Showing posts with label Festival. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Festival. Show all posts

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Sour Theme! This Weekend's Franciscan Well October Festival

A Sour Theme!
This Weekend's Franciscan Well October Festival
Rodenbach cocktail

Sour is a big topic in Irish craft beer at present and indeed is the core theme at this weekend’s 17th annual Franciscan Well October Beerfest.

Beer expert Barry Fitzgerald has been involved in 16 of the 17 and was our host at an opening tasting event in their upstairs bar on Thursday evening, following a warm welcome from Marketing Manager Kate Clancy.  

Barry reckons that over a 1,000 new beers have been tasted in this festival on the North Mall, “always a new experience”. “It is the longest continuously running beer festival in the country…. it has evolved into a tasting menu, all about flavour, and this weekend’s menu reflects that.”

There are some twenty-six imported beers, all special but some very special indeed, on the menu card this time, available by the pint, the half-pint and the third-pint. Barry picked three sours, by well established breweries, for the tasting session, three that you could profitably note if calling in over the weekend (the festival continues today, Saturday and Sunday, from 1.00pm each day).

The first was from Belgium, a sour brown (8% abv) Goudenband (gold band) by Liefman in Oudenaarde; quite an experience. This is a mixed fermentation beer with re-fermentation in the bottle. “It is made by the year, is different each year, you can lay it down and it will last forever. This is the 2016, its first time in Ireland and may never be here again. We have just a small amount for the festival.”

“You notice cherry, but there is no fruit used in it, the flavour comes form the basic ingredients, the ageing and the wild yeast. It is winey, leather notes, very complex. If you like sour, this is a very good one!” 

Quite an amazing beer really, a real treat with a super balance, quite a sophisticated drink and a long long way from local sours that I've tasted recently. Much more detail on this beer here.

Next up was a UK/Norway collaboration between the Buxton and Lervig breweries, a gooseberry sour IPA at 7.00%, “brewed to celebrate friendship and a love of wild places”. The name of the beer is Trolltunga and you’ll get some detail on it here

There is fruit in this one as it’s packed with sour gooseberries, “cookers” as Barry said. And there was instant agreement as lips puckered up alarmingly around the tasting tables! This was really sour. “It is at the cutting edge of the new sours…wild yeast…open fermentation.” If you are getting in to sours, this is hardly the one to start with. As for me, I was in the minority that liked it. Then again, I sometimes get incredulous looks when I drink Campari neat. “How do you do that?”
Much different to the other two, which I also liked.

Back to Belgium then to complete the hat trick, Barry saving the best until last: The Rodenbach Gran Cru Sour red/brown at 6%, a blend of 1/3rd young beer and 2/3 of beer aged two years in large oak vats, giving fruity taste, complexity and intensity. Barry told us this Flemish Sour Ale has its own AOC. “It takes over two years to make (even the angel’s share happens here) and young beer is added to restart fermentation.”

“It is more like a traditional beer, the flavours primarily from the oak cask and the wild yeast.” It was certainly more approachable than the previous one and went down really well in the group. Lots more info on it here.  By the way, the festival list also features another outstanding beer from this brewery, the Caractere.

Upstairs at the Franciscan Well is where’ll you’ll find Ireland’s first and only brewhouse cocktail bar. Dean was ready to shake but he was determined to respect the Rodenbach which would be the base for our cocktail. For instance, even the detail of garnish was given due consideration by Dean who put aside the normal basil in favour of sage, considering the basil too aromatic for the beer.

So, to 60ml of Rodenbach, the mixologist added Tobacco and Honey rum, lime juice, Bermuda rum, Cotes du Rhone red, and ice of course. It was a superb finale to an eye-opening session in the bar which is soon to be re-named and Dean and company are determined that the cocktails will reflect what goes on in the brewhouse, getting as many as possible of their ingredients from the beer-making process. Sounds like a good plan. Here’s to checking it out, with Barry of course, during festival #18 next year!

Monday, August 21, 2017

FEAST in the East. Midleton Festival Expands.

FEAST in the East.
Midleton Festival Expands.
Rory O'Connell
I've been dipping into the FEAST website to see what's in store for visitors to East Cork in early September......

FEAST, the expanded East Cork Food and Drink Festival 2017, is building on a strong foundation laid by the 14 years experience of the Midleton Festival. Events will run from 4th to 10th September with the family favourite, the Street Festival, on Saturday 9th September.
Bayview Terrace

Before the big day on the Saturday, there are quite a few restaurant highlights, beginning at the Bayview Hotel on Monday the 4th, where you are invited to “immerse yourself in the tastes, scents, sights and sounds of our Wild Atlantic Bounty... Be astounded by the creative, conjuring of Ciarán and his team over a Five-Course Tasting Menu... Drink it all in from the cliffside-splendour that is the Bayview at Ballycotton overlooking Ballycotton Bay and Harbour.”

The evening begins at 6pm with drinks on the spectacularly situated terrace, “followed by Ciarán’s imaginative and poetic Five-Course Seafood Celebration Menu and accompanying wines at 6.45pm.”
Demos galore

On the Tuesday, award-winning Chef Kevin Aherne invites you to join him in his SAGE Courtyard for a unique and memorable culinary event. Kevin will conjure up a Feast inspired by bygone eras and serve it in a traditional long table setting. Think roast pig, stuffed game birds, whole fish cooked on an open fire, ales, traditional cider, rounds of cheese, pies and tarts. Guests will dine outside under the heated canopy.
Ferrit & Lee

On the Wednesday, you may enjoy A Taste of East Cork in the Ferrit & Lee Restaurant, Distillery Walk, Midleton. To celebrate FEAST (East Cork Food and Drink Festival), they are hosting an event to showcase some of the fine produce East Cork has to offer. “We will be serving a 5 course tasting menu including two glasses of wine. There are only 40 seats available so booking early is advisable!”

Next up, on the Thursday, is a visit to Ballymaloe. The evening will begin at 7pm with Cocktails in the Walled Garden with Andy Ferreira (2017's World Class Irish Mixologist of the Year 2017 and representing Ireland in the World Class Global Final in Mexico). Andy will be using herbs foraged in the garden at Ballymaloe House. 

Dinner will be served at 8pm in the Long Dining Room in the house and the 3 course 'Seasonal Supper' menu will be written and prepared by Rory O'Connell, Ballymaloe Cookery School co-founder and teacher, author, TV personality and former Head Chef at Ballymaloe House.

On the Friday, why not head to Rostellan for the Chocolate, Cheese & Shellfish at Rostellan Chocolate. “We are showcasing our local food producers featuring Ballinrostig Homestead cheeses and local shellfish supplier Michael Barrett (The Lobsterman). We will be matching their produce with our wines and prosecco and we will also provide our coffees teas and Rostellan Hot Chocolate in our historic Courtyard. The event, which is not ticketed, is from 5pm to 8pm on Friday 8th Sept with live music so come early to avoid disappointment!”
Grow It Yourself (GIY). Advice, demos by the Courthouse in Midleton

And then comes Saturday, the Major Event; all over Midleton town there are events and demos galore:  Cooking Demos; Gin Demo; Grow Your Own Demo  (outside the courthouse);  The Long Table;  the Restaurant Tent. 

The usual Farmers Market will be on and look out for help and info from the folks of GIY. There is a Kids Area with Music Shows and Puppet Shows, Amusements of course. And you’ll also come across a Vintage Fair. A massive day, packed with food and fun.                               

For details on the Saturday and all the events during the week, click on the FEAST website here 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Festival Cork’s inaugural Dessert Festival!

Week of events planned across Cork for Festival Cork’s inaugural Dessert Festival!

Following on from the success of hugely popular Burger Festival and more recently the Whiskey Festival the team at Festival Cork are delighted to announce their latest event
“ Cork Dessert Festival” running from June 26th to July 2nd - a festival showcasing the finest confections that Cork has to offer.

Ernest Cantillon and Eimear McCarthy festival organisers made the announcement this week:
 “We are very fortunate to have an abundance of quality producers and food outlets in Cork. Following the huge success of our previous festivals and the overwhelming support from businesses and visitors alike it was an easy decision for us to launch our newest event Cork’s very own Dessert Festival”

Across the week a number of well known venues including Electric, Sober Lane and Cafe Velo will pull out all the stops to deliver tastings, workshops and events allowing businesses & producers to promote their dessert offerings in a fun and innovative manner.

“The festival promises to appeal to everyone from the  sweet toothed dessert enthusiast to the master confectioner.” Ernest said, “We hope to showcase some of the finest desserts and allow for a few surprises along the way.”

The Dessert Festival is the first of it’s kind in Cork and if the previous events hosted by Festival Cork are anything to go by it promises to be a real treat.

Stay connected with the festival through
Facebook @Festivalsincork,
Twitter: @Festival_Cork and

If you would like to get involved in the festival please email  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Food and Drink Spotting

Food and Drink Spotting
Walnut and Date cake via Lorge Chocolatier Kenmare.
See his delicious chocolate and nougat and more at
this weekend's Kenmare Food Carnival.
Farmer's Market for Camphire International Horse Trials & Festival

Local food and craft producers from across the region are set to feature at the Camphire International Horse Trials which will take place in west Waterford from July 26 to 28.

For those with a sweet tooth Maurice Butler from the Dungarvan based Butler’s traditional Ice cream will be on hand to ensure visitors enjoy some of Ireland’s finest handmade Ice-cream, Baldwin’s Farmhouse Ice-cream from Knockanore and Candy Rock Lane from Cork will also be on hand with sweet treats.

The Summerhouse Café from Lismore will be onsite with their popular local produce along with Helen Murphy’s Catering whilst Volcano Wood Fired Pizza will serve up delicious artisan pizza from their mobile wood fired pizza oven.

According to Festival Organiser, Billy Garvey, “Visitors to Camphire will be able to sample some wonderful local food produce whilst enjoying all the equestrian action of the Trials.  Furthermore, the wonderful views of the Blackwater valley provide a truly unique setting to enjoy what will be a great weekend in our outdoor Village.”

Free Wine and Poetry!
Don’t miss the Free wine at Felix Dennis's poetry readings this week in Dublin and Cork - there's gallons of it, according to Stuart of From Vineyards Direct. Dennis is “one of the most popular, critically acclaimed poets of recent times attracting thousands of dedicated fans across the globe”. Check him out here
 €20 - Tickets / €10 Concessions (Includes pretty much unlimited FVD Wine.....a good time guaranteed). 
Dublin - Thursday 11th July
The Button Factory
 Cork - Saturday 13th July
The Firkin Crane  

Galway’s Masquerade Extravaganza

A carnival of masked revellers, led by a lively band, will wind through Galway’s medieval streets on Saturday 28th September during the highly anticipated Gala ‘Mardi Gras’ style masquerade event, sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants.

Combining five bands, three venues and one great party, the evening is tipped to be the 2013 festival highlight! Guests are invited to don their most colourful clothes and captivating masquerade masks as they venture on the movable feast. In each of the three venues, guests will indulge in a different course of delicious seafood while being entertained by live performances ’til the wee hours.

The Galway Oyster Festival has been hailed by the Sunday Times as “one of the 12 greatest shows on earth” and ranks in the AA Travel Guide among Europe‘s 7 Best Festivals as well as most recently winning a place in the Independent UK 10 Best Food Festivals.

As this vibrant city pulls out all the stops for The Gathering, 2013 is the year to taste the celebrated hospitality and vibrant atmosphere that is gloriously Galway. More info from

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cork French Food and Wine Festival

Cork French Food and Wine Festival

The Cork French Food and Wine Festival returns to Cork this May being hosted in St Patrick's Woolen Mills, Douglas, Cork. 

The three day event is set to be an interesting mix of the Best of French Cuisine, French wines with French cabaret and Music and add a certain 'je ne sais quoi' at the Douglas venue. It also includes a French Food trail in Cork City as Cork Favourite restaurants are including a French dish on their menus. 

Thursday 9th at 7pm: BANQUET A LA FRANCAISE.
A Suprise seven courses menu prepared by chef Michael Flemings of Flemings restaurant. - Price = 50€ - Bookings at 021-4617832 

Friday 10th from 5pm : MARCHE NOCTURNE and WINE FAIR.
 - Free entry 
At 9pm : Music and dance with 'Two Time polka' - Tickets = 10€ 

Saturday 11th from 11am to 18.00. : 
C'est La fete!! : Festival day, with French dishes prepared by Cork restaurants, Wine Fair, Pigs on the Spit,... And many activities for Kids and Adults organised by Frankfield Petanque Club, Artlink, Art in the park,, Enfants Francophones de Cork, Eurochild.. and many more... 

Saturday Night from 8pm:
 Cabaret Night with French Singer Caroline Moreau. 
Tickets = 16 € including a glass of wine. (See

For more info, see and our facebook page at Cork french food and wine festival. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Food to feature in Ring of Cork Fest

Food will be one of five themes featured when the Ring of Cork festival is held in Midleton next month...
There will be live cookery demonstrations by renowned Cork chefs including food writer and cook, Lilly Higgins. Artisan food producers and stalls from all over the South and East Cork area will showcase the finest delicacies and delights on offer in the Region. Tastings and market stalls will ensure that visitors really get a taste for the Ring of Cork. Read more here.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Festival at Franciscan Well

The Franciscan Well Festival
Enjoyed my afternoon at the Franciscan Well Festival. Loads of choice with beers and cider from all over. The Festival continues tomorrow Sunday from 2.00pm. Get on down!
Top right: Yours truly and Caroline of 8 Degrees; bottom left: Ronan
Brennan of Galway Hooker and Daniel Emerson of Stonewell Cider.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Click on image to enlarge

The Atlantic Way through its Food Pillar is promoting the richness and variety of artisan food in the Atlantic Way Region, all along the west coast.
This coming weekend, a series of events named "Féasta Bia" will include bespoke food trails, tasting sessions, enjoying local produce in restaurants and in local farmers' markets as well as food workshops for kids.

Some relevant links:
· Féasta Bia on facebook

Monday, July 25, 2011

Clonakilty Waterfront Festival 2011

Clonakilty Waterfront Festival 2011

Avril, of Rosscarbery Recipes (who make award winning black and white pudding) plus fabulous rashers and sausages), has been in touch to tell me that the Clonakilty Waterfront festival starts this coming Thursday. Music, craic and good food will feature strongly from Thursday right through to a monster Farmers Market on Sunday.

The festival kicks off on Thursday July 28th to the rousing sounds of the Roaring Forties; sure to have everyone on their feet, with Cafe Orchestra also providing further entertainment on the opening night, while guests are treated to every local delicacy imaginable in the signature opening event “Flavours of West Cork”, sponsored by Carbery. This spectacular event features suppliers and restaurateurs from around West Cork providing festival goers with the opportunity to taste their culinary delights before they enjoy Ireland’s premier Swing Band.

Avril says it was great last year: “I’ll be there again, alongside the Celtic Ross stand. It should be good again. All sorts of great food. Hope to see you all there.” And do call to the Rosscarbery stand. In addition to the top black and white pudding, you may also get a taste of their fabulous rashers and sausages, all from their free range pigs.

You’ll find all the festival details here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


With Pancake Tuesday, Paddy’s Day and Mothers Day all approaching fast, here is your chance to plan ahead.
Mairead O’Brien of Nash 19 has been in touch to say their top class Food Shop will this year be selling home made batter. 
We will be selling fresh batter. No 1 is Spelt and Buttermilk batter (wheat free) €3.85 while number 2 is a Gluten Free batter €3.85. We’ll also have pancakes in the fridge as well as having Pancakes on the restaurant menu.”

I enjoyed my real Easter Eggs from Nicole Dunophy of Pandora Bell. This year the Limerick company has gone one better. 
Nicole: “Pandora Bell’s delicious Real Eggshell with Praline Chocolate has accessorized itself this year with a ‘Belle’ handbag to enhance even the most daring Easter Bonnet. This limited edition bag comes with three real chickens eggshells filled with the smoothest praline chocolate and is available exclusively at and during Easter week at Arnotts.”

Lovers of Pandora Bell’s Real Eggshell will find it on shelves in Fine Food Stores Nationwide again this year.  The eggs are sold separately with minimum of fuss and packaging just a beautiful elegant band for E2.75 – 2.95. Stockists include Fallon and Byrne, Donnybrook Fair Dublin, Cornstore at Home Limerick and Karibas in Ballinasloe. All that is left for the chocolate lover to do is crack the shell, peel and enjoy.
O’Brien’s Chop House in Lismore has plenty of food and entertainment lined up for you.
St. Patrick's Eve Feast, Trad-Music & Sing-a-long
Wednesday 16 March sees us celebrate the following St. Patrick's Day with an evening of food and song. Drinks on arrival will be followed by a Feast of local produce and then we'll be rolling in the piano, handing out the song sheets and all enjoying a good old traditional sing-song. The 'craic' will be mighty and if you're lucky you'll be off on the 17 to enjoy the local parades. Paddy's Day also marks the opening of Lismore Castle Gardens, which is a must-see if you are in the area.


Mothering Sunday

We all have a little longer than usual to plan that special lunch out this year as Mother's Day is falling a little later than normal on Sunday 03 April this year. O'Brien Chop House will be offering our great value Sunday lunch menu of traditional McGrath's roasts, Ballyvolane Saddleback roast pork with crackling, homemade pies, fresh fish and much more besides.

You can get all the Chop House details here 

Good Food Ireland has a range of fantastic St Patricks Day packages from leading Good Food Ireland members. Just click on the links below for a huge variety of things to do around the country.