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The 2021 awards season has truly been an excellent one for us here at Rye River Brewing Co.! Following our outstanding results at the World Beer Awards, our beers were once again put to the (taste) test at the Great Taste Awards in London and the Blas na hÉireann awards in Dingle, Co. Kerry. Curious about the results? Keep reading!

Great Taste 2021 Results

The Great Taste Awards is the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink awards. Organised by the Guild of Fine Foods, the Great Taste Awards supports both large and small food and drink producers across the globe. Great Taste judges look for a variety of qualities when blind-tasting products, including aroma, appearance, texture, and overall quality. Ultimately, awards are based on how great the product tastes and provide consumers a stamp of excellence on products. Learn more about the Great Taste right here.

We’re blown away by our results! This has been our best performance yet at the Great Taste awards and we’re immensely proud of our Rye River team for their continuous hard work and dedication to bringing you the best Rye River beers possible.

Blas na hÉireann 2021 Results

The Irish Food Awards, also known as Blas an hÉireann, celebrate the very best tasting Irish food and drink products from passionate and dedicated producers from all over the country. Products from every county in Ireland are entered with judges blind tasting products from a wide array of food and drink categories.

The Blas na hÉireann awards have the highest recognition amongst Irish consumers for quality Irish products. Curious to learn more? You can visit the Irish Food Awards website for more details!

Taste Our Beers!

Now it’s your turn! Curious where to find our beers? You’re in the right place!

Our Solas range is exclusively brewed for Tesco which you will be able to find in-store and online.

Grafters is exclusively brewed for Dunnes Stores.

And Lidl carries our full range of The Crafty Brewing Co. in stores all across Ireland!

Let us know what you think! Tag us in your photos on social media too if you’re in the sharing mood. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for some great brewery content!

Here at Rye River Brewing Company, we are very into what we put into our beers. We use hand selected malts with different combinations for over 30 unique recipes, including several Red Ales.

So if Red Ale is your jam, we’ve got you covered!


McGargles Granny’s Red Ale

Granny’s Irish Red Ale is a multi-award winning Red Ale with 11 accolades to date, including a prestigious World Beer Award. It is a balanced Irish Red with caramel and dark fruit undertones. Brewed with earthy hops and a combination of Vienna and Cara Munich malt, it has a deep colour and rich aromatic flavour. It is a great representation of a true Irish Red Ale and at 4.4% is a sessionable beer.

McGargles Granny’s Red Ale is available in all good retailers across Ireland, throughout Europe in countries including Italy, France, Germany and Denmark, and in Malaysia though Cave & Cellar. It is also popular in Sweden and comes highly recommended by Vin Journalen in their blog here.


Solas Irish Red

We let the natural ingredients shine through in our Solas range and the Red is no exception. It is complex and malty, with flavours to savour of toffee, dark malt and fresh roast, all livened by a single hop aroma.

This Blas na hEireann winner has an ABV of 4.3% and is available exclusively in the Republic of Ireland in Tesco stores nationwide.


The Crafty Brewing Co. Red Ale

This full flavoured ale has a slightly sweet and fruity aroma with a dash of roast. The single aroma hop comes through in the taste and like any gentleman, leaves a great lasting impression. Clocking in at 4.1%, this red ale was a winner at the 2019 and 2020 World Beer Awards.

The Crafty Brewing Co. Red Ale is exclusively available in Lidl, both in Ireland and internationally.

In what has been a strange and challenging year we are making sure to celebrate the wins when they come! As awards season 2020 comes to a close, we are humbled to have won 36 accolades this year!


World Beer Awards 2020

Thirty of our awards were at the World Beer Awards, twenty-six of which were in the fiercely contested Taste category. Our beers were judged alongside over 2,200 beers from more than 50 countries worldwide. The remaining accolades were in the Design category, collaborating with Greenhouse to create eye-catching, and now award-winning, packaging for our exciting range of beers.

Our biggest awards were for:

  1. World’s Best Stout for McGargles Sean’s Export Stout
  2. World’s Best Imperial/Double IPA for McGargles Dan’s Double IPA
  3. World’s Best American Style IPA for Rye River Seasonal Miami J
  4. World’s Best American Wheat for The Crafty Brewing Company American Style Wheat Ale

Ireland’s Best Lager Helles/Münchner is another accolade we received for our Rye River label Helles Lager.

To top it off, we won 2 Gold Medals, 11 Silver Medals and 7 Bronze Medals. This is our best performance (so far!) at the World Beer Awards and for the second consecutive year we are The Most Decorated Independent Craft Brewery in the World.


Founder and Managing Director Tom Cronin had this to say: We are elated with our success at the 2020 World Beer Awards, in particular, our 4 Best in Style awards, including Best American Style IPA for the second consecutive year. I believe our success is driven by our dedicated team of brewers and the wider production team, our persistent pursuit of perfection in process and our uncompromising focus on quality, all of which culminate to deliver consistently exceptional beers. Our accomplishments at the 2020 WBAs have acted as a significant endorsement for our beers on the international craft beer stage.”


Blas na hEireann 2020

Shortly after the World Beer Awards, our winning streak continued at Blas na hEireann. We were awarded 5 further accolades for our retail exclusive brands;

  1. Gold Winner: Grafters Working Day IPA, exclusively brewed for Dunnes Stores
  2. Silver Winner: The Crafty Brewing Company American Style Brown Ale, exclusively brewed for Lidl Ireland
  3. Silver Winner: The Crafty Brewing Company Lager, exclusively brewed for Lidl Ireland
  4. Bronze Winner: Solas Irish Red Ale, exclusively brewed for Tesco Ireland
  5. Bronze Winner: The Crafty Brewing Company Stout, exclusively brewed for Lidl Ireland


Great Taste Awards 2020

Just recently we were awarded 1 Star at the Great Taste Awards for Solas Belgian White, exclusively brewed for Tesco Ireland.


2020 has been our most successful to date and it highlights the skill and dedication of our wonderful team. Never complacent though, we’ve already got our eyes on the prizes for next year!

We are proud to announce that seven of our beers have reached the finals of Blas na hEireann, The Irish Food Awards 2020.

Blas na hEireann is the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island of Ireland, celebrating and rewarding the very best tasting Irish food and drink products, and the passionate, driven producers who make them.

The overall winners will be announced in October but in the meantime, make sure you check out the Rye River brewed beers that are in the running for these illustrious awards!

Grafters Working Day IPA  

Big, bold and tasty, this American style IPA is full-on flavour, delivering a massive hit of juicy, citrus fruits.

Grafters Clocking Off Kolsch Style

A crisp rounded body that delivers a light malt sweetness and finishes with orange zest bitterness.

The Grafters range is available exclusively in Dunnes Stores, Nationwide

Solas Irish Red Ale

A timeless Red Ale, complex and malty. Flavours to savour of toffee, dark fruit and fresh roast, all livened by a single hop aroma.

Solas Irish Stout

A modern take on a traditional beer. This Irish Stout brings forward notes of dark chocolate with hints of coffee and dark fruit. Take a journey into the dark side of malt.

The Solas range is available exclusively in Tesco, Nationwide

The Crafty Brewing Company Lager

This Irish Craft Lager is clean and crisp with a prominent hop character that comes from the Tradition and Hersbrucker hop varieties. Its jewel toned colour is indicative of a rich and deep flavour. A true joy to taste.

The Crafty Brewing Company Stout

This Irish Craft Stout is full bodied with coffee and chocolate aromas. The depth of flavour is attributed to speciality roast malts balanced by the right bittering hop. An assured favourite for any stout fan.

The Crafty Brewing Company American Style Brown Ale

This American style brown ale is medium bodied with notes of dark fruits and coffee mixed with floral and spiced hops.  Tastes of chocolate and medium roast coffee lead to a light toffee, low bitterness and malty finish.

The Crafty Brewing Company range is available exclusively in Lidl, Nationwide

Update: an earlier version of this blog stated that we had 6 beers in the finals. It has been updated to reflect that Grafters Clocking Off Kolsch also made the final round.

We collaborated with top chef Sham Hanifa to make some great Beer & Food recipes.

McGargles Stout Pulled Beef Tacos 🌮


Spice Mix 

• 1 tbsp Paprika •

1 tsp All Spice powder

• 1 tsp cumin powder

• 2 tsp garlic powder

• 1 tsp each of salt and pepper


• 1 – 2 tbsp oil

• 1.2 kg beef chuck, brisket or any other slow cooking beef; cut into chunks

• 3 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 onion, chopped

• 500ml McGargles Stout

• 400g tinned chopped tomatoes

• 500ml beef broth/stock • 200ml water

• 2 tbsp brown sugar

• 1 handful chopped fresh coriander

• 1 handful chopped fresh mint 

• Salt and pepper


• Combine the Spice Mix ingredients in a bowl

• Rub the spices on to the beef

• Heat the oil in a large heavy based pot over a high heat

• Add the beef and brown well on all sides

• Remove onto a plate

• Turn the stove down to medium

• Add the garlic and onion and cook for 3 minutes until soft

• Pour in the stout and chopped tomatoes

• Add the beef stock and water, then return the beef into the pot • Put the lid on, bring to a simmer then turn the stove down so it is bubbling gently, not rapidly

• Cook for 2 hours, then remove the lid and add the sugar and chopped herbs and simmer for another 30 minutes until beef is tender enough to shred

• Remove the beef from the sauce, shred with 2 forks

• Leave the sauce to simmer with the lid off for 10 to 15 minutes to reduce and thicken to your taste. Adjust salt to taste

• Toss the beef back into the sauce (you can reserve some Sauce for drizzling on tacos if you want, there’s plenty)

• Transfer the beef into a large dish and serve

• Enjoy with a glass of McGargles Stout! 🍻


Crafty Brewing Co. Pale Ale Prawn & Chorizo Linguine 


• 180g Prawns

• 1 tbsp Olive Oil

• 50gm Chorizo

• 1 Shallot, finely chopped

• 1 stick of Celery, diced

• 100ml Crafty Brewing Pale Ale

• 1 Tomato diced

• 1 Clove of Garlic

• ¼ tsp Black Pepper

• 1 Pinch Salt

• 200g Linguine Pasta

• 3 tbsp. Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley


• Cook the linguine according to the packet directions until al dente, then drain

• In a pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat

• Fry the chopped chorizo until it is crisp, about 3 minutes

• With a slotted spoon, remove the chorizo from the pan to a paper towel and let drain

• Add the onion, garlic, chili, and celery to the fat in the pan

• Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes

• Pour in the Pale Ale and bring to a boil • Add the prawn and tomato, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 6 minutes #

•Add the pasta and cooked chorizo to the pan and toss to coat

• Sprinkle with the parsley

• Enjoy with a glass of Crafty Brewing Co. Pale Ale! 🍺


Steamed Mussels in Solas Session IPA 🍽


• 1kg fresh mussels

• 150ml Solas Session IPA

• 1 shallot, thinly sliced

• 1 tablespoon oil

• 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped

• 1 red chilli, sliced

• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

• 1 knob of butter

• 1 lime


• To make the base; in a medium wide saute pan, add the oil and bring to a medium high heat. Add the shallot, chilli and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes.

• Add the mussels to the pan, then the Session IPA and reduce the heat to medium and cover. Simmer for approximately 5-7 minutes until the mussels begin to open.

• Turn the heat off. Add the butter and parsley and stir well. Don’t overcook the mussels. You just want to make sure they all open well.

• Squeeze lime over to taste and serve with toasted sourdough bread brushed with olive oil and a glass of Solas Session IPA! 🍺

⚠️ NOTE: Very important: When prepping, rinse the mussels well in cold water in a colander. Make sure that you discard any opened mussels that do not close if you tap them a couple of times.⚠️


The Crafty Brewing Co. Red Ale Barbecue Glaze 🍗

This recipe can be used to marinate chicken wings or drumsticks, lamb chops, pork chops and much more. After marinating for a minimum of 2 hours, cook in the oven for 25 minutes or grill over the barbeque.


• 150ml The Crafty Brewing Co. Red Ale

• 1 cup Tomato Sauce

• 1 cup Sweet Soya Sauce

• 2 tbsp Honey

• 1 tbsp Chilli Powder

• 1 tbsp Paprika

• 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

• 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

• 1 tbsp Chopped Garlic

• 1 tbsp Chopped Onion

• 2-3 Sprigs Chopped Thyme

• Salt and ground black pepper


• Place all the ingredients in a large bowl

• Mix well together

• Marinate your meat for at least 2 hours before cooking

• Enjoy with a glass of The Crafty Brewing Co. Red Ale 🍺

The prestigious Great Taste Awards have been described as the ‘Oscars of the food world’! They are organised by the Guild of Fine Food and they shine a light on the very best quality food and drinks. The focus is very much on the taste of the products rather than any fancy packaging or clever marketing.

We are delighted to announce that we were awarded stars for seven of the beers we brew here at Rye River Brewing. As this once again highlights our dedication to brewing world class beers!

Rye River wins Great Taste Awards

The Grafters Working Day IPA and Clocking Off Kolsch both were deemed worthy of Two Stars in this year’s Great Taste Awards. Grafters Working Day IPA makes a perfect finish to any day with it’s delicious hoppy bite. Grafters Clocking Off Kolsch is true to style and is very easy to drink with some barbeque. You can find these beers in Dunnes Stores nationwide.


The Solas Brown Porter, Session IPA and Belgian Wit were all awarded One Star each. The judges had this to say about the beers: Solas Brown Porter is ‘A deep caramel coloured beer, this delivers vivid coffee notes on the nose that follow through well onto the palate with a richness that lingers brilliantly on the palate.’ Solas Session IPA has ‘..quite a juicy fruit flavour, with some well-balanced bitterness from the hops and an almost chewy mouthfeel.’Solas Belgian Wit  has ‘All the elements of a Belgian wheat beer but with a light hand – more delicate than some of the spicier and heavier Belgian wheat beers, which can be cloying.’ These beers are sold in Tesco stores across Ireland.

The Crafty Brewing Company Irish Lager and Irish Pale Ale were both awarded One Star. The Crafty Brewing Irish Lager is brewed in the traditional European Pilsner style and noble hops give it a refreshing lightly bitter taste. It is also lagered for a minimum of 35 days. Ella is used in The Crafty Brewing Company Irish Pale Ale to give it a distinctive hop aroma. These beers are available exclusively in Lidl stores.

This Great Taste Award winning line up is a credit to our brewing team. They are rightly very proud of these beers! Why not pick up some to try over the weekend? You can celebrate this success with us!

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