Black Donkey brings unique Roscommon flavour to its beers

Underworld series has been brewer using a local strain of brewer’s yeast

Richard Siberry, foreground, and Glenn Reid of Black Donkey

Richard Siberry, foreground, and Glenn Reid of Black Donkey

 

To celebrate its seventh anniversary, Black Donkey Brewery, based in Ballinlough, Co Roscommon, has released three new “Underworld” beers: Allta, Savage and Rua. Each is made using Morrigan 1, a unique native local strain of brewer’s yeast. At the same time, Black Donkey has launched a walk-in and online brewery shop, blackdonkeybeer.com. “We try to keep things dynamic – that is what keeps us so young-looking,” jokes co-owner and brewer Richard Siberry.

The Underworld beers are designed to be drunk with food. “It had always been a plan to have a series of beers focused on food pairings. We don’t grow grapes in Ireland, but we do produce an amazing range of local artisan products in this country, and they should be on every menu; support local, drink local. You couldn’t make these beers anywhere else on the planet because the yeasts play a prominent part in each one, in the aroma and the flavours. It may sound a bit pretentious, but we wanted to create a provenance. We had fun producing them and are very, very happy with the way the beers turned out. Everyone likes the labels [designed locally by Ellen Egan of Dimple Design in Boyle] as well.”

Siberry is equally excited about the cellar door and online shop; “As far as I know we are only the second brewer to get this new Producer’s Retail Licence, probably because the process is so onerous. To get a judge to say you can sell your own beer to a consumer is a ridiculous six-month process.”

During lockdown Black Donkey managed to garner a few prestigious awards. “We generally don’t enter competitions as our beers don’t fit neatly into categories, but the International Beer Challenge judge on quality and technical merit. We won a Gold for Savage and for Sergeant Jimmy, and a silver for Sheep Stealer; a very nice haul.”

Richard has food matching suggestions on the back label of each beer. I tried a few of these out and they worked very well. But you don’t have to have food. The beers are excellent all on their own too.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.