Tesco expects Euro 2016 tournament to bring new record for craft beer sales
Supermarket chain Tesco has predicted record sales of craft beers and ciders during the Euro 2016 tournament.
As the Northern Ireland team prepares to take to the pitch in Nice this weekend, it will be beers brewed across the region that will keep fans cool in front of their television sets.
Tesco now stocks around 40 different lines of Northern Irish beers, including from stalwarts such as Hilden and Whitewater, and newcomers such as Hillstown Brewery in Randalstown.
Sean Largey, commercial manager of Tesco NI, said: "The Northern Irish love affair with microbreweries shows no signs of abating. Northern Ireland is now firmly on the map as a beer destination.
"We find that consumers are increasingly interested in the provenance of the beer they drink, and we are also seeing that reflected in the sales of locally produced craft beers and ciders.
"We currently stock more than 40 lines from Northern Irish craft breweries and distilleries, and with the Euros coming up we are preparing for significantly increased trade across those products, so consumers will be supporting local teams, both in the aisles and on the pitch"
Some of the new range on offer includes Hilden's Twisted Hop, Clearsky's Fulcrum wheat beer and Yardsman's lager and pale ale.
And for apple lovers, a range of ciders are also available, including MacIvor's Traditional Dry, the Armagh Cider Company's Carson's Crisp or Madden's Mellow variety.
Meanwhile, Kilkeel brewery Whitewater is currently undergoing a major expansion of its premises.
The company, run by Bernard Sloan, is building a new facility that will enable the business to produce up to 10 times its current capacity.
Whitewater was set up in 1996, selling a range of cask beer. Its products are now sold across the UK and Ireland.