Food and drink lovers across Northern Ireland will turn their attention to Brewing and Distilling in April as the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink Calendar celebrates one of our oldest crafts.

Despite our small size, Northern Ireland brewing companies certainly punch above their weight on the world stage with thousands of tourists flocking to sample Northern Ireland whiskeys and beers every year. It’s not just the traditional draughts causing a stir however as a resurgence in the popularity of gin and a thriving craft beer industry mean Northern Ireland distillery companies can offer something for everyone.

The tradition of distilling goes way beyond the sophisticated breweries we are accustomed to today and 300 years ago, a home brew would have looked and tasted very different.

On Sunday April 3 the Ulster American Folk Park invite you to come along and uncover how the once popular Poitín (little pot) became illegal and stayed that way for more than 300 years.


The event, which marks Tourism NI’s Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink theme for April, will explore the history of Poitín and examine the influence the distillation process has had on the process of drinks production in Northern Ireland today.

Traditionally, poitín would have been produced rurally – away from the prying eyes of the law- and was made using barley, treacle, sugar or even potatoes. Across the country, the quality of the drink was highly variable. Soon families became famed for their brewing prowess but brewing up a bad batch could quickly ruin an esteemed reputation.

Join Johnny and Molly for a light-hearted comedy, sketch show as they brew-up a batch of the notorious tipple and reveal the old tests that were used to advise on the quality of the homemade spirit.

The event takes place Sunday April 3 at the Ulster American Folk Park from 2.30pm-4.00pm. For more information visit

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