Brewers pull together to revive interest in real ale in Ireland

A collaboration of six craft brewers from across Ireland have banded together to travel to London this summer to showcase the best of Irish real ale at the Great British Beer Festival, hosted by the Campaign for Real Ale.

Real ale is virtually nonexistent in Ireland, but the brewers have all agreed to try their hand at brewing one speciality and one session real ale for the Festival in the hopes of reviving interest in cask beer in Ireland.

The coalition includes brewers from across Ireland; both large and small, and will comprise of the White Gypsy, White Hag, Metalman, Porterhouse, Carlow and Kinnegar breweries. These six breweries will have their own co-operative Irish bar (the Kruger Bar) at the UK’s largest beer festival, taking place from 8-12 August at London Olympia.

white gypsy brewery templemoreCuilan Loughnane, organising brewer from White Gypsy says: “I’ve always loved producing and drinking real ale, but it is incredibly difficult to sell in Ireland with the beer scene being completely dominated by keg beer. A few of us have decided to try and make a go of it, and will be producing two real ales each to showcase the potential for real ales in Ireland.

“The Great British Beer Festival is a great opportunity for us to learn from UK brewers and maybe bring something new to the table from Ireland. This is a very new initiative so will of course be a challenge for us, but I am positive that everyone involved will rise to that challenge and hopefully be inspired to start brewing real ale back home in Ireland.”

Ian Hill, Great British Beer Festival organiser says: “It’s incredibly exciting that we will see a coalition of Irish brewers represented at the Festival for the very first time. The Irish brewery bar will give festival-goers a chance to sample a variety of beer styles and flavours from a country that is more well-known for Guinness.

“We hope that the bar will provide a boost to the real ale scene in Ireland and make a fantastic addition to the 900 real ales, international beers, ciders and perries available at Britain’s largest beer festival.”

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