Dick Mack’s on tap as pub opens brewery
A NEW chapter in the annals of Dick Mack’s has just opened with the establishment of Dick Mack’s Brewhouse in an old stone building that once served as a cowhouse at the back of the world famous pub.
A joint venture between Finn Mac Donnell and Aussie Barrett the former cowhouse has been converted into a gleaming brewery where Annascaul-based Dubliner Graham Murray applies his trade as the master brewer.
The small batch brewey will initally produce 20, 50-litre kegs of beer a week and, subject to the issuing of the relevant licences, the beer will shortly be available in Dick Mack’s pub.
Upholding his legacy, Finn manages the pub for his uncle, Oliver, who was the third generation of his family to run the pub which was opened in 1899 by Tom Mac Donnell. Aussie’s roots are firmly established in the pub trade as well given that his mother was born in O’Catháin’s long established pub in Ballyferriter.
Aussie spent three years work- ing with West Kerry Brewery in Riasc, Baile ’n Fheirtéaraigh, which was founded in 2008 by his first cousin, Donal, along with Adrienne Heslin and Paul O Loinsigh.
Following his dream of running his own brewery, Aussie teamed up with Finn and they set to work on establishing Dick Mack’s Brewhouse. Brewer Graham Murray has brought his own experience and recipies to the venture and they are producing two beers - Amber Ale and Session IPA (Indian Pale Ale). This Monday they were starting work on another ‘coffee brew’ beer, using an original recipe that combines Dick Mack’s Ale with Justin’s cold filtered coffee from just down the street in the Bean in Dingle café.
There was precedence for setting up the new brewery at the back of Dick Mack’s pub. In 1903 Tom Mac Donnell bottled his own ‘Invalid Stout’ in a shed at the back of the pub. This ‘nourishing export stout’ was brewed by Guinness in Dublin and delivered to Dick Mack’s in ‘hogshead’ casks which were so heavy that they couldn’t be lifted more than a few inches off the ground. This meant that the man charged with the job of bottling the stout would have to crouch down on a three legged stool as if he was milking a cow.
Ronnie and Finn Mac Donnell, Aussie Barrett and Graham Murray in the cowshed that has become Dick Mack’s brewery. Photo by
Declan Malone INSET: The label used by Tom Mac Donnell on Guinness that was bottled in an outhouse behind the pub in the early 1900s.The label assured customers that “This Celebrated Invalid Stout, Brewed by A. Guinness, Son & Co. Ltd, Dublin, is bottled and Guaranteed Pure as received from the Brewery by T. MacDonnell, Green Street, Dingle.