Local Stories: The Wicklow Wolf

The traditional craft of brewing serves up exciting new tastes to savour – and the Wicklow Wolf Brewing Company's creations are leading the pack. Thanks to two friends with a shared love of good beer, the once-extinct Wicklow Wolf has returned to its ancestral home.
View of Bray Head from the seafront

Watch The Wicklow Wolf Story

Watch The Wicklow Wolf Story
It all started with the name. The team deliberated over what to call the brewery, eventually deciding on ‘Wicklow Wolf’ because it’s a powerful, assertive symbol; the last of its kind was killed in the area in 1758; and – in a happy coincidence – the common hop they grow and use is called Humulus Lupulus (‘lupulus’ meaning ‘little wolf’ in Latin).

"Wicklow is central and vital to everything we do here" says Quincey Fennelly, co-founder of the Wicklow Wolf Brewing Company (along with business partner Simon Lynch). It’s clear to see that the landscape has not only inspired the brewer’s craft, but its flora and fauna play a huge part in the finished product’s taste. With a brew house located in urban seaside Bray and the hop farm in the rural hills of Roundwood, they highlight the finest aspects of the county – both north and south.
Wicklow Wolf co-founder Quincey serving a pint
A pint of Wicklow Wolf beer
Wicklow Wolf Co-Founders Simon and Quincey
Left: Quincey serving a pint of their finest | Middle: An example of Wicklow Wolf's craft | Right: Co-founders Simon and Quincey
"Beer is made from four simple ingredients: malted barley, water, hops and yeast" – no surprises for aficionados there, though Quincey does believe that Wicklow Wolf have a distinct advantage as the very best of all four are right on the doorstep.

But however humble the beginnings, there are innovations and surprises in store – the brewery now have eight beehives to produce their own honey. The abundance of wild flowers, untamed hedgerows, and heather growing on nearby Djouce Mountain produce a richly-flavoured nectar – a key ingredient in 'Wolf Kiss', a recent blond ale collaboration with a Danish brewer.
Beekeeping in Wicklow Wolf's own hives
The Harbour Bar
View of Bray
Left: Beekeeping in the brewery's own hives | Middle: The Harbour Bar | Right: Bray - between the sea and mountains
With all this natural bounty available, it's easy to understand the attraction to Wicklow – but why Bray? “It's really important that we have the brewery here...because it's the in-between spot – between the sea and the mountains” Quincey explains. “The locals are really proud of having their own beer – they regard Wicklow Wolf as their beer, and we regard the people of Bray as our people."

When it comes to recommending neighbourhood haunts, up by the hop farm The Roundwood Inn is a popular choice. While down in Bray, one of Quincey’s favourites near the brewery is The Harbour Bar – "A really, really cool spot, with something for everyone." Then there's Cowfish – with a delicious variety of fresh fish and beef dishes to enjoy by the seafront, it's one of his top food picks.
Picturesque Wicklow signpost
The Triton Fountain, Powerscourt Estate
Left: Serene Glendalough view | Middle: A Wicklow signpost | Right: The Triton Fountain, Powerscourt Estate
There’s so much to explore and admire all around the area, from glorious Glendalough ("the most scenic place in County Wicklow") to the magnificent Powerscourt Estate. With its lush landscapes, the Garden County lives up to its name at every turn – it's no wonder the surroundings are so spellbinding for those who spend time here.

Quincey himself fully appreciates this special place from which the Wicklow Wolf springs – “Wicklow is the most beautiful county in Ireland. A part of Ireland's Ancient East, from mountains to farmlands, beaches to towns – it has everything that you could need.”

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