A new national brewing and distilling innovation hub is set to be established in the southeast, with the signing off of a collaborative effort project between Teagasc and South East Technological University (SETU).

The new National Centre for Brewing and Distilling based in Teagasc Oak Park, Co Carlow, will work on drinks sector initiatives including research, education and training.

Teagasc has said the move will allow for continued and sustainable growth in Ireland’s malting, brewing and distilling industries.

Testing in malting

The first phase of the new centre’s work will focus is on testing raw materials used in malting and the production of bespoke batches of specialised malts for both the craft beer sector and test batches for the larger distillers.

Following this, the centre hopes to secure additional funds for pilot-scale brewing and distillation research.

Heading up the National Centre for Brewing and Distilling is Lisa Ryan, who stated that the partnership with SETU will support hands on training for students, which will be of benefit when entering the jobs market.

The university established the first honours degree programme in brewing and distilling in the country in 2016.

The degree is offered alongside SETU programmes in food science, agriculture, farm management, agribusiness and horticulture.

'Strategically significant'

SETU Dr David Ryan welcomed the partnership with Teagasc as a strategically significant for the further development of the agri-food sector.

“This collaboration is a game-changer for the expanding malting, brewing and distilling sector in Ireland.

“As well as formalising the existing relationship with Teagasc and the NCBD, it strategically links with SETU strengths in supporting the agri-sector and indigenous food industries," he said.