Get a flavour of what Ireland has to offer by taking your taste buds on a trip to any of the great food festivals on around the country.
For those of us who love a good meal or a fine craft beer, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied over the coming months in Ireland, so if you have a free weekend or you want to get out and enjoy the good weather, there’s no better way to spend your time than by celebrating the best of Irish food.
The Big Grill Festival
We don't often get the weather for a good barbecue, and this summer we've been a bit spoiled, but this August, Herbert Park in Dublin 4 will play host to one of the biggest celebrations of the fine art of grilling this side of the Southern United States, The Big Grill Festival. It’s not all meat and burgers of course, as the festival caters to lovers of craft beers and cider too.
There will be music, a griller’s academy, where you can learn everything you need to know to become the king (or queen) of your barbecue, and there will be demonstrations showcasing a wide range of techniques. Of course, there will also be eating competitions, so you can test your iron stomach.
It's still a little while before this festival comes around, but just because the summer will be over it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a great food festival in Ireland. The Savour festival is in its eighth year this year, and promises to be the biggest and best yet, with over 85 artisan producers headed to take part. The whole city will be participating too with events in the bars and restaurants around town, so it's worth planning your trip and taking a few days for it.
Most exciting are the fantastic cooking demonstrations that allow you to get a flavour (sorry) of the event, and maybe learn a thing or two as well. In particular we’re looking forward to seeing Fiona Uyema, who will be giving sushi and Japanese cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend, along with plenty of others, so your skills in the kitchen will get a serious upgrade.
Galway Oyster Festival
If you haven’t been yet, then you’re missing out one of the greatest and longest running Irish food festivals. The Galway Oyster Festival kicks off this year on September 26th with the opening evening of events before the now infamous World Oyster Opening Championship kicks off on the Saturday.
The buzz around Galway city during the event can’t be matched, so make sure to give yourself as much time as possible to sample the atmosphere. There will be a food village at the festival marquee to sample some of the best cooking around, as well as a Mardi Gras event that goes through the streets of Galway on Saturday night, along with cooking demonstrations, so the world, as they say, is your Oyster. Or at least Galway is, anyway.
Doolin Craft Beer Festival
It’s not all food, of course, for those out there who have a well-trained palette, pairing a select beer with your dish is a fine art, and with a huge explosion in the number of craft beers on the market nowadays, the only option is to sample them all and see what's in store. A tough life... Anyway, this year, Doolin will be home to the must-see event for those with a love of ale. And lager. And stout…well you get the picture.
There will be a few ciders knocking around too, as well as plenty of music and craic to be had from the 22-24th of August this year. Run in association with the folks at irishcraftbeerfestival.com (who have their own event in the RDS too this summer), the event is in its third year and is shaping up to be the best one to date.
There are also plenty more food festivals going on around the country over the coming months, so if you want to get a full list of what’s happening, check out a list of all the events here. For any other information, head along to Discover Ireland for more ideas for the perfect stay-cation and experience all that Ireland has to offer.