Business Irish

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Brewery targets expansion as funding pours in

Seamus O’Hara, managing director of the Carlow Craft Brewery, is targeting both the domestic and export markets. Photo: Patrick Browne
Seamus O’Hara, managing director of the Carlow Craft Brewery, is targeting both the domestic and export markets. Photo: Patrick Browne
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The craft brewing company behind the O'Hara's beer brand will target growth at home and abroad with a €3m expansion that will enable it to double production.

The Carlow Craft Brewery completed a €2.5m fundraising before Christmas using the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme.

Stockbroking firm Cantor Fitzgerald handled the fundraising, targeting wealthy clients to invest in the brewer. Carlow Craft Brewery managing director Seamus O'Hara said there had been a "good appetite" for the fundraising.

The company, founded almost 20 years ago, is also hopeful of securing additional investment from Enterprise Ireland.

Mr O'Hara said that between €2.5m and €3m will be spent on capital investment at its brewery, which is based in Bagenalstown.

The company employs close to 40 people and Mr O'Hara said some additional jobs would be created with the investment.

The firm's brewery currently does two brews a day, he said, which equates to about 120 hectolitres. That's about 240 standard 50-litre kegs.

It produces a range of drinks, from stouts and ales to lagers. It has also previously partnered with a Polish brewer to produce a special stout.

Mr O'Hara said the increased production capacity should be in place towards next autumn, and will enable the company to increase the supply of existing brews, but also to create more seasonal drinks that can be produced during summer, for Christmas or other occasions.

The company's main export markets are the United States, France, Italy and Sweden.

Mr O'Hara declined to reveal the firm's turnover, but said it has risen by double-digit figures for the past two years.

It made a profit of almost €700,000 in its last financial year.

Irish Independent

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