Meet the Maker of Daragh’s Session IPA!

Daragh Merrigan started working as an Assistant Brewer with Rye River in March 2015 and got promoted to Shift Brewer not long after. Once Bill Laukitis took up his role as Head Brewer late last year, Daragh became our Lead Brewer.

Daragh is the man behind one of our most popular and successful beers to date, Daragh’s Session IPA, formerly known as Little Bangin’ IPA. This beer has won numerous awards since it’s inception, including Best Session IPA in the World at the World Beer Awards last year. So, needless to say, we’re looking forward to Daragh’s next big idea. We sat down with Daragh earlier in the week and asked him a few questions!

How did you get into Brewing?

I initially became interested in brewing when I moved in with friend of mine, Dean, (who has since started working at Rye River as an Assistant Brewer) was really into home brewing. This opened my eyes to it and I also started trying new beers. The more beers I tried the more interested I became.

What gave you the idea for Daragh’s Session IPA?

At the time, there was a lot of tropical west coast style IPA’s that had come out and it got me interested in exploring the lighter side of IPA’s. I wanted to make something sessionable, without compromising the big hop characters you would normally get from these IPA’s.

Have you any other recipes planned for the future?

So, currently Fiachra is testing a hoppy lager with our 1HL SS Brewtech system. Once he’s finished and it becomes available again, I have a recipe planned that I’m quite excited about, but I’m going to keep it under wraps for now! I have plenty of recipes I’d like to try out though.

Do you still homebrew?

Now that I’m brewing on a large scale and we have the 1HL pilot system, I feel like that satisfies my creative needs with regard to new beers. However, I still try to get a brew done the odd weekend.

Besides brewing – What are your hobbies?

I’ve been playing guitar for 21 years. Although im not in a band, I still find lots of time to play with my friends and the other brewers, many of whom are musicians themselves. We’ve music playing in the brewery non-stop as well, which is great.

What’s your favourite beer style?

My favourite beer style changes very frequently, but one style I’ve always liked is traditional Belgian lambic’s, these are sour ales fermented with wild yeast.

What’s your favourite beer?

My all-time favourite beer is Mariage Parfait by Brewerij Boon. I’m also a big fan of Black Ball Porter by TO OL but they don’t make it any more. If they started to make it again, I’d be all over it. From our McGargles range though, I’d have to choose Uncle Jim’s on Draught!

What was the last beer you had?

A bottle of Orval, a trappist ale I had been aging for about 8 months. It was gorgeous. The bitterness was more rounded due to the aging which also brought forward the floral yeast character.

What beer is in your fridge?

I have a cellar at home and I currently have 3 bottles of Boon stored (vat 94, 108, 110). I also have a Rodenbach Caractère Rouge and a 2015 Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René. Oh, and more bottles of Orval!


Bloom in the Park

McGargles at Bloom in the Park 2018


We’re delighted to announce that we are returning to the Phoenix Park for the 2018 Bloom in the Park by Bord Bia! The event itself takes place from the Thursday 31st of May, right through the June Bank holiday weekend, before finishing up on the Monday 4th June. Our stall will be set up at the Bloom Inn so be sure to drop by. We’ll be bringing a great selection of some of your favourite beers including Francis Big Bangin’, Daragh’s Session IPA and Rosie’s Pale Ale. These beers will be pouring alongside something ver special from Rye River Brewing Company! 

What’s on?

The festival doors open at 9am in the morning and stay open until 6pm in the evening, so plan your day well to make the most of it! There will be plenty of great food, live music and a wide variety of beers on draught. And of course.. Gardens!

At the time of writing this post, we are currently running a competition over on our Facebook Page, where you can be in with the chance to win two tickets to the event by liking the post and tagging a friend who you’d like to bring along!

This is our first outing of the summer so we’re looking forward to it and we hope to see you all there!

Three Bangin’ New McGargles’s Beers

We are very excited to be bringing you three bangin’ new Mcgargles’ beers. The first two are super hoppy with about 6 grams of hops in every pint. This equates to one and a half times the body weight of brewer Darragh in every batch so we are using him as a guide from this point on!

Little Bangin’ IPA is a Session IPA that clocks in at just 3.8% making it the perfect easy drinking beer. It’s a beautiful golden hue with a white foamy head. The aroma is intensely fruity with tangerines, watermelon and pineapple all coming through nicely. This is from the five different hop varieties used in the brew. We have added buckets of El Dorado, Simcoe,Cascade, Mosaic and Amarillo. The taste has some candy sweetness and delicious malty bread flavours. The beer is very smooth thanks to the inclusion of some wheat. Your new regular IPA!

Double Bangin’ IPA is not one to be taken lightly. This big beer weighs in at 8%. It also has a bundle of amazing hops including Cascade, Columbus, Centennial, Chinook and Mosaic. It’s a deeper shade of orange than it’s little brother and the white head hangs around giving a lovely lacing on the glass as you drink it. The aroma is a beautiful medley of pine and grapefruit. The taste is perfectly balanced between pine bitterness and sweet nutty malt. It’s a whopper of a beer!

Our new Export Stout is pitch black with a lovely tan head. This one has an amazing aroma of coffee, toffee and dark fruits. The taste has loads of espresso and dark chocolate flavours from the Chocolate Malt. It’s deliciously chewy. You could while away an hour sipping on one of these tasty Export Stouts.

Your first chance to try the three bangin’ new McGargles’ beers is at the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair which runs from 23rd to the 25th of February in the Convention Centre Dublin. A full release will follow in early March. So keep an eye out for these three!


Quality Ingredients: Maris Otter Malt from Warminster

Maris Otter Malt from Warminster which is used in McGargles’ Big Bangin’ IPA

One of the main reasons for the great taste of our Big Bangin’ IPA is the Maris Otter Malt that we use in the brew. Big Bangin’ is a single malt IPA. The Maris Otter is from Warminster who produce malt in the traditional way. They’ve been using the same methods since they began back in 1855. They spread the barley out on a heated floor and it is hand turned as rakes are pulled through the grain. It’s a labour intensive operation which means the malt isn’t cheap but we think it’s worth it! Warminster malt fresh barley for every order which ensures maximum flavour. If you come and visit the brewery you can taste the malt. It’s delicious.

We believe in using the best quality ingredients that we can find to produce our amazing beers. We will tell you about more of them in the coming weeks. Keep an eye here for that! If you want to learn more about Warminster check out this link:

Spare a thought for the lad (or lady) hand turning the malt the next time you’re enjoying one of our beers. Sláinte!


McGargles’ Beers with Chef Sham’s Sauces

McGargles’ Beers go really well with a variety of dishes. Here’s a couple of pairings that we tried recently:

We met Chef Sham at a recent food festival and he gave us some of his sauces to try with our beers. The first one we tried was the Sweet Chilli Sauce which we used in our Kedgeree. The dish is one brought back from India when it was a part of the British Empire. It includes Haddock, Boiled Eggs and Rice. Kedgeree was traditionally eaten for breakfast because we are non traditional sorts here at Rye River Brewing we had it for dinner instead. Of course we had to have a beer with it! We paired this with our Lager and the crisp cool beer provided a pleasant contrast to the hint of spice from the sauce.

Why not give this pairing a try yourself?

McGargles’ Lager with chef Sham’s Sauce

Another food pairing we tried recently was Chef Sham’s Chilli Ketchup with Homemade Sausage Rolls. McGargles’ Big Bangin’ IPA went down a treat with this. Keep it in mind when planning your next picnic.

You can order Chef Sham’s sauces and check out his recipe videos here:

Why not share your own favourite McGargles food pairing with us?

McGargles’ Big Bangin’ IPA with Chef Sham’s Chilli Ketchup and Homemade Sausage Rolls


Beer and Cheese Bread

Beer and Cheese Bread baked with McGargles’ Lager

We asked our brewers for some seasonal recipes which included beer. Brewer Bill shared this one for Beer and Cheese Bread but was sure to credit his Mom Sally for the original recipe:

Sally’s Beer and Cheese Bread


8 ounces Gruyere cheese ; 4 ounces shredded and 4 ounces cut into ¼ inch cubes

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon pepper

1 330ml can of McGargles’ Fancy Frank’s Lager

4 tablespoons butter, melted


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 F/190 c

Grease 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. (Important!) Or better yet use baking paper to line loaf tin.

Combine shredded and cubed cheese, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper in large bowl. Stir in beer and mix until well combined. Pour into loaf pan, spreading batter into corners. Drizzle butter evenly over top of batter. Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool bread in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto rack. (Important! Run knife around the pan to loosen…may need to use a spatula to ease out.) Cool completely and slice as desired.

Enjoy with some lovely Irish butter and a glass of our Lager!

McGargles’ Beers take home Gold in the Brussels Beer Challenge


McGargles’ beers pick up three prizes at the Brussels Beer Challenge

Two Gold Medals and a Certificate of Excellence? Not bad for a Monday! The fifth annual Brussels Beer Challenge took place in November. Over a thousand beers from around the world were in the running for the coveted medals. The competition aims to promote the finest quality beers and to recognise the brewery’s achievements.

Francis Big Bangin’ IPA won Gold in the Pale and Amber Ale : American IPA (Greater than 6,5 ABV) category. Which rounds out a great year kicked off with the Gold at Alltech’s Dublin Beer Cup. Uncle Jim’s Stout romped home with the Gold in the Stout/Porter : Dry Stout field. Our stout is tasting exceptionally good on these dark winter nights! Granny Mary took home a Certificate of Excellence in the Red Ale : Irish Red Ale category, she took home Gold in 2015. Fair play to her!

One of our brewers Owen Ashmore was over in Belgium for the weekend continuing his love affair with Belgian beers. Owen was proud to accept the awards on behalf of Rye River Brewing. These awards bring our 2016 total up to 32. This really goes to show the quality of beers we are producing at Rye River. If you’d like to come and try some of the beers in our new tap room you can book a tour here:

You never know, you might even get to shake one of the brewers’ hand and congratulate them on their fantastic beers!


Brewery Tour

Brewery Tour

If you are not redirected automatically, follow the link to book.

McGargles in a can!

We’re insanely excited about the arrival of McGargles cans! Keep an eye out for Fancy Frank and Francis who’ll be arriving in very handy 330ml cans before the end of the year!

Cans are one of the fastest growing packaging styles for craft beer in Ireland and, most importantly, they’re the perfect package to ensure premium quality and freshness. The 100% light-tight environment means that harmful UV rays cannot get to the beer. As well as that, cans allow zero access to oxegen. This is essential as oxidisation can turn a great beer into a mess very quickly!

To start, we’re going to roll out our Fancy Frank’s Lager and Francis Big Bangin’ IPA in 330ml cans with lots of exciting plans in the pipe-line too…but we’ll keep that under wraps for now!

Clash of Clans Online Hack and Cheat

Introducing Simon Broderick

Last month, we advertised a position that most Irish beers fans were drooling about. Our beer specialists role. After making our way through hundreds of amazing applicants, we were delighted to offer the role to Simon Broderick. Here’s a quick introduction to the man himself.

Where are you from?

Athlone, but I’m living in the big city of Moate for the last 9 years.

Have you always had an interest in beer?

About twenty years ago I was in the UK with some relations and they were all drinking Lager Shandy, when I had a chance to visit a ‘Real Ale’ pub I tried cask beer for the first time, I thought it tasted soapy but it was a sight more interesting than the overly sweet shandy. Maybe 15 years ago I went to Brussels and an American bar man gave me a crash course in Belgian beer styles which really opened my mind. In 2008 I visited Galway Hooker’s old brewery in Roscommon which made me realise how accessible and approachable this craft/micro brewing thing was. I couldn’t visit Dublin without calling in to The Porterhouse in Temple Bar which was one of the very few places these unusual beers could be found. And then in 2013 the whole scene blew up and I was inspired to start writing Simon Says…You Really Should Drink This!

What’s your favourite beer style?

It’s easier to tell you that I don’t like ‘Lite’ lagers, Helles or Pilsner all the way to Imperial Stouts are fair game, I’ll drink ‘em all! I do like my IPAs…

What was the last beer you drank?

Yellow Belly’s Jack Bauer Power Shower Sour in Simon Lambert & Sons yesterday. It’s delicious!

What beer is in your fridge at home?

Buxton High Tor (India Red Ale), Magic Rock High Wire (West Coast Pale Ale) Mountain Man Banjo’d (Appalachian IPA) and of course a few bottles of McGargles Francis Big Bangin’ IPA and Cousin Rosie Pale Ale!

Keep an eye on our Facebook page to find out when you catch Simon in your local pub or off-licence sampling our multi-award winning craft beers.