August 28th, 2015 – Even before they chose Dwyer’s Ire to represent their brewery at this year’s Great American Beer Festival, Factotum Brewhouse owners Chris and Laura Bruns recognized something special about Dwyer’s Ire. Not only would the beer become one of Factotum Brewhouse’s most popular beers, it even united two families over a shared ancestor. As Chris put it, “Every beer brewed at Factotum has a history but not all of them as rich as that of Dwyer’s Ire Irish Red.”
That history dates back to guest brewer Craig Hewitt’s great-great grandfather, Patrick Athanasius Dwyer, for whom the beer is named. For Craig and his family, Dwyer’s Ire is a celebration of their Irish heritage and a tribute to their ancestry. From the style of the beer to the ingredients they chose to craft it, Dwyer’s Ire pays homage to its Irish roots, but it’s also a truly American beer.
Hewitt was inspired to create Dwyer’s Ire in honor of Patrick Dwyer, and other Irish immigrants like him, who bravely volunteered to fight for our country in the American Civil War. In fact, the Irish soldiers tales of heroism are now stuff of legend. Patrick, in particular, fought with the 9th Massachusetts Regiment of the Union Army, a regiment of predominantly Irish immigrants. As a source of pride, the regiment carried a green battle flag to symbolize their Irish heritage.
This flag was made famous in the early stages of the war at the Battle of Gaines Mill, when the 9th Mass withstood an all-out attack from renowned Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson. Even when taking heavy casualties, the 9th stood its ground against wave after wave of Confederate forces. Although it was technically a loss for the Union army, word of the “Glorious Ninth” spread throughout the North, and their exemplary courage was used as a rallying cry to inspire other Irish immigrants to join the Union cause.
The 9th Massachusetts became one of the hallowed “green flag regiments”, and they would continue to carry their signature battle flag throughout the course of the Civil War. This flag, which mixes traditional American and Irish symbols, served as the inspiration for the Dwyer’s Ire logo. For a beer with such a storied background, it seemed only appropriate that the logo, too, should be steeped with history. Four weeks from now, America will be able to get a taste of that history.