DESPITE the recent disappointment of Sam winging its way to Kerry, local pride was redeemed by Kinnegar Brewing bringing home two awards from their own trip to Dublin.
This year the RDS once again played host to over 30 Irish craft breweries in the annual All Ireland Craft Beer Festival, where over 10,000 attendees came over the course of the four days to sample what was on offer. Though in friendly competition with other distinguished breweries, it was Rathmullan-based Kinnegar’s beers that emerged victorious in two of the six “Fans’ Favourites” competitions; Scraggy Bay in the Pale Ale and IPA Category and Rustbucket, Kinnegar’s Rye Ale, in the Wildcard category.
Scraggy Bay is a refreshing IPA with citrus notes and a bite of hoppiness to it, and is fast becoming a staple of the brewery despite the range of beers in the core range. However, not to be outdone, Rustbucket is the more robust of the two beers — incorporates rye to complement the customary use of barley malt, to give an extra layer of flavour and spiciness.
“Considering that the number of Irish breweries has increased to a remarkable extent, it makes us all the more appreciative of being recognised by the public like this” remarked Rick LeVert, head brewer at Kinnegar.
However these awards are not without precedent. Kinnegar Brewing is bursting at its seams in order to meet demand. The brewery is currently increasing its production and now employs ten people across its operations to cater for its ever growing fan base throughout Ireland.
“Craft Beer in Ireland has not only created a foothold, but has also made its mark on the industry, and we believe that the public will continue to demand high quality beers like those we are producing” continues LeVert.
This growth is testament to the growth of the industry overall, with craft beer sales now accounting for 1.5% of all beer sales in Ireland, an increase of 50% in 2014 alone.