Archive | Events & Festivals

Grogan & Brown Birthday Celebrations in Kilkenny

A 6oz Hereford steak burger from Grogan & Brown that hit my barbecue last week. Delicious.

A 6oz Hereford steak burger from Grogan & Brown that hit my barbecue last week. Delicious.

Since the sun has decided to come out more in the past few weeks, I’ve found myself dropping into Grogan & Brown Artisan Butchers in Kilkenny more often in the past few weeks. Ever the helpful crew, the lads in there are full of chat, advice, tips and offer a really good range of fresh meat, veg and bread, a lot of which is sourced locally in Kilkenny. Continue Reading →

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Meet The (Craft) Brewers in Kilkenny on June 7

Meet The Brewers

Meet The Brewers – Saturday 7 June in Kilkenny

Update Tuesday 3 June: Word in via email this evening that the Meet The Brewers event for this weekend has been cancelled. Ticket refunds are underway for those who bought tickets but it also means the giveaway for tickets will now be scrapped. Here’s what would have happened on the night and what may happen on a future date…

Three of Ireland’s much loved craft breweries will be represented at Meet The Brewers, the next Biabeag event in Kilkenny on Saturday 7 June out at Highbank Orchards. With the surge in interest in craft beer in Ireland, if you’re interested in heading along, I’ve got two pairs of tickets to give away for the night as well (it is a limited ticket-only event), but first, here’s who you’ll get to meet.

8 Degrees Bottle shot

Eight Degrees, Mitchelstown

While I’ve yet to sample Eight Degrees draught, it’s proven quite the popular addition to restaurants and bars in Kilkenny in bottle form. Started by a Kiwi and an Aussie and based in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, their Howling Gale Ale is one of the most enjoyable on the market at present. Foodwriter and broadcaster Caroline Hennessy (of Bibliocook) is also part of the 8 Degrees fold. FYI, Caroline has been known to make some awesome Knockmeal Down Porter (one of the Eight Degrees brews) brownies.

White Gypsy, Templemore

Based in Templemore, White Gypsy opened their brewery doors in August 2009, picking up awards for the best lager in Ireland in its first year. Offering a Ruby Irish Red Ale (4.6%) and a Blond Weissbeer (4%) along with a selection of bottled beers, Cuilan Loughnane will be on hand on Saturday night to provide the backstory to his path through brewing in Ireland and that of the White Gypsy Brewery.

Metalman, Waterford

When it comes to craft draught, I love a good pint of Metalman Pale Ale and they’ve been my go to ‘on tap’ since coming across Metalman Alternator in Waterford in 2012 (plus they’ve got a tap at Brewery Corner in Kilkenny so that helps). Gráinne Walsh will be on hand on saturday to share the Metalman story having opened their doors in the old sail factory in Waterford’s Tycor estate a few years ago. There’s a link there too between White Gypsy and Metalman with Cuilan having brewed Gráinne and Tim’s first batches of Metalman Pale Ale while their own brewery was going under construction, that in itself should make for interesting conversation on how (technically) competitiors are working together to support the industry.

Get tickets & more information

Tickets are priced €8 each for the night which will kick off at 6pm in Highbank Orchards and continue until around 8pm. You can buy your tickets here, or take a chance on winning some tickets below!

Win a pair of tickets to Meet The Brewers

I’ve got four tickets to give away in two pairs and if you’re up for a trip to meet these craft brewers in Kilkeny on June 7, hear their story and sample their wares, simply leave a comment below telling me what your favourite craft beer is (and it doesn’t need to be one of the aforementioned producers!)

Open to ROI residents only, you must be available to travel on the night, entrants must be over 18. Competition closes 6pm Wednesday 4 June, winners announced and contacted shortly after.

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Cork and Kerry Food Forum returns in June

Cork & Kerry Food Forum returns this June

Cork & Kerry Food Forum returns this June

The Cork & Kerry Food Forum, which first took place in October 2012, has announced a return for next month with the event now open to the public and being free to attend.

City Hall in Cork is the venue for this year’s Food Forum, taking place on 30 June, the event providing a showcase for artisan produce from all over Cork and Kerry. There’s plenty of tastings and demonstrations in store from cheese producers, meat, fish, farm fresh herbs and the likes.

While the tasting and demos are one side, the Food Forum brings with it a conference for food producers, addressing opportunities in food retail, consumer trends and the new Food Academy Start programme, a joint initiative being led by Bord Bia, SuperValu and Local Enterprise Offices in Cork and Kerry (what would have been the County Enterprise Boards).

There’s a ‘meet the buyer’ event, along with the conference taking place in the first part of the day from 9am to 1pm with the Food Forum open to the public from 1pm onwards. City Hall in Cork can be contacted via

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2014 Ballymaloe Litfest in Photos

Ballymaloe Litfest 2014

Ballymaloe Litfest 2014

Saturday saw myself and Mrs. Any Given Food make the trip to the 2014 Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food & Wine. I’d spent Saturday there last year for a day’s filming and told myself at that stage if it was to take place again, I’d be down in a heartbeat. The setting, the people, the food, the weather, you can’t really get much better than it from an Irish point of view. Continue Reading →

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World Chip Championships? Yes Please

Culture & Chips - Taking place in Limerick this June Bank Holiday weekend

Culture & Chips – Taking place in Limerick this June Bank Holiday weekend

I think myself and Mrs. Any Given Food may have had to change our June Bank Holiday plans. A mail last night from Limerick Chamber brought the quirky Culture & Chips festival weekend to our attention and the thoughts of the World Chip Championships sound like right craic for the Saturday of the bank holiday weekend. Continue Reading →

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In Photos: Outstanding By Design

Oustanding By Design was the latest Biabeag event to be held in Kilkenny, taking place at Highbank Orchards this Saturday gone. The aim of the day was to bring together food producers and the designers who have helped make their brands come to life.

Paddy O'Connell (left) with Giles Calver (right)

Paddy O’Connell (left) with Giles Calver (right)

Brand Union's Sarah Maguire talks through the Paddy O's Granola rebranding

Brand Union’s Sarah Maguire talks through the Paddy O’s Granola rebranding

Up first was Paddy O’Connell of Paddy O’s Granola alongside Sarah Maguire from Brand Union who took care of the recent rebranding work for Paddy O’s. It’s always refreshing to hear someone like Paddy, with the fire and passion for their product, pretty much spill the beans on how things came together for him, including the reasons why he went with a brand development, what he wants to achieve (and continue achieving) with the brand and most importantly for some, how much it all costs. This is also the first video from the session that will be available online on Monday. Continue Reading →

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Reminder: Meet The Cheesemakers

A wee reminder that the second Biabeag: Meet The Makers event, this time with a focus on cheese, takes place this coming Saturday from 6pm at Highbank Orchards in Kilkenny. Tickets, available online in advance are only a fiver and if the first event was anything to go by, this should be a cracker.*

On the night you’ll hear from Kilkenny’s Helen Finnegan of Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese along with Siobhan Ni Ghairbhith of St. Tola, who produces an Irish Organic Goat Cheese in Co. Clare. They’ll be joined by Tom Burgess of Coolattin Cheddar, Tom producing a raw milk cheddar in Co. Wicklow.

Stories, samples and real artisan insights await. Book here and have tickets sent to your phone.

*cheese, crackers, get it? I’m here all week…

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Blessed Are The Cheese Makers

Blessed are the cheesemakers, or at least they will be come Saturday 5 April for the next installment of Biabeag’s Real Food series of events at Highbank Orchard in Kilkenny. Kick off is 6pm and the event runs around 2 hours or so.

Last time out the focus was on real bread and the night proved a roaring success. You can catch my own post on it here. So who’s involved this time?

St. Tola, Irish Organic Goat Cheese, Co. Clare

This time around, it’s all about cheese. Present on the night will be Siobhan Ni Ghairbhith of St Tola: Irish Organic Goat Cheese in Co. Clare. There’s a lovely writeup in the McKenna’s Guides which goes like ““The West Clare land is reflected in the cheeses,” she said, but it would be more accurate to say that she is able to get the cheeses to reflect the West Clare land, that rainy, boggy, beautiful part of the country. With every piece of St Tola you get stored-up sunshine, and stored-up rainfall, and stored-up nature. The cheeses can seem to taste entirely elemental, for Ms ni Ghairbhith uses organic methods, and doesn’t pasteurise her milk. Nothing gets in the way of bringing grass and nature and naturalness into the cheeses.”

Coolattin Cheddar, Co. Wicklow

Tom Burgess of Coolattin Cheddar (mature raw milk cheddar), Co. Wicklow joins the fold as a producer of mature raw milk cheddar. Tom’s route is ‘pasture to cheddar the same day’ and has been producing top quality milk from his pasture fed cows in Tullow for twenty years. Read more about Tom’s process here.

Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese, Co. Kilkenny

Completing the trio on stage will be Knockdrinna’s Helen Finnegan, based in Stoneyford, Co. Kilkenny. If you’ve never tried any of the Knockdrinna range, start with the Snow and work your way out from there, it’s an ever-present in the fridge at Chez McGuire.

What Happens On The Night

What happens on the night will be anyone’s guess, but you’re going to get to hear the stories behind three passionate food producers and likely get to sample their goods. There’s also a chance to stock up on supplies too, both from the producers and from Highbank who have some kick ass syrups and ciders.

The first night brought such a good buzz about the room at Highbank, the producers lively, engaging and honest in sharing the stories that have got them to where they are today.

If you want to be in the audience for the night, grab a ticket here. They’re only a fiver, are *very* limited, so don’t go leaving things to the last minute to grab a ticket.

In a nutshell: a night of stories and sampling with some of Ireland’s leading cheesemakers, in Kilkenny, for a fiver, on Saturday 5 April. Job done.

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