The Creative Brew
As with artisan food producers across the country, Ireland has a growing craft beer industry, and Derry is no different. True artisan products appear as labour of love and passion for the craft itself. These artisan producers are innovators in their own right – creating unique flavours infused with their own particular style.
Up until 1925, Derry’s Watts & Company was the largest whiskey distillery in Ireland and a massive city centre plant covered eight acres, including now Abbey Street, Fahan Street and adjoining thoroughfares. Following a strike in 1921 this one-time world leader in whiskey production then closed for good. Since then, the spirits industry has been quiet in Derry and for more than one hundred years, the city of Derry had no craft brewery in the city centre.

This has all changed however since a young brewer named James Huey is taking on the challenge and fast making a name for Derry’s finest craft beers. Having spent 12 years brewing with Ireland’s largest beer company, James set about establishing a craft brewery of his own – fusing his love of craft beer with his love of the city. Exactly 496 days after writing out his vision, James and his wife Louise opened the Walled City Brewery on May 15th 2015. Today, his Walled City Brewery located in Ebrington Square in the city of Derry-Londonderry also offers a unique restaurant where visitors can enjoy their choice of beer with an evening meal.
Huey has produced some remarkable creations in the short time since opening the Walled City Brewery, evoking history, culture and the particular joys of Derry. The Walled Brewery maiden brew is “Boom”: a Derry Pale Ale with a fusion of cascade and amarillo hops inspiring tropical and citrus flavours that are wonderfully balanced.
Stitch is a unique ale developed by Huey and inspired by the city’s extraordinary shirt-factory history. By 1926, Derry-Londonderry was home to 44 shirt factories. The city was once the principal seat of shirt-producing industry exporting to Britain, Ireland, Europe and the colonies. Capturing this fascinating heritage through taste is no easy task but at the Walled City Brewery they appear to have success. Multiple hop varieties are used in this ale, at several different points in the brewing process. With emphasis on late hop and dry hop additions, there are also tropical fruit and citrus flavours and aromas on a bed of pale and Munich malt.
Another unique creation is called “Kicks”, inspired by the greatest band ever to come out of Derry – The Undertones! Here, a crystal-clear Sperrin water has the perfect mineral content for this crisp, refreshing pilsner. The wonderful malty sweetness is delicately balanced with a subtle addition of noble and new world hops.
Food enthusiasts can marvel at the bacon-infused Snout creation which was added to the Walled Brewery repertoire to celebrate Northern Ireland’s “Breakfast Month”, it was an immediate success. Themed brews are no surprise coming from this master brewer. A Valentine’s edition which has been named “Love LocALE” is infused with Armagh Bramley apples and home grown rhubarb from their garden. And so, another tender partnership with mother nature continues to inspire new brews as Ireland’s artisan food and drink story continues.
www.walledcitybrewery.com

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