Hope’s winter seasonal

Hope beer lovers will be delighted with the release of the Emmer Stout as the company’s new winter seasonal product. If the design of the 440ml bottle doesn't lure you in, the ingredients surely will. The stout is made using an ancient grain, emmer wheat, which was an important source of food for Ireland’s Neolithic farmers. The emmer wheat used in the Hope beer is grown in Ashbourne, Co Meath. Dominic Gryson is the man behind the harvest and actually specialises in the growing and harvesting of heritage barleys. The taste of the beerl is predominantly bitter and dry, as a result of using emmer wheat and thanks to the flavours of bitter coffee and dark chocolate.

Emmer stout can be purchased in independent off-licenses, Molloys and Next Doors countrywide, as well as at selected SuperValu’s in north Dublin.

An abundance of cheese

The Irish Cheese Awards took place this week to celebrate the farmhouse cheese sector. The event is organised by Cáis, the Association of Irish Farmhouse Cheesemakers. The 15 judges had the difficult task of selecting the best cheeses out of a whopping 220 entries from 50 companies. Each cheese is judged by its aroma, flavour, body and texture and overall appearance. The most anticipated announcement was for the winner of the Supreme Champion, which goes to the most outstanding cheese entered. This year’s Supreme Champion title went to ‘Templegall’ by Hegarty Cheese, Cork. Other categories included Best New Cheese, Best Raw Milk Cheese and another 16 classes of soft, blues, semi-hard and hard cheeses. Tom Dinneen, chair of Cáis, said: “Every farmhouse cheesemaker can take an equal share of the credit for the outstanding contribution that the sector continues to make to Irish food culture, our rural communities and the dairy industry.”

For a full list of all the winners, see www.irishcheese.ie.

Cupán tae?

Muckross Park Hotel and Spa have launched their Tea Rooms.

Who doesn’t love a fancy tea party? With the launch of their new elegant afternoon tea experience, Muckross Park Hotel and Spa could be a potential destination for when you find yourself craving a more exotic tea than the cup of Barrys/Lyons you make at home. The afternoon tea consists of a wide selection of sandwiches, scones and desserts, as well 20 different Ronnefeldt Teas assortments to chose from. The hotel is offering two different menus for afternoon tea, one classic and one that has options for vegans and coeliacs. Each menu is priced at €35 and guests have the options to include glasses of champagne or champagne flights for additional charges. Afternoon tea sittings are at 1pm and at 3pm. Bookings can be made at www.muckrosspark.com/dining-in-killarney/afternoon-tea/.

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