The six pack carrier says "Product of USA crafted from barley gown in St. Patrick's Co." I got three Legbiter Ales and three St. Patrick's Best Ales. Can't find the email that I got from the representative. There's nothing in the box but styrofoam popcorn. The waybill says they're from New Jersey. But there is a clue on the bottom of the six: "produced and bottled by Strangford Lough Brewing Company, Rochester, NY." I liked them fine. I will say that from the outset but this clip from the operation's home Northern Ireland website got me scratching my head:
....the directors of this Northern Irish brewery, Tony Davies and Bob Little had to create an entirely new method of ensuring the beer arrived fresher and more cost effectively than would have been possible by simply shipping the finished bottled product from Northern Ireland. The outcome was a very exciting new way of exporting the product from Ireland, not in bottles, but in a concentrated form. The concentrate is shipped to High Falls Brewing Company, where the SLBC master brewer, George Thompson is on hand to assist the High Falls Operating Company to finish brew the beer by adding the final ingredients brought from Ireland, fermenting and then bottling the beer before transporting it to the existing network of licensees for distribution.
So... bulk wort with NI water is being shipped, sloshed about a cargo hold, diluted with NY water and then boiled with its hops - one supposes - after which it is finally fermented and bottled in Rochester at back from the brink High Falls brewery. That is one weird business strategy. But I liked the beer. I liked it fine. It had terrioirs. I poured one of the St. Patrick's Best Ales last night and thought how good it was for an beer with an uncertain source. Very nice lacing. It was also more-ish and rich, its body showing well above its weight for a 4.2% beer. A great session ale. I liked it. I am not sure which beer it is as the brewery makes one beer called St. Patrick's Best as well as another called St. Patrick's Ale. But I liked it.
The Master Brewer used to run "George Thompson & Dobbin Ltd – an international design and build micro-brewery business offering turnkey brewing solutions." Yikes! Turnkey solutions always scare the bejaysus out of me. But I liked the beer. Have they actually figured something out? I have no idea. Not even sure if the BAers have rated them.