It’s been a great year for beer in Northern Ireland, with a noticeable increase in the number of beers brewed here and then being sold on shelves/tap, as well as the selection of imported beer from the rest of the world. There’s now such a wide range from so many NI breweries, both new and established – the future is exciting.
At my last count we have 24 physical brewery sites here in Northern Ireland with 6 contracts.
|Interactive Google Maps NI Breweries 2016|
COUNTY ANTRIM –
Knockout, Boundary and Hercules (Belfast),
Glens of Antrim (Ballycastle),
Hilden (Lisburn) and brewpubs Brewbot (Belfast) & Speckled Hen (Black Mountain brewery, Derriaghy)
COUNTY L’DERRY –
Walled City and Dopey Dick (Derry City)
COUNTY TYRONE –
Pokertree (Carrickmore) and
brewpub The Brewer’s House (Red Hand brewery at Donaghmore)
COUNTY FERMANAGH –
Sheelin (Bellanaleck) and Inishmacsaint (Derrygonnelly) – Sheelin has scaled down production recently and Inishmacsaint will make an announcement very soon about its future.
COUNTY DOWN –
Mourne Mountains (Warrenpoint),
Whitewater (Kilkeel but soon to be Castlewellan),
Station Works (Newry – not a micro at all as it’s owned by Alltech in the USA. Anyway, I believe it’s soon moving to County Louth),
Contract companies (registered in Northern Ireland but brewed at other breweries) include…
Heaney Farmhouse Brewing from Bellaghy (though currently brewed at Boundary in Belfast)
Clanconnel/McGraths (brewed by Rye River in Co. Kildare),
Clearsky, (brewed by Hilden)
NightCap/Gallopers, (brewed by Sadler’s near Birmingham)
Cloughmore (brewed by Whitewater) and
Sailortown (brewed by Carrig in Co. Leitrim)
Maltmeister from Bangor came and unfortunately went in the last year but there’s a new brewery in the piepline a few miles down the road in Donaghadee – keep an eye out for Twisted Kettle sometime in 2017.
I’m sure there are others on the way, let me know if you know.
Let’s hope Northern Ireland’s Class of 2016 will be able to sell directly to the public in 2017 if Stormont MLAs get their backsides in gear in the first half of the year. Things are happening folks, slowly, but it’s happening. A Craft Drinks Bill has been launched in the Republic which is proposing a change in the law there to allow breweries to sell onsite. With any luck and persistent social media contact, a #NICraftDrinksBill won’t be far away.