Pub to celebrate convict past with beer

THE Irish Launceston is joining the boutique beer scene.

Formerly known as Irish Murphy's, the popular drinking hole will release its house brew called Bearded Felon at The Esk BeerFest on January 17.

Owner James Harding said the pub had teamed up with craft beer specialists Morrison Brewery to create a traditional Irish lager with a modern influence.

``The ingredients include two American hops with one Australian hop and it is a red ale, dark ale,'' Mr Harding said.

``We created three batches that were quite different and we have chosen a winner.

``We are doing it as a nod to the past of the pub . . . to celebrate the findings of our original owner (Josiah Pitcher) who was a convict  - that's why we have called it the Bearded Felon and after the festival it will be our house beer at Irish.''

Pitcher came to Van Diemens Land aboard the Hibernia in 1818 and was released in 1829.

He named the pub on the corner of Bathurst and Brisbane streets the Hibernia Hotel.

The Esk BeerFest will offer beer and cider fans a full weekend to revel in the state's amber liquid producing, drinking culture and heritage.

Several Tasmanian meat and seafood producers will also be in attendance.

The Esk BeerFest will be held on January, 17 and 18 in William Street, Launceston.

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