24 September 2020 - Page 50

MAY 31 2018
Deserved recognition
for food industry leader
HAT a privilege it
was to be present at
the presentation by
Henderson Wholesale
to Brian Irwin, chairman
of Irwin’s Bakery of the Spar Fresh
Innovation Outstanding Contribution
to the Agri-Food Industry in
Northern Ireland.
The recognition is richly deserved
both in terms of Brian’s work with
the family business, Northern
Ireland’s largest independent bakery,
and the wider community. Brian
and brother Niall have developed
the bakery into one of our most
innovative and community engaged
food businesses.
And it’s a business that is highly
regarded as a developer of bread
and cakes, the latter through its
acquisition of Howell House.
Many of its products, especially the
renowned Knutty Krust, are now the
preferred choice of shoppers here
seeking consistently high quality and
Food for
Michele Shirlow
Chief Executive of
Food NI
tasty bread.
His work with celebrity chef Paul
Rankin, furthermore, has enhanced
awareness of traditional Northern
Irish breads and led to outstanding
success in Britain and it was great
to see Irwin’s achieve awards in the
inaugural Irish Soda Bread category
at the World Bread Awards.
The bakery was among the first
to win business in Britain for
its products through providing
superb services to all the main
Brian’s contribution extends well
Brian’s contribution extends well beyond
his role in the bakery. He is a valued and
enthusiastic member of the Food NI board
and has worked with us to support the
development of smaller food and drink
beyond his role in the bakery. He is a
valued and enthusiastic member of
the Food NI board and has worked
with us to support the development
of smaller food and drink companies.
He has been at the forefront of
the important and successful Food
Heartland initiative developed by
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon
Council, a campaign to promote the
growth of smaller producers which
Food NI is also supporting. I’ve
come to value immensely Brian’s
wise counsel, practical support and
And many other communitybased schemes and charities have
benefited from his encouragement.
Spar’s decision to refresh the
awards, announced annually during
Balmoral Show, with an emphasis
on innovation, helped showcase
the creativity and marketing focus
that underpins the local food and
drink industry. I understand that the
expert judges were highly impressed
by the scale and quality of entries
from producers, both large and small
and across most product categories.
Many of the successful companies in
the awards, I am delighted to report,
are also active Food NI members.
The quality of local producers and
products was also recognised in
other recent awards.
Three of our members gained
major awards in the International
Cider Challenge – Tempted of
Lisburn, a trophy winner, along
with Long Meadow, Loughgall
and Kilmegan from Dundrum.
Congratulations to all three. Their
achievements reinforce the growing
global reputation of our cider
Walled City Brewery in Derry, in
addition, was named the Northern
Ireland winner in the influential UK
Pub and Bar Awards. Furthermore,
upwards of 20 products from 14
companies, all smaller enterprises,
were recently shortlisted in
the Produce Awards run by the
prestigious Delicious magazine, the
UK’s biggest selling consumer food
magazine, a competition which offers
extensive coverage in Britain.
Another important boost for our
industry is the decision by celebrity
chef Mark Hix to showcase Glenarm
Shorthorn beef from County Antrim
during his Food Rocks festival
at Lyme Regis in Dorset. Hix, a
long-standing and very influential
customer for Peter Hannan’s superb
Glenarm beef aged in the world’s
biggest complex of Himalayan salt
chambers, has set up a unique
Glenarm Estate Supper Club, a
marvellous endorsement of the
outstanding taste of beef produced
by Peter Hannan, another Food NI
member and an outstanding pioneer
of innovative food.
Visit the home of Northern Ireland’s original craft gin distillery
IN fanatics can now visit the home of
Shortcross Gin at its newly redeveloped
facility in County Down.
Rademon Estate Distillery, producer of the
multi award-winning Shortcross Gin and the first
craft distillery to reside in Northern Ireland, has
undergone a significant redevelopment with the
addition of two new copper stills and a stylish
Visitor Experience Centre, representing an
investment of £2.5 million.
The brand-new Visitor Experience Centre,
comprising of a bar, gift shop and a multi-purpose
events space with stunning views of the estate,
will host carefully curated tours inviting visitors
to learn how Shortcross Gin is distilled, take part
in tutored tasting sessions and master the art of
crafting the perfect gin and tonic.
The newly added copper stills are intended to
help Shortcross meet growing demand for its
exports worldwide and increase production of its
latest venture, Single Malt Irish Whiskey, the first
batch of which is expected to be released later
this year.
Husband and wife team Fiona and David
Boyd-Armstrong opened Northern Ireland’s
first award-winning craft distillery at
Rademon Estate in Crossgar in 2012.
Two years later, they launched Shortcross
Gin, their first small batch craft spirit,
which is currently celebrating its fourth
anniversary. The renovation marks the
beginning of the first public tours of the
Commenting on the redevelopment,
Fiona Boyd-Armstrong, Managing Director
of Rademon Estate Distillery, said: “We are
thrilled to be able to welcome people to the
home of Shortcross with the opening of our new
Visitor Experience Centre.
“We have taken great pride in developing a
unique and welcoming space to meet growing
consumer demand for the opportunity to learn
and experience more about Shortcross Gin and, of
course, in time our new Single Malt Irish Whiskey.”
The redevelopment forms part of the Irish
Whiskey Association’s Irish Whiskey Tourism
Trail, which seeks to almost triple the visitor
numbers to distilleries across the island of
Ireland by 2025.
Shortcross distillery tour dates are
currently booking on the following
dates: Monday, May 28, Friday,
June 29, and Saturday, June 30.
For further information, or
to book a tour of Rademon
Estate Distillery, visit www.
shortcrossgin.com or follow
Shortcross on Facebook,
Twitter and Instagram.
will also be involved in a
number of unique events
over the coming months,
Blues Afternoon at
Rademon Estate, June 3:
Visit Rademon Estate for an
afternoon of blistering blues
and Shortcross Gin, featuring Ronnie
Greer and his band. Shortcross cocktails
and shorttails will be served, along with
artisan food-makers Finnebrogue Woods
and Indie Fudie who will be serving up
delicious fayre. Tickets cost £25pp and
will include a Shortcross gin and tonic on
arrival. Visit www.shortcrossgin.com to
purchase tickets.
World Gin Day, June 9:
Celebrate World Gin Day at
EXPERIENCE: The brand-new Visitor Experience
Centre, will host carefully curated tours inviting
visitors to learn how Shortcross Gin is distilled.
the #HomeofShortcross with bespoke Shortcross
cocktails on arrival, a tour/taste and masterclass
with live music on the terrace. Each guest will
receive a Shortcross branded glass and a £5
voucher towards an on-site bottle purchase.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.
Taste of Dublin, June 14-17: Set in the stunning
Iveagh Gardens, Taste of Dublin returns with the
ultimate drink and food show of the year. Visit The
Hopping Juniper at Feature R and savour a unique
range of fantastic cocktails featuring Shortcross
Arcadia, 378 Lisburn Road.
Yellow Door, 427 Lisburn
Sawers Deli, Fountain
Centre, College Street.
Swantons Gourmet Foods,
Lisburn Road.
St George’s Food Market,
Oxford Street,
Every Saturday and Sunday;
Ballylagan Organic Farm
Shop, 12 Ballylagan Road,
Barr’s Deli, Ballymoney
Street, Ballymena.
Montgomery’s Ballymoney
Street, Ballymena.
Jackson’s Butchers and
Bakery, Main Street,
Park Deli, Ballycastle.
Templepatrick Market
Fourth Sunday; 11am-6pm.
Chapman’s Deli and Farm
Shop, Dobbin Road,
Forthill Farm Shop, 80
Ballymore Road, Tandragee.
John R Dowey and Son, 20
High Street, Lurgan.
Yellow Door Deli & Patisserie,
John Mitchell Place Market,
Walled City Market, Guildhall
Square, First Saturday;
Culdrum Organic Farm,
31a Ballylintagh Road,
Ditty’s Home Bakery, Main
Street, Castledawson and
Rainey Street, Magherafelt.
JC Stewarts, Rainey Street,
Culmore Organic Farm,
Culmore House, 54 Bann
Road, Kilrea.
Churchtown Organic Farm
Shop, Strangford.
Harrison’s Farm Shop,
Ballybryan Road,
Heatherlea, Main Street,
Bangor and Strandtown,
Helen’s Bay Organic Farm, 23
Seaview Terrace, Helen’s
McCartney’s, Main Street,
McKee’s Country Store,
28 Holywood Road,
Meat Merchant, Kilmore
Industrial Estate, Moira
Orr’s, Main Street, Holywood.
Pheasant’s Hill Farm Shop,
37 Killyleagh Road,
Quail’s Fine Foods, Newry
Street, Banbridge.
The Upper Square (Market)
Every second Saturday;
MacNean Farm, Belcoo,
O’Doherty’s Fine Meats, 3
Belmore Street, Enniskillen.
Cloughbane Farm Shop 160
Tanderagee Road, Pomeroy
Deli on the Green,
Moygashel, Dungannon.
Market, Tesco’s Car Park,
First Saturday;
Canal Basin Market,
Last Saturday; 10am-2pm


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