Farmhouse beers from Donegal

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Serving Our Community

As members of the Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland, we are proud of our joint policy on the responsible consumption of beer.

You can find it here.


Grab Your Diary! Indie Beer Week is coming and we’re all set for a celebration.

 

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This year Indie Beer Week runs from 22–26 May. In celebration of local Independent Irish Craft Beer, join us for the following events:

Thursday 23
Brewery Tour, 5pm, K2

Friday 24

Around the World in Independent Irish Beer
7 to 9.30pm, K2
A tutored tasting that allows you discover the world’s beer styles as interpreted by eight independent Irish breweries.IBW FB Around the World3

Saturday 25

Brewery Tour, 2pm, K2
BIG KINNEGAR CONTAINER PARTY
2 to 11pm, The Container, Brewery Bar, Letterkenny
Jimmy is giving us the keys to his wonderful Container beer garden and we’ll be running a Kinnegar bar featuring firm favourites and special Specials. Join us for a proper brewery party bang in the centre of Letterkenny.IBW FB Around the World

Booking essential for K2 events. Just turn up for the party!

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6th Kinnegar Brewing Academy takes place this weekend

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This Saturday and Sunday (3 & 4 November) we’ll be joined for the sixth time by a group of enthusiasts for our much-loved Brewing Academy. Flying Saucer, Bucket & Spade, Bucket Brigade, Finally and most recently Skinny Legs are the fruits to date of one of our most enduringly popular events.

Our ‘Brewers at Play’ can label illustrates our new Specials. Who can guess what will be written on the brewhouse when the special we make at this Autumn Academy hits the shelves?

You can read more about our Brewing Academy here. And for anybody in search of the ultimate Christmas gift for a beer-loving friend or partner, our next Spring Academy will take place on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 March, 2019.

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Indie Beer Week and The Big Day Out at the Brewery, Saturday 23 June

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Indie Beer Week is back! From 22 June to 1 July, Kinnegar and many other independent breweries throughout the country will showcase what’s brewing in your community with a week packed full of events and activities.

Big Day Out at the Brewery

Saturday 23 June, 2–8pm

Join us here at K2 in Letterkenny and enjoy an afternoon of brewery tours, demonstrations and hands-on practical experiences like bottling your own beer or soft drink.

Talk to some brewers. We’ll be joined again this year by our Inishowen neighbours, Boghopper and will also be welcoming our Sligo colleagues from the White Hag brewery in Ballymote. They’re rare visitors to Donegal so come and enjoy their beers!

Like last year, our friends from Scarpello & Co will be here on the day serving their grilled cheese sandwich masterpieces. Richard from The Counter will introduce you to his greatest love — the art of brewing coffee. We’ll have a few other Donegal producers and talent in the line-up so watch this space!

All beer will be served in exchange for donations to MS Donegal. At last year’s Big Day Out at the Brewery we raised €1,600 for Pieta House and we’ll be trying to out-do ourselves with your help.

We’ll have more details soon but for now, put the date in your diary and look forward to a Big Day Out at your local Brewery!

Admission is free but booking is essential on 074 910 3890, or by email to info@kinnegarbrewing.ie.

A big thank you to our Local Enterprise Office for their continued support and commitment to Indie Beer Week.

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On Draught in Donegal

Rustbucket courtesy Fred WaltmannWe love our beer in bottles, and we can’t wait to try it in cans, but when push comes to shove there’s just nothing quite like a fresh pint of draught beer.

Our biggest thrill in a while came this week when the legendary John T finally found Scraggy Bay a slot beside longterm resident Limeburner at the Beachcomber in Rathmullan. We tested it last night in a fitting farewell to longtime colleague, Tom.

There are several other new lines in Kinnegar’s home county that we hope you’ll enjoy this bank holiday weekend. In Letterkenny you’ll find Limeburner flying the Donegal flag in the freshly-refurbished Sister Sara’s. Limeburner and Scraggy are on the bar now at Warehouse and you’ll be able to enjoy a pint of draught Limeburner at McGettigan’s Bar in the Clanree Hotel.

Bonners Corner Bar is the first to bring draught Kinnegar to Ballybofey and you can enjoy a pint of Rustbucket in their beer garden with the weather warming up.

Further west in Glenties, Brian in Kennedy’s gastro pub champions local products and is now pouring both Limeburner and Devil’s Backbone. It’s great to see a good red beer from Donegal flowing fresh on draught.

Out in the Rosses, our long-time supporters at the Caisleáin Óir in Annagary have just added a Limeburner line to their bar counter.

Here’s the full list for Donegal. Have a brilliant bank holiday weekend!

Beachcomber Bar, Rathmullan
The Taproom, Rathmullan
Castlegrove Country House, Castleshanaghan, Letterkenny
Logues Bar with Goose & Gander pizzeria, Carrigart
The Olde Glen Bar, Glen
Arnold’s Hotel, Dunfanaghy
Caisleáin Óir, Annagry
Central Hotel, Donegal Town
Nancy’s, Ardara
Highlands Hotel, Glenties
Kennedy’s, Glenties
Bonner’s Corner Bar, Ballybofey
The Yellow Pepper, Letterkenny
Brewery Bar, Letterkenny
Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny
Glencar Inn, Letterkenny
House, Letterkenny
Sister Sara’s, Letterkenny
McGettigans Bar at the Clanree, Letterkenny
Warehouse Bar & Kitchen, Letterkenny
McGrory’s, Culdaff

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Spring Brewing Academy rescheduled for 12 & 13 May

While Kinnegarland was spared the worst of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma, the road conditions elsewhere in the country sadly led to the postponement of this weekend’s brewing academy.

This year’s Spring Brewing Academy has now been rescheduled for Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 May. Inevitably the new dates don’t suit everybody who was originally booked so we have a handful of spots open. So, if you’d like to join in on one of the most educational, enjoyable and sociable brewing events of the year, book your spot now!

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Women at (Brewery) Work

Rachel on the Brewhouse

Every so often we see something in the media that stimulates a “Hey, what about us!” reaction here at Kinnegar. Geraldine Carton’s recent article on women in craft brewing in Image magazine is a case in point.

Rachel, Margaret, Libby, Louise and Sandra are all key to the operation here in Donegal. We’re extremely proud of the gender mix — we probably just need to shout a bit louder about the Kinnegar chicks!

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Indie Beer Week and The Big Day Out at the Brewery, Saturday 24 June

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All around Ireland, independent breweries have brought the craft of brewing back into local communities. To celebrate, Ireland’s independent breweries are inviting you to join them for Indie Beer Week!

From 23 June to 2 July, Kinnegar and many other independent breweries throughout the country will showcase what’s brewing in your community with a week packed full of events and activities.

Big Day Out at the Brewery

Saturday 24 June, 2–8pm

***This event is now booked out***

Come out and join us at K2, our brand new facility in Ballyraine, Letterkenny. You can enjoy brewery tours, demonstrations and hands-on practical experiences like bottling your own beer or soft drink.

Learn to ferment! At Kinnegar we use fermentation for making beer but it’s also a useful way of making some soft drinks. We’ll introduce you to our friends, the yeast, show you how it all works, and mix some interesting natural drinks.

DJ Mark Willis will entertain us with music and we have a live act in the pipeline too.

Our friends from Scarpello & Co are also pretty friendly with the yeast and they work together to make wonderful sourdough bread. Kemal will be there on the day serving his latest masterpieces, grilled cheese sandwiches.

All going well we’ll have fresh Donegal oysters and a side order of fresh Donegal live musical talent. All beer will be served in exchange for donations to local charities.

We’ll have more details soon but for now, put the date in your diary and look forward to a Big Day Out at the Brewery!

Admission is free but booking is essential on 074 915 8874 or 086 830 1392, or by email to info@kinnegarbrewing.ie.

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Christmas gift ideas from the coolest place on the planet

For any of you who haven’t already crossed every last name off your Christmas shopping list, here are some suggestions from Donegal — the place Kinnegar has helped make the coolest place on the planet for 2017. > Read unrefutable proof here!

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NO.1 | €18

Kinnegar Glassware

Glasses for Christmas

Your dearly beloved Kinnegar fan has probably spent yet another 12 months nobly resisting the urge to pilfer a Kinnegar glass from some unsuspecting Kinnegar outlet. You can reward that fortitude with a 6-pack of Kinnegar glasses. We recommend our 300ML stemmed model for use with our bottled beers but our pint glasses are also lovely.

N.B. Glasses only! Brewery dogs are now collector’s items – Katie & Bruiser’s final litter was born in 2016. 

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 NO.2 | €30

The Kinnegar Hoodiehoodies-2016

As worn by bona fide Kinnegar brewers! The Kinnegar-lover’s fashion statement non plus ultra. Our hoodies come in two different styles — zipped and pouch — and in several different colours. Sizes from XS to XL.

Pouch: Red / Navy  XS/S/M/L/XL
Zipped: Charcoal Grey / Deep Red / Vintage Green S/M/L/XL

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NO.3 | €15

The Kinnegar T — Now available in Crossroads Green

Ts for Christmas

The beer is thin on the ground at the best of times and photos of our new Crossroads shirts are even rarer. But the green Ts really do exist!

The Classic (Super-Kinnegarman) S M L XL 2XL
Limeburner Blue / Devil’s Backbone Red / Rustbucket Orange / Scraggy Bay Yellow / Yannaroddy Purple / Otway Blue / Crossroads Green / Black

Finger Puppets S M L
Black / Red / Royal Blue

Kinnegar Concert Tour S M L
Black / Royal Blue / Anthracite Grey

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NO.4 | €10

The Kinnegar Brewery Tour Voucher

Brewery Tours for Christmas

Stocking filler, Chriskindle, treat for yourself — give somebody something they can really look forward to. Our brewery tours are informative, entertaining and enlightening. And remember, we’re moving to K2 in February or March so, even if you’ve done the tour before, there’ll be LOTS of new stuff to catch up on in 2017.

> Read more about Kinnegar brewery tours

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NO.5 | €140

The Kinnegar Brewing Academy

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Our first Kinnegar Brewing Academy was a howling success and threw up Flying Saucer, Beoir’s 2016 Champion Beer of Ireland and 2016 Dublin Beer Cup gold medal winner. The fruits of our third academy, Bucket Brigade, can be savoured right now in pubs and off-licences around the country. Delight your beer-mad beloved with a voucher for our next 2-day theory-and-practice blitz on Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 April 2017.

> Read more about the Kinnegar Brewing Academy

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Don’t delay!

Order your Kinnegar Christmas gifts quickly to ensure delivery before the big day.

  • Post & packaging costs not included in above prices (we keep them to an absolute minimum).
  • Payment by PayPal or bank transfer.
  • Orders by email on info@kinnegarbrewing.ie or by telephone on +353 74 915 8874 or +353 86 830 1392.

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Identifying family cultures — the science strain

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Scientific research will probably never determine exactly how nature and nurture combine to make us what we are. With Rachel it looks distinctly as if both play a pretty important role. She normally uses our spiffy modern microscope for her yeast counts but today she decided to pull out her first microscope — the one she was given as a 21st birthday present quite a few moons ago. It was given to her by her father, Garrett, who obviously still remembers exactly how to use it. Garrett was in turn given it by his father, Fonso. Fonso bought it used at some stage during his very long life — a life marked by endless curiosity about science and technology.

And like most vintage pieces of technology, Fonso’s microscope (with the aid of a light source from Rachel’s smart phone) still works like a charm. They just don’t make them like they used to.

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Dates for Kinnegar Brewing Academy, Spring 2017

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To all those of you who have been trying to get your Christmas presents sorted in good time, our most humble apologies. We do admit that it’s tough buying your beer-loving loved one a brewing course when the dates for it aren’t even set. Now they are!

Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 April 2017

You’ll find full details about the Academy here. And this is what some of our hard-working participants have had to say about their experience of past Academies:

Thanks again for a wonderful weekend, the course exceeded all my expectations and it truly nice to know that everyone in your brewery seems to be warm, humorous, humble and passionate in their craft which makes me happy knowing my hard earned cash is going to a good place and not just some evil bastards who want to make a stack of cash.
AG, Spring 2016 (Bucket & Spade)

It was absolutely fantastic! It was such an eyeopener to the science and hard graft that goes into brewing at such a big scale. Rick, you did well to keep talking the whole 2 days. Your throat must be killing today… But everything you said was insightful!
JC, Autumn 2015 (Flying Saucer)

Have to say I really enjoyed the whole weekend and was sorry I had to take off before the first sparge. I was looking forward to cleaning out the mash, honestly.
DL, Autumn 2015 (Flying Saucer)

The combination of theory and practice was not only hugely informative, but thoroughly enjoyable and if anyone thought that brewing craft beer was easy, they only had to be with Kevin and you on the Sunday to see the time and effort it takes to create a masterpiece.
JK, Autumn 2016 (Bucket Brigade)

I enjoyed the weekend immensely. What with Rathmullan’s splendid accommodation and food; the guys’ great company and your own lucid tutoring I am so glad I made the trip.
EW, Autumn 2015 (Flying Saucer)

And of course the prescient email we received from Ben Tyler in December 2015:

Hi Rick,
How did the beer taste today, are we on to a gold medal?
Kind regards,
Ben

One Dublin Beer Cup gold medal and a Beoir “Champion Beer of Ireland” award later, the true value of a place on the Brewing Academy becomes clear!


Cellaring & Packaging position opens at Kinnegar

 

We like holding on to our great staff at Kinnegar for as long as possible but we’re thrilled for our colleague Sandra—who has been with us since the outset—as she moves on to new and exciting pastures in her chosen career, graphic design.

She leaves a position open in the area of Cellaring & Packaging. If you’re interested in a career at the brewery you can see full details on our Careers page. With expansion planned for early 2017, the job is set to grow into a challenging full-time position.


A Hip Hop beer diversion

Francis Madeira’s charming Hip Hops card game arrived here in Donegal in January and promptly fell between the communications cracks. It’s high time we mentioned that Black Bucket was voted one of Ireland’s two representative beers for the first deck “Brews of the World”, an eclectic mix of well-known and lesser-known liquid masterpieces.

Even if you never play the game, watch the instructional video on the Hip Hops website— it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Hit the photo to open the link:

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You can buy the Hip Hops cards through the website and we’ll also be selling our small inventory through the Taproom over the coming weeks.

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How did we end up here?

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Anita Guidera and Don McMahan of Soft Irish Rain Productions asked the question as part of their 10-part documentary series for Highland Radio.

> You can listen to the answer here.

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Offset closes the gate to independent Irish craft breweries

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In a world of Davids and Goliaths, little guys like us must choose our battles wisely. That’s why we, as a small independent company with a non-existent marketing budget, make our decisions about sponsorship very carefully indeed.

The Dublin-based design conference, Offset, seemed to be the perfect sponsorship match for us. Offset is Irish and independent. As it says of itself, “Offset has fast become one of the world’s most inspirational, educational and vocational conferences for the design and creative industries. Representing industry at all levels, Offset’s speakers are key disruptors and influencers in their field…”

Offset too seemed to think its audience was a good fit for us – ideal for us to support 2016’s new Offsite fringe festival. They agreed to a small and mutually beneficial sponsorship package. Agreed, that is, until they dumped Kinnegar on the rubbish heap and waltzed through the “Open Gate” to an exclusive* sponsorship deal with Big Beer at Diageo.

In doing so, Offset has deprived its audience of a pretty good story. It’s the story of how two people first ran a small, well-respected design practice and then opened a small, well-respected brewery. It’s about being independent and committed and entrepreneurial, about having vision, about rejuvenating a dying beer tradition of which Ireland can again be proud.

And what does all this say about the ‘Open Gate’ approach to producing craft beer? For decades, Guinness and Diageo played a central role in the death and decline of brewing in Ireland. Now, after feeling the collective pressure of the little guys, they’ve suddenly discovered their craft beer soul.

For us, craft beer is about being open and transparent, it is about being part of an independent, free-spirited community of beer brewers and drinkers. The Open Gate approach to removing all other beers from the landscape sounds to us like a Big Beer approach to craft brewing – it sounds exactly like the type of practice that led to the death and decline of brewing in Ireland.

There is of course a design story in there too — the story of how branding and design is used to bamboozle an audience into believing that Diageo is an authentic little craft brewery breaking the boundaries in its experimental workshop. We know Offset’s audience to be smarter than that.

How nice it would be for visiting speakers to discover something new in their VIP goody bags. How radical it would be to offer visitors to fringe events beer that doesn’t come from St James’s Gate. How stimulating it would be to hear more than one side of the Irish craft-brewing story in panel discussions on the third stage at Offset.

Offset says it believes in giving an equal platform for the best-established and next generation of local design practitioners. Apparently, they don’t feel this applies to the field of brewing.

*Offset have subsequently pointed out to us that the exclusive nature of the arrangement was insisted upon by Offset, not The Open Gate.

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Christmas & New Year brewery tours

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To salve your conscience and balance your seasonal indulgences with some proper eduction (and entertainment), plan a visit to the brewery to discover how Kinnegar beers are made. Tours are planned as followed:

Saturday 19 December, 12 noon
Tuesday 29 December, 1pm
Thursday 31 December, 1pm

We’ll add additional tour times on these days, if needed. Remember that you must book in advance on 086 830 1392. Tours cost €10 and last approximately one and a quarter hours.

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Brewing Up or In a Storm

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The inaugural Kinnegar Brewing Academy took place the weekend of 29th/30th November. While an early winter Donegal storm howled outside, we kept the ten participants warm and cheery inside with a full-sensory immersion into the world of beer and beermaking.

On day one when we took a concentrated plunge into all that goes into a beer – from the raw ingredients to the technology of the brewing process. We ended the session with a tasting of beers from around the globe, illuminating how different cultures and approaches to beer-making express themselves in styles and flavours. Call it quenching the thirst for knowledge.

Day two we made the leap from theory to practice, dragging everyone out of their beds for an early but still civilized start in the brewery. Good sports all, they pitched in with the milling and the mashing, digging out the lautertun, weighing out hops and pitching yeast. The Kinnegar Special we made together is now happily maturing in a conditioning tank.

For some pics and a better and more detailed description of the weekend, take a look at a blog posting from Ben Tyler, one of the participants:

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A big thanks to Rathmullan House for looking after us so well and to all the participants for being such willing guinea pigs. We enjoyed the Academy weekend so much we’re planning another one for the bank holiday weekend of 30 April – 1st May, 2016.

Academy Vouchers
Still looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the beer-lover in your life? Contact us at info@kinnegarbrewing to get them a Kinnegar Brewing Academy Voucher!


Time again for Taproom concerts

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Last year’s Taproom Christmas Concert was one of the year’s highlights. This year’s concert takes place on Saturday 19 December and we’ll be announcing the line-up shortly. For now, put the date in your diary and your feet in the starting blocks for buying tickets.

In the meantime, you can enjoy Robyn G Shiels and Jonathan Smeaton in concert at 9pm on Saturday 7 November. Neither artist needs any introduction and their performances in such an intimate setting promise to be special.

Tickets cost €5 and can be booked in advance through our events page. Space is limited so book in advance to guarantee a seat. For those of you planning to travel to the event, our local taxi drivers, John Kelly (087 223 0533) and Columba Matthewson (086 270 7279), offer an excellent service.

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And the winner is…

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James Bryce!

Well done, James. Let us know by email which day you plan to be at the Irish Craft Beer Festival and we’ll make sure your two tickets are at the door waiting for you. Don’t forget to call over and say hello!

Thanks to everybody who entered and hopefully we’ll see many of you at the RDS over the weekend. Our Kinnegar newsletter will arrive in your inbox in the near future.

NB: This competition has been conducted according to strictest international guidelines with the winner being drawn by David at 8pm in the middle of brewing today’s second batch of Scraggy Bay.

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24 hours to win 2 tickets to this weekend’s Irish Craft Beer Festival

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Yes, if you’re a real beer anorak afficionado*, of course you already have tickets for your annual visit to the Irish Craft Beer Festival at the RDS. However, if you’re a novice beer lover or even an ordinary mortal, or just weren’t so quick out of the blocks, you might still like to make the pilgrimmage? Just enter our 24-hour competition to compete for two of these cherished keys to the kingdom of craft beer. You can choose the day that suits you best — Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

It’s even easier than those competitions on the back of your cornflakes box. Just sign up for our forthcoming newsletter by emailing info@kinnegarbrewing.ie using the subject line “I want to Follow the Hops”. Do this by 8pm on Tuesday 25 August and your name will be in the hat. Good luck!

* Beer afficionados welcome to participate too!


A note for all aspiring trainee brewers

Glamourous Work

We’re getting a great response to our current call for applications for the post of Trainee Brewer. Not to dampen anybody’s spirits or chip away at the rosy tint on your spectacles, here’s an example of the less romantic side of brewing. Our waste water system is one of the key elements in the production cycle here at Kinnegar. Somebody has to draw the short straw each time it needs attention!

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Colour clues

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Our latest shipment of labels has arrived and detectives amongst you might spot some evidence of an imminent new arrival on the Kinnegar roster. Your best bet for sampling the newcomer will be at our stand at August’s two biggest beer gigs — The Big Grill in Dublin’s Herbert Park (Thursday 13 to Sunday 16 August) and the RDS Craft Beer Festival (Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 August). See you there!

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To South Korea with best wishes from Donegal

From the Kinnegar to South Korea

Bernie in the post office was let down by technology this afternoon when she looked up our most exotic mail order destination to date: South Korea. With postal hurdles expertly now overcome, one Mr Friel in Seongnam City will receive his purple Yannaroddy T-shirt in the not too distant future. Nice to think of a piece of Donegal in these far-flung corners of the earth.

Good news for those on the T-shirt hunt: We have two new designs on the roster now. Details in the next couple of days…

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Taproom Open!!!

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It’s full-time Taproom season at last. Following the success of our maiden voyage last year, this year we’re looking forward to more good weather, more pizzas and lots more beer.

Opening hours
Wednesday to Monday, 1–9pm
Closed Tuesdays
N.B. While the pizza oven takes a siesta from 3–5pm each afternoon, the bar remains open and appetisers will be served.