I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Boyne Brewhouse situated in the rolling arable land of the Boyne valley. The brewery, which occupies an airy and attractively renovated former car showroom, is just part of an ambitious project that will include a visitor centre, restaurant, taproom and also a distillery under the name Boann Distillery. This large undertaking represents a €20 million investment in the brewery, distillery and visitor attractions by the Cooney family who have a long history in the drinks industry in Ireland.
My tour guide for the day, Paddy Cooney, showed me around the impressive facilities including the barrel store room with stores of ex-bourbon barrels ready to be filled with Boann whiskey for aging. The smell from which was truly divine. But back to the beer. The brewery mixes traditional brewing art and state of the art technologies with impressive fully automated bottling line and packaging alongside a beautiful 30hl Kaspar Schulz Brewhouse.
While at the brewery I also had the pleasure of meeting head brewer and distiller Áine O’Hora. Áine brings a wealth of experience to the brewhouse. Having attained a Masters Degree in distilling and brewing from the Heriot Watt University in Scotland, this Galway native headed down under. After spending 7 years in Australia brewing both at the large Carlton & United brewery and at the award winning Matilda Bay brewery, the boom in craft brewing in Ireland attracted her back.
The beers themselves reflect Áine’s Australian influence while holding through to the locality with local malt from the Loughran family based in the Boyne valley and water sourced from their own well.
Born in a Day, is a soft and easy drinking ‘Australian Pale Ale’ with flavours and aromas of pink grapefruit, melon and stone fruit.
Pagans Pillar is a slightly toasty red ale with smooth caramel and a touch of orange peel, lifted with lively carbonation.
Long Arm is a fresh, crisp and balanced, traditional Dortmunder Export style lager beer which recently won the title of “Countries Best” at the World beer awards.
The Boyne range is on offer this month at 4 for €10 in store and online.
Many thanks to Paddy and Áine for taking the time to show me around Boyne their brewery.