WATCH - Mayor launches Derry craft beer festival ‘Sippy of Culture’

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The Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion, was the guest of honour on Wednesday at the launch of the first ‘Sippy of Culture’ beer festival in Guildhall Square.

‘Sippy of Culture’, which took place unofficially during Derry’s Year of Culture in 2013, will be the largest celebration of craft drinks the city has ever seen. It will take place from November 27 to 28 in the Guildhall.

The festival will see 20 brewers, distillers, and cider makers come together in a celebration of crafted produce, as well as a full weekend programme of entertainment and foods.

Speaking at the launch of the event, Martina Rogers, from award-winning Campsie based, Northbound Brewery, said ‘Sippy of Culture’ provided local brewers with an opportunity to showcase their brews to a local audience.

“Northbound Brewery is delighted to be taking part in the Sippy of Culture in November, as it’s a great opportunity for craft brewers and enthusiasts to celebrate great local beers in the Guildhall,” she said

“Local support has been fantastic since Northbound started selling beers in April this year.

“David Rogers, Northbound’s Master Brewer, has already formulated a recipe for a beer that will be released especially for the Sippy of Culture so another reason for craft beer lovers to attend this fantastic event,” added Martina.

Different Class Menswear is the main sponsor of the event and business owner, Gerard Divine, said he was delighted to be involved. “Different Class Menswear are proud to sponsor the ‘Sippy of Culture’ 2015. This event helps us celebrate some great local produce whilst showcasing emerging lines of fashion alongside a distinctive heritage.”

‘Sippy of Culture’ started off as a gathering amongst friends two years ago across a kitchen table, and curiosity led them to seek out the best in the growing craft drinks scene within the north of Ireland.

“It started off in my kitchen in 2013 - if someone had have told me back then that we would be hosting the event over two days in the historic Guildhall I would have told them they were crazy,” said founder Brian Rainey.

Pictured at the launch of Sippy of Culture, from left to right, James Huey (Walled City Brewery), Connor Doherty (Festival Director), Dave Rogers (Master Brewer - Northbound Brewery), Jordan O'Keefe (Different Class Menswear) Robin Young (Niche Drinks), Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Colr. Elisha McCallion, Martina Rogers (Northbound Brewery) and Brian Rainey (founder, Sippy of Culture). Photo: Stephen Latimer Photography

Pictured at the launch of Sippy of Culture, from left to right, James Huey (Walled City Brewery), Connor Doherty (Festival Director), Dave Rogers (Master Brewer - Northbound Brewery), Jordan O'Keefe (Different Class Menswear) Robin Young (Niche Drinks), Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Colr. Elisha McCallion, Martina Rogers (Northbound Brewery) and Brian Rainey (founder, Sippy of Culture). Photo: Stephen Latimer Photography

“We’re still sticking to the same core principles- the ability to come together to have great conversations while discovering great drinks. It’s brilliant that we’re in a position where we can do this with the growing local companies that are producing great and imaginative drinks.”

Festival Director Connor Doherty added: “The level and support we have received from the local business community has been exceptional.

“We’re proud to count Different Class Menswear as our premier sponsor, and already having Niche Drinks on board, it’s a great platform for local companies to celebrate the great crafting that is happening, not just in the North West, but across the region,” he said.

Tickets will be on sale from October 16 from the website, www.sippyfest.co.uk and at selected outlets, priced £10 for a weekend pass, and £6 for a day pass. Follow @sippyofculture on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

Northbound Brewery's Stick Alt will be available at the Sippy of Culture beer festival in the Guildhall in Derry on November 27 and 28. Photo: Stephen Latimer Photography

Northbound Brewery's Stick Alt will be available at the Sippy of Culture beer festival in the Guildhall in Derry on November 27 and 28. Photo: Stephen Latimer Photography

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion pictured at the launch of 'Sippy of Culture' with festival founder, Brian Rainey. Photo: Stephen Latimer Photography

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion pictured at the launch of 'Sippy of Culture' with festival founder, Brian Rainey. Photo: Stephen Latimer Photography