Belfast Telegraph

Farmer brews up a storm with new wheat beer

A Co Fermanagh farmer has 'brewed' a great idea with a farming college after they joined forces to come up with a new wheat beer.

Inishmacsaint Brewing Company in Derrygonnelly used an Invest NI 'innovation voucher' to develop its handcrafted brew with the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise at Loughry.

The brewery was launched as a farm diversification project in 2008 by farmer Gordon Fallis. The new wheat beer follows the company's successful sales of lager and ale in small volumes to restaurants in Fermanagh. The beer is sold in bottles and 19 litre kegs.

Olive Hill, Invest NI director of technology and process development, said: "The innovation voucher has enabled the brewery to tap into the knowledge that Loughry possesses in brewing techniques and packaging.

"The voucher provides funding of £4,000 to small companies wishing to turn new business ideas into products for clear market opportunities pinpointed by innovators. Inishmacsaint Brewing Company is a good example of a very small business that is using an innovation voucher to diversify its products and to find new markets that will enable the business to achieve faster and profitable growth."

The scheme is open to small businesses with under 50 employees and not just clients of Invest NI.

Mr Fallis said: "I set up the microbrewery as another revenue stream to supplement earnings from our smallholding. My objective is to develop sales throughout Northern Ireland, into the rest of the UK and then to explore export options in the Republic of Ireland and perhaps further afield."

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