Background: Originally from Bere Island, West Cork, Louise Sullivan Potorti is the co-founder of Beara Irish Brewing Co. based in New Hampshire.
Where are you from in Ireland?
“I am from Bere Island which is in West Co. Cork near Castletownbere. After I obtained my visa an opportunity arose to work in New York for Goldman Sachs. I lived there for 10 years.”
Why did you move to Portsmouth, New Hampshire?
“My husband Michael was offered a job in the area. It’s a wonderful place for families and the people are great.”
Tell us about you and husband’s new brewing company Beara.
“We are always impressed with the quality of the dairy and especially grain products when we visit the area I grew up in. We noted the offerings of Irish beers in the U.S. and were not impressed. So, we had an idea to develop recipes using genuine Irish 2-row barley malt as a base. We only use whole grains, yeast, hops and water in the process. No artificial additives. It produces great, flavorful brews, and we want to get them out into the public.”
Why did you call it Beara Irish Brewing Co?
“Beara is the region in Ireland where I come from. We have decided to name the brews after sites in Beara Ireland such as Castletown, Honey Brown and Hungry Hill Hefewiezen.”
What is the most popular beer that you brew?
“People really like our Honey Brown Ale. That ale already won an award at an American Homebrew Association sanctioned event! We have had good reviews on our other brews as well.”
How can you tell a good craft beer, and what is your favorite craft beer?
“A good craft beer has a lot of character and taste, unlike mass-produced, watery offerings by the big guys. Craft brewers take the time to mill their grains and use fresh ingredients to produce quality brews. They cost a little more but they are worth it.
“We like local brews such as Smuttynose and Throwback brewery offerings.”
You recently launched your Kickstarter campaign to help with your brewery. Can you tell us a little about that?
Yes, it’s at www.kickstarter.com/projects/224541450/beara-irish-brewing-co . Brewery equipment is very expensive and we need approx $30,000 to get the brewery started. We are hoping to get support from individuals who want to see us succeed. We have had over 400 followers join us on Twitter in the first 10 days which is very encouraging.”
Where do you see Beara Irish Brewing Co in 10 years?
“We would like to eventually open a brewpub and hopefully a chain of brewpubs. We are also considering resurrecting the hop growing industry in Ireland, as southern counties are a great place to grow them.”
Interview by Molly Muldoon