Crannóg Ales’ reputation appears to be growing, though not in exactly in a desirable way.
That visitors to the pastoral Sorrento micro-brewery should want to take home any of the award-winning organic ales produced onsite wouldn’t surprise Bob Beskydols, a recent addition to the Crannóg team. But at the brewery’s recent 10th anniversary celebration, little cuts of wood began disappearing off the site’s namesake attraction, a cedar crannóg. As a result, the damage to one of the structure’s support poles is bad enough that Beskydols is considering replacing it.
“It’s kind of looking a little bit dodgy; It’s got a little bit of dry rot on that one and maybe that’s why they took it off that one, because it was easier to get out,” says Beskydols who, despite the work ahead, isn’t terribly upset. Part of this has to do with the entertaining nature of the stories he’s since heard about what’s become of the crannóg cuttings.
“I heard some stories third-hand about somebody who said they used it so they could perform better with their wife, and I thought, ‘wow, interesting,’” says Beskydols, who has also heard of the cuttings being used as good luck charms for playing the lottery and other games of chance. “I think because they thought, well, it’s Irish, it might bring them a bit of luck, or they just think we’re the luckiest people up here or something.”
Beskydols says crannóg’s are typically a free-standing wooden thatch structure, common to both Ireland and Scotland, and places where agricultural land is at a premium.
“Actually, all over the world, they’re built for the same particular reason,” says Beskydols. “You don’t have a lot of places to grow your food on, so when you go to build, you want to build in a place where you’re not going to sacrifice that food land. So they build it off on bogs or offshore, to make more housing and storage.”
Beskydols doesn’t expect to see an epidemic of vandal crannóg cutters, but would prefer it if people refrained from pilfering structurally-important good-luck charms. Especially when the brewery is already hopping with growing demand.
“This is usually the slow time, but they said that we are really at capacity and not taking any more customers at all,” says Beskydols, who has been helping design new tanks for Crannóg’s brewmaster, Brian MacIsaac. “They’re ordering another tank just to get them over the hump, and Brian said something about getting an extra tank just to do some extra seasonal ales because they’re so swamped with the regular stuff. They want to do some more creative ales, and one-offs and things.”
To learn more about Crannóg Ales, visit www.crannogales.com.