The new Lacada Brewery is to stage the first ever Portrush Beer and Food Festival , showcasing the best of artisan produce on the North Coast.
The inaugural Festival will be held on September 30 and October 1 and the co-operative brewery hope it attracts legions of beer aficionados across the country.
Lacada launched its first three beers in Portrush last October - a Sorley Boy’s Stash golden ale, a Giant’s Organ IPA and Stranded Bunny porter.
The brewery has 230 co-owners and created seven jobs at its inception.
It was solely funded by community shares without the need of a bank loan.
Speaking about the forthcoming Beer and Food Festival, Laurie Davies Lacada’s Head Brewer, told The Coleraine Times: “The craft beer market is all about quality and taste.
“ And there is much friendly rivalry among brewers when they bring new beers to the market. We love to get together and taste new flavours and show the results of hours spent quietly testing and brewing to perfect our recipes.
“It’s great to think the camaraderie still exists in the industry even though we’ve now 28 micro breweries alone in Northern Ireland - that doesn’t even include the cider producers and distillers.
“So to team up with other drinks and food producers to offer a Portrush Beer and Food Festival on the North Coast makes sense and is in line with our collaborative, co-operative ethos”.
Heather Quiery, Chair of Lacada Co-Operative said that with it being the Year of Food and Drink in Northern Ireland it opened up “great opportunities to work with local artisan food producers too.”
“We have some great quality products and outlets locally so we hope to work closely to make the Festival a great success at the tail end of our busy season.
“At the end of the day we want to support our local food and drinks industry here.
“Highlighting how we connect to our community is really important to us.”
Lacada is set to intoduce a new Salamander Series of Specials to local off licences and stockists soon.
Independent MLA, Claire Sugden visited Lacada last week to find out how they were progressing with building their sales, workforce and marketing opportunities.
Ms Sugden said: “ I applaud the work Lacada are doing here and the way they are going about it.
“It’s encouraging to see the co-operative model in action.
“I fully support the venture in creating jobs for Portrush, I think they’ve hit the right mark with a quality product that appeals to tourists and locals alike”.
The “Lacada” name is derived from Liach Fada.
It means ‘the longstone’ and refers to a low, mean, rocky outcrop about 300 yards east of the world famous Giant’s Causeway. In 1588 one of the remnants of the Spanish Armada, a galleas named Girona, was desperately trying to return home but a relentless storm forced her onto the north coast of Ireland. She was wrecked on Lacada point with only nine survivors.
In the late 1960’s a diving team located the wreck off Lacada point and the salvage work brought up many artefacts, the most valuable being a gold salamander that was, originally, encrusted in rubies.
For more information and details of Lacada’s stockists, see their website www.lacadabrewery.com/stockists.