Friday, May 31, 2013

Shannon Brewing looks to deliver all natural Irish ales

Image credit:  Shannon Brewing Company
Just recently incorporated, the Shannon Brewing Company is currently looking for a home in the Mid-Cities.  According to founder Shannon Carter, Keller or Colleyville look to be the most likely destinations, though Flower Mound is a possibility as well.  Taking into account potential zoning issues, licensing and build-out, he hopes to be up and brewing by year's end.

Carter caught the brewing bug around a dozen years ago, while playing for a soccer team that was sponsored by Austin Homebrew Supply (AHS).  As part of the sponsorship agreement, AHS provided homebrew kits to the team, and as Carter recalls it only took one batch to know he was hooked.  Joining him in this venture will be Dan Sartin, who attended the Siebel Institute and obtained a Master Brewer Certification from the Doemens Academy in Munich, Germany.  Not only that, he is the first and only certified Bier Sommelier in Texas, having completed the Doemens Bier Sommelier Course.  This program, put on jointly by Siebel and the Doemens Academy, provides instruction on the finer points of beer service and food pairing, while seeking to set the standard in these fields worldwide.

The brewery's initial setup is currently being designed, and will be something in the range of a 20 bbl system.  It will be unique in that it will incorporate a direct-fired brew kettle and mash tun.  These choices are driven by a desire to re-create recipes brought over from Ireland by Carter's great grandfather, who heated his kettle over a wood fire.  Shannon Pale Ale, the brewery's flagship, is based off one of those recipes.  It benefits from a deep caramelization provided by the direct fire method, and is a beer that took home a silver medal at the 2013 Celtic Brew-Off.

Other styles in the works include an IPA, a stout (also based on one of Carter's great grandfather's recipes), and a traditional Irish red (more along the lines of an Irish-style ESB).  While there will be a few year-round brews, Carter says much of his portfolio will center around seasonal and specialty beers.  A chocolate version of the aforementioned stout was meant to be one such beer, but positive response may result in it being bumped up to full-time status.

Offerings will be draft-only to start, but expect packaging (Carter is leaning towards cans) to begin sooner rather than later.

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