Kildare brewery Rye River celebrates its World Beer achievements

Ambition: Kildare brewers add to their tally of awards for tasty, Kildare-brewed beer

Henry Bauress


Henry Bauress


Kildare brewery Rye River celebrates its World Beer achievements

Kildare craft beer brewery, Rye River Brewing Company, has been crowned the world’s most decorated independent craft brewery at the World Beer Awards 2019. It won 21 World Beer Awards in 2019, officially making it the world’s most decorated independent craft brewery. Among other things, it won gold for its McGargles Rosie’s Pale Ale, its Rye River Miami J IPA, The Crafty Brewing Company Irish Red Ale and The Crafty Brewing Company Irish Stout,

Last month, on September 26, the company, which employs 47 people, held a little celebration at its Celbridge base, inviting in various parties to try out their some of their latest beers.

Set up in Kilcock in 2013, Rye River moved to Celbridge in 2016.

Not everyone may realise that the company produces stout (both bottled and for those who like it it from the tap) in the town widely believed to be the home town of Arthur Guinness, himself.

Being a regular visitor to the German city of Cologne for over 40 years, I have gotten to know and love the town’s famous Kolsch beer. Rye River also produces Kolsch and the glass I took was up to the German standard, and went down well with the bratwurst provided by local cafe, Halo.

Simon Broderick, brewer, told us that while most of the malt comes from abroad, Rye River takes some from Minch Norton in Athy.

The Crafty Brewing Company, produced exclusively for Lidl, is now available in over 20 countries across Europe.

It Solas range is sold in Ireland exclusively to Tesco Ireland and Grafters which is sold exclusively to Dunnes Stores in Ireland.

Small successes

The company says that the key to its success is its small batch brewing (2,500 litres) process, which allows its brewing team to ensure the best quality beer is always crafted, by experimenting, tasting and smelling at every stage of production.

“Our success at this year’s World Beer Awards is evidence that our approach works and that we have the winning formula,” it said.

Tom Cronin, managing director, said the last five and a half years have not been easy for the company but they were now working well.

“We are consistently brewing good beer. It is very competitive both in Ireland and around the world. We are competing with the best breweries in the world and consistently winning awards. “It is a good story. Spread the word.”

Regarding its stout, the draught of which they want to see coming out of more taps — it is currently served in O’Connors, Main Street, Celbridge, among other spots.

Bill Laukitis, who started brewing in his own kitchen, was very fair in his appreciation of Arthur’s produce.

But, he said said of the Rye River brand: “We pack a little bit more flavour. We’d love to see it on more taps.”

Overall, Rye River Brewing secured one World’s Best in Class winner, twelve Country Style Winners, four Gold Medal Winners, three Silver Medal Winners and one Bronze Medal Winner with 21 of the 30 beers Rye River produce taking home awards. This unprecedented achievement builds on the 19 World Beer Awards won by the brewery in 2018, making 2019 the company’s most successful year to date.

The 2019 award wins for Rye River Brewing Company include “World’s Best IPA American Style” for McGargles Francis’ Big Bangin’ IPA and 12 Country Style Winners for: McGargles Francis’ Big Bangin’ IPA, Solas Brown Porter, Grafters Clocking off Kolsch style, McGargles Dan’s Double IPA, The Crafty Brewing Company American Style Pale Wheat Ale, McGargles Daragh’s Session IPA, McGargles Bill’s Wheat IPA, McGargles Ned’s Retro IPA, McGargles Granny’s Red Ale, The Crafty Brewing Company American Style Brown Ale, Rye River Mother Pucker Blackberry Sour and Rye River Belgian Imperial Stout.

In addition there they were Gold Medal Winners for McGargles Rosie’s Pale Ale, Rye River Miami J IPA, The Crafty Brewing Company Irish Red Ale and The Crafty Brewing Company Irish Stout and silver, McGargles Jim’s Stout, Grafters Working Day IPA and The Crafty Brewing Company Irish Pale Ale. They got bronze for Rye River Just The Tipple Spruce Tip Saison.

Since the establishment of the brewery in 2013, Rye River Brewing has won 130 awards.