Friday 30 September 2016

Rye River Brewing goes unpasteurised after signing distribution deal with Atlanta's Sweetwater

Published 04/09/2016 | 02:30

Pamela Ryder of Rye River Brewery, who have just inked a deal with a US craft brewing giant. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Pamela Ryder of Rye River Brewery, who have just inked a deal with a US craft brewing giant. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Rye River Brewing, one of Ireland's largest craft brewers, is making all its beers unpasteurised.

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Founder Niall Phelan told the Sunday Independent that the move was designed to enhance the flavour of its products.

"The whole purpose is about quality. Pasteurisation isn't good for the flavour ... you're basically taking a delicate product that's been made by hand and boiling it up to 100 degrees," he said.

The company has raised two thirds of a target of €11m this year. The move to stop pasteurising has been enabled by its investment in an in-house bottling line, Phelan said.

"Initially when we started we had to brew under contract in the UK, and then it took us about a year to get the brewery up and running in Ireland.

"Then when we got the brewery up and running we still didn't have a bottling line so we were sending our product out to get bottled, and bottling houses have pasteurisation as standard. So it's as we've invested in the bottling line here, brought everything in house, that we've made that call."

Rye River has received planning permission for a visitor centre at its premises in Celbridge, Co Kildare, and aims to start construction early next year, Phelan said,

The company has also signed a partnership with Atlanta-based craft brewer Sweetwater. It will distribute Sweetwater products in the Dublin area initially.

"There's a bigger demand from consumers now and particularly there's an awareness around American craft beers.

"We spent the last couple of years looking at who we'd like to partner with over there and the guys from Sweetwater just sort of fit culturally with us," Phelan said.

"We're looking at whether there are opportunities for us in Europe or Asia. Sweetwater might be ten times bigger than us but in the world of beer we're both minnows, so you need a bit of support to go against the big guys and you need some collective thinking."

Sunday Indo Business

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