Monday, October 8, 2012

Breweries in Galway - another of my ancestor's hometown

Around 1820, my great great great grandfather, James Poniard, a Frenchman, left Brittany and went to Galway to work for the Lambert family collecting tithes from their tenants.  He married Sarah Monaghan and had a good sized family and left behind a stone sundial with the family name.  Many of his descendants still live there and hopefully enjoying the fine beer brewed locally in that city.

One of those is the Galway Bay Brewery, who you can find here :
They also have a tab on the website that provides minimal information, although the brewery appears to be relatively new and shipping only kegs to local restaurants.  They do note that there are 14 (now 20 according to microbreweries in all of Ireland; I would have expected one in every town and village.

They have a Full Sail Pale Ale coming out on the heels of their Amber Ale Strangebrew that was just sold out.   They also brew Stormy Port Irish Porter and their red Bay Ale.  The Strangebrew is just a class of experiments that the brewmaster wants to try, so last month it was the Amber Ale, next month???  The brewery is in Lower Salthill in the southern part of Galway near the coast.  Fortunately we have some folks who tried and reviewed their brews on: and the scores are very good and mention a Bay Lager that they also brew.  The Bay Ale is described as having cream, toffee, caramel and barley flavors - all my favorites.  The lager is has a hint of fruitiness, light hopping and good malty taste.  The porter sounds delicious with chocolate, vanilla and roasted malts.  Seems that all the brews suffer from short lasting heads.

The other older brewery (founded just in 2006) that's not in town but close (it's in Roscommon to the northwest) is the Galway Hooker Brewery:

It appears they primarily brew Galway Hooker Irish Pale Ale and only distribute in Galway, Dublin, Roscommon, Limmerick and Cork.  BTW, the hooker is the local type of fishing boat depicted on the label...not what you were thinking.  Ireland had it's first Irish Craft Brew Week this summer and Galway Hooker did well.  According to, Hooker also has a pilsner and per BeerAdvocate a Dark Wheat that're not on Hooker's website. The dart wheat received a very  good review as did the pale ale on BeerAdvocate.  The Dark Wheat has a complex flavor profile with some plum, wheat, spicy and chocolate flavors.  The Pale Ale is fairly hoppy, though not quite as much as America Pale Ales.

Galway Bay Brewery will be offering tours in the near future, but Hooker offers personal tours by appointment.  The brewmaster's contact info is on their site.

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