37 years after opening the doors of the Anchor Bar now known as Dicey Reilly’s in Ballyshannon, John O’Reilly opens the doors to another venture. This time it’s to launch Donegal Brewing Company, which is owned by his son Brendan.
Within just one year the microbrewery has launched its first product, Donegal Blonde, which is now available in over 200 retail and hospitality outlets nationwide and has increased its brewing capacity due to nationwide demand.
Brendan O’Reilly is a brewing up a storm across the country and is adamant that the support he received from Donegal Local Development Company and LEADER has helped diversify from an ailing pub trade.
“It’s been a tough time for all businesses but the pub trade in particular has been badly hit by the recession. I knew I needed to do something innovative to stem the receding waters and my interest in craft beers and the success of our Off-License Dicey Reilly’s planted the seeds of my new crop.
Chairman of DLDC, Jim Slevin spoke of the entrepreneurial spirit displayed by Brendan O’Reilly and his commitment to the family business. The LEADER Rural Development Programme administered by DLDC part-funded the development of the microbrewery and has also continued their support by funding the expansion of capacity at the facility.
“LEADER promotes diversification of enterprise and this project is a great case in point. The Board of DLDC saw the export potential of this small business and the spin-off effects for other local suppliers. We are delighted to see Donegal Brewing Company being officially launched and adding greatly to what is a thriving food sector in Co. Donegal.”
Donegal Brewing Company is brewing 2,000 bottles of Donegal Blonde per week with brewer Patrick Gallagher set to increase that month-on-month due to increased interest from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and early interest from the UK.