2017 is set to be a big year for Clonakilty Brewing Company, one of the newest craft brewers in Ireland.

Clonakilty Brewing Company has been trading locally and in several other select areas since August 2016 and now plans to expand nationwide in 2017. To kick things off, a new Belgian Blond Beer called Inchydoney Blond will be launched at the Alltech Craft Beers & Food Fair in Dublin at the end of February.

The brewery was founded by Norwegian accountant-turned-brewer Frank Fredriksen (aka ‘Thirsty Frank’) and beer enthusiast Joan Harrington. A number of new avenues are being explored in the coming period, including once-off Norweigan-inspired beer and food projects, and regular brewery tours and group visits.

Clonakilty’s first two beers, an American Pale Ale called Tojo and a Porter called Smuggler, are brewed and bottled in the West Cork town. The names are also from the place; Tojo was a Brazilian Spider monkey, the mascot of an American crew that crash landed off Clonakilty in 1943. He was buried in the town with full military honours. Smuggler is a tribute to the Deasy family who owned and ran a brewery in the town for 200 years (hence the name The Brewery Town). Before this, they were well known smugglers off the Irish coast.

“Clonakilty is at the centre of such a positive mix of beautiful scenery, amazing food, interesting characters, quirky local stories and strong town spirit,” said Frank Fredriksen. “We consider ourselves hugely lucky to be able to make our beer here and become part of the tapestry of this place. It also pushes us to brew beer that stands with the best and make the town proud of what we do.”

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