Last year, Great Irish Beverages launched the inaugural Irish Food and Drink Month (IFDM) project. Its aim was to showcase all the wonderful pairings of native Irish drinks with our homegrown foods. Few would argue that local foods taste best when enjoyed with local drinks and Ireland is no exception. Great Irish Beverages are extremely excited to announce their new plans and partnerships for the 2023 edition running throughout October.
This year a new strategy is in place that provides an unparalleled approach to highlighting what is the absolute best from the one county. A hyperlocal celebration of a county’s finest produce alongside its finest beverages. And the one county they are focusing on is the Garden of Ireland, Wicklow.
All of this is being done with the creation of four different events taking place in October and with the partnership of Scoop magazine editor and event coordinator Dee Laffan and Wicklow Naturally, the county’s food & drink network. The ultimate goal is to inspire bars, restaurants and hotels around the country to include more Irish food & drink offerings in their menus. The possibilities of pairing Irish made drinks with Irish foods are endless, even if we just solely focus on the one county.
First off, October Feast is taking place in Wicklow during October. Kicking off with a stellar event in Powerscourt Distillery on Sunday, October 1st. This day-long event will include a Wicklow producers market, foraging walks, Harvest Craft demos and discussion panels and talks from local champions including Catherine Fulvio on life as a TV chef. Powerscourt Distillery, who produce the award-winning Fercullen whiskeys, will be hosting whiskey tastings and masterclasses for attendees. There’ll be live music from Wicklow trad musicians and the singing trio, Victory Dolls as well as the “Poetry in Bloom” poetry reading hosted by actor Patrick Bergin. Booking will go live from September 10th, here.
October Feast continues with an event on Saturday, 14th October in the incredible location at Brooklodge & Macreddin Village. Another day-long event, this will be themed around sustainable food from the local area and includes a producers market, craft demos, discussion panels with leading experts, Wicklow drinks masterclasses and also some live music. There will be a Wicklow-themed menu available in Brooklodge Hotel. With a bus to and from Dublin City centre. Booking will go live from September 10th, here.
Finally, October 19th & 20th will see the best of the Garden of Ireland pop-up in one of Dublin’s best venues – Hen’s Teeth. Named Beár Bia (the Irish for Food Bar), it’s a county by county event celebrating first-rate homegrown food and drink pairings. Each of the two nights will showcase a tailor-made menu solely composed of Wicklow’s finest food & beverage producers.
The mission behind Beár Bia is to highlight all the amazing producers we have in Ireland and to praise them in unison with each other over a sumptuous four-course dinner. Pairing our native food and drinks is an integral means to further develop our Irish culinary culture and it is also a delicious means to bring people together. The October edition, which places Wicklow centre stage, launches a series of events with Hen’s Teeth and will return in the new year shining a light on different counties each month. Tickets for Beár Bia are €65 each (plus booking fee) and include drink pairings.
The October menu was created by Hen’s Teeth head chef, Dylan Mullen who himself is a Wicklow native.
Beár Bia Wicklow Menu
Grangecon Kitchen Sourdough with a Ballyhubbock ricotta and Olly’s honey dip
Kilruddery House leaves & grilled courgettes in a Wicklow rapeseed oil dressing, with Hollywood Farmhouse Goats cheese, Dunnes black pudding and pear
Ridgeway Wagyu BBQ brisket with Mic’s Chili, creamy mash, celeriac slaw & cucumber salsa
Coconut & Moo Moo basque cheesecake with a Conroys raspberry compote
All courses will be paired with drinks from Wicklow producers including Fercullen Irish Whiskey, Rí Rá Beer, Larkin’s Brewing Company and istil 38 Premium Irish Vodka.
Tickets for Beár Bia are €65 each (plus booking fee) and include drink pairings. They can be purchased here.