“The Legend is in the Brew” – here is the story of the Killarney Brewing Company and our story as part of our TBEX Ireland 2017 (Travel Blog Exchange) visit.
(Editor Update 2021)
The welcome was a traditional Irish hospitality welcome, a lot of ‘craic’ as we entered, we were in for a good night. We were in the Killarney Brewing Company and when the word ‘brewery’ is mentioned some research needs to be undertaken, but first the legend. We had learned on our travels around Ireland, that the Irish were great storytellers, they have great material to work with – Ireland is based on myths, legends, fairy tales and leprechauns and if you enter a ‘pub’ there is always a great story to listen too or one to be told.
We were ushered upstairs to watch the video on the ‘Legend of the Killarney Brewing Company’. A video we would recommend all to watch if you have the chance when you visit the Killarney Brewing Company. A video that portrays the beauty of Killarney and its people, well-kept secrets and the “legend of the brew”.
The Story of the Killarney Brewing Company begins
“Our home is Kerry, sacred islands, the wild Atlantic coast, white sands, blue skies, mountain passes. A land of story and song and at its heart Killarney where mountains sweep down to lakes and eagles sore over ancient lands……”
Already we felt that we were being weaved into this Irish legend, I can still hear the softly spoken words now, the warmth of the Irish accent…. but the story continues…
“Killarney Brewing Company begins with the rain that sweeps in from the sea, that fills the lake, pure mountain water flows down over the sandstone rock, a pure source, a passion blended with the golden grains of earth fused with the aroma of hops, aged with time, the guiding hand of the brewmaster reveals its essence and the richness of the land…..” I hope I have transcribed this correctly, but the story is one of Irish pride and the Irish passion of the people, in our minds we can see the rain sweeping in, the picture painted was real, we were mesmerized with “the legend is in the brew’. We wanted to know more.
We heard about the secret recipe which was kept in a hidden place and passed down through generations where men were prepared to die rather than reveal its contents.
March 2015 and the door opens at the Killarney Brewing Company
The dream of 3 Irishmen, 2 from Kerry and 1 from Dublin – Paul Sheahan, Tim O’Donoghue and Barry Spellman who had all worked together in Chicago in various restaurants and pubs. They wanted to make the best beer in the world and do it in Killarney.
Killarney had not seen a locally produced beer since the 1800s. The time was right, craft beers were becoming trendy not only in Ireland but also around the world. The old Killarney Mineral Water Drinks facility had laid empty since the 1970s, it was perfect for renovation and a perfect fit for a brewing company with its location a 5-minute walk from the centre of Killarney on Muckross Road.
With one of the best Brewmaster’s from the US, add in the best beer brewing equipment in the world and the purest water you can get from Killarney you have a winning formula – a top craft beer company!
Killarney Brewing Company’s mission is to bring a new level of excellence and appreciation to beer drinking the world over.
We head downstairs for tastings and to learn more about the hops and the process.
Killarney Brewing Company – List of Craft Beers
Devil’s Helles Lager (my favourite)
“4.2% ABV is a pale golden brew, cold fermented and conditioned for an exceptional clean crisp finish. The aroma is honeyed and made with a small hint of noble hops.
The legend as told by Killarney Brewing:
THE LEGEND: Local legend tells of a fierce battle between Thor and the Devil. Thor cast down lightning bolt after lightning bolt upon the Devil, who retaliated by tearing up the earth and hurling it back. The resulting basin filled up with water and became known as the Devil’s Punch Bowl.”
Golden Spear – Blonde Ale
“4.8% ABV This blonde ale gets it complex malt character from several specialty malts and a touch of wheat, balanced with the right amount of fruit hop flavor.
THE LEGEND: Fionn Mac Cumhaill, Ireland’s heroic warrior and hunter, often hunted on the shores of the lakes of Killarney and throughout the McGillycuddy Reeks. One day while climbing Torc mountain, he was attacked by a magical, ferocious boar. With a single blow, Fionn killed the lunging boar in mid-air with his fabled golden spear. Savour a pint of our delicious Golden Spear while toasting our legendary warrior!”
Rutting Red: Irish Red Ale
“4.5% ABV This ruby-hued brew showcases a broad spectrum of delicious malt flavors, ranging from caramel and toffee to biscuit and brown bread. Discerning beer drinkers will appreciate Rutting Red’s rugged flavor, which salutes the sheer intensity of our wild stags.
THE LEGEND: This full-bodied red ale pays homage to Ireland’s last herd of native red deer, who for thousands of years have roamed the mountains and valleys of our Killarney countryside. Each Autumn, during a ritual known as ”the rut,” the mighty stag’s clashing antlers and bellowing roars echo through the majestic amphitheater that is Killarney National Park – it is a magnificent display of power and dominance.”
“6% ABV We have broken from tradition to create a deep red in color, American style IPA. Light bodied and dry, our IPA effuses a citrusy, resinous hop flavor and aroma. Best served with a thick frothy head so pour with vigor.
THE LEGEND: Our scarlet colored IPA was inspired by a true local legend of Killarney, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, known as the “Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican.” While stationed at the Vatican during the World War II, and under threat of execution, Hugh saved over 6,500 people by hiding them in monasteries, farms, and other locations. After the war, he was awarded the US Medal of Freedom and Commander of the British Empire. We celebrate the altruism and courage of this great Killarney man.”
Casey Brothers Extra Stout (apparently so good that it was sold out)
“Casey Brothers Extra Stout 5.2% ABV is a fuller flavor version of the classic Irish-style dry stout, with a hefty body and incredibly dense head. We employ a variety of dark malts to capture the essences of espresso, treacle, black bread and dark chocolate. Some Flahavans oats add to the smoothness of this classic beer style.
THE LEGEND: This stout honours the seven Casey brothers who hailed from County Kerry – a unique family of fine athletes blessed with incredible strength, agility and skill. The boys were champion oarsmen with humble beginnings, rowing across Kenmare Bay to and from school. They went on to win numerous Salter Cups at the Killarney Regatta races during the early 1930s, and never lost a race across Europe and the United States. The most famous of the Casey Brothers, Steve “Crusher” Casey, immigrated to America, and utilising his signature “Killarney Flip,” was undefeated heavyweight wrestling champion of the world from 1938 through 1947; he was also a storied boxer, defeating US champion Tiger Warrenton in 1940. Channel your inner warrior while enjoying a pint of Casey Brothers Stout!
Apparently, so good for you, you can have it for breakfast.
All the craft beer is produced in small batches and are all additive and preservative-free. 70% of their sales are from the draught beer which the local pubs of Killarney have embraced, giving the visitor to Killarney a local experience whilst drinking a locally produced excellent craft beer.
Latest News – Pizza
The team from Killarney Brewing Company has added another favourite to their range of products – wood-fired pizza. A great compliment to any beer is a well made tasty delicious wood-fired pizza. We were fortunate to be able to taste-test every variety they make and we can honestly say they are the best pizzas we have had in a long while.
Where is Killarney Ireland
Killarney is located in South West Ireland in the County of Kerry. It is located on the very scenic Ring of Kerry.
Killarney Brewing Company
Address: Muckross Road, County Kerry, Killarney, Ireland
Tel: +353 64 663 6505
Email: [email protected]
Website: Killarney Brewing Company
We recommend the Killarney Brewery Tour as one of the top things to do in Killarney. Why not visit a Killarney Pub and ask for the Killarney Brewery Company’s Casey Brothers Extra Stout – apparently 70% of the sales are to the local Killarney Pubs.
We thank Barry and all the team at Killarney Brewing Company who took great care of the TBEX attendees on the first night. It was a memorable night for all.
Want to book a tour? Click this link.
Tripadvisor Killarney shows great reviews of the Killarney Brewing Company.
Check their store out whilst you are there.
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Where we stayed when we visited Killarney
Killarney Brewery is a ten-minute walk from the Gleneagle Hotel and Apartments where we stayed for 4 nights. If you continue for another 5 minutes you will reach the centre of Killarney.
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