Irish craft brewery Brú eyes UK pub estate

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Eye on UK: Brú's David O' Hare and Daire Harlin
Eye on UK: Brú's David O' Hare and Daire Harlin

Related tags: United kingdom, Northern ireland, European union

Republic of Ireland craft beer brewery Brú plans to launch a UK pub estate this year, The Morning Advertiser (MA) has learned. 

The brewery, which already operates three pubs in Ireland, has looked at sites in west London and has spoken to pub companies – including Punch and Enterprise – about possible opportunities.

Co-founder Daire Harlin told MA ​the company wanted to open between seven and 10 sites in the UK and Ireland over the next three to four years.

Launch platform

He said: “We see pubs as a good launch platform for our brand over here. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a couple of years and we’re looking at going into London, possibly Bristol and possible Manchester.

“We will hopefully open three outlets this year. We believe we have enough capital to do that.”

Harlin added there is a significant gap in the market when it came to ‘modern’ Irish pubs that had a solid food offer.

“We’re not building pubs for dudes with beards and jeans falling down their a**es who are modern, hip, trendy guys. We build pubs for everybody, we just happen to do nothing but craft beer,” he said.

Brexit 'galvanised' attitude

Despite economic uncertainty spurred by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Harlin said Brexit had ‘galvanised’ the group when it came to opening outlets in the UK.

“We’ve put men on the ground. Nobody in Ireland is looking at the UK as a potential market and it’s madness not to.

“We’ve spoken to Enterprise, we’ve spoken to Punch, we’ve spoken to a couple of smaller guys – they’re bigger than anyone in Ireland, but smaller over there. There are some really good opportunities.”

Related topics: Ale & Stout, Beer

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