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About Black Donkey Beer

We’re firm believers that actions speak louder than words, so if you really want to get to know us, get to know our beers.

However, if a popping open a nicely chilled bottle isn’t an option right now; Black Donkey Brewing was born at 19:20 on Saturday July 5th 2014, when the first pitch of yeast was added into the first brew of the now classic Sheep Stealer. The lead up to that moment was years in the making.

Richard Siberry and Michaela Dillon returned to their native Ireland in 2012, having spent the best part of 3 decades working abroad. Richard was thirsty; he was also dismayed to find that every pub and bar in the country was still pouring the same three industrial beers they had been when he left in 1986. Spurred on by both his thirst for good beer, and their thirst for adventure, Richard and Michaela set about laying the groundwork for Black Donkey Brewing.

From the start we decided to brew the beers that we wanted to drink, and not to be dictated to by the market. It hasn’t always been an easy road, but by focusing on brewing our personal favorites, every recipe and every batch has to satisfy us first, before it ever leaves the brewery.  We embrace the fantastic barley, which grows in abundance in our North Atlantic climate, to produce uniquely Irish beers, to suit Irish foods and palates, because, after all, we don’t grow grapes ‘round here.

We are the third (that we know of) owners of our brewhouse; a traditional, wood clad three-vessel, 9.5hl system. It began life in the UK as a lager brewery, before finding it’s way to a Dublin warehouse, where all it did was gather dust for a year or two due to planning regulations. After some spirited negotiations with its Dublin owners, one dark and wet January evening in 2014 it was loaded onto a 40-foot trailer, leaving its frantic urban home for the rural tranquillity of Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon.


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