Ireland’s Sullivan’s Brewing Co has won a gold medal at the International Brewing Awards in Burton upon Trent with its Maltings Red Ale.

Ian Hamilton Sullivan'sThe award-winning beer is a refreshingly balanced, ruby-tinted, classic Irish ale, with a depth of malt flavour giving rich biscuit and gentle caramel notes.

Traditionally brewed, with only Kilkenny-grown ale malt, it includes three special darker malts and three varieties of hop. It is fermented and matured with cask ale yeast.

Sullivan’s Ian Hamilton (pictured) is one of just a handful of accredited master brewers currently at work in the Irish craft beer sector. His experience over 30 years spans several continents, where he has brewed all styles of beer.

From the heart of Africa to some of the biggest breweries in the western world, Ian’s knowledge and skill comes with accreditation gained only from years of hard work through the Institute of Brewing & Distilling.

Ian said: “Burton is a special place for a brewer. In the 1980s I spent a week’s holiday visiting the Bass, Allied, Marstons, Everard and Burton Bridge breweries, all in Burton upon Trent — something of a brewing pilgrimage for me. I have never forgotten the unique taste of cask Burton ales, or the sight of Burton union fermentation rooms, or the pride and skill of the brewers I met.

“So, to have our Sullivan’s Maltings Irish Ale awarded a gold medal in its class at these awards means a lot to me. Our Maltings Ales, and other brews we are working on, will always be brewed with deep respect for classic ale brewing principles.”

Sullivan’s relaunch

First established in 1702, the Sullivan brewing name was once the biggest of its kind in Ireland but fell into abeyance in the last century after an errant member of the family bet on, and lost, a horse race in 1918, resulting in the demise of the business.

The legendary Smithwick brewing family subsequently rescued the workforce and subsumed operations into their own brewery. The Smithwick family retained control of the name and are now behind its relaunch today.