Whiskey. The Real Thing…..

The revitalisation of this sector has been fascinating me for the last number of years and when my close friends Rod and Julie Calder Potts set up their own organic distillery a couple of years ago I started learning a lot more about distilling, whiskey and the challenges around labelling and marketing. 

Join us for 2 hours of passion, story telling and tastings as we chat with

– Jenn Nickerson – Chief Dogsbody, Tipperary Distillery
– Ned Gahan – Head Distiller, Waterford Distillery
– John O’Connell – Head Distiller, West Cork Distillers

and special guest Bill Linnane, freelance journalist with a very particular grá for whiskey.

We will absolutely talk about whiskey labelling, the provenance of brands and the terroir of barley. We will actively explore the various routes open to a new Irish Whiskey Brand and the importance of absolute clarity in how a new brand is positioned in the eyes of consumers.

Hosted as always by Highbank Organic Orchard who are distillers of distinction in their own right and a tour of the orchard and distillery is included with your ticket.
This will take place at 17.30.


Buy Tickets Now

See you on the 29th September 🙂

Keith and Julie

Irish winners in the British Cheese Awards 23rd Sept 2011

A number of Irish farmhouse Cheese brands did really well in these awards – The British Cheese Awards which were announced yesterday in Cardiff).

Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese

This one was special – it was the Top Dog 🙂 The Kilkree cheese from Knockdrinna scooped the Supreme Champion overall award as well as the Best Irish and Best Semi-Soft. Its produced here in Kilkenny by Helen Finnegan and her team.

This is Helen at the Savour Kilkenny food festival 2010. I have known Helen for years and she is passionate, hard working and supportive of her fellow producers. Well deserved.

Meanwhile best Goat Cheese was won by the Galway based Killeen Farmhouse Cheese.

Great to see artisan food producers from Ireland consistently winning overseas – says so much for the strength of this sector in Ireland


Recent Foodspotting activity roundup

4 products spotted out and about in the last week:

Old Tom Ale

From Robinsons in the UK this one was voted World’s Best Ale. I bought the Chocolate laced sidekick from the same brewery and really enjoyed it. Spotted in the Wine Centre in Kilkenny.

Vivani Chocolates

The Nuts & Grains health food shop in Mullingar (link to their FB page) have the largest selection of this brand I have seen under one roof – 19 varieties! This is a German brand and was launched in 2000 from Ludwig Weinrich as a fully organic chocolate.

Zanna Cookhouse

Based in Broadway Co. Wexford (and with no website – link to their listing on mychefathome) this small business produce a range of quiches, pies and other foods. Anyone tasted their products?

Highbank Apple Juice

From the organic Kilkenny farm business which just launched the Apple Syrup comes this apple juice. Really tasty, I had some at foodcamp. Both this and the Zanna quiche was spotted in Nellies Farm Shop in Kilkenny (no website).

You can see all of my foodspotting.com activity here.


Wish4 FairTrade, Kinsale, Ireland

Myself and Alan Clayton from Wish4 Fairtrade have had contact in the past when he was involved in another food business so it was really enjoyable to catch up with him in Belfast to hear all about the FairTrade brand which he has been developing over the last couple of years.

His plans for the future include pushing production of some of the products involved back into the countries where the raw materials are grown (preserving as much value as possible in the place of origin) and extending his market share in the UK.

Looking forward to the ongoing success of this business.


Danny Boy Whiskey, Northern Ireland

While in Belfast to attend Bizcamp I attended a dinner at which a relatively new whiskey was being offered for tasting. While I have spoken with Real Ale/Beer brewers before I had never had the chance to talk to someone responsible for a spirit.

Peter Lavery, the man behind Danny Boy whiskey (and also a cream liquer) told me about the journey so far and his partnership with  Cooley Distillery in Ireland. He was a great character to talk to and despite my preference for bourbon I can recommend the whiskey to anyone with a love of Irish.


Tipperary Food Producers

In my final video from the Tipperary Food Producers evening event (to which I was invited as part of the twitter panel and got in for free) I asked Gary Gubbins, one of the organisers of the event and the Founder of Red Nose Wines, to tell me a little about the Food Producers Network.

You can see more from this series here, here and here.


Brownes Soup. Tipperary, Ireland

Number 3 of 4 which I shot while at the Tipperary Food Producers event in Clonmel a couple of weeks ago (disclosure, I was asked to participate in a twitter panel there so got in free).

This one is with Sarah Browne of Brownes Soups (www.msbrowne.com) (who explains the evolution of their packaging. Apologies for the drop in lighting towards the end – a camera crew in the room unplugged their rig!

You can see other videos from this event here and here.