It’s a time to get a ‘sippin’ at Derry’s ‘Sippy of Culture’

'Sippy of Culture' founder, Brian Rainey (left), pictured with the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Elisha McCallion and Jordan O'Keefe, Different Class Menswear. Photo: Stephen Latimer Photography
'Sippy of Culture' founder, Brian Rainey (left), pictured with the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Elisha McCallion and Jordan O'Keefe, Different Class Menswear. Photo: Stephen Latimer Photography

At the end of ‘Ice Cold in Alex’ John Mills growls that his lager was “worth waiting for,”surely the same will be said about Derry beer festival, ‘Sippy of Culture’ when it kicks-off later today?

‘Sippy of Culture’ is a celebration of everything Derry and the North of Ireland has to offer in the way of craft beer and Artisan food.

The festival starts today in the Guildhall from 5pm to 10pm and continues tomorrow from 2pm to 8pm.

‘Sippy of Culture’ was born out of a kitchen in the Waterside during Derry’s year as City of Culture in 2013. A few friends got together around a table to sample a few beers but a while later, festival founder, Brian Rainey, decided to open it up to the public.

Earlier this year, Brian and Festival Director, Connor Doherty, took ‘Sippy of Culture’ into the Legenderry Warehouse No. 1 Cafe beside the Guildhall.

The event was a sell out and Fulcrum wheat beer, from Tyrone, was crowned the winner.

Brian and Connor believe there is an appetite in Derry and the wider North-West to appreciate craft beer so in the summer they decided to organise ‘Sippy of Culture’ over two days this weekend.

“There’s a lot of interest and we are really excited about all of the different beers, ales, ciders and food that is going to be on offer,” said Brian.

“It’s a family friendly event but the same rules that apply inside a pub, will apply at ‘Sippy of Culture’. Our passion is good tasting beer and we hope that everyone coming along to the event will leave feeling as passionate as we do.”

Connor explained that whilst the main focus of the festival is on craft beer, both Brian and he wanted to use it as a platform to celebrate local entrepreneurs making waves in the food and drink industry.

“We have more than 20 local businesses taking part in the event,” confirmed Connor.

“Beer is a major factor, obviously, but we want people to come to ‘Sippy of Culture’ to witness all the amazing beers, ciders, spirits and foods this part of the world has to offer - there’s talk of venison curry I can’t wait,” he added.

And the theme of all things local doesn’t stop there. There will be entertainment on both days and the majority of the performers are from Derry.

“There’ll be booze, grub and great music - we hope anyone who comes along will enjoy it,” said Brian.

“It costs £6 per day or £10 for both days. Entry entitles to you one drink and then it’s up to you which beers, ciders or ales you want to buy.”

Music will be performed live inside the Guildhall by the following acts: Jude McCandless; Luke McLaughlin; Susie Blue; Blue Jeans; Sylvier; Oisin and Virginia Slims and Marc Rigney.

Tickets for ‘Sippy of Culture’ are available from www.sippyfest.co.uk and they can also be purchased at the door.