Brewer William opening craft pub in Holywood

Bullhouse East will open next week and showcase own brews along with other craft beers

By Sam Butler
Saturday, 11th June 2022, 4:00 pm
William Mayne, founder of Bullhouse Brewery
William Mayne, founder of Bullhouse Brewery

Master brewer William Mayne will open the doors next week on Bullhouse East, a unique craft pub at Holywood Arches in east Belfast, that will showcase his own brews along with other craft beers and locally distilled spirits and ciders.

The new pub is part of a major investment by William, the founder of Bullhouse Brew Company in the Boucher district of south Belfast. He’s created the new Bullhouse East pub by converting the premises of a men’s outfitters into a modern pub that also features a sizeable patio overlooking the renowned CS Lewis Square and the popular walking and cycling network of the Connswater Greenway.

“It’s also just across the road from the Comber Greenway which is used daily and especially at weekend by walkers and cyclists. This means Bullhouse East is right at the heart of east Belfast and the Comber community’s,” adds William.

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Work continues to create an attractive setting

The pub will, in addition, offer a range of freshly cooked pizzas from wood-fired ovens installed in the vast patio. Cheese and charcuterie boards featuring local products will be available. There will be around 20 beer taps, a selection of quality wines and an off-sales retail shop.

“Owning my own pub specialising in craft beers is a dream come true for me,” William explains. “I’ve always wanted to create an outlet for my own craft beers as well as others from brewers here, in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. I’ll be showcasing brews from other parts of the world too.

“We’ve now a very vibrant craft brewing sector and a host of craft distilleries and award-winning cider producers. It will be great to be able to showcase them in this dynamic part of Belfast especially in such a developing community as the Greenway area and the rest of the city.”

William’s imaginative expansion into retailing follows the opening of Bullhouse’s brewery on the Boucher Road last year and the introduction of a taproom at the new brewery site.

The patio at Bullhouse East is taking shape

“The decision was sped up when we ordered another four brewing tanks from China which will allow us to treble our annual capacity to a max of 1,500 hectolitres or about 265,000 pints,” he explains.

He switched the brewery from its original site on a family farm near Newtownards when demand for his beers meant he needed greater space to expand.

“We had secured change of use to operate the brewery from that unit, and we really wanted to be involved in the great work Eastside Partnership is doing in the area. Our plan is to become an integral part of the local community as much as possible,” he adds.

The Belfast brewery, founded by William in March 2016, has also installed a fully automated canning line and is aiming to set up a new craft beer outlet in east Belfast. The brewery has a range of beer styles including India Pale Ale and Sour Pale and runs a successful taproom. All Bullhouse beers are also vegan. William is also liaising with food entrepreneur Johnny McDowell of Indie Fude deli on beer and cheese evenings.

William launched the business on a small scale and on a part-time basis, producing 400 litres of beer per batch, bottling and labelling each by hand and selling everything out of the back of his car. Demand soon began to outpace supply and so he enlisted the help of a local distributor and hasn’t looked back since. In September 2017, William decided to give up the day job and concentrate on the brewery full time. To celebrate the occasion, he brewed a pale ale and called it P45!

A strong commitment to perfection in his beers is matched with his enthusiasm for experimentation and innovative products.

William’s most successful beer remains one of his original brews - the Small Axe 4.3% session India Pale Ale.

“We take great pride in our environmentally friendly approach to brewing and packaging, and our involvement within the local community in both parts of Belfast,” he explains. “Our company is focused in liberalising the beer landscape in Northern Ireland by providing original, no-frills venues for the local community to experience and enjoy our brews and those of other craft brewers. Bullhouse East is a logical extension of this approach. We hope it will prove an important addition to existing and planned facilities in a busy part of the city.