Craft Beer

Craft beers are undoubtedly ‘on the money’ in meeting the latest consumer trends. Indeed, in the five years between 2011 and 2016, craft beer producers’ total turnover increased elevenfold, according to a report for the Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland and Bord Bia. Here, Gillian Hamill explores some of the nation’s most popular craft beer brands


Brand Central

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24 July 2017 | 0

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Last year the craft beer sector has witnessed a remarkable explosion in both varieties and sales in recent years. In fact, last year it was estimated that there are currently some 90 microbreweries operating in the Republic of Ireland, of which 62 are production microbreweries and at least 28 are contracting companies. This is according to a report entitled ‘Craft Beer and Microbreweries in Ireland, 2016’, for the Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland (ICBI) and Bord Bia.

Impressively, the study shows there has been a 29% increase in the number of production microbreweries from 48 in 2015 to 62 in 2016. In fact, the number of microbreweries has more than quadrupled since 2012. The output of craft beer by production microbreweries amounted to some 134,000 hectolitres (hl) in 2015. This represents a 56% increase on the 2014 figure of 86,000hl. In absolute terms, output rose by 48,000hl. The report also states the total turnover of craft beer production companies in 2015 was estimated at €40m and at a projected €59m for 2016. In the five years since 2011, turnover has increased eleven-fold.

Bright lights

With an ABV ranging from 4.2% to 5%, the Five Lamps range is available in 330ml glass bottles

Five Lamps Dublin Brewery says it’s set to headline summer 2017 with a gamechanging range of beers; Five Lamps Dublin Lager, Liberties Pale Ale, Monto Red Ale and Blackpitts Porter & Stout.

Fresh, full-bodied and just that little bit different, Five Lamps embodies the unique humour of Dublin’s fair city. The award-winning brewery delivers beers with a complex taste sensation, but that are perfect for consumers in search of crisp and refreshing flavours. Using all natural ingredients, head brewer William Harvey created balanced brews that deliver a sweet and toasty malt profile, with a subtle hop tone and natural character.

With a 4.2% to 5% ABV, all of the Five Lamps range is available in 330ml glass bottles. From its base in the heart of the Liberties in Dublin 8, the brewery also creates one-off special batches throughout the year, drawing on William’s expert brewing knowledge to offer in-the-know beer drinkers unique taste combinations that are not to be missed.

The brewery’s original beer, Five Lamps Dublin Lager is set to be enjoyed at the coolest music festivals and gigs all summer long and the introduction of the new 330ml can makes it even easier to dance to your favourite tunes while partaking of an ice cold brew.

As the Five Lamps mantra goes, ‘Feck it, why wait til Friday?’

For more information, check out Five Lamps on Facebook @5lampsDublinBrewery. 

Brewing up a treat
With 40 years’ wealth of experience in the Irish drinks industry, Boyne Brewhouse, owned and operated by the Cooney family, tells ShelfLife it understands exactly  what it takes to create great tasting beverages and successful brands. The three vessel, 35HL Kaspar Shultz brewhouse is nestled in the Boyne Valley, a land steeped in legend and mystery. The region provides a bountiful supply of the key ingredients that go into making all of Boyne Brewhouse’s craft beers – from the water to the malt, to the brewing styles and inspirations. All of Boyne Brewhouse’s beers are brewed to original recipes in its state-of-the-art brewhouse so that consumers know they are tasting Irish craft beer at its best.

Brewers Andrew and Richard are let loose on Boyne Brewhouse’s Pilot series to brew on a 200L pilot brewery

Boyne Brewhouse’s core craft beer range is available in both 330ml and 500ml bottles and on draught in selected outlets. This core range includes a Pale Ale, Lager and an Amber Ale while the company has also added an IPA and Saison to this multi-award winning range in recent months, as well as a brand new Session IPA. Boyne Brewhouse will also be launching an Oatmeal Stout in 500ml for Winter 2017.

The brewer also added two exciting limited edition beers to the range this year, both of which are available in 330ml bottles. The first is a Vienna Lager, brewed using an old fashioned double decoction method. The second was an Imperial Stout, where Boyne Brewhouse collaborated with its sister company Boann Distillery, situated under the same roof in the Boyne Valley. This Imperial Stout was aged in Boann Distillery’s ‘The Whistler’ Irish Whiskey Sherry casks.

All of Boyne Brewhouse’s beers are brewed to original recipes in it’s state-of-the-art brewhouse

Boyne Brewhouse’s Pilot series has also been launched recently to create some interesting small batch brews. This is where its brewers, Andrew and Richard, can be let loose and brew on a 200L pilot brewery. The result is a handful of priceless kegs used for festivals and specially selected pubs. The pilot series has already this year produced an imperial Saison and an Old English IPA (OIEPA) with plans throughout the year to brew a Cascara Kolsch, New England IPA (NEIPA) and more.

Boyne Brewhouse’s Imperial Stout was aged in Boann Distillery’s ‘The Whistler’ Irish Whiskey Sherry Cakes

Vienna Lager is brewed using an old fashioned double decoction method





˜ Pale Ale – 4.8%
A beer with a subtle malt base that allows the hops do all the talking. A winner of the Bronze Medal, Dublin Craft Beer Cup 2017; One Star, Great Taste 2016; and Silver Medal, World Beer Championships 2017.
˜ Lager – 4.8%
This Lager is a Dortmunder Export or German style of beer which is also known as the ‘Labourers Pilsner’. This is a perfectly balanced beer in which neither malt nor hops dominate. It has won the Gold Medal (Country Best), World Beer Awards 2016; Silver Medal, Alltech Craft Beer Cup 2016; Silver Medal, New York International Beer Competition 2016; Silver Medals, World Beer Championships 2016 & 2017; and Two Stars, Great Taste 2016.
˜ Amber Ale – 4.8%
A malt-driven beer, which uses a medley of malts to produce a rich, copper-coloured ale. It has won a Silver Medal, Wold Beer Championships 2016.
˜ IPA 6.8%
Slightly hazy deep golden colour with abundant fruity citrus aroma with a hint of pine, this new addition to the core 500ml range of Boyne Brewhouse beers is in store now. A winner of a Gold Medal, Dublin Craft Beer Cup 2017; and Gold Medal, World Beer Championships 2017.
˜ Saison – 5.5%
A classic traditional “farmhouse beer” with a very pale colour. This is a new addition to the core 12 x 500ml range of Boyne Brewhouse beers. A winner of the Gold Medal, Dublin Craft Beer Cup 2017; and Best in Category Speciality, Dublin Craft Beer Cup 2017.
˜ Brand new: Session IPA – 4%
This is a light bodied and lemony beer with a clean uncomplicated finish.

˜ Limited Edition Vienna Lager – 5%
A limited edition double decoction lager using traditional German brewing methods and German malts and hops, this won a Silver Medal, Dublin Craft Beer Cup 2017. A limited bottling of 400 24 x 330ml cases has been available since March 2017.
˜ Limited Edition Imperial Stout– 10.8%
Appearance is deep black with a tan-coloured head. The aroma offers some roast coffee and cocoa nib with both sherry and whiskey notes. Aging for four months in Oloroso Sherry Cask, which has held “The Whistler” range of whiskies for two years, and bottle conditioning has extracted complex vanilla and spice notes to this special edition Imperial Stout. This complex beer evolves in the glass evoking different notes and aromas of spice, caramel, chocolate and coffee. It has won the Gold Medal, Dublin Craft Beer Cup 2017 –Sherry Cask; Silver Medal, Dublin Craft Beer Cup 2017 – Bourbon Barrel Festival Special; and the Bronze Medal, Dublin Craft Beer Cup 2017 – Un Oaked Festival Special. A limited bottling of 150 24 x 220ml cases has been available since March 2017.
˜ Oatmeal Stout – 6.2%
Inky black colour with an intense roast aroma, this won Bronze Medal, Dublin Craft Beer Cup 2017. A new addition to the core 12 x 500ml range of Boyne Brewhouse beers; available since April 2017. The Boyne Brewhouse range is available on draught in selected pubs and stocked in bottle in leading retailers.

Easy drinking craft beer

Dublin has its own craft beer that the capital can be proud of, with the launch of Irishtown Brewing Company’s Dublin Blonde Lager and Dublin Red Pale Ale.

These easy-drinking craft beers represent a new day in Irish craft and the brewer was tasked with creating the “craft beer to have when you’re having more than one”.

Irishtown Brewing Company’s range includes both Dublin Blonde Lager and Dublin Red Pale Ale

The two founders with years of experience between them in the drinks industry, tore up the rule book, and left their safe big brand careers behind on a hunch in order to build their own road to Irishtown Brewing’s strategy of becoming ‘The Dublin Craft Beer’ is certainly paying off as the brand is now pouring in 200 bars across Ireland since the launch in January of this year. Currently being contract brewed in Dublin, Irishtown Brewing Co. is already in plans to build its own brewery.

After establishing the brand in the on-trade within a short space of time, the company is now focusing on the off-trade to allow customers to enjoy its range of beers at home. Irishtown 330ml cans as it keeps beer tasting as it was intended to for longer, with all of the added environmental and practical benefits.



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