Beer-infused beef hits Northern Ireland

Northern Irish artisan meat processing business Hillstown Farm has developed its own Wagyu-style beef.

The business, based near Ballymena in Co Antrim, has already started to supply its beer-fed beef to top chefs in Northern Ireland, with plans to expand sales even further afield.

Fourth generation farmer Nigel Logan developed the enterprise on 200 acres of land. The unique beef is produced from Aberdeen Angus and Shorthorn cattle, and is dry-aged and hung for 28 days.

We began brewing on the farm for our cattle in a beer-fed beef project to offer a premium meat with a uniquely delicious flavour, said Logan.

Influenced by the Japanese experience, the beer relaxes the cows to produce a more tender and succulent piece of meat.

We then decided to take this a stage further by creating it in the micro-brewery to produce craft beers, added Logan. The process produces succulent, marbled beef renowned for its superior eating qualities, considered to be a delicacy because of its unique texture and depth of flavour.

The beef includes silverside/topside, fillet, sirloin, rib-eye and rib-on-the-bone. The products, the only ones of their kind in Northern Ireland, are available on Hillstowns e-commerce site.

In the past, the business has found success at the UK Great Taste awards after being awarded for its Wagyu rib-eye steak and craft beers. Its sausages have been listed in the UK Top 10 and have also won five Northern Ireland Pork Sausage Champion titles, as well as being placed in the UK Top 10 for sausages.

The beers are brewed in a converted barn, concluded Logan. Its not automated. They are all hand-crafted. Its a brewery that we built ourselves and we sourced all the kit locally, reusing a lot of old dairy equipment. We strive to use the best-quality ingredients available to ensure outstanding flavours.

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