Mescan Brewery


Mescan Brewery

Mescan Brewery, a microbrewery in the shadow of Croagh Patrick, manufactures Belgian-style craft beer using all natural ingredients, including malt, hops, yeast and spring water from their own well.

Legend has it St Patrick had his own brewer, a priest named Mescan; excellent provenance for company owners Cillian and Bart’s new enterprise, which, by their own admission is partly “a rebellion against their day jobs.” Both are vets by profession, with a passion for the fine art of micro-brewing and eager to do something different that allowed them pursue their own personal interests. The fact that Bart is from Belgium also had a significant influence on the project.

Still very much in its infancy stage, interest in Mayo-produced craft beer has well exceeded expectations at Mescan Brewery. “We haven’t even gone in search of business yet and are already turning away potential customers, such is demand.” Although both Cillian and Bart continue to work in their professional veterinary posts, Bart intends to dedicate his time fully to the brewery if demand continues apace. The key challenge these microbrewers currently face is keeping up with demand!

Their advice for fellow entrepreneurial types is to “believe in what you are doing. You have to be resilient and not take no for an answer.” In discussing the challenges involved in setting up a business, paperwork and bureaucracy was identified as a necessary evil.

Mayo CEB provided Priming Grant assistance to help Cillian & Bart with essential capital investment in the brewing and bottling processes. The brewers’ experience of the County Enterprise Board has been very positive. Cillian outlined that the County Enterprise Board had helped their company develop at a critical stage. “We wish we could have got twice the money and that there was no refundable aid, but in general our experience has been excellent.” Cillian was adamant that “without funding from Mayo County Enterprise Board, we were in danger of not getting our project off the ground.

Despite yet being in its infancy, the future looks bright for Mescan Brewery. Bart and Cillian have some advice for individuals thinking about starting their own business. “It is important to be prepared. Be willing to get up when you get knocked down. It will take much longer than you think and you will meet many challenges on the way. Speak to agencies that can help. We wish we had known about the County Enterprise Board, now Local Enterprise Office earlier than we did. It is essential to identify and partner with agencies that will take a step by step approach and help you grow your business.