Everyone and their mother is harping on about ‘buying local’ nowadays. Thank Christ they are. Sustainable, affordable, and high-quality local produce should be at the heart of everyone’s monthly food and beverage outgoings.
It’s been a total delight to see the ‘buy local’ vibe taking hold in the industry I love in my adopted homeland over the past couple of years. Yep, the Irish artisan beer industry is going from strength to strength. Sure, it’s still tough as hell for the key stakeholders involved, but we’re getting to a point where some of our brewing talent can truly embark on long-term planning (Metalman’s new shiny canning line; Eight Degrees trying to ‘re-home’ a brewery from Mauritius; and Galway Bay moving to onehelluva bigger brewery are three examples of this in the last 6 months). Good for the punter, good for the distributors, good for the pub owners, good for bloody everyone. Class news.
Last week saw a real example of ‘buying local’ pop up from some enterprising brewing-businesspeople from Belfast. How much more local can you get than buying a stake in a brewing cooperative located on your (give-or-take a few miles) doorstep?
These guys know their beer (both from a drinking and brewing point of view), with Matt spending the last year or so as the brewing-brain behind the brilliant-looking app-automated pico-brewery, Brewbot. Safe hands, I’d say.
Anyway, rather than me regurgitate their plans in my own words…
To hear it from the horse’s mouth/beard.
Buy-in starts at £100 and the guys are looking for £70,000 before the end of 2014 to kick it all off. At the time of writing (4th December), they are well over the halfway mark, in spite of the project going live only a couple of days ago. People seem to like the idea, and so they bloody should. They’re planning to launch their core range of three beers (session strength US pale ale, IPA, and an Export Stout) in March 2015 and have already announced a collaboration brew with the award winning Galway Bay Brewery. Sounds canny enough to me – go for it, I’d say.
Disclaimer: I’ve bought into the cooperative myself. So I’m probably biased. Who the hell cares, let’s get it up and running.