West Kerry Brewery was established in 2008 in a mature garden at Tig Bhric, by Adrienne Heslin, making it the original microbrewery in Kerry. Adrienne is the first woman in Ireland to become a micro brewer and publican.
A need for a locally produced beer had been identified after years in the business of servicing visitors. The constant question of ‘what is your local beer” prompted action.
Thus, Kerry’s first brewpub was born.
The emphasis is on low volume quality fresh beers, bottle, cask and keg conditioned. All the beers are unfiltered and unpasteurised which produces artisanal, traditional beers. The beers are brewed with its own well water situated 150 feet below the brewhouse, Irish malted barley, whole hops and fresh yeast.
The brewery is set in a mature garden of 25 plus years with botanicals such as blackberries and elderflower. These along with other local botanicals are used in the seasonal beers known as the Riasc Range and named after the townland the brewery and Tig Bhric are located in. This makes the beers authentic and indigenous.
The brewery is hugely fortunate in it's setting, minutes from Smerwick Harbor between Brandon Mountain, Máirthain Hill and The Three Sisters. Gallarus Oratory is just a mile away and the Riasc Monastic site is minutes away.
A visit to the brewery allows one to really soak up the atmosphere of the West Kerry Gaeltacht, a raw and natural beauty which can indeed be enhanced by the beers. The beers are brewed to reflect this “rawness” they are unfiltered, brewed not only with natural well water but native Irish grain and fresh yeast. It is the intention to present them unfused and with high malt content.
It is also possible to stay at the brewery in The Brewers Lodge a three bedroomed self contained unit attached to Tig Bhric which leads directly out to the garden. There are also four ensuite rooms which have the optional use of a shared kitchen and living room also attached to Tig Bhric.
To date, the brewery has produced in excess of nine different beers which include the core four listed below. The production is carried out on the five BBL (800 litres) system and all packaging takes place onsite.
The central beers are:
Carraig Dhubh 6%: A smooth traditional porter, with flavours from the barley of coffee and vanilla.
Cúl Dorcha 5%: A dark ale with a deep maltiness that includes hints of dark chocolate from the malted barley. Hopped with English hops for an easy drinking beer with a slight hop spice note to finish.
Béal Bán 5%: Golden ale with rich caramel malty flavour balanced with both English and American hops to give mild spice and citrus notes and a full mouthfeel.
Blue Rose 5%: An Irish pale ale with a light refreshing mouthfeel and a long lingering citrusy finish from the dry-hopping with American Cascade.