Ballyeffin Brewery is reputedly the oldest brewery in history. Established in 1570, it is situated on the edge of the lovely Ballyeffin Bog, in the equally-lovely Ballyeffin Village, near the really-lovely Ballyeffin Inn, which is a great place for a pint, and the headquarters of the fair-minded Ballyeffin Beacon newspaper. The Brewery was commissioned in haste, as there was a major shortage of ale after the excommunication of Queen Elizabeth of England by the Roman Pope Pius V on a cold February day. On the 25th of February celebrations began and by the third of March, 1570, there were serious concerns about the lack of viable supply in the ale market due to lack of efficient Ale Hedging.
A Note on Ale Hedging:
Ale Hedging was a contractual tool some large ale consuming areas, such as Ballyeffin Village, The Greater Ballyeffin Boglands and the Bog of Ballyboondock, used to reduce their exposure to volatile and potentially rising ale costs. An ale hedge contract allows an ale-consuming area to establish a fixed or capped cost, via a commodity swap or option. For example: Ballyeffin Village would enter into hedging contracts to mitigate their exposure to future ale prices that may be higher than current prices and/or to establish a known ale cost for budgeting and supply purposes. If Ballyeffin Village buys an ale swap and the price of ale declines, Ballyeffin Village will effectively be forced to pay an above-market rate for ale. If Ballyeffin Village buys an Ale call option and the price of Ale increases, Ballyeffin Village will receive a return on the option that offsets their actual cost of Ale. If Ballyeffin Village buys an Ale call option, which requires an upfront premium cost, much like insurance, and the price of Ale decreases, Ballyeffin Village will not receive a return on the option but they will benefit from buying Ale at the then-lower cost.
To counter this hedging nightmare, by early April, 1570, the industrious Wong Family of Ballyeffin Village had started production in a makeshift brewery in the village centre. A derelict betting shop was utilised on the high street and it was found to be the perfect location as the ex-clientele of the betting shop still returned there every day to place bets. Once the beer was flowing they had no real reason to stop coming.The brewery, now given the imaginative moniker, the Ballyeffin Brewery , never looked back and has continued to provide the highest quality ales and beers this side of the Ballyeffin Boglands. The upside to this was that all the hedges in Ballyeffin disappeared very quickly. Some say it was from the drinkers urinating on the said hedges whilst they staggered home from to the brewery.
Originally privately-owned by the Wong Family Dynasty, the Ballyeffin Brewery was floated on the Ballyeffin Stock Exchange in 1985 with 11 local shareholders, 4 of them Ballyeffin Town Councillors, plus the local TD Billy Reely-Hay, the son of Tommy Reely-Hay, the legendary firebrand Ballyeffin politician, plus six shareholders from the Wong Family Dynasty. Staff numbers fluctuate so are not available to publish.
All of our beers are brewed with the finest traditional ingredients including water from our own artesian well drilled deep into the esker beneath the Ballyeffin Bog. We are proud to brew a range of quintessentially Ballyeffin ales and award winning beers and lagers. Ballyeffin Brewery prides itself on being an all encompassing brewer with an estate of good quality drunks and bums across the Ballyeffin Boglands.
Many breweries have attempted to muscle in on the monopoly that the Ballyeffin Brewery has maintained for the past 446 years. All have failed to get through the myriad of technical, planning, corruption and environmental issues. Some say the winds are changing. There are rumours that a new brewery may soon be appearing on the Boglands. The BogVine speaks of a stranger with plans to set up a new brewery called BallyBoondock Brewery. Not if we have anything to do with it. Watch this space.