Tuesday 25 June 2019

Hagstravaganza beer festival boosts local economy by €250k

Ballymote Bulletin

International breweries were shown local attractions such as Carter Oyster Farm in Strandhill
International breweries were shown local attractions such as Carter Oyster Farm in Strandhill

Last weekend's Hagstravaganza international brewery festival in Ballymote brought in an estimated €250,000 into the local economy.

That's according to local brewery The White Hag Managing Director Paul Mullin.

The festival was held last Saturday and attracted over 1,500 tourists to Sligo and Ballymote.

Most of the festival goers - 80 percent - travelled from outside of Sligo. There wasn't a bed to be had in either Sligo or Ballymote Saturday night as a result, with the student village in Ballinode filled also.

"We had some breweries who don't normally do beer festivals such as Malmo beer. We became friendly with them at a Moscow beer festival and they decided to come to Sligo and get to know the place for the weekend.

"It's a great way to expand. We also had a tiny brewery from Berlin - Schneeeule Brauerei - who are going to be huge," he said.

Iarnród Eireann laid on a 'party train' at 10pm to bring the beer-lovers in to Sligo town on the Saturday night.

Mullin told The Sligo Champion that they brought over 23 breweries from around the world - Canada, the USA, Germany, Sweden, Italy, France and Australia to name a few.

Unlike other beer festivals, The White Hag team brought brewery representatives over a day before the festival and treated them to some local attractions in Sligo.

"We brought them on a tour of Sligo, out on the Inisfree boat tour of Lough Gill, a whiskey-tasting tour of Hazelwood House, out to Carters Oyster farm in Strandhill where they tasted oysters and stout by the shore and then back to our brewery on the Friday evening for some tasting," he said.

"The intention of that was to get them to show off Sligo on their own social media channels. They were blown away by Sligo. It went really well," he said.

Sligo Champion