Northern Ireland beer and cider firms land Marks & Spencer contracts
Northern Ireland breweries and cider makers have landed fresh deals with Marks & Spencer. Products from Mourne Mountains Brewery in Warrenpoint, Co Armagh's MacIvors Cider and Whitewater Brewery in Castlewellan will be sold at 18 stores across Northern Ireland.
The supermarket has grown its range of craft beer over the last two years and now includes UK breweries such as Meantime Northern Monk.
Connaire McGreevy, Mourne Mountain's Brewery founder, said: "We are thrilled to see Mourne Mountains Brewery on the shelves in M&S, a premium supermarket known for its high standards.
"It's a milestone moment for us and just great recognition of the quality of the beer we're producing. We're so proud to be a local company, using local labour and local water from Spelga Dam. Just fresh, good quality beer that's made by hand in small batches.
"We're currently producing the equivalent of 250,000 bottles of beer per year to meet the demand for our core range which is sold in bars, restaurants and off licences across the country.
"We have exciting plans to launch several more seasonal specials this year that we think will go down a treat. The beauty of being a craft brewer is that you can be creative and agile, making a little of what you fancy each time and keeping things really fresh for the consumer."
And MacIvor Cider Co's traditional dry cider, medium cider and plum and ginger cider are also now being sold at M&S.
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Greg MacNeice, a fifth generation apple grower and cider maker at MacIvor, said: "We work very hard to produce great tasting ciders which capture the flavour and aroma of the juicy apples we grow.
"It's an honour for our range of ciders to be chosen by M&S and we are delighted to be part of their food and drink story.
"Our traditional dry cider is an elegant blend of over 10 different apple varieties inspired by the aromatic ciders of Northern France. Our crisp Armagh Bramley apples balance the fragrant flavours of traditional dessert apples and bittersweet cider apples for a deep, dry cider taste.
"Our light, fresh and fruity medium cider is a lively blend. With the focus on the modern dessert apple varieties this cider delivers a mouth-watering and easy drinking refreshment while staying true to our belief that cider should taste of real apples."
The new ranges will be sold at stores across Northern Ireland including Belfast city centre, Boucher Road, Lisburn and Ballymena.
Whitewater's Hoppelhammer and Hen, Cock & Pigeon Rock will also now be available.