Environment issue stalls brewery plan

Plans for Laois’ first farm craft brewery to begin production have been put on hold by Laois County Council, as an environmental impact statement may be required.

Plans for Laois’ first farm craft brewery to begin production have been put on hold by Laois County Council, as an environmental impact statement may be required.

The 12 Acres Brewing Company, based in Clonmore, Killeshin, have applied to Laois County Council for permission to change the use of an agricultural building on their land to a farm craft brewery, from which to brew their farmhouse beer.

The company are currently contracted with a microbrewery in Cork to brew and package the beer with their own ingredients, until they have their own microbrewery up and running, and bottles of 12 Acres are currently selling in licensed premises across the county.

The enterprise is a partnership between brothers Ian, Rory, Barry and Patrick McDonald of Clonmore, Killeshin, whose family farm is located adjacent to the former Leix Dairy and Clonmore Meats. In their application, the brothers proudly assert that these businesses were established on the farm by previous generations of their family.

However, on foot of recommendations made by Inland Fisheries Ireland, the council have requested further information from the applicants.

The council say it has not been established if there is adequate capacity with the existing foul sewer/pumping station, or the existing sewage treatment plant at Mortarstown, to deal with the new development.

The applicants are also asked to confirm trading hours and the likely noise regime, which the council say is “an important consideration having regard to the location of a number of households closeby”.

Issues are also raised over plans for tanks, reactors and storage vessels, and whether wastewater should be pH corrected to deal with the pH range of discharges from the brewery.

On receipt of this information, Laois County Council will determine if a Natura Impact Statement and/or Environmental Impact Statement are required to be submitted as part of the planning application.

A decision is due from Laois County Council by March 30.