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.
Our new brewery has now been commissioned and we have brewed our first brew. All went to plan. It is quite a thrill to finally have a proper brewery so to speak after all these years!
A gas fired copper, new mash tun and a hot liquor tank……..it’s official we now have a 5BBL brewery!
September has been an eventful month, earlier we attended the RDS for the All Ireland Craft Beer Fest. It is one of those things we love to partake in and need to be at but have never managed to cover our costs never mind make a profit. It is always such a thrill to meet all the other like minded individuals who see the potential in brewing ones own alcoholic beverage!
The renegade aspect of the whole industry is what really interests me personally, the genuine toying with flavours, traditional and current has huge potential.
As the month closes out we look forward to the Dingle food festival which is held the first weekend in October every year, the whole peninsula, in particular, use it rather wisely as the finale of the season and a marvellous excuse for a good time eating and drinking ones way around the town!
We will take residence in Tom Mc Carthys bar as usual on the Saturday and Sunday.
Marty……..so moved by our summer special he played slide guitar with it!
It was a simple traditional brew along the lines of our Béal Bán, which is our standard golden ale. The difference was a touch of Cascade hops and rose hips from the garden. The over all floral bouquet was quite refreshing and a surprising hit!
A great day to be remembered with the arrival of our new tanks and Maude receives her Leaving Certificate results. We are so proud of her, there are so many pressures on young people to fit in and follow traditional norms, I for one am delighted that she has completed that inane curriculum called the Leaving Certificate, at least going to college you get to choose courses and topics that may have some relevance and meaning to yourself.
Changes all around, so refreshing, really keeps the mind interested and curious about going forward……….
I have not quite figured out how to link our blog to our website and am awaiting further instruction!
We have had a relatively quiet week in the brewery and for the first time in a while did no brews. It gave me a chance to catch up on things like house work and organising my studio which is finally coming together. Sometimes it feels like things are too good to be true with having the studio and brewery side by side and operational.
We are looking forward to receiving our new brewery from Brendan Dobbin, within a few weeks we will finally be moving up a notch and be able brew more beer and reduce some of the crippling overheads related to brewing in a 2.5 bbl namely the huge electricity bills because we have been using electric elements to heat the water all these years. We will now be using gas and be in a position to save the heated water in to a new HLT(hot liquor tank)
“Riasc Gold” a summer special along the lines of our “Béal Bán” with the same subtle hop aroma and caramel malt after taste but with added rose hips and cascade hops which gives a slightly more citrus finish.