Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland
Clare Food & Drink Fleadh

Clare Food & Drink Fleadh – We’re back!
October 09 – 11, 2020

Last year saw the launch of the Clare Food & Drink Fleadh – a celebration of the wonderful produce of the Banner county – the good news is that we are back.
Due to the changed times we live in, this year’s Clare Food & Drink Fleadh 2020, to run from October 09 – 11, is a pared back version of last year’s joyful festival, filled with food, drink, music and craic of the uniquely County Clare variety.

This year’s Clare Food & Drink Fleadh may be half the size, but it has the same ingredients! Rest assured, while we want to present an opportunity to have fun, we will not compromise on safety, all events are subject to government guidelines and social distancing.

Gastronomic good times in a safe environment is the order of the day!

Supported by Ennis Chamber of Commerce, Visit Ennis and Clare County Council, Clare Food & Drink Fleadh will showcase the best of the Banner’s bounty – the amazing food sourced, grown and produced sustainably across the county, as well as the award-winning craft beers brewed and the whiskeys blended here in the Banner.

Highlights

Across the Weekend October 09 – 11

• The best ‘Clare Dish’: Ennis restaurants and cafés participating in this year’ Clare Food & Drink Fleadh will conjure up what they hope will be an award-winning ‘Clare Dish’. It can be a starter, main or dessert, but it must have a minimum of one Clare sourced or produced hero ingredient. Yum, can’t wait to savour the creations of our talented chefs.

• The bars are getting in on the act too, across the weekend participating bars will feature a specially created ‘Clare Cocktail’, specially created for this special weekend. Extra points for cocktails inspired by the Banner and ‘extra extra’ points for the use of Banner sourced ingredients (foraged or produced)- Let’s hear those stories of inspiration!
Last year Keegan Droohan won the Best Cocktail trophy for Brogan’s Bar…. but it was hard fought with No. Forty-One and Fawl’s Railway Bar snapping at his heels. Who will win this year?

This year’s programme centred in Ennis, also includes a number of county-wide satellite events.

Friday October 09, 2020

• Putting the Fleadh into the Farmers Market! As usual the Farmers Market in Roslevan will run from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm, but to celebrate the Clare Food & Drink Fleadh, there will be live music.

• Make your way from the office to Taylor’s Bar to enjoy ‘Achill Oysters and Guinness’ (or a beverage of your choice) from 6pm to 8pm

• Catch the final of the much-anticipated Clare Food & Drink Fleadh ‘Home Brew Competition 2020’ at McHugh’s Bar, home to Western Herd Craft Beers.

As we know ‘lockdown’ released the inner homebrewer in people of all ages and backgrounds across Ireland. Fair to say there was an explosion in home brewing!

Entries were of an extraordinary high level this year. Judges found it difficult to choose the four finalists. However, they did, and 30 litres of each of the finalist beers have been brewed, ready for tasting, to help judges and the public (include those online) decide on this year’s winner. The judging/final will be live from 9pm (very limited numbers) and will be simultaneously broadcast on Facebook Live.

• On Friday October 09 and Saturday October 10 Fawl’s Off-Licence, O’Connell Street will provide a rare opportunity to sample excellent whiskeys blended by the trail-blazing team at J.J. Corry, in Cooraclare.

Saturday October 10

Artisan Market at Ennis Market Building will feature the best produced food products in Clare – Stall numbers will be limited in keeping with government guidelines, but the quality will definitely be unlimited! Expect only the best from chocolate to cheese to baked goods, specialty meats and oysters.

• One of the huge successes last year was Clare Food & Drink Fleadh Junior Bake-off – competition was really keen. With all those cakes baked, and skills learned during lockdown we are expecting standards to be just as high this year. There are three age categories this year, 7 – 9 years old, 10 – 12 years old and 13 – 15 years old. There are fantastic prizes for the winners. Competitors will be asked to drop off their entries from 3.30pm on Saturday October 10, to the covered Market Building. Judges will judge behind closed doors, with the results broadcast live on Facebook Live. Competitors can collect their cakes between 5pm and 6pm. More details and entry forms on our Facebook page. See: https://www.facebook.com/clarefooddrinkfleadh/

At Fawl’s Railway Bar Pauline Whelan will replicate the wonderful Poll Na N`íosraí (Oyster hollow) inspired cocktail she created for last year’s Clare Food & Drink Fleadh with its gin base, lime juice, sea salt and dillisk, Taking it one step further this year, Pauline will serve the cocktail with oysters from Poll Na N`íosraí. To have the cocktail on its own or with oysters, the choice is yours.

Sunday October 11

• Town Hall Bistro – book early if you want a place at ‘Bubbles & Jazz Brunch’, on Sunday October 11. With social distancing requirements in place, numbers are tight. Brunch is served 11.30am to 1:00pm, with regular Sunday lunch reservations from 1:00pm onwards. Brunch will be accompanied by live jazz guitar music.

• Enjoy Seashore Foraging with Oonagh O’Dwyer, one of the most knowledgeable and accomplished forages in the seashore world. We are lucky to have Oonagh based in Lahinch. Used to taking some of the world’s most gifted Michelin star chefs on an expert tour and tasting of what nature has to offer along our bountiful Atlantic shores, Clare Food & Drink Fleadh is delighted to subsidise this great experience. Although outdoors, numbers are limited. Dress appropriately, pack your wellies and waterproofs! You must also pre-book. €20 per family and €10 per individual. Starts at 3.30pm sharp (low tide) on Sunday October 11. Bookings: info@wildkitchen.ie or Tel: 087 6877890

Meet the Makers

Throughout the weekend Clare Food & Drink Fleadh will present a number of opportunities to meet some of our county’s finest artisan ‘Makers’

Wilde Irish Chocolates (Tuamgraney)
When: 2pm October 08 (Thursday) and 2pm October 09 (Friday)
Did you ever dream of going behind the scenes at a chocolate factory? Now is your chance. On Thursday October 08 and Friday October 09, you can book your place to visit Wilde Irish Chocolates in Tuamgraney. Learn how chocolate is made and the importance of flavour. Taste some samples. The very best news is that these Clare Food & Drink Fleadh curtain-raiser events are FREE.
Cost: FREE
To book your place Telephone: (061) 922 080 or Email: wildeirishchocs@gmail.com (numbers limited to 6 per event)

St Tola’s Goats Cheese (Inagh)
When: 10.30am October 09
Not just nationally but internationally acclaimed St Tola’s Goats Cheese make award-winning cheeses from the milk produced by their herd of Saanen, Toggenbourg and British Alpine goats. This is your chance to meet some of the cheeky goats and to hear about the farming methods, the cheese-making process (demo) involved in making St Tola’s sumptuous range of cheeses. You will even get to taste the different cheeses they produce.
Cost: Families of 5 people max (2 adults 3 children): €25. Per individual adult: €15. Per child over 6: €10 Children under 6: FREE.
To book places: Email info@st-tola.ie or Telephone 065 6836633

Burren Smokehouse Masterclass
When: 2pm October 10
A trailblazer in artisan food production, Burren Smokehouse will open its doors to give a ‘masterclass’ on salmon and different smoking methods. It includes a 7-minute video about the smoking process sand covers the history and milestones of the Burren Smokehouse and incudes tasting of smoked salmon. The ticket also includes a self-guided tour through the new visitor experience ‘Taste the Atlantic – The Salmon Experience’. To book this experience Email: sales@burrensmokehouse.ie
Cost: €15 per person

Western Herd – Meet the Makers
When: 2.30pm October 11
If you weren’t making sourdough bread during lockdown, there’s a distinct possibility possibly you were busy home brewing! This is a great opportunity to see and hear how the brewers at Western Herd craft their award-winning beers.
Based in an old dairy on a hilltop farm in Kilmaley, just a few miles from Ennis, Western Herd has deservedly become one of the most celebrated craft beer producers in Ireland.
2.30pm, Sunday October 11, a very small, socially distanced group of people will learn some brewing techniques from the experts.
To book this experience Tel: 087 3934545
Cost: €10 per person