Nine of Armagh’s finest food and drink firms win top prizes at the Irish Food Awards

Armagh has amazing food and no wonder nine of the county’s finest food and drink producers were top award winners in Blas na hÉireann 2021, the Irish Food Awards.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 12:59 pm

Holmes Bakery, which has been baking the finest products in Portadown and beyond since 1937, won four awards including Best in Armagh and Best in Ulster.

The family bakery scooped these honours for Holmes Butter Shortbread as well as winning an outright Gold. The firm also won silver for its Holmes Bakery Flakemeal Biscuits.

Armagh Cider, a well established firm just outside Portadown, also won three awards - a silver for its Armagh Craft Cider Medium, another silver for Armagh Craft Cider Sweet and a bronze for the Armagh Craft Cider Dry.

Ryan McCracken of McCracken's Brewery near Portadown. His beer, McCrackens Black, won a top award at the prestigious Blas na hÉireann 2021 awards which are the Irish Food Awards celebrating great food and drinks across every county in Ireland.

By contrast Burren Balsamics was founded in 2014 with the aim of producing top quality vinegars fusing local flavours with superior quality Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and creating a delicious range of condiments. It scooped gold for its Blackberry & Thyme Pearls and silver for its Irish Peat Smoked White Condiment of Modena.

CRAIC Foods Limited, based at Bluestone in Craigavon, won a silver award for its Pickled Sour Cherries in Cherry Vinegar.

L’Artisan Foods Ltd, also based at Bluestone and owned by Jose and Lucia Andre, specialises in gourmet food. With the owners Brazilian and Portugese backgrounds, they won a gold for their Pastel de Natas.

McCrackens Brewery, also based outside Portadown, scooped a bronze for its McCrackens Black. Founded by Ryan McCracken in 2018 with two beers and a dream it has flourished and already collected a great selection of awards.

Founded by father and son, Pat and Peter McKeever, Long Meadow Cider won gold for its Long Meadow Blossom Burst Cider.

White’s Oats based at Tandragee won two awards = bronze for its Tesco Porridge Oats and silver for its Tesco Apple and Cinnamon Instant Porridge Irish Oats.

Chairperson of Blas na hÉireann Artie Clifford feels that now, more than ever, it is essential to shine a light and give that all important boost to the talented producers dotted around the island.

“Congratulations to all the winners and to every producer who participated. It is always such a rewarding experience to see the wealth of exceptional foods being produced on the island of Ireland, and this has been the best year yet.”

The Blas na hÉireann awards are all-island awards recognising the very best Irish food and drink products.

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