Walks, talks and demos
Eating and Shopping
21st – 22nd September 2013
We would like to welcome you to Applefest, the second Slow Food Apple and Craft Cider Festival, the only festival of it’s kind in Ireland.
Our objective is to celebrate the apple and all the wonderful food and drink that we make from it. In particular, we want to promote Irish apple varieties and to encourage people to take a fresh look at the humble fruit.
We also want people to have some fun. That is what festivals are for. In Slow Food we very much enjoy the conviviality of sharing food and drink with people who appreciate it, not just for what it is but for where it came from and who produced it. We like to know that it is good food, that the environment wasn’t harmed to produce it and that the producer got a fair price. With enjoyment comes responsibility.
The humble Irish apple has been at the heart of many an Irish Kitchen for generations and this year we will celebrate it with the All-Ireland Slow Food Apple Tart Competition. Our mission is to find the best apple tart in the country, a tall order for sure, but the time has come for the amateur bakers of Ireland to step up to the mark and stake their claim. Who will be the best tart-maker in Ireland in 2013?
In 2011 the number of people making pure-juice cider in Ireland jumped significantly. New producers, many of them apple growers themselves, decided to take the leap and start creating high quality craft-cider of their own and in 2012 the number of commercially available Irish craft ciders reached double figures. This year we will have twelve Irish producers making more than twenty craft ciders.
With the tradition of cider-making in Ireland showing signs of a revival, perhaps even a renaissance, we in Slow Food feel it is important to celebrate it. This growth industry has potential to create jobs, especially rural jobs, and it could be a significant employer in years to come. But this is a festival , and festivals are for having fun. Most, if not all, of the new cider-makers will be present or will be represented at the festival. This is the best opportunity you will ever have to try and compare the best Irish-made ciders in one venue. Happy days.
We hope this year’s festival will build on the success of last year and that it will keep growing from year to year. We want it to be a landmark event on the festival calendar and one that brings visitors to our beautiful part of the world. But for now we just want you to join us in celebrating a part of our heritage that we may have taken for granted.
For those of you who would like to stay up to date with any developments with regard to the festival you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. While we want to maintain the boutique style of festival we have some great ideas for how to grow the festival, and it will require a great deal more voluntary input. If you would like to get involved you can contact via Facebook or Twitter or email.
Applefest takes place at the Apple Farm, Moorstown, Cahir, Co. Tipperary on the 21st and 22nd September. There is hotel accommodation in Cahir and Clonmel, local B&Bs and camping on site.
At Applefest we won’t be going overboard with the commercial side of things or designing a festival to part you from as much of your hard earned cash as possible. But nevertheless there will be plenty to eat and and drink at the festival and it will be a great opportunity to stock up with some of the things you won’t necessarily get every day.
For hot food we are looking forward to the return of the Crowe’s Farm mobile catering wagon and the ever-creative chef JJ Healy. We are also trawling the highways and bi-ways for interesting producers, and there will be lots to try and buy, and of course, as the festival is being hosted by The Apple Farm, there is one of the finest farm-shops in the country already there.
Our Festival Barbecue takes place on Saturday evening and this ticket only event is sure to sell out quickly. We will have live music and a licensed bar where you can really kick back and relax with a few craft ciders or one of the guest craft beers.
Tickets for the barbecue are €30 and are available from the Apple Farm shop. Call 052 744 1459 to book. The menu is a veritable feast.
Whether your interest is in cultivating apples, making cider, cooking, or just eating we have something to interest you. Throughout the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday we will have a range of tours and demonstrations and the best thing about them is they are nearly all free.
Since 2011 there has been a resurgence in interest in craft ciders and this is a rare opportunity to sample many of the new ciders from around Ireland under one roof. You can compare and contrast the various styles, and as a “special treat” you can try some of our specially commissioned traditional Irish cider, made to Dick Keating’s recipe and guaranteed to lift the fur off your tongue. At 13% vol. its not for the feint-hearted. The cider tent will be ticket only.
Cider and Cheese
Our cheese expert
will be on hand to match Irish cider with Irish cheese. Cider goes really well with cheeses like Camembert and harder cheddar–like cheeses. But there may be a few surprises among the plethora of other cheeses we produce so well in Ireland.
When dining we tend to think of wine to accompany a meal but in France, Germany, Spain and other European countries cider is widely enjoyed with food. Chef JJ Healy will give you some ideas for matching food with cider and you can also enjoy a nibble or two.
One of the reasons cider was so popular in Ireland is because it is very easy to make. Come along to this demo and you will have a spring in your step on the way home when you realise what a doddle it is to make your own cider.
Tours at the Farm
Orchard tours and tours of the farm enterprise: a great behind the scenes look into the running of the Apple Farm and the many products available through the farm shop.
Demos at the Farm
Ever wondered how they get the juice from the apple tree to the bottle? What about apple peeling machines? How do they make dried apple? See how juice is made and apples are processed into so many different products. Demonstrations throughout the day.
The Apple Farm is located on the N24 between Cahir and Clonmel, less than 5km from Junction 10 on the M8. Follow signs for Waterford/Clonmel. The main entrance will be closed to vehicular traffic during the festival and access to the car park is via the junction east of the main gate (on the Clonmel side).
Travelling from Cahir/M8 drive, go past the entrance to the Apple Farm for 400m and turn left. Travelling from Clonmel turn right at the junction with the signpost for Moorstown. The car park is along the road on the right.
Armagh Cider Company
Armagh Cider Company is owned by Philip and Helen Troughton of Ballinteggart House, outside Portadown. The Troughton family have been growing apples there for four generations. Carsons Crisp and Maddens Mellow are produced exclusively from fresh pressed apples and contain no artificial flavours, colours or ingredients.
Stonewell Irish Craft Cider
Based in Nohoval near Kinsale, we source apples solely from premier Irish orchards. Using traditional handmade methods and all natural ingredients, we produce a fresh full bodied medium dry cider and a new dry cider . Stonewell Cider, 2011 Dry, 5.5% and Stonewell Cider, 2011 Medium Dry, 5% .
Longueville House Cider
Longueville House Apple Brandy and Cider was first developed by the late Michael O’Callaghan back in 2000. A pioneering spirit he planted 20 acres of Dabinett and Michelin cider apples at the north-west side of the property. More recently his son William has taken over from where his father left off and had brought it to another level.
We created the recipe for the cider by combining 7 apple varieties including a high percentage of cider apples (45%), along with 40% culinary apples and 15% dessert apples. The result is a bittersweet style of cider with a depth of flavour that can only be achieved with the use of cider apple varieties. It is made in Armagh under agreement by the Troughtons to our recipe.
Mac’s Armagh Cider
Mac’s Dry Cider (6%) is a traditional cider as produced on farms for the last 1000 years – high tannin cider with no concession to sweetness. Mac’s Sweet Cider (6%) has sugar added and reduced tannin levels to cater for the modern taste. Mac’s Lyte (3%) is a gentle sweet refreshing cider. Uniquely the sweetness is due to unfermented apple sugar which produces a very pleasant cider popular even with dry cider drinkers.
Tempted? Irish Craft Cider
Davy Uprichard researched the traditional methods for making cider and is determined to make a quality craft cider to make the most of the flavours from Armagh apples. Our apples are pressed and the pure juice is left to ferment for over six months. Then the cider is lightly carbonated as it’s bottled. We have two available: Tempted? medium dry and Tempted? medium sweet
We make our Double L Irish Cider from Irish apples only, and we use various apple varieties for the process. The exact blend varies from year to year depending on how the different apples develop in the season, and on the results of our own tasting and judgement, as to what blending will give us the desired result. Our currently available mainstays are our ‘Bone Dry’ and our ‘Medium Dry’.
Highbank Proper Cider
Currently in limited production, its known as Highbank Proper Cider, it has a natural colour, and because there is no added sugar it simply tastes like apples. Their aim is to make it every year and part of the beauty of it is that, in the same way that wines vary from year to year, so will the Highbank Proper Cider.
MacIvors Cider Co.
After many trial blends and a stint at a cider academy, we are unveiling two new ciders – each perfectly balanced, each with its own distinct personality. Both made from 100% fresh pressed apples, Mac Ivors Medium is lively, fresh and fruity. Mac Ivors Traditional Dry is more complex with a long, dry finish.
Craigie’s Cider is made in Ballyhook, Grangecon, Co. Wicklow with a blend of apples from Co. Waterford. It is a medium dry cider with medium body and light tannins. It has a very elegant character due to its fine fruit and savoury flavours, as well as its refreshing acidity which helps prolong these characters on the palate. 6% ABV.
New for this year, Kilmegan Cider comes from a new entrant to the Irish Craft Cider market and this will be the first public outing. Made by Andrew Boyd in Kilmegan, Co. Down, there is only a very small output, made from a blend of apples that include many old trees from his fathers orchard, some of which are over 100 years old. A rare opportunity to sample this cider that will sell out in a jiffy.
Cockagee Pure Irish Keeved Cider
Ireland’s only Naturally sparkling Keeved Cider. As a result of using the ancient technique of Keeving, this Cider retains a light sweet twist of naturally occurring apple fruit sugars in the finished Cider. Made in the heart of the Boyne Valley by Cider-maker Mark Jenkinson. Estate grown, made and bottled at The Cider Mill, Cornanstown House, Slane Co. Meath.
Crow Black Chicken Cider
This is the festival special cider for 2013. It is called after Crow Black Chicken, a local rock blues band who are playing at the festival. This cider will only be available at the festival. It’s a one off and another opportunity to taste something unique, never to be repeated.
Last years special cider. Made to a traditional recipe from Dick Keating of this county, it was strong. In fact I’m still not sure it wouldn’t have been better to put it in the Land Rover. This is cider in its most raw state, the hairy chested, Johnny Jump Up variety. We bottled it and put some by for this years festival, and quite unexpectedly it has matured into a passable apple wine.
This is a festival for all the family to enjoy and we will have plenty going on to keep the little cricks amused throughout the day. The Apple Farm is a very safe place and we will have our traffic management plan in place to ensure that little ones and hard moving objects are kept well apart.
A hugely popular activity for kids last year was the train rides around the Apple Farm. In fact it was difficult to get some of the adults off to let the kids on. Pushing them out of the way and everything.
What sort of a festival would it be if the kids clothes didn’t get ruined by face paint. And its a great way to have fun and confuse daddy after he has visited the cider tent.
We will be looking for volunteers over the weekend to sit with an apple on their head while little sharp-shooters fire crossbow bolts at it. All in good fun. We have boy scout first aiders lined up so there is absolutely nothing to fear.
Dunking for apples, bobbing for apples, decorating toffee apples, paring apples (with the wackiest apple parer you ever saw) we make apples fun.
Competitions for 2013
This year we are introducing competitions to the festival line-up.While the emphasis throughout the festival will be on enjoyment of good food and drink we feel that the time is right to run these competitions, to help raise the profile of the festival and it’s objectives.
First we are hosting the inaugural Cider Ireland – Irish Craft Cider Competition. There are a number of classes for commercial cider makers and some open classes for the amateur and home cider-maker. There are a number of prestigious judges from Ireland and the UK to adjudicate based on blind tastings. The details of the competition are available for download and we hope there will be good deal of interest in the open classes as well as the commercial ones.
We are also hosting the Slow Food Traditional Irish Apple Tart Competition. This is one for all the amateur and home bakers and the big-hitters from the Irish Countrywomen’s Association and all the other people who take pride in their home baking.
Download Apple Tart Competition Details