We caught up with Simon Lynch, co-founder of Wicklow Wolf Brewing Company. Simon spoke to us about all things Wicklow Wolf, their plans for the future and how much he's looking forward to our Craft Beer & Foods Fair at the end of the month!
When was the company founded? / By whom?
The company was founded just over two years ago by friends Quincey Fennelly and Simon Lynch. As Simon explains "Two of our kids were in the same class in primary school and we got chatting over our love of good beer and good food. Both of us lived in San Francisco years ago and would reminisce about that and of course California is home to some great breweries and beers. I started helping Quincey with his home brewing as well and it took off from there."
How has it developed/grown?
Like any small brewery we started off with a small piece of kit brewing our Black Perle Porter and American Amber. It's been a case of gradually growing the brewery and our range of beers since. We are at maximum capacity and really have no more room for more kit in the current location. Which after two years is a great complaint!
How have employee numbers grown in the last year?
We have added a new sales person, a process brewer and assistant brewer to the team over the last 12 months as the need to not only keep up with current demand but also plan ahead for future growth.
You've received some well publicised funding recently, can you give us some detail on that?
In our ongoing quest to make Wicklow Wolf the alpha-beer in Ireland we were so delighted to announce a major investment in our brewery in October which will allow us to open a new, larger brewing site in Wicklow which will enable a 15-fold boost in production capacity.
With this expansion comes 20 new jobs over five years and we're proud to be doing our bit for the county. Our new brewery will allow us to continue to brew more great beers in even larger quantities to keep up with demand and we're expanding our hop farm as well to match the extra production.
How many products do you currently produce and what are they?
Since we first started brewing two years ago we've produced some real lip-smacking beers from our American Amber to the controversial Children of the Revolution and our Locavore range brewed with the hops we grow on our farm in Roundwood, Co Wicklow. Our core range includes American Amber, Arcadia Kolsch and Lobo IPA on draught. We add seasonals & limited releases during the year and to date we've brewed 22 different styles over the last two years.
What is the most recent product development? / And is there anything else planned in the future?
We've a new draught IPA coming out called LOBO which is a similar recipe to the 6.3% IPA but just at a draft strength of 5.2% so keep an eye out for that.
We have two specialties coming out later this month. Zoso Smash IPA which will be our first canned beer - excited for that one! We started brewing our spring seasonal Munich Bavarian last week which will be available in bottles and maybe a few kegs. Our Kolsch style lager will be coming out in bottles next month. So not much going on!
Are you looking forward to our Fair this month?
We're really excited for Alltech, as always! It's definitely one of the big events of the year and always a great atmosphere. We'll be entering a couple of beers into the competition, a few of the above will be available plus kegs of Sorachi Red - once it's gone it's gone.
Where do you sell your products in Ireland? / What other export markets?
We currently supply 150 pubs and 550 off-licenses across the island and with the afore mentioned expansion it will be a whole lot more, plus allowing our wolves to roam around the world in US, Asia and Europe.