Farmhouse beers from Donegal

Posts tagged “Kinnegar

Black Turns to Gold

Black Bucket Gold Medal Winner_01A

We are exceptionally proud that Black Bucket, our Black Rye IPA, has won a Gold Medal at the 2018 Brussels Beer Challenge.

We’re particularly delighted to fly the Irish flag amongst so many international giants.

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Indie Beer Week : Music menu takes shape for Big Day Out at the Brewery


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

Just as the drinks menu nears completion for our Big Day Out at the Brewery next Saturday, the musical menu has now taken proper shape.

Turn It On play music everywhere it’s needed — including K2! They’ll entertain us from around 3–5pm. A community of music lovers, Turn It On run vinyl nights and DJ events, festivals and parties.

Shortly after 6pm we’ll be treated to a special preview performance from one of the artists performing at this year’s Earagail Arts Festival. The 10-piece Basork fusion group will fill K2 with Balkan-Irish sounds in what promises to be a lively curtain-closer to the big day.

Indie Beer Week Ireland kicks off on Friday next, 23 June and runs until Sunday 2 July. Throughout the country, 27 independent Irish breweries will invite their local communities to visit them for special events to discover where and how real beer is made.

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How big is K2?


Brewers talk of “brew length” and the most frequently named unit of measurement is a hectolitre (that’s 100L, for those of us who don’t hail from continental Europe).

So in technical lingo, Minniegar was a 0.5HL brewery, our current set-up is 10HL and K2 will be 35HL. But we prefer to use a more familiar unit of measurement to give a layman’s impression of the scale. Here’s Zack on the current site in early April 2013 when the walls had just gone up.

Zack’s a Jack Russell, not a Doberman. We’ll photograph him in K2 as soon as we get him in there…

(Read more about building K1 here.)

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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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Christmas & New Year brewery tours

Brewery Tour_2408

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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The Louandron: Efficiency in the high-tech world of beer labelling


Ever wondered what kind of a machine we have for labelling our specials? It’s a very unusual custom-made model called a Louandron and is absolutely unique to Kinnegar Brewing. Here it is concluding the labelling of Geuzberry yesterday in record time.

Note that the pallet of cases in the photo below is the sum total of the 384L of bottled Geuzberry stock. Please don’t give your local outlet grief if they don’t have any — there’s just not enough to go round!


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Parisian début at The Green Goose

Although our Irish customers swallow every drop of beer we can produce, sending the odd shipment abroad to test the continental European waters is a lot of fun. The case of Rustbucket we sent to Breandán at Belgian Smaak for his Irish beer tasting (read about it here) earlier in the year was well received.

The Green Goose

Tonight Kinnegar takes a French bow, chaperoned to a tasting this time by Liam Dunn. News is in that our case of beer has just landed safely at The Green Goose on Rue des Boulets in Paris. It was left to Libby’s surgical skills to ensure that Geuzberry was properly costumed for his Parisian début.


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Kinnegar Brewing Academy & Rathmullan House combine the theory and practice of brewing with country house hospitality

Rathmullan House

Not many breweries rub shoulders with 4-star country house hotels but Kinnegar is lucky enough to do just that. Those of you who have already visited Kinnegarland know that our taproom resides in the cellar of Rathmullan House, a much-loved seaside retreat on the shores of Lough Swilly. Now you have the opportunity to spend a weekend at the hotel while you learn the theory and practice of brewing.

Day 1 – Brewing Theory (at Rathmullan House)
We cover the cornerstones of brewing, from raw materials through brewhouse operations, fermentation, conditioning and packaging.

Day 2 – Practical Brewing (at Kinnegar Brewing)
As a group we will formulate a recipe for and brew a Kinnegar Special. So, put your wellies on and grab a shovel, it’s time to dig out that lauter tun!

This will be a hands-on experience so we can accommodate a maximum of 12 pupils on the course. For more information and reservations, visit the Rathmullan House website. If you entered our Festival competition to win a spot on this wonderful weekend, we’ll be announcing the winner this week!

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From horses to hoses: Lateral thinking for brewers


We get pretty good at thinking laterally to solve problems in this remote rural corner of Europe.

Problem: How can we find out how the inner surfaces of our trusty brewery hoses are standing up to daily wear and tear after two years of hard use?
Clue: What else around us is similar to a hose? Eureka! A horse’s windpipe!
Solution: Rhona the vet scopes our hoses just as she would one of our horses!

No stone left unturned in the quality control at Kinnegar… Good thinking, Rachel. Thank you, Rhona!

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Going where few have gone before: Good luck, Jason

Jason Black ger 6

For a man so deeply immersed in his own local community in Donegal, Jason Black’s panoramic world view, combined with a belief that anything is possible if you try hard enough, is anything but parochial. As an ardent advocate of his local brewery, Jason has many times wished Kinnegar well. Today we’d like to wish you well, Jason. The very, very best of luck as you undertake K2. We’ll be following your blog and wishing you Godspeed every step of the way. There’s a Scraggy Bay on ice for you when you get home in September.

> Read Jason Black’s K2 blog
> Read the Independent’s article on Jason’s expedition

Brewery tours return to regular summer schedule from Saturday 27 June

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It’s still unseasonably chilly as we approach midsummer’s day but there’s no denying that the summer season has begun. The telephone now rings with predictable regularity as visitors to Kinnegar-land enquire about the possibility of joining a brewery tour. So the good news is that from Saturday 27 June we’re back on our regular summer schedule with tours on Saturday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. Additional tours on these days will be scheduled subject to demand. See our Visits page for full details.

Please remember that you must book in advance on 074 915 8874 or 086 830 1392. Try to do it a couple of days ahead of schedule — we can’t guarantee a spot if you leave it until the day! Tours will run provided we have a minimum of four participants.

Tours cost €10 and include a glass of beer in the Taproom at nearby Rathmullan House afterwards. After you’ve learned all about how beer is made you’ll also have a chance to stock up on Kinnegar glassware, T-shirts and giftpacks.

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Hillfolk Noir return to Rathmullan for an unmissable concert, Wednesday 15 July


How many places in Ireland can claim they’ve staged a Hillfolk Noir concert? Very few! Teenchy-weenchy little Rathmullan had the honour of hosting this wonderfully eclectic trio from the States during SeaFest 2012. The concert was memorable; the session in the White Harte afterwards was mythical.

Kinnegar is thrilled to rekindle Rathmullan’s unique association with a band whose music has been described by legendary BBC presenter “Whispering” Bob Harris as “amazing”. Together with Earagail Arts Festival we’re bringing Hilfolk Noir back to the shores of Lough Swilly where they will play in the tent at the Taproom on Wednesday 15 July.

Visit Hillfolk Noir’s website to hear them playing what has been described as music “filtered through a country-tinged, swampy-swingin’, hillbilly-delta-blues-ragtime word machine”. They call it Junkerdash, and it’s a sound brewed from folk, bluegrass, punk, string-band blues and other influences musical and otherwise.

Tickets cost €10 and the gig starts at 8pm.

> Listen to Hillfolk Noir
> Book tickets now for Wednesday 15 July

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Brewers sunrise on the Swilly

Brewers Sunrise_0016a

Double-brew days here at Kinnegar mean a very early start for Rachel. Barely a week ago she was deafened daily by ferocious squalls hurling themselves against the tin roof of the brewery as she went about her brewer’s work. This week has been serene by contrast. As she says herself, a camera just can’t do justice to the view out the malt loft window.

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Finding a Kinnegar in Kinnegarland


With many local products, finding them “locally” can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Fish in Donegal, for instance…

While Kinnegar’s reach nationwide has grown steadily over the last 18 months, in our local territory of north east Donegal the heavy lifting has been done by a relatively small number of outlets. In the off-license world, Whoriskey’s in Ramelton and The Counter in Letterkenny have been true Kinnegar heroes and remain the best local source for our full range of beers, specials included. Happily they’re now receiving strong support from a few more key outlets. You’ll find our regular range in Kellys Centra on the Mountain Top and Kernan’s Eurospars in Moorefield and Newtowncunningham.

Our reach across pubs and restaurants locally has also grown. Our Kinnegar heroes here in Rathmullan are the White Harte, Beachcomber, Belles Kitchen and Rathmullan House, while Aengus in the Olde Glen Bar is the daddy of all craft publicans in this part of the world and is responsible for more Kinnegar conversions than any other man standing. Nearby in Carrigart, Chris in Logues is following in Aengus’s footsteps while Ryan in the Carrigart Hotel is now championing the cause. And in Dunfanaghy, we’re very happy to see the Dunfanaghy Golf Club add us to their shelf, joining The Mill, Arnolds and Cafe Arnou in that part of the world.

Close to home in Ramelton, the Bridge Bar continues to please its clientele with Kinnegar while down the town, another American Rick in Shaughnessys and Joe in Conways are now proudly stocking our beers. Michael in the Travellers Inn in Milford is a longtime supporter as is Aaron in Nora’s, Kilmacrennan. Perennial Letterkenny favourite, McGinleys, stock our bottles and for an impressive draught offering (which includes some Camden and Porterhouse as well as Kinnegar), Voodoo’s new upstairs taproom and winebar, House, is not to be missed. Pats on the Square and the Lemontree, two of our most loyal advocates, are now joined in the beer-with-food cause by the Yellow Pepper, Stateside and the Radisson. On the fringes of our local bright lights, Browns on the Green at Letterkenny Golf Club and the Silver Tassie proudly serve their local beer.

For a comprehensive list of stockists (which we keep as up-to-date as we can), take a scroll down through our stockists page.

And just one word of caution: Don’t be too hard on your local publican or off-license if they’re out of Scraggy Bay. It’s not their fault that we just can’t keep up with demand for Yellowcap!

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