Laois could be set to stake its claim on the burgeoning international craft beer market, with a family-run business in Killeshin set to start brewing their own beer right here in the county.
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.
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.
The first of its kind in Laois, the brothers aim to establish a craft microbrewery and utilise the natural resources that exist on their farm. They have a natural spring water source on site and the farm produces malting barley for the brewing and distilling industries. They boast that they have developed and tested some unique local recipes, and it is hoped that the enterprise will create up to seven rural jobs within five years.
“The craft beer market in Ireland is going through a period of huge growth and currently holds under 1% of the beer market, industry experts expect that in the coming years this figure will grow up to 10% in line with markets in other countries,” they said.
The company will initially brew one 2000 litre batch per week, with a maximum production of four 2000 litre batches per week. The beer is conditioned for up to several months, and the hours of operation will be 8am to 7pm with two employees needed.
A decision is due from Laois County Council by December 22.