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Tapping into the St. Patrick's Day spirit!

At this time of year, it is always busy for collaborations as international breweries look to tap into the St Patrick’s Day spirit.

At this time of year, it is always busy for collaborations as international breweries look to tap into the St Patrick’s Day spirit.

This year’s main St Patrick’s Day collaboration with Lough Gill Brewery is a transatlantic partnership with Spearhead Brewing Company in Canada. The beer, a red IPA, was brewed and packaged in time for release in both markets simultaneously under different names.

“We’re calling it Look West, because if you look west you look towards Canada, and they are calling it Look East, because you look east towards Ireland from Canada,” our brewery founder James Ward says.

“It came about by chance when I met the brewery owner, Richard Ward, on a trip to Canada, and we started chatting about having the same surname. We’re in talks with distributors about exporting to Canada so this will help to get our name out there.”

Collaborations are a key part of what we do at Lough Gill Bewery. They’re great fun and a learning experience as well as being an opportunity to introduce your products to new markets.

James explains: “We recently went to Italy and brewed beer in an Italian brewery called Lucky Brews. That beer will be sold in their outlets as their beer - brewed with Lough Gill Brewery. The benefit for us is it goes out to their customer base and helps create awareness of our brand. Then they will travel here, and we will do the same for them.”

Lough Gill Brewery has also brewed an Oyster Stout with a French farm brewery called Ferme-Brasserie La Muette. “They traveled here this week to brew here with us. It was quite an experience,” says James.

“‘No farm, no beer’ is their motto - they grow their own malt, their own ingredients, and their food produce. Drinking in their tap room, everything you consume is generated on the farm. It’s very much from farm to table and from farm to glass.”

Even during the pandemic, James explains, the collaborations didn’t stop, but they did become virtual. “We did a virtual collaboration with Faith American Brewing Company, which is a brewery owned by the actor Kelsey Grammer (AKA Sideshow Bob as we like to call him).

“The inspiration for that was that he liked an Irish coffee, so we brewed an Imperial Stout. We added coffee, then lactose sugar to sweeten it, and we aged it in whiskey barrels to give it the whiskey flavour, so it has all the flavours of an Irish coffee. That was released in time for St Patrick’s Day last year.”


Dropping off our casks into the sea.

“We also took some of those barrels and dropped them in the ocean to create a separate product, that was presented in a 750ml bottle. It was a first-of-a-kind beer aged at the bottom of the ocean just off the coast of Sligo. We got help from Sligo Oyster Farm to manage it.”

“The theory is that the sway of the barrels in the ocean means that the liquid is in movement and having more contact time with the wood, drawing out more flavours from the wood. Sometimes you just want to do something totally different. That was probably the most interesting one that we’ve done.”


Lough Gill Brewery has collaborated with other breweries in Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Argentina and the UK. You can view the full range of available beers in our online shop.


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