One ale of a tribute to landlord Kevin
SO surprise number two in Ireland, gave me great pleasure, and my unexpected arrival in Kinvara, bearing gifts, was up there with my most memorable moments.
Regular readers might guess that the story involves drink, but this was very special drink, a beer brewed in honour of a mighty man called Kevin Sexton who passed away two years ago.
Kevin was the landlord of Sexton’s Bar in the village, a venue my band has played umpteen times in the last 15 years.
My good friends Stewart and Emma Swan, the new owners of Glossop’s Howard Town Brewery, worked their magic on the brew, called Sexton’s Pride, and bottled up four cases for me to ship across the Irish Sea.
Galway artist Louise Boyce allowed us to use Kevin’s portrait on the bottles, and it’s a great painting, seen over Ruth’s shoulder in the picture here.
Kevin was a true gentleman in every sense of the word, and never batted an eyelid when we sometimes turned up with seven in the band and 40 lads from Glossop Rugby Club – he just smiled and kept the Guinness flowing for the whole weekend.
Kevin’s daughter Ruth now runs the pub, and her face was a picture when we plonked the cases of beer on the bar.
She was still none the wiser, but when she pulled out one of the bottles and saw her dad’s face – priceless.
The special bottles are now legendary in the area, and any of Kevin’s friends who were lucky enough to be given a bottle have vowed to toast his health on Christmas Day.
Good friend of mine, 86-year-old Willy Kavanagh, was the first to be handed a bottle.
He was delighted and quickly slotted the beer in his pocket, placed his flat cap on his head to leave, and said: “I have a picture of Kevin above on the mantle, I’ll empty this and it can sit beside him.”
As you may imagine, I didn’t make it out of Sexton’s until late that night, or was it early morning, so the wildlife can wait until next week, in the meantime let me guide you in the direction of this little heaven on Galway Bay.
Fly Ryanair Manchester to Shannon from £29, it’s less than an hour and you start the descent into County Clare almost as soon as you get to 30,000 feet.
Car hire at the airport is from around 12 Euros a
●● Sean Wood with Ruth Sexton, landlady of Sexton’s Bar in the village of Kinvara, South County Galway, holding a bottle of Sexton’s Pride produced in honour of her late father Kevin