In conversation with…Bernard Sloan

We speak to the founder of Whitewater Brewing about their beginnings, an ingredient first approach to brewing, and more.

First things first – how, when, and why was Whitewater Brewery founded?

Whitewater was started back in 1996 on our fifth-generation family farm, my interest in brewing and the vast array of different styles of beer developed while working in England and abroad. I wanted to settle back home to the ‘auld sod’ and bring my newfound passion for all things beer!

How have things changed from when you first started?

Massively… from the variety of beers produced to the customer’s knowledge and expectations, the industry has changed and grown with the consumer’s perception of craft. No longer is our beer seen as “home brew” as it once was, and now is recognised as the award-winning artisan product it is.

What’s the Whitewater approach to brewing and recipe development? What do you set out to achieve with your beers?

We have from day one believed passionately about brewing beer without compromise. Putting the ingredients first to produce beers we love to drink; we’re brewers not accountants and we get that buzz from a brilliant malt or bursting zesty hop. Our approach is simple… the day we can’t use the ingredients we want is the day to stop!

We’re delighted to be featuring your Helles Lager in our Beers of the Month – what can you tell us about that beer?

For this classic Helles, we sought out a specific yeast and blend of German hops to produce this  slightly sweeter, malty, moreish lager. There’s no place to hide with this beer and we believe great ingredients and spending the time to properly ‘lager’ the beer pays dividends

You now have your own taproom and run brewery tours – what can Flavourly customers expect if they decide to pop in for a visit?

We started offering brewery tours last year and they have become very popular. It’s great to be able to meet and chat with visitors and share our passion of brewing. Visitors hear about our journey over the past 26 years, then are taken into the heat of the brewery to see where the magic happens. Once back into the Tap Room they get to sample some of our beers; this part of the tour always goes down a storm.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the Flavourly community about Whitewater, especially for those encountering your beers for the first time?

We always have taken pride in brewing well-balanced, flavoursome beer. Beers that drinkers can and do come back for time and time again.

Hopefully the Flavourly community get to taste our seasonals too! Our barrel aged Imperial stout, Kreme Dela Kremlin, won the best Food & Drink product from Northern Ireland 2019.

Try beers like this each month with our Beer Club

Interview by Kevin O’Donnell

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