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Walled City Brewery ‘NICHE’ collaboration leads to launch of ‘Lapland Beer’

13 November 2017

Walled City Brewery | Derry & Strabane District Council

Following on from a successful visit to Finland this year as part of the Council-supported ‘NICHE’ project – the Walled City Brewery have been working in collaboration with Lapland’s Tornion Panimo Brewery to produce an ‘Irish Red Ale’ and ‘Lapland Beer’ to be launched in the run up to Christmas.

Derry City & Strabane District Council hosted a ‘NICHE’ summit in March 2017 – attended by delegates from seven European regions involved in the INTERREG project which aims to develop international best practice in food innovation. 

Since then, there has been ‘staff exchange trips’ throughout the partner regions to help food and drink producers build innovative ‘food value’ chains.

Walled City Brewmaster James Huey said: “Following on from our successful visit to Finland on the back of the DCSDC-supported NICHE project, our Executive Chef Jill McKillop made contact with a brewery from Lapland called Tornion Panimo.

“Tornion Panimo are a large craft brewery in Northern Finland with a history spanning over 140 years, and are now launching a 'Brewmaster Legends' range of family beers. This involves brewing beer with brewmasters from different countries and backgrounds. So far, they have worked with a legendary brewmaster from Finland, Leo Andelin (creator of Lapin Kulta), a Czech brewmaster David Maša, and now I am to become the third brewmaster to collaborate with them on this project when I visit later this month.

"It's an incredible opportunity for a collaboration between Tornion Panimo and the Walled City Brewery with thanks to the NICHE project. This is about brewing beer styles native to the brewmaster's country, so together we will be brewing an ‘Irish Red Ale’ which will be launched in Finland. We are also pushing our collaboration further by planning to brew a ‘Lapland Beer’ to be launched in Derry in the run up to Christmas.”

Welcoming the joint collaboration between the Walled City Brewery and Tornion Panimo, Acting Tourism Manager with Derry City & Strabane District Council Jennifer O’Donnell said: “I am delighted that the Walled City Brewery and Tornion Panimo have developed such a strong, collaborative working relationship.

“This is a great example of how the NICHE project can help businesses increase their capability and capacity for innovation, thus ensuring sustainability and growth.

“We have seen food provenance and production really come to the fore in recent years. The NICHE project helps us to learn from other regions in Europe facing similar challenges and opportunities within the food and drinks sector.

“Strong collaborative working relationships – such as this one established between the Walled City Brewery and Tornion Panimo – provides us with a great opportunity to build upon international best practice and reinforce our position as a real foodie hub.”