Our History

The arrival of Brennan’s new “Smoothpour” draught beer and its bottled companion “Brennan’s original” marks just the latest chapter in a rich family tradition. Brennan’s Brewery‘s passion for brewing and love for the pub industry can be traced back four generations, in both Ireland and Britain, to 1905 when a young Patrick J Brennan, from Kildare, Ireland, would become an apprentice brewer in Dublin.

This lineage continued when his son, James Brennan, followed in his fathers’ footsteps, learning the art and life of a cooper, expertly trained to make wooden beer casks, barrels, vats, buckets, tubs, troughs and other staved containers from timber. He went on to become a master cooper in the 1940’s and 1950’s. This fervor for beer and the rich family tradition in the pub trade would not end there. A young barman and carpenter Patrick Brennan, grandson of Patrick J Brennan, would meet a young Ellen Martin, from Enniscorthy, county Wexford, in the busy city of Dublin during the 1950s.

Family History

Like many Irish folk who travelled to seek work at the time, they made their way together to Birmingham, England. It was here that they would keep up the family connection in the beer industry by taking over the “Eagle and Tun” on New Canal Street close to the city of Birmingham, (a pub which would later become famous for its connection with the Birmingham Reggae band UB40 using the pub for some of their music videos and album covers).

Taking over the “Eagle and Tun” happened by chance after Patrick’s sister, Peggy, who was leaving the pub, offered it to the newly married Patrick and Ellen in 1964. This would lead to a life-long love affair for the trade for the couple and their three sons, Patrick, Gary and Peter spanning over fifty years.

After a few years in Birmingham, running city pubs like “The Drovers Arms” in Digbeth, “The Observatory” in Handsworth and “The George and Dragon” in the Jewelers Quarter they decided to return home to Ireland to Ellen’s home town of Enniscorthy taking over “The Boolavogue Inn”, which was located on the quay of the river Slaney. After several enjoyable years they decided to sell “The Boolavogue Inn” in order to pursue their appetite for travelling. They explored a variety of opportunities in America, Canada and Australia before returning home once again and heading to the beautiful fishing and tourist village of Courtown Harbour in county Wexford and purchasing “The Holiday Inn” in the early 1970’s.

Patrick and Ellens’ affection for Birmingham remained with them and eventually lead them back to the city in the mid 1970’s leaving Patrick’s brother, Sean Brennan, to run “The Holiday Inn”. On their return to Birmingham, Patrick and Ellen would go on to run “The Shakespeare” on Summer Row close to the city’s TV studios which was frequented by many celebrated actors from that time. Patrick then decided to sell “The Holiday Inn” going on to buy and run “Binton Barn Hotel” on Portland Road in Birmingham during the late 1970’s.

Once again the beautiful village of Courtown Harbour enticed Patrick and Ellen’s return to their beloved home of Ireland where they purchased “The Dolphin” on the Main Street from Joe and Mary O'Reilly. (Joe would go on to establish Dara Records in 1983 and Mary his wife, professionally known as Mary Black, would go on to International fame with her music career. Patrick and Ellen continued throughout the 1980s to run the now renamed “Marina” enjoying the busy summers and quiet winters of Courtown Harbour before deciding to head once again to the City of Birmingham in 1989, buying “The Marquis of Lorne”, now featured in the highly acclaimed “Peaky Blinder” TV series. Calling it “The Roost”, Patrick and Ellen gained a great reputation throughout Ireland and the UK for their unique pub, receiving an award for the most sales of Murphy’s Irish Stout in the whole of the United Kingdom.

“The Roost” was just the beginning of bigger things for Patrick, Ellen and their sons as they went on to start one of the first independently owned pub companies in England, purchasing over 40 pubs, clubs and hotels across the Midlands. These pubs included “The Aston Hotel”, “The “Old Smithy”, “Shannon”s, “The Shareholders” and notably, “The Garrison”, which they saved from been torn down after a fire. This lovingly restored historic building has gone on to become one of the most famous pubs in Birmingham (also featuring as a location in the hit TV series “Peaky Blinders”).

Re-establishing themselves in their very first pub “The Eagle and Tun”, their son Peter would go on to win best traditional pub of the year for Central England with awards for his quality beers which were served there. “The Old Crown” was another famous Birmingham pub which the Brennan family saved from demolition. Located in Digbeth, it is renowned as Birminghams oldest pub dating back to 1368. Patrick and Ellen went on a “labour-of love” mission to save it, completing a meticulous refurbishment of the premises in 1998, (a two million pound development without any government or heritage funding). 

This is where, In the summer of 1994, Pat Brennan and his youngest son, Peter, were doing repairs and clearing out the old building to the rear of the property, when they found the old well, which had been closed off for more than 100 years. Now lovingly restored, it is situated at the rear entrance of the pub. The Old Crown is where Patrick would rekindled his grandfather’s passion for brewing and developed a beer in partnership with a Wolverhampton based brewery, Banks’s Brewery, in developing a new beer to commemorate the re-opening of “The Old Crown”. The passion for the industry and beer would lead Patrick and Ellen on a journey through the millennium and beyond before deciding to retire, sadly, before Patrick’s death in 2012. Ellen’s passion did not die with Patrick and her love of the industry continued with her return to her beloved Courtown Harbour taking over “The Shipyard Inn”, (formerly “The Marina” which she had owned throughout the 1980’s).

The Birth of Brennan's Brewery 

Patrick and Ellen’s son Peter has carried on his great grandfather’s passion for brewing by developing Brennan’s Brewery, and its innovative products, working with talented young Wexford brewer Jano Evans, to develop Brennan’s Original and Brennan’s Smoothpour. Both beers, while they have benefited from the same technical and creative crafting, bring two distinctively different experiences to the seasoned taster. In the tradition of an exceptional family heritage, the eagerly awaited launch of Brennan’s Brewery (and its’ new creations), honors the culmination of years of testing and adapting unique brewing techniques to deliver the perfect dark beer, produced in this modest family brewery in Courtown county Wexford, in the southeast of Ireland.

 

Delicious. Smooth mouthfeel, deep earthy notes with a subtly roasted flavours on the finish. Lightly bitter on the finish. - Drinking a Brennan's Original / Smoothpour @BeerOClockShow


 It’s dark like the nights & as tasty as the best dark beers! Perfect for an early autumn Saturday night in the bar! @LiquorJunky


 To be honest, I would give it a healthy 8/10. A nice drink to pace yourself on a night out or a drink to have when you haven't had it in a while. Full Review Here


 A very pleasing beer. Tasted like more for us. A beaut indeed @Dwansofflicence

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Contact Us

Main Street, Courtown Harbour
Gorey, Co Wexford, Ireland
(00353) 89 473 9967
info@thebrennansbrewery.com 

Contact Us

Main Street, Courtown Harbour
Gorey, Co Wexford, Ireland
(00353) 89 473 9967
info@thebrennansbrewery.com