And the Lynch family’s new brews are going down well with regulars at their Cotton Ball Pub on the northside of Cork City.
The Lynchs, whose ancestors established the Mayfield pub in 1874, say they hope to add new drinks to the range over the coming months.
“We simply wanted to offer more choice to our customers,” Eoin Lynch, 37, said.
He is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the pub business established by his great, great grandfather, decorated war hero, Humphrey.
“We could see the rise in the craft beer industry and we were thinking about doing this for a while, so we just decided to give it a go,” he said.
Eoin, who works in quality control in the pharmaceutical sector; his brother, Humphrey; and their father, Jack, spent almost two years researching the venture.
They worked with a consultant brewer, and installed a hi-tech micro-brewery in the basement.
Sourcing as many ingredients locally as possible, including 90% of their malt from Togher Maltings, they do all the brewing on site, mix the grain with water in a mash tun, letting it steep at 65C for an hour, extracting the wort, before the liquid is transferred to a copper tank, where it is boiled with hops.
The liquid is then processed through heat exchange into a fermenter where the yeast is added.
One week of fermentation produces their Lynch’s Pure Cork Stout, which is cold-matured on Jack Daniel’s impregnated American oak, and three weeks later they get Mayfield Golden Lager — a Pilsner lager, made with 100% Cork malted barley.
Both are on tap in the pub, priced at €3.65 a pint.
They are poised to launch Kerry Lane Pale Ale, named after the lane alongside the pub.
The micro-brewery has the capacity to brew up to 16 kegs per batch, and they are producing one batch a week, but hope to ramp up production as demand grows.
Eoin described it as a substantial investment for the family business and said they hope to be able to sell the drinks in other outlets, or even bottle the range later.
The Lynch’s will officially launch the micro-brewery venture on Jan 25.
Synonymous with brand giants Murphy’s and Beamish, Cork has in recent years carved out an impressive reputation for craft brewing.
The Franciscan Well Brewery in the city centre were the pioneers. Established in 1998, it was bought out last year by beer giant Molson Coors UK & Ireland in a multimillion-euro deal.
Eight Degrees Brewing in Mitchelstown produces a range of craft beers including Howling Gale Ale, Sunburnt Irish Red, and Knockmealdown Porter.
Heritage pub guru Benny McCabe has plans to develop a micro-brewery, bar, and restaurant in the Cornmarket Centre building, underneath TK Maxx.
Husband and wife team Sam and Maudeline Black, set up Kinsale Craft Brewery in 2013.
And now, Peapod Cafe has applied for planning permission to change the use of a retail unit at 4 Oliver Plunkett St in Cork to a licensed premises, incorporating a nano-brewery and a restaurant on the ground and first floor.