It all started with this.

IMG_4176I was in a bar, a pal ordered me a bottle of this excellent stout and as I sat down three things flashed through my mind.

1. My pal never buys me a drink, what’s he’s after?

2. There’s a lighthouse in Dungarvan?

3. Shit. Next time before sitting down, I must remember to pull out a bar stool.

When I came around, through a haze of concussion I had a brilliant idea: They’re in West Waterford, I’m in West Waterford. Why don’t I distil their beer?

So I gave the project a suitable Irish pun of a name: Brú House and the 01? As each beer is its own thing, they need to be numbered and 01 is much more definitive than a plain old 1. And 01 is a real co-production.

I went to Dungarvan Brewing Company with the idea and what do you know, 2015 is their 5th birthday. Their Head Brewer Cormac came up with the idea of an oatmeal stout – which worked for me, as oats were traditionally used in both Irish brewing and distilling. We agreed for the first batch to leave out the hops and I thought it would be gas craic to put the spirit in some 50 litre European oak, sherry wood casks. So I had the barrels built in Spain and they are on their way to Ireland.

Sure with all that CO2 in the air, we were off our heads! (Cormac on the left, Peter on the right)
Sure with all that CO2 in the air, we were off our heads! (Cormac on the left, Peter on the right)

We’ll distill it in the next couple of weeks and after that, the spirit will rest in wood for some 60 days, which means we can bottle it in time for the West Waterford Festival of Food. There will only be somewhere in the region of 250 bottles of The Spirit of West Waterford, so if you want to try some you’d better get to the Festival!

You can keep an eye on the project here as I will do almost weekly updates, in the meantime I will leave you with this photo of Cormac pretending to work.