Farmhouse beers from Donegal

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Missing Your Favourite Kinnegar in the West of Ireland?

We recently changed our distribution partner for the west of Ireland. And while we hope the transition will go as smoothly as possible, we can’t rule out the odd bump or two in the supply chain.

But don’t despair! Should you find yourself unable to get your favourite Kinnegar in your favourite pub, restaurant or off-license, be sure to let the staff know that they can either contact us here at the brewery or else call Paul Russell of Grand Cru Beers on 086 185 2944. Between us, we’ll get the beer flowing to them again.

And a big thanks, as ever, for your continued support.

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Where was Kinnegar four years ago?

As the clock ticks rapidly in the direction of K2, it’s hard not to think back to what was going on when K1 was coming to life. We’re going to root out some photos of the development phase over the next few days but this photo provides the answer to the first question.

Four years ago, in January 2013, we were still working in the pilot brewery. Rick brewed. Libby packaged. Very straightforward. Here’s a rare photo of Rick at work in what our future American intern, Maxmarie, would immortally dub “Minniegar”. Photography in the steam-filled room was always a bit of a challenge.

We brewed 50L batches and production, by the time we moved out of Minniegar, was 150L per week. That translated into an average of 120L of packaged product, or 240 bottles of beer a week.

Limeburner, Devil’s Backbone, Scraggy Bay and Rustbucket were all born in Minniegar.

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Rule of Three : Kinnegar and the Canal

It’s finally time to pour Rule of Three, the beer we brewed in late November in collaboration with our pals at Siphon Brewing. The event, Smaakdown17, takes place at Siphon Brewing’s home, the renowned Siphon restaurant on the banks of the canal 10km from Bruges.

So what does “Siphon” mean? A quick look at the criss-crossing landscape of canals and country roads outside the brewery door provides a clue. An equally quick bit of research confirms our host Breandán Kearney’s explanation. “When water has to be carried across a road which is at the same level as or below the canal bottom, an inverted siphon is used instead of a culvert. The siphon effect.”

And in the canals? According to the Michelin Guide “People come to this restaurant from around the Flemish countryside to enjoy the house speciality, eel, as well as their grilled dishes.”

So saltwater, sweet water, hares and eels combine this Friday evening for Smaakdown17 near the picturesque village of Damme in Belgium. On Saturday you’ll find it at the Bruges Beer Festival. We can’t wait.

Read John Rega’s article about the Rule of Three collaboration here.

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A life-long passion for horse racing …and a newly-found passion for good beer

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Amongst our most loyal of fans, Paul Ennis will without doubt spend today and much of this week with his eyes and his heart acutely tuned in to Leopardstown and Kempton Park as he watches some of the best national hunt racing of the year.

I have had a love of horse racing since my teens, taken from my dad. But, I am a small punter.  Each time my dad brought me racing he would say ‘half a crown is a bet son, a pound is gambling’. My late mother-in-law, of whom I was so fond, always asked me when I arrived in Letterkenny, ‘how are the horses running’. I once replied, ‘well, since I bought one of those wide screen television sets, they are running much better – more space for them to catch up on the screen’. I can still hear her laughing.

Paul was given this superb caricature as a present:

I was given a present (for my 70th) of the attached caricature and of course, it had to include Kinnegar – in memory of my late mother-in-law, who spent happy times in Rathmullen. And, because it is a terrific brew. 

Belated happy birthday, Paul. Happy Christmas, and all the very best for a wonderful New Year. Thanks for your support and best of luck with the gee-gees this week!

Brewery Tour, Thursday 29 December

With apologies to all those of you who have been patiently waiting for this information, we’ve finally settled on Thursday 29 December at 4pm for our New Year brewery tour.

See our Visits page for further information about our tours. Please book in good time!

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K2 Series Part I — The Big Move

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I heard you guys are …

This is a phrase we’ve heard a lot lately, often with a real surprise at what follows.

A very loyal local fan of our beers recently told us how distraught he was because, as he put it, “I heard you guys sold the company.” He was even adamant that he knew who the supposed buyer was.

Another one we heard recently was from a local journalist who rang us up and said, “there was a fellow in here today from Ramelton who heard you’re building a brewing museum in Letterkenny.” The things these fellows come up with.

OK, here it is from the horse’s mouth. No, we haven’t, nor are we interested in selling the company. And no, we are not building a brewery museum. We’re too focused on making beer in the present to be thinking about its past.

This brings us then to what we are doing. We’re moving, or perhaps more accurately, we’re opening a brand new state-of-the-art brewery in nearby Letterkenny. (Our man in Ramelton’s brewing museum?)

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The refurbishment works on the new premises are almost complete and our new brewhouse and tanks are in the production pipeline at the manufacturers. Fingers crossed, the different parts of the puzzle will come together in February 2017 when test brewing will commence.

While we are very disappointed to be moving the business out of Rathmullan (more to follow on this in Part II of the K2 series), we are thrilled to be making the move to Letterkenny. Besides enabling us to address the ongoing issue of supply shortages, the new facility will ease the pressure on a team that has put its heart and soul into keeping the production running for the past two years. That means no more 4am starts and midnight finishes.

Even though the clinking of bottles coming off our line will no longer mingle with the bleating of sheep in the surrounding fields, the farmhouse ethos at the core of what we do will remain the same (more to follow on this in Part III of the K2 series).

Our roots are deeply embedded in the hilly fields and farms of northeast Donegal — the perfect environment for the way we make beer. We don’t filter or pasteurise, and we let our industrious little friends, the yeast, carbonate our beer naturally during fermentation.

At K2, as we’re calling it here, Kinnegar will continue to pair brewing tradition with a contemporary sense of adventure to produce clean, crisp, full-flavoured beers.

So, now you can say with full confidence and authority, “I heard you guys are …”

P.S. Our K2 sketch is part of a piece called “Kinnegarland” being created by our old pal Dermot Flynn. It’s on course to be completed before K2…

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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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