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F E ATUR E Brewing up a

Metalman Brewing is a microbrewery currently under construction in Waterford city, thanks to the help and assistance of Waterford City Enterprise Board’s new initiative for food producers.

Born of a desire to see more beer produced by independent brewers in Ireland, Metalman Brewing is the brain-child of a couple of beer enthusiasts, Grainne Walsh and her partner Tim Barber, who were frustrated by the lack of availability and choice of flavoursome, authentically Irish beer. Inspired by some of the other small Irish brewers, they eventually decided to try and help do something about it. Business plans were written, torn up, and written again. Locations were scouted, breweries were visited, and – of course – various different beers were sampled to ensure they were researching the correct product portfolio. Dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it!

Gráinne called time on her I.T. career in Jan 2011 and moved back to her hometown of Waterford to focus full-time on establishing the brewery, while Tim

continues to work at the day-job to pay the bills and keep the wolf from the door. While getting things up and running, they agreed a contract-brewing system with another small microbrewery in Templemore, and produced their first beer, Metalman Pale Ale, in March 2011. This beer was launched in both Waterford and Dublin, and has been very well received.

In tandem with getting their beer on the market, they continued to research suitable locations for the brewery, and after a couple of false starts, settled on the Tycor Business Centre, and the brewery fit-out is underway. “It’s still work in progress, but we’re finally getting there”, says Gráinne. “We’ve had a lot of support from different people along the way, including Waterford City Enterprise Board, who are helping us with financing some of the brewery equipment we need.

“We strongly believe that people should have the opportunity to choose something fresh and local when they want a beer - and this choice has simply been non- existent in Ireland for far too long now. A lot of people are bored of seeing the same limited selection of beers in every pub,

beers that are unchanged in the last 20 years, and I can’t say I blame them! We’re here to bridge that gap.”

Metalman Brewing are hoping to be manufacturing in their Waterford facility by November this year. They are currently producing draft beer only, but intend to start bottling once the brewery is up and running smoothly later this year. They make three different beers at the moment, one is their flagship Metalman Pale Ale, and is available year-round. The other two are so-called “seasonal” beers, brewed at a particular time of year and available for a limited time only. The first of these beers, Windjammer, was brewed for the Tall Ships festival in June of this year, and will not be available again until 2012 when the Tall Ships return to Dublin. The second beer is called Alternator, and as this is their Autumn beer, it is still on offer - a Belgian-style wheat beer with a spicy twist.

Have you an idea for the food industry?

Are you interested in food production? Are you looking

for direction and assistance?

Talk to Waterford City Enterprise Board today about funding.

Phone 051 852 883, email or visit Waterford City Enterprise Board, New Street, Waterford.


Investing in Your Future 16

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