THE Dirty Onion in Belfast has revealed the latest twist of its Boilermaker menu by adding the taste of Armagh’s famous orchards to a centuries old concept which originated in America.

In the 19th century, after a hard week at work, steelworkers in Pennsylvania headed straight to the pub for a Whiskey shot and a beer chaser otherwise known as the Boilermaker.

And with a rise in demand in Northern Ireland for locally produced brews, Tim Herron, the Dirty Onion’s general manager, created Volume One of his own Boilermaker menu about 18 months ago.

This was a shot of Whiskey chased with locally crafted beer.

Eighteen months later and Tim has created Volume Two – a Boilermaker with a difference.

The popular, authentic Irish pub is now serving up Teeling small batch whiskey with Mac Ivors Cider Co’s Traditional Dry Cider – a pairing which is going down a treat with locals and tourists in Belfast.

Speaking about the pairing, Tim said: “I knew I wanted to add an extra Irish twist on the traditional Boilermaker and thought I would try and pair a cider with a whiskey. I have always liked Mac Ivors Cider so I was keen to work with it. I brought in Irish Whiskey Ambassador from Dillon Bass, Joe Magowan and Stephen McKenna from Clearsky Brewing and we tried many different combinations.

“We sampled different pairings but all three of us decided the best by far was pairing Teeling small  batch with Mac Ivors Traditional Dry Cider and everyone is loving it. The Teeling small batch is matured in rum casks, adding a creamy vanilla and cinnamon taste and hints of apple pie on the nose, so it was a perfect combination for Mac Ivors.

“It’s not a typical ‘Boilermaker’ but a great new pairing nonetheless. It’s a new menu with a new twist but with a local angle. The local emphasis is great from a consumer perspective and our staff are well trained in all local products stocked in The Dirty Onion.”

Fifth generation cider maker, Greg MacNeice, of Mac Ivors Cider Co, attended the launch.

He said: “I love the new twist on the ancient old American tradition. We have all been there. A hard week at work often ends with a line of workers at the bar. And what better than a pairing like this.

“It’s great to see a growing interest in Irish craft ciders in bars and retailers but also with consumers.

“Pairing the Teeling small batch with Mac Ivors Traditional Dry Cider makes us really proud so congratulations on Tim, Joe and Stephen for combining these wonderful flavours and putting an authentic Irish twist on an ancient old American tradition.”