Friday, 30 May 2014

Celebration of local cider and beer: The Fest at Raceview Mill




Issue 14 The Ulster Folk

Our local drink scene went the same way as food. It used to be that a bottle of Guinness stout tasted slightly different when bottled in Ballymena than it did when it was bottled in Belfast or Dublin. They don’t bottle it in Ballymena anymore, as a matter of fact it’s now hard to find bottled Guinness full stop. But if they did bottle it nowadays in Ballymena it would taste identical to stout bottled in Bali or Bahrain.


Not only that, but commercial USA-style corporate marketing somehow managed to brainwash the masses across the world that bottled chemically-laced fizzy water was beer: just because it had an alcohol content. These master global marketeers somehow managed to infect brains to such an extent that  folk’s taste buds actually believed this stuff tasted good: cool and sexy even.

Well, the crafted beer brewers and cider makers have joined the food revolutionaries in Northern Ireland: the drink revolution has kicked-off too. At the last count there were 8 local crafted cider companies producing excellent cider from Armagh apples. Micro-breweries are cropping up all over Northern Ireland: producing a wide range of marvellous crafted beer.  The cider companies, Armagh Cider and Tempted will have their tasty refreshing products at the Fest. 

If you must eat beef eat happy beef from Ahoghill.

The most exciting news for the Fest is that the bar will be run by Hillstown Brewery. This crafted beer company is the first of its kind in County Antrim and this will be the first time that their beers will be available at a major event

It all began as a partnership between Johnny Mitchell of Get ‘er Brewed and Nigel Logan of Hillstown Farmshop near Ahoghill . In the process of providing beer for Nigel’s beef herd, as you do, they discovered that the animals were happier, more relaxed and healthier. The resulting beef was of exceptional quality.

Of course in the process of making beer for the cattle some humans had to do a test of quality before offering beer to the precious animals. Miraculously they discovered in the process that small quantities of their naturally produced beer made the humans happier, more relaxed and healthier as well. The rest is history.

Hillstown will be providing a wide range of other locally crafted beers, ciders and soft drinks on August 15th and 16th. And of course their beer-fed beef will be available. You do not want to miss out on the experience.

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