To celebrate Laois Food and Drink Producers, Laois Taste in collaboration with Laois County Council and the Local Enterprise Office are hosting Laois Taste Month this October to coincide with Failte Irelands Taste the Island Campaign.

This project originated with an application made by the Business Support Unit of Laois County Council to the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine in respect of a series of measures designed to stimulate the development of a more sustainable Food Tourism Sector and improve the enterprise and innovation environment within the County.

Who are Laois Taste?

The lush green fertile landscape of County Laois lends itself perfectly to creating high quality and authentic food and drink products. The Laois Taste group currently has over 21 members and is  made up of G’s Gourmet Jam, The Merry Mill, Aghaboe Farm Foods, Le Skinny Chef, Ratheniska Farm Foods, Mueller & O’Connell, Rose Cottage Fruit Farm, Apoena Artisanal Chocolates, Run on Pulses, Granstown Eggs, Flavour Safari, Castlewood Organic Farm, Paddy O Granola, Mary Lowry’s Home Baking, Garryhinch Mushrooms, An Sean Teach, 12 Acres Brewing Company, Ballykilcavan Farm & Brewing, Edmundberry Greens, The Village Dairy and Seccoto Coffee Roasters. Visit Laois Taste on Facebook @laoistaste, for more information on our local food producers.

Laois Taste Month Highlights

Laois Taste Month will celebrate Laois Food and Drinks with a host of events throughout the month, including food business upskilling, atmospheric farmers markets, live music, entertainment, giveaways talks and cooking demonstrations. With so much to enjoy here are our top picks of the upcoming events for Laois Taste Month!

Ballykilcavan Hop Picking

Sunday 6th October from 10.00am – 3.00pm in Ballykilcavan Brewery, Ballykilcavan, Co. Laois

Free (Limited Spaces)

Every autumn, the brewers at Ballykilcavan Brewery make a unique Irish beer using water, barley and hops sourced exclusively from the 380 year old, 13th generation family farm at Ballykilcavan, near Stradbally, Co. Laois. This is the third year of the annual hop picking event where we select the best, tastiest hops from the hop garden behind the new brewery and then watch them being used

to make the 2019 vintage of the Ballykilcavan fresh hopped pale ale.

Join us at 10am to get a tour of the hop garden and then help to pick the bittering and aroma hops straight from the bines. We’ll collect them all together, and then bring them back to the brewery (which is only 400 metres away), and you can experience the smells and sounds of a full brew day as we add the freshly collected hops to the beer. While the brewers are working away, there’ll be a BBQ lunch and a chance to enjoy a few Ballykilcavan beers. Free entry and suitable for all. Please bring wellies or good footwear and a pair gardening gloves.

This event is free and has limited spaces available. Booking is essential through our Facebook page

Welcome to Taste Event with Darina Allen and Andrew Rudd

Thursday 17th of October from 7.30pm in The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, Co. Laois

Tickets: €20.00

Come and savour all the great tastes of Laois. This wonderful evening will tantalise the taste buds & showcase locally grown food and drink.

The evening will begin with a drinks reception at 7.30pm.  Enjoy An Sean Teach Gin and Crème Liqueur, craft beers from 12 Acres Brewing Company and Ballykilcavan Farm & Brewery or locally roasted Seccoto Coffee.

Darina Allen takes to the stage at 8pm and is proud to be showcasing exciting artisan producers in her home county.  Darina is a celebrated Irish & International chef, food writer, TV personality and founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School. Darina will also be signing copies of her new cookbook ‘One Pot Feeds All’ on the night.

Renowned chef, author and proprietor Andrew Rudd of Medley Ballintubbert House and Fleet St, Dublin will demonstrate some inspiring and innovative recipes using local Laois produce to create mouth-watering dishes.

Now it’s your chance to meet the Makers, Growers, Brewers, Distillers and Farmers. Enjoy a tasty sample of fresh, locally sourced seasonal food.  Find out what’s grown and produced locally and where to buy it, taste it and eat it.

Book Online Today!

Tickets to fantastic evening are €20 and can be purchased online from HERE

Natures Bounties at Ballintubbert


Sunday 20th October 2.00pm – 5.30pm in Ballintubbert House & Gardens, Ballintubbert, Co. Laois

Tickets: €25.00 Plus Booking Fee.

If foraging and garden walks is more your thing join Julie of Wild Food Kildare and Jenifer from Ballintubbert Gardens for this exclusive one-off event in Ballintubbert House & Gardens, Ballintubbert, Co. Laois.  Dating back to the late 18th century Ballintubbert was the birthplace of poet laureate Cecil Day Lewis, and once home to actor John Hurt. It boasts 14 acres of beautiful landscape arranged around a Georgian House, a real opportunity for the garden, history and wild food lover. Julie is our Wild Food and Foraging expert who works with wild fruit, plants and fungi preserved from nature as food and medicine. Julie and Jenifer will bring you for a leisurely walk through the historic gardens of Ballintubbert and together will discuss the plants that can be found along the way. Enjoy a cookery demonstration using some of the foods you forage including a delicious Wild Mushroom and Nettle Soup, perfect for Autumn. Accompanying food from Laois Food Producers who will be here for you to ask questions.

This event is exclusive and limited to 25 places. Tickets can be purchased from Dunamaise Arts centre by phone (057 866 3355) or online:

Healthy Living with Katie Connolly

Cooking Demonstration by Katie Connolly: Healthy Living Quick & Easy Dishes

Thursday 22nd of October 10.30am to 1.00pm The Kitchens at Mountmellick Development Association, Mountmellick, Co. laois

Join Local Mountmellick Chef and Slimming World Consultant Katie Connolly as she demonstrates how to cook quick and easy menu options which will produce tasty alternatives to takeaway meals. Using local produce, Katie will explore how to plan and prep your meals and also how to reduce your time in the kitchen with some batch cooking!

Some tasty treats will be available on the morning.

Contact: to register your attendance for this free event.

Samhain Masked Event at Ballintubbert

Samhain Masked Event, Ballintubbert

Friday 1st November 7.00pm – Midnight in Ballintubbert House & Gardens, Ballintubbert, Co. Laois

Tickets: €60.00 (Adults Only)

Join us for a night in the Orchard, awakening ancient traditions and spirits. Feast on a five-course tasting menu, focused around wild game and local produce, prepared by

Chef Andy Illsley, finished over the fire. A night celebrating the pagan traditions of Samhain whilst feasting in the orchards of historic Ballintubbert house & gardens. Wear a mask, don a costume and be something else for an evening. A rare opportunity to experience the

customs of old, carefully crafted by new (and living) hands. Come for the evening and feast. Or choose to stay on for the night in the beautiful accommodation at Ballintubbert, (limited availability).

For booking contact or Dominique Tel 087 312 7639

Laois Food & Craft Festival

Laois Food & Crafts Festival

Every Friday from October 4th – November 1st 9.00am – 2.00pm Laois Farmers Market in Peppers Lane, Portlaoise, Co. Laois

Free Events

To celebrate Laois TASTE Month the Laois Farmers Market Traders are hosting a range of events to keep you entertained this October.

Meet The Markers – in Peppers Lane on Friday the 11th of October where the marketers will be holding craft demonstrations at various stalls throughout the Market. The Laois Craft Group will be demonstrating how to decoupage. Hilary O’ Connor of “Make it interesting fabrics and trimmings” will be showcasing one of her up-cycled pieces and will be available to answer any questions you may have on up-cycling old furniture.

Ceol Agus Bia – will be a celebration of Laois food and music. There will be traditional music along with tasty food samples provided by the Laois food producers on Friday the 18th of October.

Farmers Market Hamper Draw – Anyone who purchases an item in the Farmers’ Market during the month of October (4th, 11th & 25th) will be entered into a free draw for a hamper compiled of delicious produce from the Farmers Market. The draw will take place on Friday the 25th of October.

Harvest Festival – To wrap up Laois TASTE Month the Laois Farmers’ Market will be celebrating the end of the harvest season with Live music provided by the Portlaoise Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann throughout the morning, children’s entertainment and face painting.

Upskilling For The Food Sector

 Throughout October in the Local Enterprise Office, Áras an Chontae, County Hall, Portlaoise, Co. Laois

For those of you wishing to enhance your business and at the same time have an opportunity to network with other businesses in the County, the Local Enterprise Office is running a number of free training programmes specifically designed for the food/drinks sector during the month of October.

Learn how to use Instagram as a marketing tool for your food business, develop your online presence through Facebook marketing or    learn how to build a strong brand for your food/drinks business.

These courses can be booked online through and to celebrate Laois Taste Month, the Local Enterprise Office is offering them free of charge to any food/drinks business in Co. Laois.   As places are limited, early booking is advisable.

For more information on all the events taking place during Laois Taste Month this October you can download or events brochure check out the Laois TASTE Month 2019 brochure!

Local Businesses, Local Support

The events of Laois Taste Month are proudly supported by Connect2Laois, Laois County Council, the Local Enterprise Office and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. For more information see or @LaoisCountyCouncil on Facebook or @connect2laois on Twitter.

Why not follow us on twitter @connect2laois to stay up to date with the latest news on Economic Development and Business Incentive Schemes in Laois.

Want to learn more about the Business Incentive Schemes we have to offer click here for more information.