We have an unusual story of how we got involved in building a brewery and making craft beer. A passionate pair of eejits got together to feed cows beer with the intention of creating an affordable delicacy to the lovely people of Northern Ireland. You may ask, what do you need to produce beer-fed beef or the best Wagyu beef in the country? What is Wagyu Beef even?
We believe you need the finest ingredients, brewed by hand, to produce a truly remarkable beer, taking time to allow the grains, water, hops and yeast to work their magic. At the same time, we have to ensure that the beer will appeal to rare breed short horn cattle. Easy? Well, we found they were fussy about their beer and only the best would do. We figured there was no better way than for a farmer (The Logan’s – Hillstown Farm Shop) and a homebrew revolutionary (The Mitchell’s- Get ‘er Brewed) to champion this unique adventure. So, how did it grow into a brewery selling craft beer?
We received such huge demand for the beer-fed beef that we were soon out of plastic fermenters and into a production of 500 litres per week – and yes, we had a cattle house full of happy cows. They received massage brushes and music – Nigel even sang a song to them when no one was looking. The beer-fed beef project was aimed at relaxing the beast to produce a more tender and succulent piece of meat, not about getting the cows drunk. The result is the finest rare breed short horn beef in the country, sold at the farm shop for a price that makes this Japanese delicacy affordable to all.
When it came to up-scaling our equipment, we saw it as an opportunity to start to create some hand-crafted beers for the explosive craft beer scene appearing in Ireland. Another interesting farm diversification project…a dream come true for us…
We have always been passionate about hand-crafted produce, we always strive to support local and create employment, aiming to build a community around us that shares every step of the journey.
We are dedicated to trying to educate beer drinkers that it is about the bottle of craft beer that you have in your hand, not the quantity, not the alcohol percentage, not who’s round is it, simply enjoy each bottle for its taste and in moderation. We want to see more folk pairing beers with their meals and taking people away from binge drinking, enjoy the craft without the headache.
We produce unique craft beers on the farm for the taste, we hope you’ll try one of our beers and follow us on our journey as we try to make a difference to how beer is enjoyed locally.
What Next for The Hillstown Brewery?
We are very proud to have been invited to join with the Économusée programme.Économusée is a concept developed in Canada, which brings artisans of all traditions together into an extensive network.
We are often asked if people can come and have a look around the brewery and we are pleased to announce that tours are now available which includes a sampling session of our range of beers.
We continue to develop a range of exciting beers, including special collaborations with other artisans across the province. Keep an eye on the website for new additions.
We are very excited about the next 12 – 18 months at the brewery. We have lots of things happening and can’t wait to make announcements. In the meantime, thank you for your support and watch this space!!