difficult to accommodate due to our schedules here. So, this year we have decided to hold dedicated visiting times on Friday evenings at 5pm. These sessions will include a look at the brewing equipment, a talk on the brewing process and the ingredients we use as well as a tutored beer tasting along with some food pairings including Brewer’s Gold cheese from The Little Milk Company.
Sessions will begin at 5pm and last 90 minutes, running on the following Fridays: July 11th, 18th, 25th and August 8th, 15th 22nd. Entry fee is €10. Group sizes will be limited, so advance booking is necessary. Get in touch with us either by email, on Twitter or on Facebook to make your booking. These sessions are for over 18s only.
This year’s festival season kicks off today with the West Waterford Festival of Food here in Dungarvan. This is a highlight of the year here in Dungarvan when chefs, producers and punters all come together for a huge range of events – from Dining Experiences to Trails and Tours, Discussion to Hands On events and of course our entertainment schedule and markets over the weekend.
Again this year we have organised an event with a bit of a twist – in the form of a Comedy Grub Club this Saturday night. We got on to our buddy Danny Dowling who got on to his buddy Joe Rooney and both will be performing their own brand of comedy in a double-header show.
Danny will be doing his current show Winner Winner Chicken Dinner in which, apparently, one lucky person will go home with a chicken (stay with us!) and Joe will be doing his stand up material and also getting the guitar out to amuse and entertain. Grub will be in the form of chicken wings (plus vegetarian option) provided by Lawlor’s Hotel and entry includes a pint of Dungarvan Brewing Company beer. Tickets still available online from the festival’s website.
But that’s not all!
We’ll also be a stop off for the Bus Bia Beer and Seafood Tour, and on Sunday Cormac and Tom will be taking part in the Talking Food chats – discussing the rise of the craft beer scene in Ireland in the newly-opened upstairs craft bar at Merry’s Gastro Pub. Our beers will also be on promo about the town, with all of our stockists having them on offer for the duration of the festival. Lots of restaurants are using the beers on their menus as well – try some Black Rock Chocolate Cake at Interlude, Helvick Gold Battered Fish at The Moorings or some Coffee and Oatmeal Marshmallows from Cloud Confectionary at the Sunday Market.
We’ve also been busy with new installations around town, with a tap currently being installed in The Anchor Bar on the Quay giving you another place to enjoy our keg-conditioned beer. Full list of local stockists is as follows:
The Tannery – full bottled range
Merry’s Gastro Pub
Handpumps: Mahon Falls, Comeragh Challenger
Tap: Helvick Gold (upstairs bar)Full bottled range
Handpump: Helvick Gold
Full bottled range
Interlude – full bottled range
Indian Ocean – full bottled range
Tap: Helvick Gold
Full bottled range
The Lady Belle
Tap: Helvick Gold
Full bottled range
The Local – full bottled range
Downey’s Bar – full bottled range
Nude Food – full bottled range
Lawlor’s Hotel – full bottled range
Gold Coast Hotel – full bottled range
And you’ll find our bottled range in these off-licences:
Apart from our own events, we’re looking forward to hanging out at the festival, having dinner in The Tannery and going to see Tomie James’s show Super Organic Me on Sunday after spending time at the huge festival market. And there might be time to take in a beer or two.
And when Monday morning rolls around it’ll be straight into preparations for the Franciscan Well Easter Beer Festival.
Fantastic news – we actually have a summer this year to accompany our summer seasonal! Perfect weather for a Comeragh Challenger, and our summer release is now available in all the top spots.
This is our second summer bottling Comeragh Challenger, which is a single-hopped, traditional-style bitter made with pale malt, crystal malt and Challenger hops. At just 3.8% abv it’s a great easy-drinking beer for these barbeque days. Goes well with red meat so perfect to have on hand when the grill is being fired up, but also wonderful with cold meats and strong cheeses – how about the classic ploughman’s lunch with some crusty Barron’s bread, a nutty cheese like the wonderful Little Milk Company‘s Organic Vintage Cheddar and a bottle or two of Challenger? Perfect lunch in my book!
Of course, since last year’s release we’ve reworked all of our labels so had to re-do Challenger to tie in with the new look – once again we turned to the design team at Greenhouse Studios and are delighted with the results, I think the label really reflects the fresh, grassy hoppiness of the beer.
Comeragh Challenger is being distributed throughout Ireland by Fourcorners and is available from independent off-licences, craft beer bars, O’Brien’s Wines, O’Donovan’s and Carry Out stores. We’ve also casked some of it up so look out for it arriving on handpumps, or call to Merry’s Gastropub in Dungarvan where it’s permanently on cask following a petition from their customers last winter. See more about the beer here.
The arrival of Comeragh Challenger also makes me realise that the Sean Kelly Tour is just around the corner. Having named the beer after the toughest route on the tour it seems fitting that I take part myself, maybe on a gentler route though… time to get the bike out and get into training – fortunately, I can think of no better post-training reward than a bottle of Challenger in the garden. Best of luck to all those taking part, see you in the Déise on August 25th.
It’s our birthday…
We celebrate our third birthday at Dungarvan Brewing Company today – we had our official launch night in The Tannery, Dungarvan on April 9th 2010, followed by a party in Downeys Bar for our friends and families. Thanks to everyone who has supported us along the way – we’ve been delighted and overwhelmed by the support we’ve received and the messages we’ve received along the way!
As part of our birthday celebrations we are running a competition on WLR FM each day this week. Tune in to the Ian Noctor show daily from 4-6pm daily and enter the competition to be in with a chance of winning a hamper of goodies from the brewery, plus each of the daily winners will be entered into a draw on Friday to win a two-night break at The Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co. Waterford including a tasting menu with matching beers in their Michelin-starred restaurant. There was huge interest in the competition yesterday when it began, and entries are being taken on the show’s Twitter and Facebook accounts also. Best of luck!
West Waterford Festival of Food
We are also busy busy at the brewery preparing for the 7th annual West Waterford Festival of Food which takes place in Dungarvan this weekend. This fantastic annual event showcases the best of local producers, chefs and restaurants and we are delighted once again to be involved with it. This year we are welcoming a Bus Bia tour to the brewery on Saturday – a bilingual tour which takes in the brewery before going on to Dungarvan Shellfish for tastings.
On Saturday afternoon we will be taking part in the local producers’ talks in the festival marquee in the Square along with Butler’s Ice Cream, Nell’s Farmhouse and other local artisan food producers, along with cooking demos by The Druid Chef.
We are also running a festival promotion throughout the town for the weekend, where you will be able to buy our beers at the special festival price of €3.50 from the following local bars and restaurants:
The Lady Belle
And you will be able to buy our beers for the special price of 4 bottles for €10 from the following off-licences:
Tommy Power’s – The Square
Twomey’s Eurospar, Abbeyside
Walsh’s Spar, O’Connell St
The festival is always a hugely enjoyable weekend in Dungarvan and we are looking forward to going to lots and lots of the events being run over the weekend – bígí linn!
If you can’t make it to the festival RTE’s Nationwide programme will be filming here for Friday 12th’s episode so keep an eye out for Dungarvan Brewing Company as Mary and the crew will be filming here with us. Nationwide screens on RTE1 Friday at 7pm.
We are also still on course to start delivering our spring seasonal Mahon Falls Rye Pale Ale – we’ll post more later in the week as we start delivering!
Festival season kicks off for us this weekend with the Easter Beer Festival at the Franciscan Well in Cork. This is the longest-running Irish craft beer festival, and where we made our entrance to the Irish craft beer scene for the first time in 2010 when we arrived with our first casks of Helvick Gold and Copper Coast and pitched our bar next to the other newcomers Trouble Brewing.
This year we are bringing Helvick Gold (dry hopped), Copper Coast (dry hopped), Coffee and Oatmeal Stout (last cask until Christmas) and our new seasonal, Mahon Falls Rye Pale Ale. We also have a few other festival specials that the guys have been brewing alongside our regular brews which will be tapped over the weekend.
Tom, Cormac and Jen at our first ever festival in the Franciscan Well in 2010.
Festival of Food
After this on the festival calendar is West Waterford Festival of Food which runs from Thursday 11th April until Sunday 14th here in our home town of Dungarvan. We are looking forward to this year’s festival in which we will be welcoming a Bus Bia tour to the brewery and we will be speaking at the Food Producers event in the Square on Saturday. We are also working with many of the local chefs and restaurants to have our beer featured on lots of menus over the weekend.
Also in April we have some in-store tasting events organised including one with Baggot St Wines who were the winners of the NOFFLA Beer Specialist Retailer of the Year for 2013 – comhghairdeas! As we confirm events we will be adding them to our event calendar on the site so keep an eye out there for where you can meet the team and taste the beers!
Happy Easter from all at the brewery. Black Rock Irish Stout pairs wonderfully with chocolate – enjoy your Easter chocolate with a glass of stout for a special treat!
Ah Springtime! Warmer weather, brighter evenings, spirit of rebirth and regrowth… ok, today in Dungarvan we are listening to torrential rain and howling winds but I have it on good authority that March will go out ‘like a lamb’ and brighter, warmer springtime weather will be ushered in.
With this in mind we have been busy at the brewery preparing for our first springtime seasonal release – Mahon Falls Rye Pale Ale (5.1% ABV), a punchy, fruity pale ale with a rye bite. Made with a base of rye malt and a mixture of American, Australian and English hops, this beer is all about the fresh flavour of the hops, underscored by the nutty earthiness of the rye.
You may have been one of the lucky ones who got to try this as ‘Rye-PA’ at Brewer’s on the Bay last year, where it won beer of the festival, or at the Irish Craft Beer Festival in the RDS last September where the cask we brought sold out in minutes – leading to TheBeerNut to award it “Best Irish Draught Beer” in his Golden Pints awards for 2012, saying ” it was stunning: spectacularly combining bold assertive hops with smooth cask drinkability” .
We’ve tweaked the recipe slightly since then but it still has the fruity, floral hoppiness underscored with the earthiness of rye to make this the perfect springtime drink.
Mahon Falls is scheduled to be released from the brewery at the beginning of April, and we’ll have it available on cask at upcoming festivals: in the Franciscan Well at Easter, at West Waterford Festival of Food in April and at Brewer’s in the Bay in Galway in May.
I recently travelled to the UK to work on a special project for JD Wetherspoon with Fergus Fitzgerald, Head Brewer at Adnams in Southwold where we brewed an Irish Red Ale which will be exclusively available in JD Wetherspoon pubs throughout the UK on St Patrick’s Day – Sunday 17th of March.
Irish Red Ale
I went over for the brewday at Adnams Brewery with fellow Irishman Fergus – originally from Limerick, Fergus studied Biotechnology in WIT and is now head brewer for Adnam’s.
Fergus explains how the brew came to be made: “Irish Red ale seemed a natural choice as Cormac already brews a version at Dungarvan, and there are really only two Irish Beer styles to consider – Irish Dry Stout and Irish Red. The recipe was created when Cormac first visited Adnams Brewery in January. We came up with a brew that is stylistically a blend of both breweries and used Cormac’s yeast so that we could capture a bit of the character of the Dungarvan beers in our Adnams brew. The recipe uses pale ale malt, crystal malt, rye crystal and roasted barley along with Admiral hops.”
It was such a fantastic experience to work with Fergus, and work on such a larger scale than what I’m used to. I’m delighted that I was asked over and made so welcome by both Adnam’s and Wetherspoons, and am looking forward to going back again on St Patrick’s Day to sample a pint!
The beer is a 4.5% Irish Red Ale, copper red in colour. It has a toffee aroma with a slight roasted note. There is more toffee on the palate which is balanced by a good herbal bitterness.
Irish Red Ale will be exclusively available in cask at JD Wetherspoon pubs on St Patrick’s Day.
We’ve had lots of enquiries about getting our beers overseas. Currently we are only exporting to Italy where we are distributed by GMA SRL but we do have further news on this front which we will be announcing after Christmas — stay tuned!
Since last Friday we have been delivering our winter seasonal, Coffee and Oatmeal Stout. This beer was a massive hit last year, so much so that our first deliveries last week were all pre-ordered by off-licenses and bars! We’ve done plenty of brews though, so hopefully it won’t be as short lived as last year’s batches.
Deliveries are ongoing, but current stockists are:
The Red House
World Wide Wines
Ardkeen Quality Foodstore
Dublin (and surrounding):
Baggot St. Wines
Bull and Castle
Celtic Whiskey Shop
Redmond’s of Ranelagh
Deveney’s of Dundrum
Deveney’s of Rathmines
Holland’s of Bray
Jus De Vine
Martin’s of Fairview
McHugh’s Malahide Rd.
McHugh’s Kilbarrack Rd.
Next Door Kimmage
The Strand, Fairview
Wine Well Dunboyne
Castle Off License Tralee
Desmond’s Next Door, Limerick
We’ll update this list as more stockists are added. I’ve casked up quite a bit of this as well, so it should be coming available on our handpumps over the coming months – it’s currently on cask at Merry’s in Dungarvan and The Palace in Dublin.
Hope you all enjoy it!