With the economic downturn in Ireland there has been an increase in the popularity of home-brewing. Across Cork City numerous home-brewers have popped up, both on a commercial and personal basis, because it's a cheap way to make your own beer. Also, where there were only a few trusted beers on tap, there is now a wide array of craft beers and home-brews to choose from. Here in Cork these are making their way into bars across the city.
The most popular of these are the Franciscan Well variety which have ales, blonds and a stout. They brew twenty four beers, ranging from stouts, pale ales, lagers, malt ales and wheat beer. They have started to export the brews to Britain, especially to bars in London. They allow eight hours for the wort process, three to seven days for fermenting and one to two weeks for conditioning the beers. These timelines, along with using the best ingredients locally and from Britain, allows for the consistency of the brews that are vital for micro-brewers.
The Franciscan Well was one of the first bars to brew their own beer in Cork City and have had their own brewery since October 1998. Since then, eleven breweries have opened in Cork. In Cork City alone there is a new brewery opening in Mayfield and another one called The Rising Suns opening opposite the Bodega on Cornmarket Street.
There are also breweries opening in Ballyvourney on the Macroom Road. They'll be producing nine white beer and Mountain man. There's also Eight Degrees Brewing that opened two years ago in Mitchelstown and is run by Scott and Cam, a kiwi and an Aussie both "accustomed to having a range of tasty beer readily available thanks to micro-brewery revolutions in their home countries."
Today, there are numerous craft beer shops around Cork City. These include the newly opened The Friary, The Bierhaus, Abbot Ale House, The Middle Bar, Crane Lane, The Porterhouse, and The Hob and the Market Tavern. This is a reflection of the success of micro-brewing in Cork and "there's a whole generation of consumers that have grown up with Craft Beers and their kids are starting to become consumers now - and they expect to get craft beers in bars," says one micro-brewer in Cork City. The development of small businesses is one of the key ingredients of the Government’s plans to restructure the support infrastructure for small businesses and breweries represents a portion of delivery of a key action item under Action Plan for Jobs 2012.
Are micro-breweries a good small businesses plan? How have microbreweries developed in your city?
Credit: Images by Olivia Dolan. Data linked to sources.