IRELAND – Irish Distillers, a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard, has offloaded Mitchelstown-based craft beer business Eight Degrees Brewing back to its founders, Scott Baigent and Cam Wallace, for an undisclosed amount. 

Established in 2010 by the Kiwi and Australian duo, Eight Degrees Brewing became part of Irish Distillers in 2018, with the intention of supplying beer for the Jameson Caskmates project, a venture involving finishing Jameson Irish whiskey in craft beer-seasoned barrels. 

“After recharging our batteries, we are keen to get back into the driver’s seat and continue the journey we started more than 14 years ago,” expressed Mr. Wallace. 

Eight Degrees Brewing is known for its core brands, including Seisiun Easy Going IPA, Sunburnt Irish red ale, Bohemian pilsner lager, and Knockmealdown Irish stout.  

Baigent emphasized the group’s renewed enthusiasm, stating, “With a heap of reckless optimism and a lot of newfound energy, we seek to deliver the Naturally Adventurous message once more.” 

Under the new ownership structure, the brewery intends to maintain its existing core team of seven, excluding the founders. Additionally, Eight Degrees Brewing will continue to supply craft beer to support the Caskmates range of Jameson whiskey, an Irish Distillers brand. 

The company, based in Mitchelstown, Cork, has plans to release a new German wheat beer at the end of February, alongside its seasonal drinks, including the Original Gravity Irish oak-aged barley wine.  

The founders aim to re-engage with their international customer base, having had export relationships with approximately 12 countries in the past. 

“Irish Distillers played a massive role in completing the build of our brewery in Mitchelstown at the foot of the Galtee Mountains in North Cork,” acknowledged Wallace. 

Notably, Eight Degrees had a 60-hectolitre Kaspar Schulz brewhouse installed at the Mitchelstown site towards the end of 2018. 

Working in collaboration with the Pernod group allowed Eight Degrees Brewing to experiment with innovative beers, especially the aging of beers in whiskey barrels, along with developing a range of whiskeys finished in craft beer-seasoned barrels.  

Irish Distillers and Eight Degrees also collaborated on the creation of the third edition of Jameson Crested whiskey in 2022. 

Eight Degrees Brewing’s products currently have listings in major Irish retail outlets such as Tesco, Supervalu, Dunnes, and O’Briens Wine, as well as having a presence in on-premise locations. 

 

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