The Drinks Blogger NI

Keep’er local

by Aodhan McCullough, key accounts manager, United Wines

Keep’er local

Aodhan McCullough

Keep’er local

Thankfully the month of March is upon us. Many have passed the gruelling test of Dry January. Our monthly gym membership that we intended to use for the entire year has now been cancelled and we are ready to start living life again.

Although, I think it’s fair to say the first two months of the year haven’t been the normal struggle. I can see a real growth and demand in the non-alcoholic sector and I would be surprised if this growth doesn’t continue. With social trends changing and social media playing a big part in influencing the younger generation, it has now become cool to be seen drinking low calorie or non-alcoholic beverages. Thankfully at United Wines we like to keep ahead of the curve and have some fantastic offerings to help quench your thirst when it comes to a little tipple at the weekend; Heineken 0.0 contains only 69 calories and is brewed using only natural ingredients, including Heineken’s own A yeast. Heineken 0.0 is a refreshing option in today’s market and is showing continued signs of success and growth.

Freixenet 0% Alcohol Free Sparkling Wine is the most recent addition to our portfolio. Freixenet 0% Alcohol Free Sparkling Wine has been created in response to the growing demand of those looking for a quality non-alcoholic sparkling wine experience.

But thankfully we have reached the mighty month of March and that can only mean one thing, St Patrick’s Day! March 17 is the milestone we aim to reach on our health drive so it’s normally the first big gathering of the year for friends and family. The shackles come off and we are determined and driven to undo the good work we have done over the last two months.

Living in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone, I am fortunate to be surrounded with a range of fantastic restaurants, bars and nightclubs so my options over St Patrick’s weekend are unlimited. For lunch, I could dine in the fantastic Tailors House located on Main Street Ballygawley. With open fires, cosy sofas and fabulous food, it’s a great treat for the family.

Also not far from home is the delightful Quinns Corner, with its proud reputation of being a successfully-run family business, now in its fourth generation of Quinns. This unique status gives this bar and restaurant a tranquil, welcoming feeling.

There are so many options for afternoon entertainment, I could make my way to Omagh to the excellent Main Street, famous for its relaxed atmosphere during the day, serving delicious food, famous bars throughout the premises and live entertainment, you couldn’t go wrong. Then on to Broderick’s, located on Georges Street, Sally’s on John Street and The Coach Inn on the Dromore Road, all premises with great character and charm that will make any occasion special.

Or I might make my way into Dungannon; both Hagans and Mc Aleers have a fantastic offering of premium beers and spirts to choose from, from Heineken to Birra Moretti, or sample some tasty premium gins ranging from Caorunn Gin to the delicious, flavoured Whitley Neill gins.
Later that night I will venture into the lovely village of the Moy (about five miles from Dungannon) with a selection of great pubs located in the Village Square, offering entertainment for the remainder of the evening.

Starting at Tomney’s Bar, one of the oldest and most traditional bars around, it’s popular with people of all ages who enjoy a great night’s craic. Then I’ll dance my way down the street to the Ryandale for a wee jive. They have added a state-of-the-art extension to their dance hall, which now makes it one of the biggest in Northern Ireland, guaranteed to ensure a unique and unforgettable experience. And when I’ve worked up a thirst on the dance floor, I’ll order a crisp, refreshing Orchard Thieves at the bar.

Finally I will finish the night off in style in the newly refurbished Auctions Rooms with live entertainment, a fantastic atmosphere and great selections of drinks. As it’s St Patrick’s Day, I will be sure to ask for a Pogues Irish Whiskey to celebrate – a mighty drink made from a fine blend of grain and single malt Irish whiskey.

And all three outlets in the Moy offer Heineken on draught, sure what more could you ask for?

A positive to supporting local businesses means I’ll be home and able to enjoy a relaxing day with my family the next day. Which reminds me, it’s also Mother’s Day on Sunday, March 31, so I better buy a nice bottle of Sartori Erfo Prosecco for my wife or I’ll be in the bad books for the rest of the year.

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