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In our ongoing quest to make Wicklow Wolf the alpha-beer in Ireland we’re delighted to announce a major investment in our brewery which will allow us to open  a new, larger brewing site in Wicklow which will enable a 15-fold boost in production capacity. We currently supply 150 pubs and 550 off-licenses across the island and with this expansion it will be a whole lot more, plus allowing our wolves to roam around the world in US, Asia and Europe.

Since we first started brewing two years ago we’ve produced some real lip-smacking beers from our American Amber to the controversial Children of the Revolution and our Locavore range brewed with the hops we grow on our farm in Roundwood, Co Wicklow. Our new brewery will allow us to continue to brew more great beers in even larger quantities to keep up with demand and we’re expanding our hop farm as well to match the extra production.

With this expansion comes 20 new jobs over five years and we’re proud to be doing our bit for the county.

HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network), the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment and a joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland, is one of the leading stakeholders in the deal. Our co-founder Quincey Fennelly said, “It’s not just about funding; the angel investors from the Food Syndicate have years of experience in the food and beverages industry. They’ll have a big role to play when we expand overseas, helping us to avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that others before us have fallen into. Their knowledge and experience in manufacturing, distribution and international marketing will be of enormous value to the future of our business.”

Here’s to the future!

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Meet co-founder Simon Lynch, our resident horticulturist who’s responsible for our hop farm.

Favourite beers? Pliney the elder, Lovibonds sour, Odell’s Lugene chocolate milk stout and our very own Wicklow hopped Locavore, Elevation and Black Perle Porter.

Favourite beer style? Depends on the day! Anything from sours and IPAs to Porters.

How did you meet Quincy? Two of our kids were in the same class in primary school and we got chatting over our love of good beer and good food. Both of us lived in San Francisco years ago and would reminisce about that and of course California is home to some great breweries and beers. I started helping him with his home brewing as well and it took off from there.

How did you end up setting up a brewery and hop farm? Firstly, this is only the beginning of hopefully a very exciting story. It’s taken a lot of hard work and dedication to create Wicklow Wolf Brewing Co. I would say blood sweat and tears but people might get the wrong idea about our beers and ingredients! We want to show case products from farm field to glass and as a horticulturalist we have the in house skills to be able to add something special to tell a different story. We’ve plans to grow more of our own ingredients in the near future in addition to our own hops, to be as sustainable as possible and do things in a way that has little impact on the environment. Currently we get manure from local farmers for the hop farm, give our spent grain to them for their cattle and to the pigs in Killruddery house, and use the spent hops as mulch for the hop plants.

Best thing about working on the hop farm? Being out in nature in the Wicklow hills! People who work Monday to Friday only get the opportunity to go walking, orienteering and cycling in the Wicklow hills at the weekends whereas my work is there which is great. Although not so wonderful on the days when the weather turns nasty, but when you love what you do it’s not always as difficult.

What’s your hope for the future for Irish Craft beer and Wicklow Wolf? I would like to see more and more quality craft beer being consumed by people over the mass produced beer and that people come to understand that like coffee and wine; there is more quality out there to be appreciated. I hope WW continues to create and produce many more excellent different beer styles, while growing the business in a green and sustainable way. Quincey and I have a philosophy “we only like to brew beers we love to drink ourselves ” and by extension we hope that people who drink our beers do too

Wicklow Wolf Brewing Company - Alan Rowlette Photography - Pics: Alan Rowlette - www.alanrowlette.ie - 083-423-9138

Photo by Alan Rowlette

 

In addition to our beer style of the week and as part of our education series we will be looking at the terminology of beer. Many of you will have seen IBU listed on the side of your favourite craft beer. Some will know what this means, some will know what it stands for but not what it relates to while some may to too busy enjoying the beer to read the label! So read on if you want to be enlightened….

IBU stands for International Bittering Units which is a scale used to calculate how much bitterness is in a given beer. The IBU scale factors in the bittering potential from the hops added to a beer. A standard Lager will have 8-20, Pale Ales 25-40, and IPA’s can be 40-100+ IBU’s. While you may see some beers listed 100+ IBU’s there is actually a saturation limit to how much hop oils can be in solution. There is also ongoing discussions as to what is actually the upper limit to what the human taste can perceive. People claim we cant really taste much beyond 80-100 IBU’s. Here’s a little twist though. A really malty sweet beer can have a really high IBU number but not taste as bitter as a smaller beer with a lower IBU. Balance can be key.

So as you find the beers that you enjoy the most you may well also discover they fall into a certain IBU range. Until next time….

Pete

 


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