Porterhouse owner Liam LaHart reveals how 'bigger breweries' tried to kill off his business
Liam LaHart has opened up on the skullduggery that he faced after opening up his first brewery with his late cousin, Oliver Hughes.
Liam LaHart, who founded the Porterhouse Brewing Company with his late cousin and business partner Oliver Hughes, has revealed the lengths bigger breweries would go to in order to kill off their first venture together, Harty's Brewery.
Speaking on The Architects of Business, in partnership with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™, Liam - who, along with Oliver, is credited with starting the popular craft beer movement in Ireland - revealed how his beer lines would be cut and bar owners would accept bribes in order to turn away his range of beers in the early days.
Ultimately, the failure of Harty's Brewery would result in the birth of the Porterhouse in 1996, but Liam says that it was a massive struggle to bring certain artisan beers into pubs in the early days.
"When we had the Harty’s Brewery - that was in the mid-'80s - when you think about how silly the bigger breweries were, they would be cutting our lines, our beer lines, they’d be saying to a bar owner, ‘listen I’ll give you two free kegs there, just get rid of those guys’," he told host Tadhg Enright.
“And this was just before your Smirnoff Ice, Bacardi Breezers, various sweetened ciders were coming on stream because the beer industry had got so boring.
"Whereas, and I’m sure they’re looking back now, they should have let us keep the thing interesting by having our beers on the counter. We were never going to be a threat because there was only so much we could produce. They should have let us go and make it interesting," added Liam who, along with Oliver, was a 2005 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ finalist.