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Southlake Style

Q&A with Shannon Carter

Mar 04, 2015 01:15PM ● By Dia

Brewmaster Shannon Carter of Shannon Brewery in Keller.

By Amy Reisner

We caught up with Shannon Carter at his brewery in Keller to discuss his Irish roots, Irish food and his take on green beer—is that even Irish?

Can you tell us a little bit about your Irish heritage?

My father was proud of our Irish heritage and made sure all his children—four of us—knew the stories of our background. Our family stereotypes are even humorous. My father was a policeman in Los Angeles. He walked his beat in downtown L.A. during the ’50s. He named all his kids [dual gender] Gaelic names: Kellie, Stacy, Shelton and Shannon. My wife and I continued
that tradition. My daughters’ names are Shawn and Riley.

Have you ever traveled to Ireland?

My travel to Ireland has been limited to business. However, I plan to rectify that starting this summer. My great grandfather was a brewer in Ireland. I plan on visiting some breweries and brewpubs in Ireland. I will be searching for some new recipes and hopefully bringing some ancient recipes back to North Texas. Additionally, Shannon Brewing Company plans to start hosting brewery tours to Ireland this year. We will take a limited number of guests to Ireland for a guided
tour of some well-known breweries and at least one distillery and [discover] some very well kept

Where are some great nearby places to experience a traditional Irish atmosphere— or close enough?

Trinity Hall (Dallas) has a great atmosphere and Irish music. Staggering Irishman (Dallas) is a fun place with a great selection of Irish beer and whiskey. The Idle Rich Pub (Dallas) is just an authentic Irish pub that’s worth the visit. And Dublin Square in Fort Worth is just fun!

What’s your favorite traditional Irish food?

My favorite Irish food has always been corned beef and cabbage. My wife [Mauri] makes the
best I have ever tasted with boiled potatoes—fantastic!

How do you plan on spending your St. Patrick’s Day?

We will be spending St. Patrick’s Day at our brewery. We plan to have some Irish music, hopefully some Irish dancers and, of course, plenty of our Shannon Irish red. We are also releasing a special beer around Saint Patrick’s: a dry hopped Irish red. This beer is similar to our traditional Irish red. However, we add hops to the secondary tank during fermentation to give the beer an amazing hop aroma—it’s like spring time in a bottle.

Inquiring minds want to know, and who better to ask than a brewer, what’s the story behind green beer?

People who turn beer green should not call themselves brewers. The Shannon Brewery will never serve a green beer. Here is the green beer story—as I understand it. During celebrations in early Ireland, beer could be in short supply.
Once the beer reserves had been consumed, those who wanted the celebration to continue
would take a pint from the fermenting beer. The not-completely fermented beer is referred to as “green beer.”