Setting up a new brewery is a long and involved process, but we have a plan to take us to the end of next year. We are currently drawing up plans to submit to Laois County Council to convert an old 19th century stone farmyard building to be our brewery. This is situated right beside our farmyard and within sight of many of the fields where we grow our malting barley. We aim to submit these plans to the council by autumn of this year. We hope to be in a position to start work on converting the building and installing equipment by the middle of next year, with the aim of brewing on site by autumn of 2017.
In the meantime, we will be gypsy brewing (where we brew in someone else's existing brewery) in Co. Kildare. The location is still subject to negotiation and their own planning permission, but I will post here when it's finally agreed. We expect to have our first batches of beer available by November this year.
We like to be totally transparent about our ingredients and how they are sourced. As of March/April 2017, 100% of our malt will be produced from barley grown on the farm. Before that we will be using craft malt produced by our maltsters Minch Malt of Athy, Co. Kildare. Once the on-farm brewery is up and running, all our water will be drawn from a well on site. Until then, we will be using the slightly less romantic Poulaphouca water supply that is available in Sallins.
We are also growing hops in the brewery garden. Hop growing in Ireland is a bit hit and miss due to the climate, so for now, we are planning to use bought in hops for all our standard and seasonal beers, and to use our own hops for some of our special beers which will be launched in 2017.