A new brewery has emerged from the Glens of Antrim. No, not Glens of Antrim Ale, the other one. “Eh?” Yup, that was also my reaction when I became aware of it. Barrahooley Brewery based just outside the small village of Martinstown has been flying so low under the radar it was in danger of crashing into Glenravel itself.
He became hooked on learning about the brewing process and a few years later Barrahooley Brewery was born. Over the past couple of months he’s been lying very low by distributing some sample beers in the immediate area but is slowly starting to extend his distribution area. At the moment you can buy a bottle conditioned single hopped (Cascade) pale ale and a black IPA, with moves afoot for a dry stout and Irish red in the next couple of weeks.
The 4.8% abv pale ale is crisp and fresh on the nose with a light, but not overbearing, grapefruit taste. A good session beer that is just crying out to be consumed again and again on a sunny spring evening.
I became aware of Barrahooley (it’s a townland if you’re wondering) when Kiwi’s Brew Bar in Portush started stocking their wares. If you haven’t been to Portrush in a while, do yourself a massive favour by going and have a wee jook into Kiwi’s. You’d quickly walk past it if you weren’t looking for it though so keep your eyes peeled, it used to be the Playhouse on Main St beside the Port Hotel.
Owner Kris Charteris has lived in NI since 2001 and opened the bar in early 2014 with the aim of stocking something different. And you’re guaranteed of that as Kiwi’s is an Aladdin’s Cave of beer, stashing some of the latest and tastiest treasures from NI, Republic of Ireland and England (at the moment stocking bottles of Mad Hatter, Eight Degrees, Ilkley, Beavertown, PokerTree, Hilden and Redchurch). And it’s not only the beers. The bar does an amazing 6 Nations burger menu, the Ireland offering is a rump steak burger with black pudding, potato bread, fried egg and ketchup! In my opinion this place is undoubtedly the best bar on the north coast, I’d love to live closer to it than I do. Just make sure when you visit, you’re hungry and thirsty.