Belfast Telegraph

Yardsman taps into Belfast beer market after 160-year absence

By Claire Weir

The original Hercules Brewing Company lease was held on Hercules Street in Belfast from 1845-55.

Niall McMullan, an international drinks industry veteran who has worked with companies like Diageo and Coca-Cola, is creator of Yardsman and said that in recent years there has been an international growing demand from consumers for craft beers.

"Using locally sourced products to create the Yardsman lager, our aim is to lead a movement in local craft beer and revive and celebrate Belfast's heritage in brewing," he said.

The beer is named after the Belfast people who worked in industries like linen-making, ship-building, distilling and brewing.

The lager is made by filtering Irish lager malt and Belfast water through Irish linen, before being matured for six weeks.

The new brewery has been supported by Invest Northern Ireland and has even received a toast from Lord Mayor of Belfast, Mairtin O Muilleoir, who said: "I am sure Hercules Brewery will continue to tap Belfast's heritage in order to brand a new generation of Belfast craft beers."

The launch of the new beer is the latest in a line of developments in the local brewing and distilling industries.

At least six new breweries have opened in Northern Ireland in just a handful of years.

Kilkeel's Whitewater Brewery has an annual output of around 350,000 bottles while Hilden in Lisburn was formed in 1981.

Clanconnel set up in 2008, introducing a range of brews under the McGrath's branding.

Other players include Fermanagh's Inishmacsaint and Ards Brewing Company, Sheelin, Pokertree, Clearsky, Farmageddon and Red Hand.

Co-operative Boundary Brewing is another brewing project in the early stages of development.

And last week, Rademon Estate Distillery, the first and only craft distillery to be established in Northern Ireland, officially launched its first product, Shortcross gin.

The distillery was founded in 2012 by husband and wife team Fiona and David Boyd-Armstrong.

Belfast Telegraph

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