Never ones to judge a book by its cover!? we recently borrowed the below vessel from Brendan Dobbin, whom we buy most of our equipment from, and who provides us with much of our technical needs and advice. Our aim is to try and brew twice a week, once for bottles and the other for draught most of which we are aiming to sell on the Dingle Peninsula and in our own bar Brics Pub which is adjacent to the brewery. We were forced to stop trading in the bar just over 12 months ago due to its declining trade and it was with great sadness the doors were closed.
Now though, with things turning around a little we are actively trying to revisit this reality and open for tours of the brewery daily and by appointment.
Brics has such a long history intertwined with the locality. It has been a shop and general store, grain and feed supplier, petrol station B&B restaurant and pub, changing and adapting since it opened in the late 1800s. so naturally it would give great pleasure if we could keep the whole thing afloat.
The irony being that where the present brewhouse is situated still has the loading bays where horse and carts could pull up to load grain feed and general supplies. This is where we now crush our own grains for brewing.
With barley very much to the fore of my mind I mention the recent seminar held in Kells Mills Kilkenny, who are hoping to import and supply directly from Crisp Maltings. Cutting out importation costs and delivery to my door is always appreciated mainly because of our rural location. The following day I made my way to Minch Maltings in Athy and I was pleasantly surprised to receive a personal tour of their facility by Alan and Paddy (the guy overseeing the whole malting process) It was a real treat to get such one to one attention, particularly when you consider their big customers are the likes of Diageo. We wouldn’t even hit the rickter scale with our small production, but even I recognise that doesn’t diminish our impact and place within the brewing industry. Hearing Alan and Paddy talk about their growers brought home the connection back to the land and the holistic view through the grain, water, botanicals, yeast and fermentation. The visceral relationship between ourselves and what we eat and drink is quite profound.
My Kilkenny direction was prompted by the most recent Independent Craft Brewers meeting, it is made up of such a diverse group of people and moves at a very slow pace. I get a little impatient with the mechanics of bureaucracy and wonder why things do not move faster? The agenda covered things as base as our identity and trying to address what is indeed the criteria for membership? Carly is also working on an identity, an image/sticker which we may use on our packaging to set us apart from the pretenders.