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Irish Craft Beer Delivered on Cornish Lugger from Cork to France

23rd October 2018
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The 64ft Cornish lugger Grayhound, a re-creation of a design of 1796, recently delivered 6 tons of Monaghan-brewed Irish craft beer from Cork to Granville in Normandy The 64ft Cornish lugger Grayhound, a re-creation of a design of 1796, recently delivered 6 tons of Monaghan-brewed Irish craft beer from Cork to Granville in Normandy

The recent totally carbon-free delivery of six tons of Irish craft beer from Cork to France makes for a positive response to those who are concerned by the adverse effects of industrially-induced climate change, and the possible interruptions to trade along the coasts of Europe brought about by Brexit writes W M Nixon.

Brehon Brewhouse was founded in 2013 by Seamus McMahon at his family’s farm in the Patrick Kavanagh neighbourhood of County Monaghan, midway between Inniskeen and Carrickmacross, and it has expanded steadily ever since with a growing range of connoisseur beers.

Far indeed from the stony hills of Monaghan, the classical “three-storey-rig” 64ft Cornish lugger Grayhound is a re-creation of a famous ship of 1796, and today the re-born Grayhound is a familiar sight at Festivals of Sail on both sides of the English Channel and further afield.

cornish lugger grayhound2Grayhound piling on the cloth. In a more lawless age, it was assumed that any vessel setting so much canvas would be up to no good with smuggling or piracy, and if caught they were invariably arrested
Grayhound has in recent years carved an addition niche for herself in transporting small cargoes of vintage wine, craft beers and special spirits along ancient sailing ship routes, so it was only a question of time before the rapidly-expanding Irish craft beer industry availed of the ship’s services to make an impact in the discerning French market.

The route chosen was the well-worn one from Cork to Cherbourg, except that at the conclusion of the voyage, Grayhound went to the picturesque port of Granville nearby, instead of Cherbourg itself. The cargo was six tons of beer, made up of Brehon’s noted Blonde Lager and a dark stout, and they travelled well. The word is that this novel promotional ploy has been very effective, proving that the old trading routes still work for quality products, while there is a way of moving goods that is totally carbon-free.

With November and the promise of winter almost upon us, here’s a soothing video by Nicolas le Du which well captures the mood aboard Grayhound as fair winds speed her and her special cargo from Munster to Normandy.

Published in Ports & Shipping
WM Nixon

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WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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