On Friday night I drove my camper down to Dungarvan and myself and two other ICB members met up at the hotel next door and had a good go at drinking them out of Dungarvan Black Rock Stout. The reason we were there was for an ICB camping weekend and the Dungarvan brewery took the opportunity to arrange an open day as well. Only 4 of us camped in total which was a shame.
On Saturday morning we walked from the camp-site to Dungarvan which is about 7 or 8km the way we went. Our destination was the Devonshire bridge where we would begin a walking tour of Dungarvan with a local historian and man about town John Young*.
Dungarvan used to be full of pubs that brewed their own beer. The tour was very interesting, apparently one of the people who developed the first atomic bomb was from Dungarvan. He showed us some of his treasures in his car which included a piece of the handrail from the Lusitania.
Once we were finished seeing the sights we progressed to the brewery itself.
Here we met up with other ICB members and non ICB members taking the tour. The warehouse itself is a good size and can easily take larger and taller brewery equipment in the future. In the picture above you can see the bar (open of course). There were two casks of beer ready for us to drink. Black Rock Stout and Helvick Gold. We were treated to as much food (bbq) and drink as we liked before the tour started.
This is the storage room with the ingredients.
Down the back Cormac started explaining the brewing process.
These are the fermenters and temperature control system.
The brewery setup is a nice 3 piece system consisting of the HLT, Mash tun and boiler.
The makers and installers of the brewery did a good job so deserve a plug. They are PBC Brewery Installations.
This is the pilot brewery for testing. Essentially a large capacity homebrew system.
Cormac explains the bottling procedure. It is a little quicker than a homebrew setup but essentially is all done by hand.
Each of the three beers have a different colour cap making it easy to spot if the wrong beer is in the wrong crate.
Boxes of beer being readied for delivery by Tom.
The Beer Nut oversees proceedings from the outside while smoking his pipe.
Three of us campers with yours truly being the big guy in the blue T-shirt looking like I could do with a shave and a comb.
There was some debate on the day about what the best stout is now? Is it O'Haras or Blackrock? Well that just needs a taste test I think and easily done since both are available in bottle. I would love to try the cask versions side by side but that is not possible in Ireland at the moment.
* John Young
He can be contacted through the Dungarvan Tourism office (firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: +353 (0)58 41741 )