White Gypsy Brewery Tour

At Septemberfest Cuilán Loughnane brewer from the newly opened White Gypsy brewery asked if we'd like to come visit his brewery for an open day. Who could turn down such an offer?

The new White Gypsy brewery is in Templemore, Tipperary. On entering the building I first noticed the two large gleaming copper vessels. Cuilán revealed that they had been cleaned especially for the occasion. The equipment came from the old Kinsale brewery which is no longer operating. These are the kettle and mash tun. There's also a fermenting room and another cold room with a lot of conditioning tanks. 

As if a tour of the brewery wasn't enough there was a further treat in store.  Cuilán had brewed a stout and it was time to transfer it to secondary. This however was no ordinary stout and no ordinary secondary.

It's an imperial stout which are usually strong, rich, dark, aged beers. Cuilán gave us some of the history of stout and beer in Ireland. There was a great history of local beers before the all conquering Guinness changed everything. Cuilán wants to get back to that tradition, using the old recipes, having local people drinking locally produced beer and the beer being made with locally sourced ingredients that the farmer gets a fair price for. It's a great vision and I wish him every success with it. Listening to him talk you get the feeling that here's a man who knows his stuff and will make it work.

But back to the stout, we had a quick taste of it and it's quite harsh and strong, it's not going to stay like that though. It's going to be aged and this is where some timber based alchemy will happen. We watched as the stout was filled into three oak casks, one french oak, one american oak and one a cask that previously held Bushmills whiskey. That one in particular smelled amazing, just like whiskey even though it has been empty for a year. The stout will age for six months and will make it's debut at the easter festival at the Franciscan Well. I can't wait to taste it to see whats happened to it.

After this we went outside to the marquee that had been set up for the occasion. There was a pig roasting away in the corner, it had been fed on the spent grain from the brewery. A lot of local people had come up to the brewery to check it out and sample the beer. Hopefully they were impressed and make a success of the beer in the local pubs.

I even learned how to pull a proper pint from the cask under the watchful eye of Paudi from the Franciscan Well. It's White Gypsy's IPA which is really tasty. It definitely went really well with the pork roll. What more could you want of day, sitting in the sun with friends, drinking fresh cask IPA and eating proper roast pork? I also sampled the Dunkel and the Blonde, both are nice beers but I think the Dunkel is my favourite of the lot.

It was a great day out and many thanks must go to the Loughnanes for inviting us and showing us such great hospitality.  

7 Responses to "White Gypsy Brewery Tour" (Leave A Comment)

Mark, Real-Ale-Reviews.com says
October 9, 2009 at 1:32 PM

No that's what I call a brewery tour, sounds like a fantastic day. Look forward to trying the IPA and Dunkel one day!

The Beer Nut says
October 9, 2009 at 2:18 PM

He really does talk a very good game, though I worry about how receptive his target market is going to be. I'd imagine that trying to find a maverick rural publican willing to take a chance must be very hard work.

Bionic Laura says
October 9, 2009 at 3:54 PM

This is a problem facing every small Irish brewer, do you survive by exporting the beer alone or do you try to drum up some local trade. I suppose he has to give it a go and at least try get it into local pubs. There are a few random odd pubs left around the country that might take on new beer. Getting the people to drink it, that's another problem though.

The Beer Nut says
October 9, 2009 at 3:58 PM

I think with the right staff and the right point of sale material, getting people to drink local beer should be doable. But you need a publican who wants something more out of it than smaller bills from Heineken and Diageo every month.

Leigh says
October 10, 2009 at 3:02 AM

Looks like a cool place, and with sound,level-headed owners to boot!!

Nick says
October 17, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Cuilans place is cool. Been there half a year ago. Can't wait to sample one of his beers again

Riordy and the Kid says
September 15, 2010 at 6:16 AM

The sell it in Copper Jacks, Templemore, just up the road from the brewery for €3 a pint and it sells fairly well. Tastes smashing!