Grainne Walsh, Metalman (@metalman_gra) 7th June, Meet the Brewers

Genuine pleasure to have a female brewer with us on 7th June who was also the first full-timer in Metalman. Photo below taken by Peter Grogan.

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Grainne interviews far and wide as part of her role and so I have picked a couple of the more interesting quotes from those interviews in preparation for the 7th.

First from the National HomeBrew website on her initial contact with Cuilan from White Gypsy

“In general it was a great experience, although there is a lot to be said for being in control of your own production rather than at the mercy of someone else’s priorities. When I first contact Cuilán about brewing for us, he was extremely positive and helpful – there’s no doubt that he was laughing inwardly (and sometimes outwardly!) at this pair of jokers from the IT world who had it in their heads that they wanted to get into the brewing industry. But he never once discouraged us from following our crazy dream. When I first shared the recipe for our pale ale with him, he hesitated, then said “that’s a lot of hops!”. I almost faltered here to be honest. After all, here was a seasoned brewing professional who had a wealth of experience that we could only aspire to. So maybe we were wrong with the recipe? Maybe the hopping was just too much? Maybe the beer would be wildly off-balance? So I hesitated myself before I responded. “Yep! It is a lot of hops!” He was dubious, but then hoppy beers were not exactly his modus operandi at that point. Now however, he makes a very nice pale ale called Mustang made with American hops, so we like to think that at the same time we were learning from him, he was also learning from us! We’re obviously glad we stuck with our plan, as the pale ale came out pretty well even from the first batch.”

Since then they have moved into their own brew house.

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From their own website on the latest of their collaborative brews  – Grainne has a wee bit of a name for experimentation 🙂

“Some time ago in Dublin, we met Ann and Dave from Hardknott Brewery in Cumbria, and over a few beers, the conversation inevitably turned to collaboration brewing. Emails were exchanged, Skype conversations were scheduled and rescheduled until eventually, a date was set for the deed. The Hardknott folk travelled to Ireland, we finalised a recipe, and Yerba was born.
Coming up with recipes for collaboration brews is not very easy – fun certainly, but easy, no! Perhaps we would have been better set to brainstorm the recipe over a few beers, but instead what happened was, we sat down with a cuppa on a rainy afternoon at Metalman, the day before we planned to brew, and said “right, what are we making then?”
Silence.

Some “umms” and “aahhs” while we waited for the creative juices to kick in, but sometimes forcing things along can be quite strenuous! Thankfully though, there is nothing like a deadline, and once the caffeine started to kick in, the ideas starting firing forth. We bandied about flavour combinations that we thought would be interesting, and then we wondered about style definitions that might work with them. We thought tea might be an interesting ingredient to use, so we called up the nice people at Kingfisher Tea to see what delights they might have. It turned out that Mico’s description of her Sweet Orange Maté was simply irresistible to us, and with that as our starting point, it felt like everything fell into place.”

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From the Drinks Industry Ireland website on the occasion of their winning the Beoir Beer of the Year in 2013

“Each year, Beoir has its members vote for their favourite beers from all commercially available beer brewed on the island of Ireland. The results this year placed Metalman Pale Ale at the top of the list with Jameson Stout from the Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork taking second place and Leann Folláin from Carlow Brewing Company third.

Metalman Pale Ale is an American-style pale ale brewed in Waterford with hops from the US west coast to deliver a citrus kick with hints of grapefruit and mandarin.

Director at Metalman Brewing Gráinne Walsh commented, “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award – there are more great Irish beers available now than ever before, so to be told that ours was voted the best makes us very proud – we’re thrilled!”.
Having launched its first beer on the market in March 2011, Metalman Brewery now makes a range of beers available on draught only in a selection of stockists around the country.”

Looking forward to hearing her on the night 🙂

Full Meet The Brewers event details and booking here.

Keith

 

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