New taste from link up between beer and cider makers

A new taste experience for cider lovers has been created from a unique collaboration between our biggest brewery, a top cider producer and an apple farmer.

The new Session Cider is the first outcome of the link-up between the multi-award-winning Whitewater Brewery in Castlewellan, Co Down and Armagh enterprises Tempted Cider and successful apple grower John McAllister, both based near Portadown.  Whitewater and Tempted are both FoodNI members.

“We had been talking about a business collaboration between our companies for some considerable time,” explains Bernard Sloan, the founder and managing director of Whitewater Brewery, now Northern Ireland’s largest and most successful independent brewery. ”The chat led to a decision to pool our resources, experience and knowledge in an original new craft cider at the brewery, the first draught cider produced here.

“It is the first artisanal draught cider in Northern Ireland, a four percent Session Cider which is already on sale in hotels and pubs around Northern Ireland. It’s proving immensely popular with some of the best hotels and bars,” adds Bernard.

Another important outcome of the discussion was an agreement that Whitewater will bottle and distribute the range of award-winning Tempted Ciders, among the first craft ciders here. Whitewater also has the technology to produce the ciders in cans and kegs.

Tempted was launched by Davy Uprichard in Lisburn in 2009 and subsequently moved to John McAllister’s apple orchard, where the handcrafted ciders have previously been produced.

Whitewater Brewery, established by Bernard in 1996 on the family farm, near Kilkeel, now operates from a state-of-the-art brewery in Castlewellan, Northern Ireland’s most modern brewery, where a range of stouts and lagers is bottled, canned and produced in kegs.

Whitewater, Bernard continues, is collaborating with Tempted to take on the bottling of the cider and is distributing the products across its extensive network here, in the Republic and Great Britain. The brewery has also sold beers to key European markets.

The brewery, furthermore, operates a successful visitor centre and a programme of visits which will now include Tempted Cider.