St Mel’s Brewing Company, the independent Irish craft beer brewery based in Longford town, is helping to boost tourism across the Hidden Heartlands region by opening its new front of house reception area.
As with many breweries across the country, COVID presented a unique and pressing set of challenges for St. Mel’s and owners Liam Hanlon and Eoin Tynan. A reception area was opened to allow customers to click and collect, and they began shipping their beer subscription packages to customers all over Ireland via their new e-commerce platform.
The front of house has since been transformed as part of an investment by the company in their move to become a new tourist attraction for the region. In the renovated space, customers can call in to browse and buy beers, glassware, minikegs and more. Liam said the new Front of House is the first step towards making the brewery a focal point for visitors to Longford.
A full range of St. Mel’s beers is available from the shop. “We sell our Classic range of bottled beers – Pale Ale, IPA, Brown Ale, Helles Lager and Slow Burner Stout. Our canned beer range including Ah Sure Lookit Bock Lager, I Will Yeah Pale Ale, My Twist IPA and Go ON So Light Lager,” said Liam.
Liam Hanlon said the pandemic also gave them the opportunity to experiment with their product offering, resulting in several limited-edition brews, many of which are available to purchase at the shop along with offerings from local food producers.
“We also stock our range of limited edition beers, those available include our Spice Bag Saison, Symbiobeer Bread Beer and Whiskey Barrel Aged Slow Burner. We also have a range of merch and a range of the finest steaks from John Stone Beef who are based just up the road in Ballymahon. The steaks are only available for in store collection. Finally we stock a range of carefully selected snacks to enjoy as companions to our beers,” said Liam.
St Mel’s Brewing company was established in 2014 and has since become known throughout Ireland for its quality beers. The company also brews on contract, most notably producing the Fire 1864 Lager for Fire Steakhouse in Dublin. When it opened in 2014, the production facility was the first brewery in the midlands since the 1800s.
As Liam Hanlon explained: “The name is very much rooted in our community – we wanted a name that was synonymous with Longford”.
Next year, Liam and Eoin hope to begin offering brewery tours. They’re also looking to expand their brewery. “We are investing further in a small batch brewhouse that will allow us to innovate and experiment with our beers and ingredients. We plan to have a couple of small batches per month released off this equipment,” said Liam.
The front of house at St Mel’s Brewery is open to the public from 10am to 6pm Monday to Thursday, 10am to 6.30pm on Fridays and 11am to 3pm on Saturdays.