Council supports tasty new local foodie events

An Urban Street Food Fest linked to an international music festival, ‘Best of the Northwest Showcase’ and the launch of a new craft beer based on a 300-year-old Siege recipe are among a feast of upcoming events announced by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Council is funding the events as part of its Year of Food Industry Support Programme which encourages the private sector to develop events which support the Year of Food and Drink objectives aimed at building the region’s reputation as an international food tourism destination.

The Programme has previously supported Sippy Fest, a two-day celebration of local beers, spirits and food which took place in the Guildhall in November 2016 and, a Gourmet Slow Food evening hosted by Wild Strands in December celebrating the Native Foyle Oyster.

Sippy will be back in February with weekend tours of the city’s craft breweries – Northbound, Dopey Dick at Taphouse and Walled City Brewery – which will also feature locally sourced food produce.

Welcoming Council’s support for the foodie events on the menu leading up to its award-winning LegenDerry Food Festival in March which attracted 36,000 visitors last year, Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Hilary McClintock, encouraged locals and visitors alike to continue supporting local produce and suppliers as part of the legacy of Year of Food and Drink, following on from the city’s success as runner-up Ireland Foodie Destination 2015 and 2016.

“Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink has provided a tremendous opportunity to showcase our ‘LegenDerry and Local’ food offer across the city and district and, I am delighted that Council is continuing to support local businesses going forward through its Year of Food Industry Support Programme.”

Mary Blake, Council’s Tourism Development Manager, added: “The Industry Support Programme is designed to encourage the private sector to take the lead on developing foodie events and experiences that are immersive and focus on local food provenance. They link to key themes set out in the Year of Food calendar and show the creativity of the sector in developing a programme that offers a full menu from seaweed bread to street food.”

A packed programme of events planned for February’s ‘Love Local’ month includes an Urban Street Food Fest organised by Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin on Saturday, February 4th, as part of its IMBOLC International Music Festival which will take place in the Glassworks.

February will also see celebrations at the award-winning Walled City Brewery to launch its new ‘1689’ craft beer based on a 300-year-old ale dating back to the Siege of Derry, developed as part of Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016 in partnership with Chef Brian McDermott, manager of the Foodovation Centre at North West Regional College.

Master Brewer James Huey said: “This is the first beer produced by the Walled City Brewery that has the potential for export to UK and Europe. It will also be a huge tourist attraction as visitors will be able to taste a beer that was last drunk by Governor Walker in July 1689!”

A ‘Best of the Northwest Showcase’ will take place at Browns Restaurant and Champagne Lounge which was named Best Restaurant in Ulster by the Irish Restaurants Association in 2016.

Bradkeel Social Farm near Plumbridge in the rural Strabane district will host workshops highlighting local food heritage with an opportunity to learn how to bake scones and sample locally grown and organic produce.

Derry City and Strabane District Council was funded during Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016 by Tourism NI, DAERA NI Regional Development Fund and the Loughs Agency through the Sustainable Development Programme, assisted by Food NI.

For further information on Council’s food tourism events, visit