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In spring 2011, Peter Curtin embarked on a new endeavour: He set up the Burren Brewery in the Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna. The building, which in 1865 started off as a pub, then was expanded into a bakery, now also harbours a micro-brewery under its roof. At the same time it is an eatery and a renowned music venue for traditional and contemporary music.
Peter realised very quickly how complicated and time-consuming it was to brew his own beer - it really is a labour of love. He enrolled the help of a Master Brewer, and the result can now be tasted in the Roadside Tavern.
All the hard work and the quality of his beers were officially recognised by the Lonely Planet, when in May 2017, very timely just before the first Craft Beer and Street Food Festival, the well-known and renowned travel guide published a Global Craft Beer Guide. The Burren Brewery is one of only three Irish Craft Breweries listed in the guide!
"The Curtin family have owned and run the Roadside Tavern in the small Clare town of Lisdoonvarna (home to a rather famous matchmaking festival) since 1893. Publican Peter Curtin has maintained the pub, and in 2011 he founded a microbrewery on-site. Burren Brewery, which is named for the special karst ecosystem that covers much of this part of Clare, produces three beers, which are available almost exclusively at the Roadside Tavern. The family's other venture, the Burren Smokehouse, is also worth a visit for its smoked fish. And the beers? The Gold is a delicious lager, Black is a creamy stout that's nuttier than its more famous Irish counterpart, but you won't go wrong with the malty Red, which is a perennial favorite."
The Burren Gold is a delicious, characterful
lager. The mainstream lagers available every-
where just cannot compete with this one!
The Burren Red with its great red colour
is a spicy, slightly sweet ale which even
features a hint of smoke. It seems to
become the favourite among the punters
at the Roadside!
The Burren Black is a stout that does
not have to fear the competition of a
certain other black stuff. It is smooth
and full-bodied, with a creamy crown of
froth on top - and definitely alive inside!
A heavenly drink.
We launched the Burren Brewery in style!
On Sunday 24 July 2011 starting in the afternoon, the Burren Brewery was officially launched, and everybody enjoyed the food, craic & ceol!
Bands were playing outside, the Burren Gold was flowing in abundance and brought in badly needed funds for the defribillator for Fanore.
Inside, the Burren Gold, Burren Red and Burren Black were available at handy prices.
In the middle of this, a film crew from the major German TV channel ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) filmed in the Brewery and in the pub!
The festivities went on from early afternoon until well past midnight, people dancing, chatting and generally having a good time.
At the end, with just a few more songs to go, Peter, Phelim and Birgitta attached hoses to three left-over kegs (under pressure!) and set the beer free. They pointed the hoses into the air and created a spectacle similar to fireworks.
A great spectacular finale to a great day!
Inside, a great traditional music session with Peadar Reilly, Paul Dooley and others went on, while outside bands like "Sons of Gingerbread" and "A Band called Wanda" were playing.
We want to thank all the volunteers who worked endlessly to keep everybody happy - and always with a smile on their faces! Well done lads and lassies!