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Cocktails with ingredients foraged from The Big Shed with Nick Strangeway and Oisin Davis (cocktail talk and tasting)

With an array of international awards including World Mixologist of the Year, Nick Strangeway is a legend on the international bar scene, and is known the world over for both his innovation and his deep understanding of the history of mixed drinks. Together with Oisin Davis, one of Ireland’s best-known names in the world of cocktails, they will present a cocktail demo and tasting with ingredients ‘foraged’ from the Big Shed.

With the large array and variety of food and drink producers in the Big Shed, Oisin and Nick think it would be cool to round up some of their products and make some cocktails with them in a simple style and method that aims to demystify cocktails and encourage people to try making them at home with their household blenders, soup guns, baking sieves, kilner jars etc. The idea behind featuring the products from the Big Shed is to generate a nice synergy between what the producers create and how they can be enjoyed in mixed drinks.

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Gin with Dave Broom, Peter Mulryan and Nick Strangeway (gin talk and tasting)

In recent years, gin has shed its old-fashioned image and been reborn as a hot and hip spirit. The number of brands grows every day and bartenders - and consumers - are now beginning to re-examine it…

Dave Broom is a prolific spirits writer, twice recipient of Glenfiddich Drinks Book of The Year Award, Drinks Writer of the Year, and IWSC Communicator of the Year - author of the recently published Gin – the Manual, a book about how to drink gin and discover ways to enjoy it that you never thought possible.

With an array of international awards including World Mixologist of the Year, Nick Strangeway is a legend on the international bar scene and is known the world over for both his innovation and his deep understanding of the history of mixed drinks. Hepple Gin is Nick’s latest and most prized project.

Joining Dave and Nick, is author and Irish craft gin distiller Peter Mulryan of Blackwater Gin, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, for a not to be missed gin talk and tasting.

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'Islands in the Sun' Unique wines from Europe's ancient island vineyards with John Wilson ( wine talk & tasting)

John Wilson take you on tasting and tour of Europe's ancient island vineyards. There is a fantastic history of wine making on many of the various islands in the Mediterranean going back to ancient times, from Italy, Greece, France, Spain, Croatia and elsewhere, including the Canaries and Madeira with some amazing stories behind them. This wine talk & tasting will also look at the various ancient traditions of viticulture and vinification on these islands, many of which are now attracting renewed interest.

Irish Times wine correspondent, John Wilson, has 20 years of practical experience in the wine trade under his belt, is author of Wilson on Wine 2015, and 2016 and other wine book, including editing The Wine Guide, Ireland's best ever selling wine book. Most of all, he likes a glass of decent wine.

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'Hops & Glory' - IPA with Pete Brown and Caroline Hennessy ( craft beer talk & tasting)

Caroline and Pete will be talking and tasting IPA craft beer. “The original India Pale Ale was pure gold in a glass; a semi-mythical beer specially invented, in the 19th century, to travel halfway around the world, through storms and tropical sunshine, and arrive in perfect condition for a long, cold drink on an Indian verandah”.

Pete Brown is a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers, and was twice named Beer Writer of the Year. He is the author of numerous books on beer including Hops and Glory, and co-author of The Worlds Best Ciders, and his articles about beer, pubs, cider and why they matter appear regularly in the drinks trade press and consumer press He appears regularly on TV and radio, and is a judge on the BBC Food and Farming Awards and the Great Taste Awards.

Caroline Hennessy, journalist and broadcaster, is co-author of Sláinte - The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider. Caroline started her award-winning food blog, Bibliocook: All About Food, in early 2005. Together with Kristin Jensen she set up the Irish Food Bloggers’ Association in 2010. She has worked in radio, print and online. Caroline writes for the McKenna’s Good Food Guides, is a member of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild.

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Join sisters, beer sommelier Judith Boyle and storyteller Susan Boyle, on a taste filled journey discovering the stories behind some of the world’s most loved beer styles and intriguing craft brews. '

Join sisters Judith and Susan Boyle on a taste filled journey discovering the stories behind some of the world’s most loved beer styles and intriguing craft brews. "Tales of Ales" is an enlightening 90 minute tasting event.

Susan is one half of Two Sisters Brewing. Alongside her sister Judith they make Brigid’s Ale which they sell from their family pub, Boyle's in Kildare. Susan is passionate about the stories behind drinks and loves helping people discover the flavours and fun of fantastic beverages. Fusing history and theatre, she had toured country wide with her critically acclaimed one woman show “A Wine Goose Chase” which also inspired a wine shop in Dublin airport, terminal 1. She has presented drinks on TV3 and RTE.
Judith is a 5th generation publican and scientist. She is beer maker and accredited beer sommelier (there are just over 100 worldwide). She has combined science and beer to create delicious beer ice cream using dry ice which wowed capacity audiences at the Electric Picnic Theatre of Food. With her sister Susan, Judith writes an in depth weekly beer article which is published in the Leinster Leader.

Tales of Ales' is an enlightening 90 minute tasting event.

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Irish Whiskey and The Role of Wood with Kevin O’Gorman, Master of Maturation, Midleton Distillery, and drinks writer Dave Broom.
(Irish Whiskey talk and tasting)

Kevin O’Gorman, Master of Maturation, Midleton Distillery, and Dave Broom will delve into the wonderful world of oak, cask types, maturation and explain the significant impact of oak origin and type of seasoning on Whiskey aroma and taste, and by way of illustration, a tasting of Whiskey reflecting different cask types

Dave Broom is a prolific drinks writer. Originally from Glasgow, Dave is living now at the south coast of England in Hove very close to Brighton. For over twenty years now he has been a freelance writer, focussing not only on whisky but also on other spirits. So far he has written twelve books, two of which have won the Glenfiddich Drinks Book of The Year Award. In 2015 he became ‘chief engineer’ on the new whisky website scotchwhisky.com He also writes for Whisky Advocate and many national and international titles. Last year he was voted Spirits Writer of the Year at the prestigious Spirited Awards and his book Whisky: The Manual won Book of the Year. In 2013, he was awarded the IWSC's Communicator of the Year in 2013.

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The World's Under-priced Wines with Jancis Robinson MW (talk and tasting)

We are delighted to welcome Jancis Robinson MW, ‘the most respected wine critic in the world’, back to the Drinks Theatre at Litfest, where she will give a talk and tasting on ‘The World's Under-priced Wines’.

Jancis writes daily for JancisRobinson.com (voted first-ever Wine Website of the Year in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards 2010), weekly for The Financial Times, and bi-monthly for a column that is syndicated around the world. Jancis is author of many wine books and is also editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine, co-author of Wine Grapes - a complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavours, and co-author with Hugh Johnson of The World Atlas of Wine - each of these books recognised as a standard reference worldwide. Her latest book, The 24-Hour Wine Expert, was published February 2016. She loves and lives for wine in all its glorious diversity, generally favouring balance and subtlety over sheer mass.

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'Monastrell, Mourvèdre and Mataro - three grapes in one ' with Leslie Williams (wine talk and tasting)

One grape variety, three names. Join the Irish Examiner wine writer, Leslie Williams as he explores this overlooked and intriguing grape variety with a wine tasting by way of illustration with a selection from Spain, France and Australia.

Leslie Williams is a food and wine/drinks writer and freelance journalist, who writes the Wine & Drinks column in the Irish Examiner where he also reviews restaurants and contributes features and travel articles. He writes regularly for the trade magazine FFT on food trends and on drinks and has contributed restaurant and food articles to the Evening Herald over many years.

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Hugh Johnson in conversation with John Wilson

A wine conversation not to be missed…

Hugh Johnson OBE is the world’s most successful wine author. Hugh began his life-long passion for wine in all its variety as a member of the Wine & Food Society at Cambridge University, where he gained an Honours Degree in English Literature. Hugh has written a series of landmark books on wine during the past five decades - his first book, Wine, was published in 1966. Hugh has gone on to write many more in the past five decades, including The Story of Wine and The World Atlas of Wine, co-authored with Jancis Robinson MW. Hugh Johnson’s annual Pocket Wine Book, now in its 37th edition, is acknowledged as the world's most successful succinct annual bestselling wine guide.

Irish Times wine correspondent, John Wilson, has 20 years of practical experience in the wine trade under his belt, is author of Wilson on Wine 2015, and 2016 and other wine books, including editing The Wine Guide, Ireland's best ever selling wine book. Most of all, he likes a glass of decent wine.

Irish Craft Cider, a panel talk & tasting with producers and drinks writers including Pete Brown, co-author of 'Worlds Best Cider.

Join Irish and International drinks writers, including Pete Brown, co-author of ‘World's Best Ciders: Taste, Tradition, and Terroir’, together with some of Ireland’s craft cider producers for a panel discussion and tasting on Irish craft cider in the Drinks Theatre at Litfest 2016.

“Apples are an integral part of Irish culture and history… it is thought that cidermaking in Ireland stretches back at least 2000 years if not much further. The religious orders and monasteries would have been instrumental in the production of cider, with the heyday of Irish farmhouse cidermaking during the 18th century and the opening decades of the 19th century, with writers both here and abroad commenting on the excellent qualities of Irish ciders. This new generation of cidermakers are passionate enthusiasts dedicated to the art of cidermaking. These ciders are as diverse as the producers who make them, full of character and distinctive local flavours unique to each maker” CiderIreland.com

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About Litfest

The Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine is a weekend filled with fascinating facts, inspirational stories, intriguing discussions, incredible knowledge, fantastic music, fabulous dancing and of course, delicious food and drinks.

It is the only festival of its kind in Ireland and has created an important hub for food and drinks enthusiasts worldwide to meet and share ideas with each other.

Check out the video of last years festival

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