If you head out west from Galway city, out past Spiddal and Casla to Carraroe, you’ll catch the faint whiff of mashing barley on the breeze.
Connemara has a long association with illicit alcohol production but now there’s a fully-licensed brewery operating there.
Trading since January, the Independent Brewing Company of Ireland has established itself as an artisan producer of award-winning, tasty beers.
It won the Best Ale and Lager category at the recent Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards in Dublin.
The company’s Independent Stout came out on top at the Awards ceremony in The Mansion House and Independent Pale Ale was shortlisted.
“The award means a lot to us, it reflects the pride and effort we take in our beers – each of which is bottled, capped and labelled by hand,” explained entrepreneur and brewer Kevin O’Hara.
This is the second accolade Independent Stout has received – it was also awarded a Silver medal at the Global Craft Brewers Awards in Berlinlast July.
The company’s name reflects the desire to create its own brewery, distinct and separate from the big players in the industry.
From the very start it was planned to brew a Stout but it began with three core beers: Independent Pale Ale (6% ABV), Independent Red (4.5% ABV) and Independent Gold (4.5% ABV).
The Irish Quality Food and Drinks Awards set out to recognise excellence in product development for food and drink producers, retailers and catering companies in Ireland.