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Sullivan’s Brewing Company now pouring in NI

- the revival of a beer from the 18th century

Pictured at the recent launch of Sullivan’s craft beer which is now available in Northern are: (l to r) Alan Quane, CEO Sullivan’s Brewing Company, Annemarie McDonagh, Tennent’s NI and the master brewer at Sullivan’s Ian Hamilton.

Tennent’s NI is tapping into the local thirst for traditionally brewed quality Ale with the launch this month, of Maltings Red Ale from the master brewers at the historic Sullivan’s Brewing Company in Kilkenny.

First established in 1702, the Sullivan brewing name was once the biggest of its kind in Ireland but fell into abeyance in the last century. An errant member of the Sullivan family bet on, and lost, a horse race in 1918 and the demise of the business quickly followed. The legendary Smithwick brewing family subsequently rescued the workforce and subsumed operations into their own brewery, thus retaining the rights to the brand name and relaunching it today.

Given the history of Sullivan’s it is no surprise that the company traded extensively in Belfast in the 19th century. As Alan Quane, CEO, says: “It’s great to be able to bring Sullivan’s back to Northern Ireland, after a long hiatus. We’re on a mission to address the needs of the ‘next wave’ of craft beer drinkers and see Ulster as a key market for such quality beer. It’s a hub of creativity, of rich heritage and that connects with the ethos of the Sullivan’s brand.”

The master brewer at Sullivan’s is Ian Hamilton and he has created Maltings Red Ale (4%AbV), a refreshingly balanced, ruby-tinted classic Irish Ale with a unique depth of malt flavour imparting distinctive biscuit and caramel notes. Maltings Red Ale earned acclaim recently, winning the global Champion Keg Ale category at the International Brewing Awards in Burton Upon Trent.

A true artisan, Ian Hamilton says: “The beer we craft is inspired by traditional Kilkenny recipes and brewed the way the family has always brewed – the way real Irish beer should be brewed – by local experts, by hand, in small batches, with enormous heart and the finest locally sourced ingredients.”

The complexity of Sullivan’s Maltings Red Ale owes much to a clever blend of just four ingredients… water which has been filtered through Kilkenny’s limestone foundations for thousands of years; Barley, grown in Kilkenny’s mineral rich soil; the choicest Hops and Sullivan’s own Cask Ale Yeast which allows a fermentation process that’s four times longer than that of large scale, industrially brewed beers.

On launching Maltings Red Ale to the North, Jeff Tosh, Sales Director for Tennent’s NI said: “We feel the time and the market are right for products which have genuine standout in terms both of their intrinsic quality and also their back story. People can identify with the ethos of Sullivan’s Maltings Red Ale and its slow brew, ‘quality can’t be rushed’ approach and they genuinely love the product.

“We’re delighted to introduce Maltings Red Ale to the licensed trade and we are confident that this great product will speedily build a fan base amongst those who appreciate the rich layered taste of a great heritage beer that is at once ‘sessionable’ and accessible to all.

Maltings Red Ale will sit extremely well within our broad and exciting beers portfolio, adding to our reputation for championing innovation and quality, and we look forward to getting behind this unique product with a support plan which reflects it unique positioning and taste attributes.”

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