McKeever’s raise a glass as company makes it to finals

Reflecting on a successful summer and now looking forward to a bumper harvest are Pat and Peter McKeever from Long Meadow Cider in Portadown. INPT35-100

Reflecting on a successful summer and now looking forward to a bumper harvest are Pat and Peter McKeever from Long Meadow Cider in Portadown. INPT35-100

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A Portadown cider company has made it through to the finals of Blas na hÉireann, The Irish Food Awards.

Long Meadow Cider’s Medium and Blossom Burst craft ciders have both been named as finalists in the competition, which aims to recognise and reward the best Irish food and drink products.

The winners will be announced on Saturday, October 1 in Dingle, County Kerry.

Up for grabs are gold, silver and bronze awards as well as key awards including Supreme Champion and Best Artisan Produce.

“We are absolutely delighted to have not just one, but two of our ciders listed as finalists in this very high profile competition,” said Pat McKeever of Long Meadow Cider.

“The Blas na hEireann awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce and products in the country and the criteria for judging is now accepted as an international industry standard.”

It has been an award-winning year for the McKeever family business, which has won a number of prizes.

Mr McKeever is also gearing up for this year’s harvest. “It’s also looking like a very good year in the orchards,” he added. “We are looking forward to harvesting a good, healthy crop.

“April and May in particular were very good months and thankfully we had no frost this year – all of which should contribute to more excellent cider production in 2017.”