TYRONE is set for it’s own brand of beer after plans for the county’s first Microbrewery was given the go ahead last month.
Omagh Council approved plans for the development, which will see the renovation of existing buildings on the Drumnakilly Road in the village of Carrickmore, into a small scale brewery.
Pokertree Brewing Company is the idea of local man Darren Nugent who intends to produce a range of traditional hand made, all natural ales as an alternative to the bland mass produced beers currently available in the marketplace.
The decision is seen as a timely boost for the village and could signal the creation of jobs in the future.
Commenting on the news, Mr Nugent said: “I am extremely pleased that this proposal has received the full backing of Omagh Council. It is a first for the the County and I am looking forward to starting work on the brewery in the New Year.
“Our plans are to develop a range of artisan bottled ales with the focus firmly on quality, using only fresh natural ingredients without any additives or preservatives.
“We have spoken to a number of local publicans, restaurateurs, shop owners and off-licences and they are all very supportive of the idea of stocking locally produced beers – something which is the norm in many countries outside Northern Ireland.”
The inspiration for the venture came from years living and working abroad, including England, Australia, New Zealand and America.
“I had traveled quite a bit and everywhere I went I could try different, locally produced beers that tasted so much fresher and better than the overfizzy, tasteless bland lagers that we get at home. I also saw how the people were so proud to have a locally produced beer – to have a taste of where they lived that was different and unique.
“When I came back I couldn’t believe how poor the range of choice was here – every bar and restaurant had the same choices everywhere I went, so that’s why I decided to develop the idea of a brewery in Tyrone”.
The company aims to produce a range of distinctive ales produced using traditional methods on site, right through from grain to bottle.
It’s hoped the people of Tyrone will take the beer to their hearts as trends in the beer market over the past few years have revealed a steadily growing demand for more diverse and locally produced brands as customers choose to spend more on fewer, but better quality beers for consumption in the home.
Many supermarkets and off-licences now also have dedicated craft, or local ale sections as sales increase, whilst more traditional lagers have seen gradual declines in sales.
Pubs too increasingly view stocking locally produced ales as a way to distinguish themselves form other bars and appeal to a wider range of customers by offering something different from everyone else.
Pokertree Brewing Company aims to have its first product - an Irish Golden Ale - on shelves in April/May 2013 and any publicans or other licencees interested in stocking the products should email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Darren Nugent on 028 807 61923.