Drinks news

Armagh hosting first Food & Cider Festival

Sean Farnan of The Moody Boar, Gareth Reid of 4 Vicars, and Dean Coppard, Uluru.

Sean Farnan of The Moody Boar, Gareth Reid of 4 Vicars, and Dean Coppard, Uluru.

Armagh’s rise as a leading cider and quality food producer will be celebrated during a major five-day festival starting on October 7.

Thousands of locals and visitors alike will be raising their glasses in Armagh this month as the city celebrates its first Food and Cider Festival, which features a packed five-day schedule of activities including an artisan market, food tours, a pop-up cookery school, food and drink sampling and deliciously moreish menus.

Armagh is one of Europe’s biggest apple and cider producers and its famous Bramley apple variety has special EU protected geographical (PGI) status which puts it alongside other elite produce such as Parma ham, Parmesan cheese and Champagne. Up to 50,000 tonnes of apples are produced annually by the Orchard County in this £50m industry.

Supported by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, the city’s first official Food and Cider Festival will get under way on Wednesday, October 7 and runs to Sunday, October 11, with most events taking place over the weekend.

The inaugural event, which is supported by local food and drink producers, restaurants, cafes, pubs, hotels and local shops, features all the best of the city’s top eateries including the award-winning Uluru, The Moody Boar, Groucho’s and 4 Vicars.

The mouth-watering festivities include a full weekend packed with scrumptious menus and mouth-watering events which include an artisan food and cider market, cider tasting, a cookery school with workshops for all ages and abilities, fun food and orchard tours, cider-tasting and a ‘scone fest’ – as well as Armagh’s first official Bake Off challenge.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Councillor Darryn Causby, said: “Armagh is famous the world over for the quality of its apples, its farm produce and for delivering an unrivalled choice of casual and fine dining in a solid, growing base of popular restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels.

“Armagh’s first Food and Cider Festival will roundly deliver on that and we can’t wait to showcase the Orchard County’s finest produce and culinary expertise to the city and the world.”

“As a region which already enjoys special EU status which promotes and protects quality and authenticity, it’s time to remind ourselves and the world of what we do really well and properly celebrate the progress we’ve made to becoming a real destination of choice.”

Armagh’s Bramley orchards stretch from Armagh city to Portadown with the greatest concentration on the gentle slopes around Loughgall and the local industry directly employs around 1,500 people.

The Armagh Food and Cider Festival is also supported by the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development.

For more information on the Armagh Food & Cider Festival, visit www.armagh.co.uk or contact Armagh Visitor Information Centre on 028 3752 1800.

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