Frocken Hell of a great beer using local produce!

By Hayden Moore

THERE’S a new beer in town and it is steeped in the history of the ancient Celtic festival of Lughnasa, using berries that are directly picked in Tallaght.

Priory Brewing, which is based in Tallaght, has used the town’s history of producing hand-crafted beer to success over the past number of years and now they have launched a new summer beer, Frocken Hell.

Priory Brewing 1 1

Head brewer, Seb Kondol (centre) with Priory Brewing directors John Kearns (left) and Bernard Bennett (right)

The 4.7 per cent pale ale incorporates native Tallaght fraughans, also known as bilberries, into the beer as they are the first of the wild berries to ripen.

Officially launched to coincide with Frocken Sunday, or Fraughan Sunday, which, according to Priory Brewing, was an ancient Celtic ritual that saw young couples enjoy picking berries along the hillside.

Taking place on the last Sunday of July, the girls would then depart from their male companions to use the berries to make a cake before meeting back up with the boys to present them with the treat and have an evening dance.

The berries are also considered powerful antioxidants to help with general good health and vision, and can be found along hillsides where heather and gorse grow.

Reviving the tradition through their new beer, Frocken Hell – Pale Ale, John Kearns of Priory Brewing spoke of the resurrection of the old tradition.

“We wanted to find an ingredient that could truly be considered local to us in Tallaght and we also wanted to revive this important old custom of foraging for frocken and celebrating Frocken Sunday,” explained John.

Run by Partas, the award-winning brewing company added the summer ale to their list of four other beers and launched it into Molloys Tavern, the Kiltipper Inn, Brickyard Gastropub in Dundrum and Dead Centre Brewing in Athlone on Frocken Sunday, July 28.

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