Ardglass. It’s not somewhere I’d been to before (I think) and I don’t recall it being on the list of ‘101 Places to Visit Before You Die’.
The small village is known primarily for its fishing port and is set in an area of County Down known as Lecale, which spans from Strangford to Downpatrick and on to Dundrum. An area, like many across Ulster, steeped in history and folklore.
Such a richly historical location naturally offers names to products that are borne there, the latest being Lecale Brewery and its new range of lager, ale and stout.
I took a trip down to the site on the village’s High Street and chatted with owner Michael and brewer Kevin to find out a bit more about brewing in that part of south Down.
All brews are named after local legendary stories and we begin with White Knight, a 4.5% ABV lager. Clear and gold with good carbonation, not too fizzy but leaves a tingle on the tongue. If you look hard enough, you may notice a hint of herb and spice in there but if you’re not looking, you won’t find it. Easy going and a pleasing start to my Lecale life.
That’s followed by Legbiter ale, also weighing in at 4.5% ABV and not to be confused with a beer of the same name by the troubled Strangford Lough Brewing Company, details of which can be found here. A legendary name has no brewery favourites. The expected chestnut colour in the glass, this has a light nuttiness and usual caramel on tasting. Again there’s a dabble of spice in there which I admit took me by surprise. It’s always good to have a brown ale that has a slight edge to it.
I suppose you appeal to your locality and market so a decent enough if less than adventurous beginning for Lecale. A stout is also available but none in stock when I called in.
On the positive side, I got to see a bit of Ardglass for a short while. There’s a line I thought I’d never write.