Plans are under way to do a Trans Atlantic beer recipe swap with the afore mentioned brewery!
The Weasel Boy were founded in 2006 by Jay and Lori, both of whom visited our pub Brics in 2012. My understanding is they happened upon us as they took the glorious drive west out of Dingle Town on the Slea Head drive. We were producing beer since 2008 so naturally we all had quite a lot to talk about! They spent the afternoon and took a tour of our then very humble brewery(2.5bbl)
Promising to return or make contact at some point in the future, some months back Jay made contact with the question how could we collaborate in some way,? so, short of the mega bucks involved with travelling to each others breweries we have decided to do a recipe swap.
They will brew our special red “Riasc Red” an English style bitter with some added botanicals and we will endeavour to brew their American style black IPA. This will be a departure for us as we have never brewed an IPA before, the timing of year suggests something darker hence the “black”! We will not only be using hops we have not used before but also brewing to a higher abv%. By the looks of things all this will go down in Nov/Dec 14.
Isn’t always the way that something or other must go wrong or pear shaped, just to challenge our comprehension skills!!!
With our increased production capacity we need to get the hang of temperature controls and timing in particular relation to wort transfer from copper to fv.
With a temperature of 21 c going over the beer still managed to reach 25 c in the fv, very bad news for our top fermenting yeast, with heat like that it just sweats and sinks…..oops! Anyway with a quick chat to our man in the wings, Brendan, we are going to try resolve the situation by chilling and recovering some yeast from the bottom of the fv, which we are not supposed to do but needs must at this time.
Burnham has been a longtime favourite place of mine. It is on the way to Ventry village from Dingle on the left in the mouth of the harbour a river runs into it and as far as I can gather it is the only place on the peninsula where trees are found in abundance. Trees along with fresh water and the sea, a wonderful combination, the treasure of mussels feeding on the causeway, derelict and broken now, a remnant from Lord Ventry. It was Pádraig who introduced me to the place and I have enjoyed picking cleaning and eating those mussels many times over the years.
The place itself is a teeming full-bodied experience to the senses, visually stimulating, sweet smells of decay filling and pulsating around the shores. Intermittent sounds of singing birds with an ever so real sense of the mysterious and exotic. Magical.
The adjoining photograph taken and enjoyed on a trip up Márthain over a week ago, the place where I scattered Pádraig’s ashes 13 years ago, our daughter Maude was 5, she struggled with the ascent and I stopped short of the top that time. His mother Máirin, in her early 70’s waited at the bottom, just we three were there for the event, a private affair till now. As I scattered the grey dust over the heather Maude picked up a handful and asked “could this be his nose?” we both looked and disagreed, the handful was too small, so she scooped up more, we were then both satisfied, yes that was his nose.
The brewing with our new equipment is proving very rewarding, with the increased production capacity I have gone ahead and ordered 30L kegs. This is a move for us and we mulled over it a while, we primarily wished to stay with in the cask market, but it doesn’t really exist in Ireland, yet. It was all well and good when we had the pub open and could satisfy those passing visitors who were more than willing to try traditional beer. Now our priorities are shifting and getting our beer out there is paramount, figuring out how to do that while maintaining standards,tastes and breaking even is very challenging.
A lot of breweries are using the key kegs and we had briefly considered them also, but a conversation with Peter Mosley of the Porterhouse, reminded me of their un-environmental impact, being recyclable doesn’t cut it. Hence our first order of a pallet of kegs, an investment, hopefully if we are to survive for any length of time. As Peter pointed out, he has kegs as old as himself!
The time line is probably going to be about 3 weeks.
In the mean time we hope to send another pallet of bottles to Grand Cru, potentially with a few casks. We sent a mixed pallet of bottles up last week and Wally has requested some more whenever ready.