Steven Pattison is managing director of the specialist Irish-based Creative and Distribution company Drinksology. Steven has worked in the drinks industry for over 17 years and has received several international awards for his expertise.
Asked to name Northern Ireland's five best local brews, he recommends...
McGraths Irish Ales
Produced by the Clanconnel Brewing Company which is one of Northern Ireland's most dynamic and innovative craft breweries, producing beers with passion and flavour. It is named in honour of the 'Mighty' Master McGrath, the greatest greyhound to have ever raced and offers a range of six fantastic styles catering for everyone from the craft beer aficionado to those exploring craft beer for the first time.
Fulcrum Wheat Beer
A relatively new but very welcome brewer to the Northern Ireland craft beer family. This bottling is produced by the Clearsky Brewing Company owned by Stephen McKenna who's extensive experience with companies such as Diageo has given his brand a unique twist of being able to balance craft and commercial success.
Distilleries are sadly sparse in Northern Ireland but the past year has seen a flurry of activity and the opening of the small batch Rademon Estate Distillery has enabled the production of ShortCross Gin. Every bottle is delicately hand-crafted using their very own, very shiny, very smart looking copperpot still resulting in this splendid gin.
Little Island Cider
Although the brand is owned by the Little Island Cider Company based in Little Island, Co Cork it is Northern Ireland's very own Armagh Cider Company that produce this fine craft cider. Thankfully there is a revival in real cider helping people move away from the big commercial, heavily sweet brands and this is handicraft at its best.
This is the first new Irish Whiskey distillery here in over 125 years and owner Shane Braniff is offering a bespoke product, enabling consumers to choose how old their whiskey will be, what wood the cask is made of and even how it will be finished.
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