Carlow Brewing Company, the independent, family-owned business was established in 1996 and was one of the pioneers of Irish craft brewing. Located in the heart of Ireland’s traditional malt-growing “Barrow Valley” region that has strong historical links to the Irish brewing industry, the company has been at the forefront of Irish craft brewing for over 20 years.
The sale – for an undisclosed figure – includes Craigies cider production equipment which will enable Carlow Brewing Company to bring all cider production in-house to the Bagenalstown-based microbrewery this year and facilitate support of local apple growers and producers.
“We launched Falling Apple Cider in 2015 and the goal was to take the cider production in-house,” commented Carlow Brewing Company’s Chief Executive Seamus O’Hara, “The deal with Craigies has facilitated this objective. It will allow us to expand and innovate our Falling Apple range and also continue to produce the Craigies cider range.
“We see the ciders as complementary and we look forward to introducing some really interesting and exciting new ciders from both Falling Apple and Craigies to Irish cider-lovers and beyond this year.”
Cragies is owned and run by Simon Tyrrell, Angus Craigie, Ralf Högger, Emma Tyrrell and Alan Garrioch. However none worked in a full-time capacity at the cidery and some will have varying part-time businesses going forward with Simon and Emma Tyrrell the only two to continue being involved with the production and promotion of Craigies.
“Carlow Brewing are best positioned to take Craigies to the next level,” commented Simon Tyrrell, who co-founded Craigies (along with Wicklow farmer Angus Craigie), “Seamus had already developed another cider brand in Falling Apple but we appreciated that he wanted to dive deeper into production and explore the different expressions of cider that exist.
“We felt that we had the know-how and the production equipment that would fit well with this ambition. The set up in Bagenalstown is so good and their sales network so well-established that in terms of production, new product development and distribution it was the number one option for us.
“We believe that the move to O’Hara’s will be a fantastic opportunity for the brand to explore all the different styles that were in the pipeline but that we lacked the resources to be able to bring to market.”