With such a wide range of beers out there, we know it can be a bit daunting working out which one to try next. That’s why, each week, we’re taking a closer look at one of the many brilliant breweries we’re stocking. This week, we’re catching up with the folks at the wonderful Kinnegar from Donegal, Ireland.
Named after the idyllic strand near to their original brewing site near Rathmullen, Co. Donegal, Kinnegar is a brewery with roots deeply embedded in the lush, hilly surroundings of rural north-western Ireland.
“We want to make an accessible range of consistently top-quality beers that appeal to ‘normal’ beer drinkers as well as beer geeks.”
A close connection to the natural splendour that surrounds the brewery informs and inspires each of their beers. Although many of these are now brewed at a second, state-of-the-art facility (known as K2) in Letterkenney, the original farmhouse ethos and attitude remains apparent in the clean and refreshing brews that we’ve become so fond of.
We caught up with founder Libby Carton, and asked a few questions around the brewery and what the future holds for Kinnegar.
What would you say is Kinnegar’s mission as a brewery?
“Our mission is very simple. We want to make an accessible range of consistently top-quality beers that appeal to ‘normal’ beer drinkers as well as beer geeks. Kinnegar feels equally at home both on the shelves of corner stores and in the fridges of eclectic bottle shops.”
How do your roots as a farmhouse brewer come through in your approach to more modern beers like New England & Double IPA?
“Our basic approach is the same no matter what the style: we carbonate naturally using the spünding technique and we neither filter nor pasteurise. Carbonating naturally presents its fair share of problems with dry-hopping but we’ve successfully overcome them. There’s been a few mishaps — Rachel took a proper drenching on top of a big tank in our early days in K2 after one of our less successful attempts at the manoeuvre. We’ve fine-tuned things since then!”
What plans do you have for the next few months/year?
“Surviving the pandemic is Target No.1! We’ve just added three new 70HL tanks so they will keep the core side of the operation moving along nicely for the next while. The next stainless steel to arrive will be going to K1 as we begin production again in our original premises in Rathmullan. We’ll be putting in a coolship and doing plenty of work with brett and spontaneous fermentation. We’re calling the project the Phunk Farm. Thankfully, with 24km of clear space between the two facilities, we have the comfort of knowing that there’s no chance of our yeast strains meeting casually at the water cooler. And there are also plans for a taproom at K2…”
White Rabbit is a beer that sits nicely with the range, but offers something a little bit different. How would you describe it to someone who’s never tried it?
“White Rabbit isn’t a beer that we can pigeonhole very easily! “White” is strongly linked to Belgian beer, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, whereas White Rabbit is an American Wheat Beer with no connection to the Belgian Witbier tradition. Really, it’s a straight-up session IPA with great bang for its ABV buck. Wheat forms a sizable proportion of the grist bill, but it certainly doesn’t dominate the flavour profile. Expect a creamy mouthfeel and a wallop of hops!”
So, now you know a little bit more about Kinnegar, why not give them a try? Take advantage of this weeks special offer of 5% off all their beers, and use code: kinnegar5 at checkout. Offer ends 19/10/20.