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18 Sep 2015

'Brewing up’ interest in Irish food and drink

1+ million Scandinavians to read about our craft beers and culinary delights

Four Scandinavian journalists have been sampling some of our finest craft beers and culinary delights this week. They are here, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, to experience the superb food and drink on offer in Ireland – so they will spread the word to their readers upon their return home. 

The visiting journalists write for a variety of publications – including popular lifestyle magazines, a broadsheet newspaper and a gastronomy blog, which have a combined readership of more than one million readers in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. 

In Cork, the group visited the English Market and the Franciscan Well Brewery, before moving on to Kinsale, where they met with husband-and-wife team Sam and Maudeline Black, of Blacks of Kinsale. The journalists were really impressed by the local dining scene and enjoyed meals at the Cornstore, the Bulman and Jim Edwards. They visited the Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny and the Carlow Brewing Company, where they enjoyed a tour with head brewer Conor Donoghue. They also enjoyed the Guinness Storehouse Connoisseur Experience and a visit to the Irish Whiskey Museum in Dublin.

Aileen Hickey, Tourism Ireland’s manager in the Nordic Region, said: “The island of Ireland is becoming increasingly well-known for the quality of its food and drink, with a reputation for natural products used in both traditional and innovative ways. Food and drink are vital elements of the holiday experience nowadays, with travellers becoming more and more discerning about what they consume and its origins.

“Gastronomy and the extremely high quality of Irish produce is one of the key themes being promoted by Tourism Ireland. Our food and craft beer scene is blossoming right now, with lots of new microbreweries, gastro-pubs, craft distilleries and local eateries serving the freshest ingredients – all sure to appeal to prospective Scandinavian visitors.”

The Nordic region is an important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2015 looks set to be a strong year, with the most recent CSO figures showing growth of +16% for the May-July period, more than 10,000 additional visitors from the Nordic countries over the same three-month period in 2014. 

Sune Højrup Bencke (Denmark); Mads Ingerselv Schyttedk (Denmark); Elin Borjesson (Sweden); Henning Scherer Skjorsaeter (Norway); with Desmond Burke, Tourism Ireland, at the Carlow Brewing Company.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
  • In 2014, we welcomed 8.4 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of €4.1 billion. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, attracted about 14.25 million visitors.