But it won’t be in a vat of beer at the Beamish brewery anymore.
This is not the time for clichés as Tony Blair once famously said but the decision to close the Beamish brewery in Cork, Ireland in 2009 where Porter and Stout had been made since the 17th Century has got to be as Titanic a disaster as the Titanic itself that called into the nearby harbour of Cobh [pronounced Cove] before its next unscheduled stop at the bottom of the Atlantic.
Last year I took an old copy of the Rough Guide to Ireland for my first ever visit to Cork safe in the knowledge that most things such as Cathedrals and Castles never change in guide books however old they are – so can you imagine my surprise when I arrived outside the Beamish brewery in the centre of Cork for the Rough Guide recommended brewery tour to find the place closed and the site almost derelict.
This is neither a time for metaphors but I had to find out why this valuable piece of local brewing heritage and rival to the Guinness Storehouse up in Dublin had been torpedoed as was the Lusitania by a German U-boat off the Old Head of Kinsale exactly 100 years ago, the girl in the tourist information didn’t seem to want to talk about it embarrassingly changing the subject very quickly instead to the Heineken brewery, a modern computer controlled brewery with no brewery tour.
Unfortunately and very regrettably without a brewery or a brewery with a tour I am prevented from choosing Cork for any future Fourtharch weekends, but if it’s the Irish craic that your after then there are always plenty of pubs in Cork to choose from, I was particularly intrigued by the pubs on the road towards the 17th Century star shaped Charles Fort on Kinsale Harbour, one called the Spaniard and a large portrait of Spanish Commander Juan del Águila on the exterior wall of the Bulman – all a homage to the Spanish Armada that landed at Kinsale in 1601 to strengthen the Irish army with the battle against the English – Ireland is a magical place with a fascinating alternative history so it is!