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TASTE-BUDS will be sizzling across this weekend with the appetising return of the Clare Food & Drink Fleadh.

With the county held in such esteem when it comes to producing high-quality artisan food and drink, the Clare Food & Drink Fleadh, established in 2019, provides an ideal showcase for all that is good about the local food and drink scene.

Organisers chose the July 15th – 17th timeframe to specifically coincide with the Skoda Ring of Clare cycle event which is set to attract thousands of participants, their partners and families to the county.

Clare Food & Drink Festival Chair, Maeve Eustace, a local artisan producer with Western Herd Brewing Company outlined that she was hopeful both events would successfully dovetail. “It is our pleasure at Clare Food & Drink Fleadh to programme a variety of things to do, places to visit, excellent local food to savour, and of course it wouldn’t be Clare without great music too”.

Co-ordinator of the festival, Margaret O’Brien stated that the programme of events highlights “the quality and uniqueness of the food and drink produced in Co Clare”. She said, “We picked up where we left off pre-Covid with the return of our ‘Meet the Makers’ series of events available on Friday July 15 and Saturday July 16. We have exciting locally inspired food offerings including ‘Clare Plates’ from Ennis based award-winning café Sweet n Green, which will open its doors for evening meals on Friday July 16 and Saturday July 17 with a menu of five stunning ‘Clare Plates’ featuring locally produced food prepared by Chef Frank Landy.

“Other food delights will include ‘Pizza in the Courtyard’ outside Temple Gate Hotel (July 15 and 16 from 12 noon – 8pm) with a selection of pizzas featuring Clare-produced toppings. Brogan’s have added a special ‘Clare Burger’ to their menu, available across the weekend while the Town Hall Bistro (Old Ground Hotel) will offer a ‘Banner Brunch’ on Sunday July 17, featuring the best of Clare produce including the famous ‘Burren Butcher’ burgers”.

Bars throughout Ennis will be participating in the Clare inspired cocktail competition, this has proven to be a festival highlight. Western Herd Brewing has created a limited-edition brew, ’Soulvation Coffee White Stout’ for the festival, featuring Burren-based Anam Coffee, using ethically sourced coffee beans. This special festival stout will be launched on Friday and is available exclusively on tap from Lucas Bar, Parnell Street.

Other highlights on Clare Food & Drink Fleadh programme for 2022 include an Artisan Market in the Market Building Ennis on Saturday July 16 (10am to 2pm). That will be followed by the highlight community event – Clare Junior Bake-off, open to three distinct age categories.

As in the past, Clare Food & Drink Fleadh offers a satellite programme of events right across the county. These can be booked directly on Eventbrite under Clare Food & Drink Fleadh. They include:

  • Meet the Goats Sample Cheese! St Tola Goat Cheese Farm, Inagh. 2.30pm – 4pm, July 15
  • Chapel Gate Whiskey Company, Gowerhass, Cooraclare 7pm – 8pm, July 15
  • Burren Brewery, Roadside Tavern, Lisdoonvarna 12 noon – 1pm, July 16
  • Burren Smokehouse, Lisdooonvarna, 1pm – 2pm, July 16
  • Seaweed Talk and Taste with Oonagh O’Dwyer at Lahinch Prom, 2pm – 3.30pm, July 16
  • Behind the Scenes at the Chocolate Factory! Wilde Irish Chocolate, Tuamgraney, 3.30pm – 4.30pm, July 16
  • Burren Farm Experience. A sunset hike through stunning Burren landscape, followed by a BBQ . From 5pm, Saturday July 16.

Socks in the Frying Pan will be hosting a homecoming gig on Friday at 8pm in glór adding to the great music across the weekend. The organisers of Clare Food & Drink Fleadh have linked up with award-winning Meere’s Pork Products to provide a take-home breakfast for everyone in the audience. There will be free live music at Considine’s, Knox’s, Cruises, Preacher’s, Nora Culligan’s and The Poet’s Corner.

Further details are available on www.clarefooddrinkfleadh.ie. The festival is supported by Ennis Chamber, Clare County Council and Fáilte Ireland.

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