Torc brewery to take on craft beer market

PUBS across Killarney will be offering locally brewed tipples in the coming weeks and they're sure to tickle the palates both of local beer drinkers and tourists.

Torc Brewing Company is being launched by John Keane, a long term Muckross resident who has spotted a gap in the beer making market.

Creating the first brewery in Killarney in over 120 years, John has a passion for home-brewing and has spent the last 18 months developing the brewery at Coolcaslagh. He will be launching two tasty craft beers in Killarney in the coming weeks - a wheat beer and an amber style brew.

"It has been a tough struggle to develop the brewery from the ground up but I've had great support from friends and neighbours," he says.

"The most encouraging thing so far has been the tremendous reaction I've had from pubs and restaurants around Killarney. They understand that consumer tastes are changing, that more people are looking for craft brewed beers and that visitors to Kerry want to see the local attractions, eat local food and drink local beer," he adds.

John says he plans to bring bar staff form all outlets to his brewery to see how the fledgling company hand crafts its beers.

"It means that bar staff will then be able to share the craft beer story with visitors to their outlets," he explains.

There are already almost 50 craft breweries in Ireland in a sector of the industry that's expanding rapidly and while John is currently managing the business on his own, he expects to employ four people over the next year.

"At the moment I'm responsible for brewing, packaging and distributing the beer but, as the business grows, I'll be delighted to create employment in a new industry in the locality," he continues.