23rd APRIL 2020 - Page 13



FARM WEEK
FEATURE
NOVEMBER 23 2017
Leading agricultural journalist and broadcaster IAN HARVEY looks behind
the scenes at rural community issues and how farmers are meeting the
challenge of developing the farm business and supporting the farm family
13
ruralreality
ON-FARM:
Checking out the
land on his quad,
in company with
the family’s dogs,
Gordon Fallis bikes
round his 30 acres
of pasture which is
currently being cut
for silage and sold
as a round bale
cash crop. FW-1B.
BOTTLING:
Gordon Fallis hand
capping one of
a range of four
Inishmacsaint beers
in Fermanagh Beer
Company’s brewery.
FW-1F.
MALTS: The malted grain used in the making of Fermanagh Beer Company’s craft brewing is from a
diverse range of high quality malts from selected farms in the UK. FW-1C.
with origins on a farm
BREWERY: A more
recent business
partnership with
publican, Norman
Donaldson of
the Old Pal’s Bar,
Derrygonnelly has
allowed Gordon Fallis
to jointly establish
Fermanagh Beer
Company with
brewery adjoined to
the bar. FW-1H.
DEDICATED:
Highly motivated
and dedicated to all
aspects of creating
hand-crafted beers,
Gordon Fallis of
Fermanagh Beer
Company, does the
process from brewing
to delivery. FW-1J.
work crazy hours each week, like
most farmers and rural diversified
businesses, so my solution was a nobrainer.
“There was no shortage of potential
business partners from across the
country, but I didn’t want to remove
the ethos of our locally-produced
hand crafted beer with its natural
Fermanagh historical and practical
image, sending it to some soulless brewing and bottling plant far
removed from here.
“The whole point of what I’d been
striving to create was a meaningful
localised identity for the beers and
to trade on that truthful brand image,
not pretending that the beer was
being made with Fermanagh water
and being bottled by hand in some
automated plant miles away!
“So to retain everything I’d worked
NEW: Right,
launched just
a few weeks
ago the
most recent
addition to
Fermanagh
Beer
Company’s
selection of
crafted beers
is Little Dog
IPA; a pale ale
with citrusy,
grapefruit
aromas.
FW-1S.
for and yet be able to increase
production, widen the opportunities
to develop more types of beer and
test new markets, I got together with
Norman Donaldson, who runs the Old
Pal’s Bar with his father Stevie.
“Over the past year we have formed
a business partnership making full
use of this premise at the rear of the
bar, to brew, bottle and distribute
the beers, giving the business a new
name, Fermanagh Beer Company,
which emphasises the local nature of
the crafted product.
“I continue to develop, hand brew,
bottle and distribute and together
we’re widening the market and the
prospects for the future.
“When it reaches a certain level
you realise you can’t do it all yourself
and the beauty about this is that its
keeping business and returns within
this rural community and adding to
the prospects for tourism with our
local brewery and beers.
“I can actually see the brewery
across the fields from the small barn
at our farm on the hill.”
Before we walked through to the
next sealed room where more stacks
of boxed, crated beers were being
kept at a certain temperature he
showed me where bottle labelling is
done, prior to boxing and sealing. As
we passed through the temperature
controlled room Gordon explained
that these beers would only go on
improving with age, so it pays to hold
some in reserve.
That of course means you need
more controlled storage space. The
third room had white, washable walls
and rows of stainless steel tanks. A
shelf unit ran along one wall with
units for stacking bottles upside down
ready for bottling and sealing with a
crimped metal cap when the brew
in the large, elevated, bulk kettle is
matured.
The stainless steel kettle had been
tastefully enclosed within a wooden
box-like structure to add a certain
rustic look to the process.
“This is the hop mixture were using
for this brew,” said Gordon, opening
the round lid of one of the stainless
steel tanks and lifting up a suspended
mesh bag with hops inside.
“Our hops are grown
in the
California north west of North
America which are ideal for ales and
offer citrusy and fruity flavours and
aromas to our beers.
“The malted barley comes from the
very best Master Malters in England
and basically the production method
hasn’t changed since you were last
here, but we have added to our range
of beers.
“We continue to sell, the original
highly popular, Fermanagh Beer,
which is a blonde ale, we’ve developed
a smooth light porter called, Lough
Erne Brown Porter, one of our most
popular beers is Pure Foundered, a
Belgium-style blonde.
“The fourth and most recently
introduced beer is called Little Dog IPA
a pale ale with citrus and grapefruit
aromas just launched a few weeks ago.
“We’ve upped production and we’re
now bottling 5,000 a month with
room for expansion having already
improved on the level of output since
LOCATION: Designed
to be truly indigenous
hand-crafted beers,
Fermanagh Beer
Company’s brewery
for the Inishmacsaint
range is located at the
rear of Old Pal’s Bar,
Derrygonnelly, local
award-winning pub of the
year in 2008. FW-1R.
HOPS: The hop
content of Fermanagh
Beer Company’s range
of craft beers comes
from the Californian
north west of North
America, which adds
distinctive fruity aromas
to the beers. FW-1D.
re-establishing the brewery.
“This is still a micro-brewery
producing very special hand crafted
beers and we feel there’s an increasing
demand for this range of beers down
south in the Irish Republic, a potential
market to widen our customer-base
and supply catchment.
“We have actually grown our own
hops on the farm for one annual Fresh
Hop Beer brew each year, with a miss
this past year because of inclement
weather conditions, however, weather
permitting we hope to revive that plan
this coming season.
“As far as the farm is concerned I’m
continuing to cut silage and round
bale it for local sale as a cash crop and
to keep the land in order and of course
we have and on-going deciduous tree
planting system.
“The idea of planting trees is not
only for shelter, making use of wet
spots and creating wildlife havens,
but also with a view to create nature
trails.
“We’ve already planted three and a
half acres of trees with some existing
mature native woodland, the idea
being that we may well introduce
a diversified form of tourism like
‘glamping’ for example.”
With those plans to give me food for
thought, Gordon invited me to their
family home on the farm for a Saturday
morning tea break and to meet the
family again, his wife Rowena and
their children, Catherine and Tom.
For more information
Find us on Facebook:Search for Fermanagh Beer Company
Web video: Search for Inish Mac Saint

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