Life Food & Drink

Saturday 20 July 2019

These three Irish brewers have been recognised by the Lonely Planet

Shane Long, Franciscan Well Brewery
Shane Long, Franciscan Well Brewery

Gavin White

A Clare brewer has said he is “delighted and excited” after being labelled as being one of the world’s best by Lonely Planet.

Three Irish Breweries have been highlighted as amongst the best craft beer locations to visit across the world by the travel experts in a new book the world of craft beer, Lonely Planet’s Global Beer Tour.

Franciscan Well in Cork, Burren Brewery in Co. Clare, and the Galway Bay Brewery, were ranked alongside breweries in 30 countries and across five continents.

Organised by city, Lonely Planet’s Global Beer Tour tells you how to find each brewery and which beers to sample as well as suggesting other local highlights.

Peter Curtain, who opened the Burren Brewery in the Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna in 2011, said “a lot of American brewers who have stopped in has helped them get recognised”.

Mr Curtain said that they are becoming famous for “their traditional taste of stout”.

“Our main advantage is our hands are not tied by any corporate governance so we can be creative with our recipes.

“We’re the ones calling the shots and it’s great fun being able to make whatever we want to make,” the brewer said.

The Burren Brewery was the 18th craft brewery to open in Ireland and Mr Curtain said the market has “grown massively since then”.

He said they “are the smallest brewery in Ireland” and aren’t interested in expanding outside of the tavern.

The tavern will host a festival on May 27 and 28 where they will have a special chocolate stout and a wild honey ale on offer.

Mr Curtain said there was no particular party planned in the wake of the announcement but said “life is a celebration in itself.”

Jason O’Connor of the Galway Bay Brewery said they were inspired by other countries beer cultures and this is reason behind their success.

“We just thought it would be cool to do something new. We started out with the Bay Ale and Bay Larger and now we twelve beers on tap in some of our busiest pubs,” he said.

Mr O’Connor said they have “done it the hard way with no outside contracts and are privately owned.”

The Galway Bay Brewery now has nine Dublin pubs, two in Galway and are now opening one in Limerick.

Mr O’Connor said “it’s a tough market because we are one of the few countries to have a national drink or pint which is Guinness obviously.

“It requires a lot of outward thinking and our success is down to leaning from what happens in the rest of the world,” he said.

“Sometimes it’s difficult as it is hard to get taps here. If you get one tap you will lose another. A lot of craft beers are in bottles and there’s more of a draught culture here,” he says.

Shane Long of the Franciscan Well said: “Being included in the Lonely Planet Global Beer Tour guide is great recognition for the work that has been going on here at Franciscan Well for nearly twenty years.

“Since we started in 1998, we have seen incredible growth and innovation with over 30 international awards since 2013, and have forged several great partnerships with other leading Irish brands, including Jameson Whiskey Distillery.

He said they have become “ firm favourites over the years with continued popularity at home and abroad and we’re delighted to be included in the recommendation of the top craft beer breweries and bars in the world.”

Long said they “were hugely proud” of the honour.

“It’s great to see the endless hours of trialling, testing and innovating we put in to our brews being recognised on a global level, and we welcome any international visitors to come visit and see for themselves why we have been included, experiencing the spirit of the brewery first hand,” he said.

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