Rye River Brewery is based in the small Co. Kildare town of Kilcock, a short hop by bus or train from Dublin. The site occupies quite a significant proportion of the town and is currently a hive of building activity. When finished it will include a café and merchandise shop as well as the global distribution centre for Rye River's beers. At the end of August, the brewery was the only operating section and owner Niall and brewer Alex showed us around.
Alex is well known on the Irish home brewing scene, winning awards for his amateur beers while dabbling in the professional side as part of the Otterbank and Brewtonic gypsy projects. He's full time at Rye River now and told us how thoroughly enjoyable it is to work in a brewery as it starts to get off the ground: so many new toys to acquire and play with.
|Alex and Rosie|
|Uncle Jim and the pilot kit|
But the main reason I've chosen Rye River as the subject for this Session post is their pilot kit, a 1hl yoke on wheels. The brewing team have been running experiments on it but they've made it clear that it's available to all-comers. If any home brewers want to try their hand, and their recipes, with the assistance and equipment of the pros, here's the chance. An opportunity for any home brewer to change their relationship with beer even further and, at the rate at which Ireland's home brewers are currently being professionally recruited, who knows where it might lead?
Cheers to Wayne for organising the trip to Rye River, and to Niall and Alex for the tour. It's an audacious project and promises to be a major asset to Kilcock when the whole thing is finished.