The western tip of Europe, CAMRA’s roots and a small brewery

We visited the very end of the Dingle peninsula to see the Blasket Islands

Just an atmospheric bit of the Blasket Islands off Slea Head

and walk out as far west as we chose. 

Jackie way out west. To say that Clogher Head is as far west as you can go in Europe is odd. There are islands just a bit further offshore. ‘But they are islands’ you might say. And so is Ireland. But its as far west as you can go on the main island of Ireland – which is surely Irish.

Then passed a pub called Krugers who probably wouldn’t thank me for saying it was the lack of choice of beer there that made four guys from England decide to establish the Campaign for Real Ale to resist the slide into beer minimalism that had happened in Ireland.

Just a few miles east we visited a pub and brewery that is part of the Irish fight back – The West Kerry Brewery at Tig Bhric (Brick’s Pub).  Paul has the smallest brewery building we visited, and the smallest mash tun (200 litres), but may not be the smallest brewery if you go by volume of fermentation batch, Paul ferments in 400l batches – the Burren Brewery at Lisdonvarna has a mash tun of 250l and a fermentation vessel of 250l.  I guess its down to definition, but the West Kerry Brewery is surely the furthest west in Europe.

Paul in his brewery, with one of his 400l boiler/fermentation vessels far back left. Just visible above his left shoulder is part of the single bottle at a time bottling plant – 12 hours to fill 1200 330ml bottles

When he doesn’t bottle he fills casks – not kegs, and sells cask ale by hand pump across the bar at Tig Bhric.  Three brews – porter, a golden ale and a dark red ale.  The pub is a delight, and the bottles we sampled were all delicious.

Three heathers collected on Clogher Head – Ling or Heather (Calluna vulgaris), Cross-leaved heath (Erica tetralix) and Bell Heather (Erica cinerea) left to right

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