About Trouble Brewing
When we started making beer ten years ago, there were less than ten craft breweries in Ireland. From the get-go we set ourselves apart by brewing styles that no one else was producing. Take our now legendary Pumpkin Ale, a first for Ireland and brewed with pumpkins grown by our founder Paul’s mom Deirdre. We were also at the forefront of bringing the east coast pale ale style to these shores and we continue to push the boundaries with new styles. We mainly brew hop forward, session beers to be enjoyed by all, but we’re always happy to experiment — only a few ideas are too dumb.
All our beers are brewed with water from our own well and Irish malt — arguably the best in the world — forms the base of all our beers. We work with a number of partners to source the best and most interesting hops from around the world.
We are a small team of great people. Eugene takes care of business in the brewery, ensuring the beer consistently tastes great. And Damian takes care of business on the streets, getting that beer to you in a timely fashion and making sure it’s served in the best possible condition.
For our part, we are committed to paying a living wage (as a base minimum) and funding education and training programs to support everyone that helps us do what we do so well. The “we” in this scenario are owners Stephen Clinch and Brian Treacy. Brian jumped at the chance to join full-time in 2020 after building Lagunitas in Ireland for several years only to find himself unexpectedly working for Heineken. And me, Stephen — once described by the legend Seamus O’Hara as “the most cynical man in Irish craft beer” — I’m not nearly as grumpy as I look.
Trouble Brewing was founded in 2010 by three friends: Paul, Tom and Stephen. Tom had been homebrewing for years and insisted on sharing the fruits of his labour with Paul and Stephen. On nights out, he dragged them to drink pints of various styles and flavours at pubs like the Porterhouse and the Bull and Castle beer hall, both Mecca’s for great beer in Dublin.
Paul soon developed an interest in brewing himself, and it wasn’t long before he realised making beer was a relatively inexpensive process and buying it was quite the opposite.
With this in mind he approached Tom and Stephen with the idea of setting up a brewery of their own. It could provide an income for the three and get them out of the unfortunate situation of working for “the man”. They gathered up all the money they could (about €45k between them) and borrowed the same from the bank with the help of a well prepared business plan. Then they set about putting together a functioning brewery.
We found premises no larger than two car garages in the relatively unknown town of Allenwood, Co Kildare and set up camp. We searched the globe for a good quality second hand brew kit, and bought one from a couple lads in the even more obscure location of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The brewery was loaded onto two shipping containers and sent directly to its new home in Allenwood. Half of it would be put to use immediately, and the other half was sent on retreat to a barn in Mayo.
Tom decided pretty early on that although working for “the Man” wasn’t great craic, it did supply him with the security needed to pay a mortgage and feed a family. He left the brewery and a life of long hours and no guarantee of an income behind.
Over the next few years Paul stepped in to the role of brewer. Our sales grew steadily, the brewery got bigger and around 2014 it became clear that if we were going to take the brewery to the next level, we needed a bigger space and the assistance of an experienced brewer.
Not long after we found a new premise in Kill, still in county Kildare, but much more accessible and approx ten times the size of our original space.
Mark Nixon joined us after a couple of years working and training in Redchurch Brewery in London. Great lad, loved his beer and was looking to move home. He was a perfect fit and really helped to refine the recipes and practices at the brewery. Taking what we did to the next level, Mark was replaced by Dave a few years later who would be in-turn replaced by Ian, all of whom made valuable contributions to help us become the brewery we are today.
In 2019, after ten years of hard work together setting up and building the brewery, Paul and Stephen decided it was time for a change. Paul moved on and a new era began in Trouble Brewing.