Captivate your taste buds by meeting some the people who who deliver brilliant food and drink experiences around the island of Ireland.
This autumn Ireland is throwing open the doors to a celebration of the very best of the country’s food and drink. Island-wide, all kinds of restaurants, farmers markets, producers, festivals, tours and everything in between will be serving up a feast of unmissable food and drink.
Taste the Island will also be offering plenty of opportunities to meet the makers and hear the stories behind great Irish food products. It’s the perfect way to get to the heart of their craft, see how the soil-to-service journey happens and what makes Irish food and drink so good.
Start with a tipple and experience the whole process of cider making in the fertile ‘Orchard County’ of Armagh. Meet the McKeever family, who will take you from ‘blossom to bottle’ on a tour of their Long Meadow Farm (19 October). Pick some apples, see where the cider, apple juices and cider vinegar are made, and finish off with tea and coffee, slices of apple tart and Long Meadow Cider samples.
For those interested in meeting a foraging expert, head to Broughgammon Farm on the Causeway Coastal Route on 13 October. Professional forager Dermot Hughes will be there to share his extensive knowledge of foraging for wild edibles. Kick off the day with a farm walk, where you’ll learn all about what’s edible in the hedgerows in the autumn. Learn how to harvest safely and sustainably and see a demo using the foraged food.
Every Friday and Saturday in the autumn, the family-run Ardkeen Quality Food Store in Waterford city will be the place to be for tasting one of the world's best selections of Irish artisan food and drink. The superb in-store samplings and conversations with the small-batch makers of Ireland’s Ancient East will feature everything from the floury County Waterford ‘blaa’ bread, foraged cordials, heathery mountain lamb and botanical gin.
Sample the famous Co Waterford Blaa bread at family-run Ardkeen Food store
In Dublin, the Pearse Lyons Distillery is offering Meet the Distiller tours every Thursday (5 September to 7 November) as part of Taste the Island. On this tour you can see first-hand how a boutique distillery – in a restored church – operates, while smelling, touching, tasting and talking about every step of the distilling process. The tour finishes with a tasting of the award-winning Pearse Irish Whiskey range.
Elsewhere, you can meet pioneering brewer Adrienne Heslin and her team at the West Kerry Brewery to taste and discuss craft beer, sample Joe the Baker's sour dough, Pat O’Doherty’s famous black bacon, Tickety Moo ice cream, Boatyard Gin and more on an Enniskillen Taste Experience in the Fermanagh lakelands, or experience the delights of County Wicklow’s food and drink on a day trip to a country estate, a winery, a brewery and a distillery.
Meet the Makers – Wicklow is ideal for small groups of 10–16 people and will let you meet the chef of the historic Killruddery House and Estate and have a chat with Pamela and Brett of the Wicklow Way Winery, creators of Ireland’s first and only premium berry wines.
You will also meet Quincey or Simon, co-owners of the Wicklow Wolf Brewery, and enjoy an informal tour and tasting. Then on to enjoy whiskey samples and carefully selected food pairings at Powerscourt Distillery. Delicious.
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