Towers of brew

Pictured: Directors of Irishtown Brewing Company Joey Shore and Flor Prendergast.
Picture by Anthony Griffin.

Using the Poolbeg towers as your logo for a Dublin product would be just as iconic as a New York company using the Statue of Liberty, yet Joey Shore of the Irishtown Brewing Company (IBC) couldn’t believe his luck when he discovered nobody had used it yet.

In operation since October 2016, the IBC have already made an impression on the craft beer scene, picking up a Silver Medal in the lager category at the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair at the RDS in February of this year. According to Shore, they are projecting to have 55 taps across Dublin pouring out their beer by the end of March.

Directors Joey Shore and Flor Prendergast already have a drinks business – Malone’s Whiskey Company – which they administer out of Harmony Row in Dublin 2.

However, the Irishtown Brewing Company’s brewery isn’t based there and Shore told NewsFour that they are looking for a place to set up in Irishtown and at the rate his company is moving he reckons they should have their new home set up in this area by next year. They are currently using Hope Brewery’s equipment based in Kilbarrack, just a few metres down the road from where Shore grew up, before his family moved to Kilkenny when he was nine.

Pictured: Irishtown Brewing logo.

Seeking the right person to develop the recipe for their session beers, Shore and Prendergast recruited the expertise of Cuilan Loughnane from the White Gypsy Brewery through word of mouth. Shore recalls when he met Loughnane and suggested what he needed of him: “I said to Cuilan, ‘I want to make a craft beer,’ and he replied, ‘sure everyone’s making craft beers.’ ‘OK,’ I said, ‘I want to develop a brand,’ and he replied, ‘now you’re talking.’”

The IBC are devoted to making session beers and Shore recalls a period of Ireland’s history that ‘session beer’ relates to. It was a time when workers were allowed two drinking sessions during their work day and so this called for beers with a lower alcohol by volume (ABV). IBC are using Czech, German and American hops in their Dublin blonde lager and Dublin ‘Red’ pale ale which they are currently in the process of hitting the off-licence trade with, in cans.

It is designed with a 1950’s theme with blonde and red-haired temptresses alongside the Poolbeg towers. This branding with the Dublin name and figures was surprisingly developed by brand and retail specialists, Ball and Socket, who are based in Blackpool in Cork, although Shore doesn’t think the beer will sell well down there.

However, this branding is coming at a cost, as Shore is noticing a lot of these designer glasses are going missing from the bars and so he has set up a crowdfunding campaign for anyone who wishes to purchase one directly from the IBC.

Shore, a marketing specialist, makes parallels with how his brewery and Irishtown got its name whereby, due to the Statutes of Kilkenny, the Irish were pushed out into this area to camp and how the big breweries have done the same with the smaller ones.

By Paul Carton