Mark and Vivienne Lucy are the husband-and-wife team behind Lineman, one of the most recent additions to Irish craft beer. A few weeks ago, their Astral Grains Foreign Extra Stout came second in the Irish Craft Brewers Beer of the Year competition. The first commercial beer was released in August 2019, but Mark had been an obsessive home-brewer for many years.
“Mark has been brewing since his late teens, making it out of kits at first. In the late 1990s, he developed a love of Belgian beer, when there weren’t many places you could buy it, so he started cloning the beers he liked himself from scratch,” Vivienne says.
"He's an engineer, so he needs to be able to break things down into components. All of our holidays were in Belgium, and he built a garden shed and got more involved in home-brewing. He started entering competitions and started winning competitions too."
The couple took over the old Rascals brewery in Rathcoole in January 2019, and spent a few months fixing it up. The beers are certainly not mainstream, with full-bodied stouts, sour beers, and West Coast IPAs. "Our first beer in August 2019 was a grisette called First Light. We are still trying to work out what our core beers are, but for the moment there is Saga (Mark made the style up himself), the silver-medal winning Astral Stout, and Izel Red IPA, a fusion of Irish red ale and American IPA. Asrtral is probably our most consistent and best-selling beer, but all of Mark's beers are well-balanced, moreish and dry," Vivienne says.
The beers are available through specialist off-licences, online retailers and lineman.ie.