Our destination for Brewer of the Week today is Ireland, Dungarvan in County Waterford to be more more precise. It is here you will find one of Ireland's youngest breweries, in what seems to be an ever increasing number of craft brewers.
Name: Cormac O’Dwyer
Brewery: Dungarvan Brewing Company
How did you get into brewing as a career?
After several years as a home brewer my brother in law and I decided to take the plunge and set up our own micro brewery.
What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?
It has been said to me by several people that you have to be slightly mad… I would say that you have to be adaptable, flexible, meticulous and always ready to deal with the unexpected (i.e. slightly mad!).
Before being a professional brewer, did you homebrew? If so, how many of your homebrew recipes have you converted to full scale production?
Yes, I homebrewed for many years before going commercial. All the beers I brew have their basis in a beer I homebrewed, with tweaks along the way.
If you did homebrew, do you still?
Not at the moment. We’re only up and running a couple of months, so things are a bit hectic at the moment. When things settle down a little I’ll fire up the 100L pilot brewery, and start working on new beers. That’s probably as close to homebrewing as I’ll get for now.
What is your favourite beer that you brew?
Probably our Black Rock stout. All that roasted barley gives a wonderful aroma on brew day.
If you have worked in other breweries, which other beer did you enjoy brewing, and why?
Never worked in any other brewery. Straight in at the deep-end here.
Of the beers you brew, which is your favourite to drink?
At the moment I’m loving Helvick Gold. It’s a blonde ale with a nice dose of hop, so is perfect for this weather we’re having (or had!).
How important is authenticity when making a new beer, in terms of flavour, ingredients and method?
A certain amount of authenticity for beer types is important but having the freedom to push the boundaries can lead to some great innovations in brewing.
If you were to do a collaborative beer, which brewery would you most like to work with and why?
It would be great fun to collaborate with another Irish brewery – perhaps Galway Hooker, as they were a great inspiration for us starting our own brewery.
Which beer, other than your own, do you wish you had invented?
Landlord by Timothy Taylor – an outstanding brew. Simple yet complex, I always look forward to having one when I’m going to the UK. Had it from cask in a sailing club in Wales once, found it difficult to leave it behind and sail back across the Irish Sea!