THERE’S only one brewery in the whole of Fingal, and that’s Hope Beer.
The state-of-the-art craft beer microbrewery is based on the Kilbarrack Road just behind Howth Junction Dart Station.
Set up in late 2015 by old pals with a passion for beer – Wim de Jongh, Jeanne Mahony and Des McSwiggan – Hope now has five full-time employees and is firmly on a path to further growth.
Wim said: “I always loved special beers.” Having grown up in Holland surrounded by a booming beer industry, Wim, who lives in Sutton, set up Hope after a long corporate career where he travelled abroad almost every week.
He joked: “It’s great now being able to cycle to work! It was important to set up close to home.”
With the Irish craft beer revolution taking place mainly outside Dublin, Hope Beer is the only brewery in the Fingal region and one of only a handful in the Dublin area.
Wim added: “It’s fantastic to be a part of this industry and it’s something that will continue to grow so it’s more of an evolution that a revolution.
They have also been awarded the Fingal Enterprise Award 2017, and their beers have won a number of beer competition awards.
“We were helped by Fingal County Council getting our business going and we did some course and applied for a number of courses. Then we were invited to enter the awards which we were delighted to do.”
Wim said he wasn’t expecting to win because of how young the company is.
“The judges were very impressed with what we’ve done so far and we’ve a very well invested facility. We really bought state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly brewing equipment and it was all funded from our own resources.
“We’re all aged 50-plus too, so we’re known as ‘a silver start-up’.”
When Hope won the award, the chief executive of Fingal, Paul Reid, praised the entrepreneurs for their “drive and determination”.
He said: “Hope Beer is a very worthy winner of this major enterprise award, in recognition of what they have achieved here in Fingal in such a short space of time.”
Hope’s three core beers are Handsome Jack (a fruity IPA), Grunt (a crisp, dry Saison) and Passifyoucan (a malty Blonde).
Wim added that food pairings are a major part of the appeal of the beers. “Grunt goes perfectly with seafood; Passifyoucan is great with anything spicy, and Handsome Jack is great to have with burgers or a barbeque.”
Hope also has a number of limited edition beers; they brew everything from stouts and lagers to red and brown ales.
The entire Hope range is bottled and kegged at the Howth Junction brewery, and is available in off-licences, bars, restaurants and also in some supermarkets nationwide.