Padraig Kehoe from Enniscorthy in Wexford has taken top prize for his malting barley crop at the recent Irish Malting Barley Excellence Awards
The awards, held at the Guinness Storehouse on November 6th, acknowledge excellence in malting barley production and promote sustainability in the supply chain.
The awards are organised by Boortmalt, one of the largest producers of malt in the world, and are hosted by Diageo, the largest purchaser of malting barley in Ireland.
Guest of honour and key speaker Deputy Pat Deering, Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, presented the Guinness Perpetual Cup for Malting Barley Excellence to Padraig Kehoe. The Cup has been awarded annually to barley growers in Ireland since 1954.
There are over 900 barley growers in Ireland and the Malting Barley Excellence awards bring together the best growers from the main barley supply regions of Ireland while also recognising the best seed producers.
The winners across the supply regions are as follows:
- New Ross / Tintern: Mark McCaughley, Dunbrody, Campile, New Ross, Co. Wexford
- Cooladine Enniscorthy: Padraig Kehoe, Garrymile, The Ballagh, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford
- Ballycarney Enniscorthy: Alan Mooney, Gurrawn, Rathnure, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford
- Athy Kildare: Charles Chambers, Pill Farm, Moone, Athy, Co. Kildare
- Stradbally Laois: Richard &Raymond Carter, Timogue, Stradbally, Co. Laois
- Carlow / Daltons: Michael Byrne, Pollerton Little, The Hill, Carlow
- Francis Kehoe from Lacken, New Ross, Co. Carlow took home the first prize for seed growing
Deputy Deering said: “The growth of the drinks sector is entirely dependent on a supply of high quality malting barley. In this respect Irish cereal farmers have made a huge contribution to the success of the sector by producing the raw ingredients needed to develop the industry.”
Commenting on his win, Padraig Kehoe said: “It’s a great honour to win this title. I am looking forward to bringing the Guinness Perpetual Cup to Wexford, knowing that I join the list of talented and skilled barley farmers who have held it since 1954. My winning formula for quality malting barley is to sow early if the conditions are right, and if not, be patient.”
Yvan Schaepman, Group CEO, Boortmalt said: “We were delighted to announce earlier this month the expansion of our facility in Athy in Co. Kildare so that we can continue to provide our Irish brewing and distilling customers with a 100% Irish supply chain, from seed to malting barley.”