The craft beer revolution has been slow to start in this neck of the Irish Midlands but, that’s changing and Banagher’s Bo Bristle is leading the charge. Myself and Mr O’Toole took to the road yesterday afternoon and made the short trip to the small Offaly town to see what was brewing.
The brewery is not open to the public at the moment but they were good enough to let us take a look around. Heather greeted us and gave us a run down of the operation. The IPA is the main beer and it’s available on draft in pubs across the country. Head brewer Andy told me that Marris Otter and Munich malts are used along with Carapils. The Citra and Galaxy hops give it a fantastic bite. The next batch that becomes available is the first to be dry hopped and that’s always a good thing in my book.
The Amber Ale is selling well in Marks and Spencer. It also uses Marris Otter and Munich malts as a base and has some Melanoidin in there for good measure. It has Amarillo and Cascade hops which mean it has a lot more flavour than your average amber. Andy wouldn’t divulge the yeast he uses despite my best interrogation tactics.
At the moment the brewery is very much a micro brewery with four employees but there are big plans for expansion afoot. The Pilsner and Red Ales are going to become more widely available and they are looking into getting a ‘pilot kit’ for brewing experimental small batches.
It’s great to meet people who are passionate about their beer and I am sure they are going to go from strength to strength. Sláinte!