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Hilden brews up series of events to mark 35th anniversary

NI Year of Food and Drink

Posted by Tourism NI

Published December 6, 2016

The Year of Food and Drink has coincided with a significant milestone for Ireland's founding independent craft ale brewers, Hilden Brewing Co. which is celebrating its 35th anniversary having created and bottled its first brew in November 1981.

Hilden brews up series of events to mark 35th anniversary

Seamus Scullion of Hilden Brewing Co.

Hilden Brewing Co. has expanded significantly since its inception and now boasts a new state-of-the-art brewery, restaurants and the prestigious Hilden Beer Festival, which this year was one of 48 food and drink related events to be supported by Tourism NI.

To celebrate their 35th anniversary Hilden Brewing Co. will be hosting a series of additional special events and performances. And whilst independent breweries, craft beer businesses and associated events are now experiencing a boom, three and a half decades ago Ann and Seamus Scullion were blazing their own trail.

The company was established by the couple in 1981 in the courtyard of Hilden House, the former home of the Barbour linen barons. Here the Scullions reintroduced into Ireland the tradition of a local brewery making beers of distinctive character and taste. Hilden is now the oldest independent brewery on the island of Ireland.

Hilden Brewing Co. has adapted its business model over the years to suit an ever-changing market, expanding the brewery in 2014 increasing output from 7000 litres to 14000 and exporting their craft ales worldwide.

Hilden Brewing Co. owner Seamus Scullion said reaching the 35-year anniversary was “an incredible achievement”.

“We started brewing in 1981 and have adapted the business model throughout the years to develop the brand and our range of ales,” he said.

“Hilden was the first independently owned brewery in the whole of Ireland for more than half a century.  Whilst other breweries that started after failed in very tough trading conditions, we prospered. In recent years the interest in craft beers has grown dramatically along with many new breweries. Our beers, restaurants and events are now at the heart of this movement and we look to the future with confidence."

William Barbour established his thread mill at Hilden in 1824.  Barbour Threads grew rapidly and by the end of the 19th century and was the biggest linen thread company in the world with offices and mills in many international locations. Its chairman at the end of the 19th century was Milne Barbour, grandson of the founder of the company.

Located in the outbuildings of historic Hilden House Hilden is still under their watchful eyes along with their brewery manager son, Owen and daughter, Frances Maguire who is the general manager.

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Posted by Tourism NI

Produced by Tourism NI