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Patrick McAliskey: Former Novosco Managing Director

Tech Entrepreneur Patrick McAliskey launches Lurgan based brewery

Spadetown – the Lurgan-based brewery co-founded by Patrick McAliskey who was behind tech success Novosco – has announced that its beers are already on sale in off sales in all six counties of Northern Ireland.


Four packs on Spadetown cans in three varieties – Long Face Lager, Po Faced Pils and an IPA called IPAHHHH – first went on sale in Lurgan in December. Off sales in other parts of Armagh, as well as in Antrim, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone have followed, meaning that the beers are now stocked in over 25 outlets. And the number is expected to rise to over 50 by the end of March.


Stockists include leading craft beer off sales including The Sipster in Jordanstown and the Vineyard on Belfast’s Ormeau Road, as well as a wide range of other leading off sales.

Spadetown, which was founded by a group of local people with a passion for beer, is now also selling its beers on draft in a number of local pubs with more expected to follow soon.


Based at Silverwood Industrial Estate, Spadetown Brewery was founded by Lurgan-natives Patrick McAliskey, Vernon Fox, and Martin Dummigan. A significant investment has been made to create the brewery, which recently gained its various licenses to brew and sell beer.


Co-founder Patrick McAliskey who sold Novosco in 2019 and is currently part-time chairman of software business Decision Time said: “This is a really exciting start for Spadetown. We have fantastic distributors helping us secure a growing number of listings in Northern Ireland, and we are negotiating deals for distribution in the rest of Ireland. By delivering what consumers want – high quality craft beer with pure ingredients and local sourcing – we expect to grow Spadetown significantly this year, benefiting the local area in Lurgan.”


There are also plans by the group to create a distillery based in Lurgan; the first in the town since 1837. It will go under the name Lough Neagh Distillers when it opens in 2022.


Speaking whenever plans for the brewery and distillery were announced earlier this year, Vernon Fox said: “I have long wanted to open a brewery and distillery in Lurgan, drawing on centuries of tradition, given that Lurgan was home to one of the island’s largest distilleries – Greer’s Distillery – until it burnt down in 1837, and that the wider area was previously a hub for micro brewing.


“My plans to do so were put on hold due to the pandemic but that has become a positive as it led to new conversations with other local people who are passionate about the area’s brewing and distilling heritage, and to new investment and even bigger plans as a result.


“We want to rekindle Lurgan’s deep history with distilling and the history of brewing on the southern shores of Lough Neagh. We want to build brands and products that will connect with customers locally and around the world, leading to job creation, further investment in Lurgan, and more visitors to the local area,” he continued.


“Our philosophy is to do things in the right way, building a great business culture and brilliant environment for our team to work in, having the best equipment and processes to produce fantastic products, and doing things sustainably. As part of this, the brewery and distillery will become entirely carbon neutral” he adds.

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