Three cheers to Sorley Boy, the Giant and Stranded Bunny...

The characters who helped launch the Lacada Brewery Co-Op at Portrush Town Hall on Friday evening. INCR44-342PL
The characters who helped launch the Lacada Brewery Co-Op at Portrush Town Hall on Friday evening. INCR44-342PL

Portrush’s new brewery finally unveiled its three new beers to a captive audience in Portrush Town Hall on Friday evening.

It was a case of three-cheers for the Lacada Co-operative as more than 100 people attended the brewery’s first AGM followed by a public launch of its beers in the evening.

“The beer names represent some of the treasures that can be found on the North Coast and also reflect one aspect of what the area is known for – having fun” revealed Lacada’s Marketing Director Heather Quiery.

“All our co-owners were invited to suggest names and then when it came to illustrating and designing the labels we also were able to use great talent from among our membership too.”

And the new beers were introduced in theatrical style by three ‘characters’ as befitting the grand surroundings of the Town Hall.

The first beer, a golden ale is called Sorley Boy’s Stash named after Sorley Boy McDonnell, who owned Dunluce Castle with some historians hinting that he may have secretly purloined some of the Girona’s gold.

Inspired by the iconic Giant’s Causeway the brewery’s second brand is anIndia Pale Ale (IPA) called Giant’s Organ while the final beer, a porter, goes by the name of Stranded Bunny.

The latter name refers to the colony of rabbits which are stranded on the Skerries and the riddle of how they got there in the first place.

The imaginative launch and much anticipated beer tasting celebrated the huge collaborative effort and community support to get Lacada off the ground.

With more than 100 attendees including co-owners from all over Nothern Ireland, England and Scotland and a representative from Co-Op Alternatives, Jo Bird, the Board and co-owners were impressed with the turn out.

“We’re very appreciative of the effort put in by all and especially those from outside the Co-Op but from the local community like our builders, plumber, electrician, accountant and solicitor who really helped us gain a great head of speed”, says Lacada chairman Laurie Davies.

With four part-time employees at present, and an additional two roles currently being advertised, the brewery hopes to eventually have its beers in outlets across the Province.

“We’re concentrating on our local outlets for now so that we can ensure them good re-stock and supply and of course service,’ says Nuala Laverty, sales employee.

“We have been approached however by two outlets in Belfast quite early on so we can supply them also.

“Our plans are to grow the business organically at first, keeping an eye on quality and reliability.

“We’re so eager to hear what the end customer thinks of the product.

“The industry have been impressed by their preview and have been extremely supportive in stocking and promoting our first ever beers.”

After attaining more than 25 stockists to launch the beers, the first deliveries were made on Saturday and already the off licences and bars are reporting great interest and record sales.

To promote its beers the ‘characters’ of Bunny, the Giant and Sorley Boy visited stockists in Portrush and Portstewart on Saturday evening in an open top car and also went walkabout with plenty of opportunities for selfies for passers-by.

“Of course we are delighted with the local support and our end customer has been reporting well on the quality and taste of the beer through our social media,” added Laurie.

“We will promise to remain diligent and stay close to those local outlets for a winning collaboration at work.”

For local stockists of Lacada beers visit their website at www.lacadabrewery.com/stockists.