Oliver Hughes and Liam LaHart, cousins (more like brothers) came into this world in 1959. Not that it was known then, but an important year for the beer scene in Ireland.
Oliver was born in Dublin but spent most of his childhood and teenage years in the UK however every summer he would travel back to Ireland to Gortnahoe in County Tipperary where Liam lived.
This is where they formed a bond that would last decades and leave behind a legacy.
Liam, having heard numerous stories from his cousin about the opportunities across the Irish sea, moved to London in search of work in 1979. Liam and Oliver, who at the time was in college just outside of London, spent many a day in a Firkin pub; which at the time were brewing cask ales. Both Oliver and Liam credit the Firkin chain of pubs with instilling an interest in beer, beyond just the idea of drinking it.
Oliver and Liam moved back to Ireland in the early 80’s wanting to open their own brewery. In 1983 Harty’s Brewery opened in Blessington, Co. Wicklow. Brewing a traditional cask ale, malty and lightly hopped Harty’s saw some initial success.
However, this is where Oliver and Liam earned their first degree in the University of Life with beer lines cut by the multinationals and an unsophisticated debt collection program leaving Harty’s go out of business.
ou wouldn’t put Belgian Beer & Bray together in the 1980s.
Well Liam & Oliver would do just that when they opened the Porterhouse on the Bray seafront in 1989. Not enamoured by the idea of serving only the mainstays in the Irish market at the time, the boys headed into the EEC to various “Beer countries” in their van with an array of different beers. The system was if you brought a beer in that they didn’t have, you would get two pints on the house!
In 1996 Oliver and Liam opened Dublin first brewpub. Intent on selling only independent beers, primarily focusing on our core range, it was expected the pub would close within six months.
Peter Mosley came on as head brewer and a number of core beers were produced ranging from heavy stouts to light lagers. Dublin had never seen the like. This ten barrel brewery would only last a couple years before it needed expansion
Most of our original beers are still part of our core range, in one way or another. Recipes have been tweaked, branding has been updated but by and large these originals have stood the test of time. Three Stouts; Three Ales & Three Lagers.