2016 Blas na hÉireann Awards winners and runners-up
The 2016 Blas na hÉireann Irish Food Awards took place in picturesque Dingle, Co. Kerry earlier this month, with big wins for cider producers, proving the growth of craft cider as a sector in Ireland
18 October 2016 | 0
Stonewell Rós Cider from Co. Cork was named Supreme Champion at this year’s Blas na hÉireann Irish Food Awards, sponsored by Bord Bia. Geraldine Emerson from Stonewell Rós Cider said they were delighted with the win because it’s simply recognition for all the hard work that goes into it.
Stonewell Ró swasn’t the only cider to triumph on the night either – Tempted Elderflower Cider and MacIvors Plum and Ginger Cider were tied for the Best Artisan category.
Awards chairperson Artie Clifford said the growth of cider production in Ireland is partially the cause of the big wins. “We have had to expand the number of categories in this area,” he said. “With the growth of the cider sector, producers are reacting to customer demand by developing new flavour combinations, leading to the likes of Stonewell with its rhubarb flavour. It’s a stunning drink.
“This has been a very strong year for many of our producers,” Clifford added. “The bar gets raised year on year, pushing the producers to constantly improve their offerings. This reinforces the world-class quality of Irish food and drink.”
Other key award winners included:
Best New Product which was won by The Purple Pantry for Teeling Small Batch and Ginger Marmalade. Best Start-Up was Dublin City Gin. Best Seafood Innovation went to Kilmore Quay in Wexford for their Breaded Haddock Goujons.
The Best UCC Packaging Innovation Award went to Cracked Black Pepper Beef Bites made by the Monaghan-based company Rucksnacks.
Best Packaging Design, also sponsored by UCC, went to Amodeo Salad Dressing by Tuscany Bistro from Annacotty in Limerick.
Rogha na Gaeltachta, proudly supported by Udarás na Gaeltachta went to Folláin Preserves, Cork.
Chef’s Larder Awards were given to Cavanagh Free Range Eggs, Co. Fermanagh, Fancy Fungi Mushrooms from Wexford for their Umami Paste, Dexter Beef Dripping from Killenure Dexter in Tipperary, Shellfish Pearls from IASC, Cork and Bog Oak Bitters, also from Cork.