Craft brewer Bullhouse Brewery in Northern Ireland has created the first toasted coconut porter beer, Koko, in cans.
The small business, based in Newtownards, county Down, was established last year by sales specialist William Mayne and is the only brewery in Northern Ireland producing all its beers in cans.
Koko (ABV5.5%) is brewed from desiccated and toasted coconut, malt barley and hops and is on sale in 330ml cans at around £2.30. Hops are mostly sourced from the US.
Koko is part of a staple range of three beers that also includes an IPA (ABV4.3%) and a pale ale (ABV4.8%). It has also developed a potato infused beer that reflects the brewery’s location in Northern Ireland’s main potato growing region and home of the New Season Comber Early, which has EU protected area status.
Another beer blends hand roasted coffee beans from Guatemala supplied by Belfast Coffee Company.
The small brewery developed from his passion for home brewing and influenced by a visit to Green Flash Brewing Company in San Diego, one of California’s top microbreweries.
The visit encouraged him to turn a hobby into a small business. He created the brewery in premises on the dairy and cattle farm owned by his grandparents. He used experience in home brewing in creating beers.
“What I did was to convert an old bull house into a 2.5bbl brew house using stainless steel tanks from the dairy parlour and soft water straight from the Silent Valley Reservoir in the Mourne Mountains. I decided to focus on producing beer in cans because these are easier to handle for retail. I also produce beer in kegs.”
The beers are now being distributed in Northern Ireland by Harland Wines, and he hopes to sell outside the region.
“My aim is to brew the beers we want to drink, without compromise in terms of ingredients or time. Whether a potato infused saison or an imperial stout aged in oak, they are beers that excite us and that we want to share with the world,” he adds.