Say hello to Armagh Brewing Company, the newest addition to Northern Ireland’s commercial brewery scene. (A full list can be viewed here.) I paid a visit to the site just outside the city to find out more about owner and brewer Gareth Megaw, along with his brewing beginnings and aspirations.
He started home brewing in 2016 and last year he and William from Bullhouse paired up to fill a shipping container with shiny new unitanks from China. With a lot of help from his father, Gareth converted the old dairy and milking parlour on his family’s farm. “The old man’s an electrician, refrigeration engineer and all round handy man” said the appreciative ex-oil rig worker.
“The ride has been intense throughout the highs and lows of progressing to become a commercial brewery, but it’s all worthwhile when you see your beer stocked in off licences, pubs and restaurants.”
Two beers are on sale at the moment, a 5.6% ABV pale ale and a 4.7% ABV lager for City of Armagh Rugby Club, of which he’s a big fan. RABA lager (Red and Black Army if you’re wondering) can only be bought in the club but the pale ale is available in outlets in the area such as Uluru restaurant, McAnerney’s, Centra Deansbridge and more.
The pale ale is an enjoyable starter beer. It’s evergreen and slightly spicy with a small dab of tropical passion fruit underneath.
Gareth has big plans for the future, talking about the potential of an onsite taproom or even a small festival in one of the adjoining fields which boasts a superb view over Armagh city. An exciting vision and good luck to him.