Festivals – Sheridans Irish Food Fest & Bloom in Phoenix Park

You know it’s the Summer in Ireland when nearly every weekend there is some festival or event on somewhere. This past couple of weeks have seen two of the largest festivals and there were countless others that I couldn’t get to.

First up we have the Sheridan’s Annual Irish Food Fest which takes place at their main warehouse / store in Carnaross in Co Meath. Their store is located at an old train station and has ample grounds for an annual festival. The format for this event is loads of Irish food producers, alongside workshops and demos from some of the finest chefs, and producers. 

Unfortunately the weather for Sheridans wasn’t the best and it was wet underfoot, but this didn’t stop people turning up in vast numbers to sample their way around the marquis. The workshops and demo’s themselves were only €5 to attend and my wife and I attended a cookery demo by Arun from Green Saffron, Cheese making with Milleens, and a cookery demonstration by Richard Corrigan. 

There are lots of food options, hot food, a tea tent, and plenty of things to keep the little ones entertained, face painting, balloons, and a band. 

On the beer front, there was Cam from 8 degrees and local lads Paddy & Daire from Bru Brewery – it was great to see that these two tents were among the busiest at the whole festival, even when it was raining outside.

We came home with a bag full of goodies, local cheeses, local flavoured butters and puddings! It was so much fun, that i’d highly recommend it to anyone.

Next up is the annual Food, Gardening and lifestyle event Bloom in the Phoenix Park. I’d never been before, so I leapt at the opportunity to go when Paddy from Bru asked me could I give them a hand with their bar at the Bloom Inn. 

In the beer tent we had Bru, Metalman, Kinnegar, Trouble Brewing, Creans, Porterhouse, O’Haras, Rye River, White Gypsy and Stonewell Cider. There was also a cocktail bar by Teelings and Ruby Blue. Cleverly there was also and Irish Cheese Stand in the Bloom Inn, this went so well with the beers. However even though I only got a quick walk around while taking a break, I was genuinely blown away by the scale of the event and the many different things they have going on. It was also great to get feedback from people on the beers. As this was a totally different crowd to what you can expect in the RDS in September. I’d say there were a few converts that day.

Next year i’ll make it and hopefully be on the other side of the bar this time.

Probus Wines – Dublin 2

Located in Dublin 2, just off Merrion Square, on Fenian St / Denizille Lane opposite the Gingerman Pub. This off license / deli / café is an intriguing proposition.

The building itself used to be a licensed premises, and this license remains with the building. This allows you to be able to purchase a beer, and drink on site. With a 20% drink in upcharge to drink in its more than fair. 

Paul in Probus regularly runs tasting evenings on Thursday and Saturday evenings, and last week in their Irish Beers with Irish Cheeses series it was red ales. Mrs Irishbeersnob is mad about cheese, i’m slowly but surely getting over my phobia with her guidance. So we booked our spots on Facebook. 

The charge is a very reasonable €6 each. So we settled in having arrived for 6pm. So the beer line up was Irish Reds, and our offerings were Dungarvan Brew Co – Copper Coast Red, O’Haras Red, and Galway Bay Red Ale. The cheeses were starting in order of strength. So we started with Goats Cheese, then a Gubbeen, and lastly a matured Cooleeney I think. Aidan Sweeney was guiding us expertly through the tasting and was 
more than happy to share his ample knowledge with his very willing audience. It was interesting the subtle differences to the tastes of the cheese when matched with different beers.

There was a surprise in store for us though, with the strongest cheese, Aidan had a bottle of Porterhouses Louder barley wine that is associated with Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, i’m happy to say this collaboration was a lot better than the last one, Down n Outz. Big Flavour with a big cheese, was just the ticket, I felt it complemented it very well. Now for the twist in the tale, and pure cheesehead aficionados may wish to look away now, we tried it with Coca Cola, and it totally neutralized the flavour of the cheese. A lot of food for thought.

After the tasting was finished we enjoyed the company of a lovely crowd, and one of the regulars brought a Tequila & Lime cake, it was divine! 

We stuck around for a while and had a couple of beers, I’d a Trooper and Galway Bay Buried at Sea ( I think I prefer the bottled version vs draft) and her good self had a Shepherd Neame’s Canterbury Jack. All very enjoyable. Our final bill was just under €30, a very nice evening. Sadly we didn’t partake of the food as we were stuffed from our earlier visit to Bison.

Paul and his team have a great setup, a very wide range of Craft Beer & Wines from all over the world. For very reasonable prices. A lovely looking deli that has a sandwich calling my name Gubbeen and Salami with roasted peppers! The food on the night smelled delicious, and looked lovely. To have the option to sit in with a beer and only add on 20% extra, makes it a real alternative to the pub, and perhaps its an insight into the European style licensing system that was shot down by the publicans lobby when proposed by the PD’s many years ago now it seems. If your in the area definitely pop in, and enjoy the hospitality and surroundings, you will be very well looked after. See you again soon.