Following a honeymoon on an organic farm in Denmark I was inspired by an organic farmer who produces beer from scratch on his farm. He grows the barley, malts it in his special loft and cures it in salvaged ovens. He grows lots of hop varieties on his farm and has built a small brewery in one of his outbuildings. This is totally unique as he is one of a very few people in Europe producing beer from scratch on the farm. I was inspired.
I started brewing as soon as I got home and have been playing around since. Luckily my father in law grows organic barley and I started malting it in our garden shed. I built a small grain dryer and started to teach myself how to brew. Luckily I have a degree in Biotechnology so could understand most of the brewing texts.
We began work on restoring one of the outbuildings last summer, with the plan to turn it into a little brewery, but as the months went by the plan got more and more ambitious. We managed to pick up a second hand 300l brewery with 6 nice fermenting tanks and are currently trying to get the whole thing going.
I grew my first crop of various hop varieties last summer and have been experimenting with different hops in the beer recipes. Some of my hops came from Denmark, some from the Eden project in the UK and some on trial from the UK breeder Dr.Derby of HRI. I am most excited about a dwarf hop trial especially one variety called 'Boadicea'.
The next step is to finish the brewery building and start the long task of getting everything formalised. There are masses of different government bodies that I need approval from so plenty of forms to fill out and masses of office work to do.
We hope that Ruperts Farm Brewery will be operational by Christmas. We are going to start by producing a classic Pale Ale and will bottle all the beer on the farm in amber 500ml swingtop bottles (great news for all the homebrewers out there). We plan to sell the beer in various locations across Cork city and in local farmers markets. We will also be offering a Brewery Direct service where cases of our fine beer can be sent direct from the brewhouse to your home next day via speedy cheerful beer couriers..... now THATS exciting...