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Great music line-up for Cheese & Beer Expo

12 April 2016

If there’s one thing that won’t be cheesy at the Big Cheese & Beer Expo in Derry this weekend, it’s the great live music lined up to entertain visitors during the three-day celebration set to take over Guildhall Square from Friday, April 15 until Sunday, April 17.

The Paddy Nash Trio, Best Boy Grip, The 4 Of Us, Eilidh Patterson, and Ryan McMullan - who has worked alongside Ed Sheerin and Foy Vance - are among a wealth of popular artists who will be taking to the stage in the Festival Marquee on Friday and Saturday evening.

Organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Big Cheese & Beer Expo is a major highlight of the NI Year of Food and Drink 2016 programme, shining a spotlight on some of the finest craft beers and cheeses being produced locally as part of Brewing and Distilling month. The event is is supported by Tourism NI Event Fund and by DARD under the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme.

One of the highlights of the Expo will be celebrity guest Sean Wilson - aka Martin Platt from Coronation Street – now a trained chef and cheese maker, who will stage two live cookery demos in the Marquee on Saturday afternoon at 2pm-2.45pm and 4pm-4.45pm.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said she was delighted

at the array of events geared towards all ages, from family friendly, cheesy themed activities earlier in the day, to adult only beer tasting and food sampling later in the evening.

The Festival Marquee will have plenty of daytime family fun with pop up puppeteers, face painting, culinary themed arts and crafts plus lots more. Later adults can sample the best of the region’s craft beers, and enjoy local cheese and beer inspired dishes accompanied by some of the very best local performers creating a cabaret-style atmosphere as darkness falls.

Mary Blake, Council’s Tourism Officer and event organiser, said there has already been huge interest in the city’s first Big Cheese & Beer Expo which is expected to attract around 10,000 visitors this weekend, following on from the success of last month’s two-day LegenDerry Food Festival which was savoured by 38,500 foodie fans.

Local craft breweries taking part in this weekend’s event include Northbound Brewery and Walled City Brewery based in the city; O’Connor Brewing in Faughanvale; Lacada in Portrush; Kinnegar (Rathmullan); Farmageddon Brewing Co-Op (Comber); Knockout Brewing (Belfast); and Mourne Mountains Brewery (Warrenpoint).

Cheese producers at the Expo include the award-winning Tamnagh Foods based in Park, Co Derry, makers of the Dart Mountain brand including Sperrin Blue Cheese (2015 Irish Food Awards Gold),  Dart Mt. Dusk Cheese (World Cheese Awards 2014 – Bronze), Kilcreen Cheese (Great Taste Awards 2015 - Gold Star) and the newly released ale washed Banagher Bold cheese.

Indie Füde will also be featuring Kearney Blue Cheese, Mike’s Fancy Cheese and City Cheese, with Dale Farm bringing its Fivemiletown brand and Bluebell Falls (Cork) making the trip to Guildhall Square for the three-day event.

And there will be plenty to keep the crowds entertained with an impressive musical line-up as follows: 

Friday, April 15th: 5pm - 5:45pm, Paddy Nash Trio; 6pm - 6:45pm, Eilidh Patterson; 7.15pm-8pm, Ryan McMullan; 8.05pm – 8.45pm, Glenn Rosborough; and 9pm-10pm,The 4 Of Us.

Saturday, April 16th:  7pm-7:45pm, Best Boy Grip; 8pm-8:50pm, Paul Casey Trio; 9.05pm – 9.50pm, Ports; and 10pm - 11pm, Balkan Alien Sound.

The Big Cheese & Beer Expo opens on Friday, April 15th, 5pm-10pm and continues on Saturday, 16th April, 1pm to 6pm and 7pm to 11pm; and Sunday, 17th April, 1pm to 5pm.

To find out more about the event go to www.derrystrabane.com/food.