Childhood friends serve up a beer to be proud of

A brewing enterprise involving a trio of childhood friends is set to quench the country’s growing thirst for craft beers.

Established by a trio with business, bar, and food culture backgrounds and brewed in a Baltimore basement, the West Cork Brewing Company has perfected two new beers.

The new brews, one pale and one dark, were revealed at the company’s launch on Saturday night.

They were named Sherkin Lass and Roaring Ruby for the region’s coast.

The 200l nano-brewing company is situated in the basement of Casey’s Hotel in Baltimore and evolved as part of a growing national interest in locally produced craft beers.

CEO Henry Thornhill and chairman Dominic Casey spotted a gap in the market for quality, locally produced beers and brought in brewer Kevin Waugh to develop the product.

Dominic, who has spent 10 years working full time in the family business, Casey’s Hotel, served up his own beer to customers for the first time on Saturday following a 12-month development process.

“We tried and tested a good few brews, but in fairness to Kevin, he has a science background and is very thorough in what he does so we knew he was going to get it right,” said Dominic. “And we got there in the end and the reaction’s been great tonight.”

Henry said they decided to start small with an initial €10,000 investment but set 2016 as a target to develop into a “much bigger operation”. “We didn’t have any brewing experience so that was probably the biggest challenge,” he said.

The two brought childhood school-friend Kevin into the mix as chief brewer to utilise his chemistry and food culture skills.

“My background working in farmer’s markets with the Real Olive Company exposed me to the craft food culture in west Cork,” said Kevin. “There seemed to be a lack of craft beer in west Cork when it was exploding in other parts of the country, so why not down here?”

The enterprise is more than just a brewing business, he said.

“It’s about building on childhood friendships and doing something positive.”

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