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“Cheers!” to Mourne Mountains Brewery as Red IPA wins two Great Taste stars

Jolene O'Hare, Conor O'Hare, Graham Goss and Tom Ray from Mourne Mountains Brewery

 Jolene O'Hare, Conor O'Hare, Graham Goss and Tom Ray from Mourne Mountains Brewery

Jolene O’Hare, Conor O’Hare, Graham Goss and Tom Ray from Mourne Mountains Brewery

The only craft beer brewer in Northern Ireland to obtain a 2 Star Rating in Great Taste Awards 2016

Warrenpoint based Mourne Mountains Brewery has become the only craft beer brewery in Northern Ireland to be awarded a 2-star Great Taste Award for its Red IPA, Red Trail at the 2016 Great Taste Awards, the world’s most coveted blind-tasted awards that celebrate the very best in food and drink.

The brewery’s Red Trail Red IPA was judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers as well as a host of food writers and journalists in the Great Taste Awards 2016.

Of 10,000 Great Taste entries this year, only 878 products received a 2-star accolade, making Mourne Mountains Brewery’s success with Red Trail Red IPA even more phenomenal.

Brewery founder Connaire McGreevy said: “It is incredibly exciting for us to have been awarded our first Great Taste Award for Red Trail, our red IPA. It was one of the first beers developed by our talented master brewer Tom Ray when we established the brewery. He combines speciality caramalt and crystal malts with roasted barley in the grist and carefully creates a generous hop flavouring and aroma along with a long, dry finish.

“Winning a 2 Star rating for the Red Trail Red IPA at the Great Taste Awards is a massive statement about the quality of this beer. Mourne Mountains Brewery was only officially launched last September, and since then the momentum and support has been amazing. Having a brewer like Tom on the team has been integral to our success, his brewing experience is unrivalled in the local brewing sector.

“Our East Coast IPA has also been celebrated, winning a silver medal at the Dublin Craft Beer Cup earlier this year. Again it was the only brewery from NI to be recognised, and I’m just incredibly proud of everything the team has achieved so far.

“It’s early days for us as and we have some very exciting plans in the pipeline for new concepts and flavours. One of the best things about running a craft brewery is the freedom to be as creative and innovative as we like,” he added.

Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been recommended following hours and hours of blind-tasting by hundreds of judges.

Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste values taste above all else, with less regard for branding and packaging. All products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. Judges savour the products, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1, 2 or 3-star award.

The panel of judges comprised of industry behemoths including; TV chef and author, Valentine Warner, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, fifth generation baker, Tom Herbert from Hobbs House Bakery, and Great British Bake Off winner, Frances Quinn; food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Waitrose and chefs including, James Golding, chef director of THE PIG Hotels, and Kevin Gratton, chef director of HIX Restaurants.

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