Co Armagh cider is a winner in Fine Food Award

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Latest update 18.02.2014 12:35

Mac Ivors Cider Co. is celebrating winning a prestigious National Trust Fine Farm Produce Award – the first ever award in Northern Ireland.

The awards, supported by Freedom Food and now in their eighth year, celebrate the breadth and quality of produce grown, reared or made on special places owned or managed by the National Trust, including tenant farms, orchards and gardens.

Mac Ivors Cider Co. has grown out of a small family firm that has farmed in Ardress, Co. Armagh for the past 150 years.

The small apple growing and processing business is nestled amongst its own orchards and has grown up organically around the family homestead. Using hand-picked apples from their orchards, the company produces its award winning cider on site. Greg MacNeice manages the business along with his father Sam MacNeice and they farm 22 acres of Trust land, all of which is in apple orchards.

Greg said: ‘Having grown up surrounded by apples, cider seems like a natural choice, but it was not until I tasted the fragrant and aromatic ‘ciders’ of northern France that I was inspired to use our own delicious apples to create our own distinctively Irish craft cider.'

‘We have been making our cider for just over two years and in the last year we sold approximately 150,000 bottles of Mac Ivors in markets as diverse as Ireland, Scotland, Finland and Germany.'

‘Over the next five years, my goal is for Mac Ivors to define what is essentially a new drinks category - Irish craft cider.'

‘We are immensely proud to receive such a prestigious award from the National Trust. We have an amazingly close relationship with the National Trust, sharing the same values and ethos and above all, sharing a love of the land.’

Rob Macklin, Head of Food and Farming at the National Trust and chair of the judging panel, said: ‘This year’s award winning foods have really captured the essence of the special place where they have been grown, bred or produced. It is our aim to really connect customers to where their food comes from and these awards are a great way for us to do this.

‘Since 2006, over 250 products have received a Fine Farm Produce Award and this year’s winners will join a group of some of the very best producers that the country has to offer.’

Mac Ivors cider serving tip:
Mac Ivors Cider tastes great on its own or with food and is best served chilled.

Mac Ivors Medium has prominent fruit with gentle sweetness in the background. It goes well with spicy dishes such as Asian or Indian dishes but with its clean finish, it will help to make anything from your pasta salad to your salmon taste great.

Mac Ivors Traditional Dry has deep, complex apple flavours with a finish that is both long and crisp. It goes well with lots of dishes such as seafood, cheese, ham, sausage, pork (especially belly), seafood and poultry.

List of all the award winners and details of their produce