A Crossmolina master brewer, whose craft beer Irish Blonde is going down a storm in local bars and in trendy night spots in the country’s capital, hopes to create seven jobs in the town over the next three years.
Marcus Robinson, founder of the Reel Deel Brewery Ltd, won high praise from Minister of State Michael Ring at the launch of his first ale last Friday night in Sticks Bar, Crossmolina.
Mr Ring said the brewer’s “great insight and innovation” is likely to provide employment and help in the promotion of Crossmolina and north Mayo as a tourism destination, particularly in the area of gastronomic tourism.
Mr Robinson said he now plans to follow-up his fruity amber beverage with a stout and an Irish pale ale over the next year, and he aims to see the beers stocked on supermarket and off-licence shelves all over Ireland and the UK.
Mr Robinson’s passion for brewing first started when he was a student in the 1980s.
“I found the quality of the beer to be much better,” he explained. “In fact, the more I got into it, the more sophisticated my palate became. I also realised that the more patient I was, the more time I invested in brewing, the better the quality of the beer I could produce.”
Consumers in Ireland are showing an increasing appreciation for this patient dedication to quality.
The Irish craft beer sector is growing at a rapid pace, according to industry experts. There are now 33 microbreweries in operation across 21 counties and a further 17 are in development.
A new report commissioned by the Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland group and launched last month outlined how employment in microbreweries has doubled over the last three years and output looks set to almost triple on 2011 figures by the end of the year.
Due to the nature of the sector, microbreweries are generally thought to be good for rural economies in particular because more ingredients are sourced domestically and the brewers provide more spin-off jobs in the local economy.
Mr Robinson is confident Reel Deel Brewery Ltd has a very bright future.
He says he expects to take on one employee in the next six months and continue to grow his workforce to seven within three years at his brewing and bottling facility by the River Deel.