The Old Butter Roads Food Festival

The Old Butter Roads Food Festival

The Old Butter Roads Food Festival takes place in North Cork each May bringing together the producers, eateries, visitor attractions and accommodation providers of the area. The region in Cork, Ireland has a distinct food heritage and culture. At its centre is a history of 250 years of butter, meats and drinks exposed from the port of Cork. The original butter road from Cahercieen in Kerry to the Butter Exchange in Cork city was built 270 years ago, and parts of the original road are still visible. The butter roads are all the roads which brought goods to sell and barter in the thriving merchant city of Cork over many centuries.

The logo for the Old Butter Roads groups is a milk churn, which brought milk to the creamery until the

1960’s, occasionally by horse and cart. The dairy industry is still based around the cows out to grass all summer long, producing milk which is still turned into butter or Cheese by some members of the group. 



The Old Butter Roads Food Trails logo

Old Butter Roads Hamper presented to Darina Allen









The week long  festival takes place each year in May. In 2019 the festival took place from May 24th to June 1st. There was Grub Circus with Joe McNamee, food demonstrations using  members produce by Michael Quinn of WIT.  A food symposium where the importance of food tourism and authentic food experiences were discussed by the panel. A Market of member producers took place on  Sunday. There were food tours, a producers talk and Longueville orchard tour during the week as well as a Berthas Revenge Session in Ballyvolane House to finish the festival.

Member of Old Butter Roads group celebrate another great festival in May 2019.

The has details of events in member businesses. They are a group of people passionate about the food they produce, sell and serve up in restaurants. They are also the visitor attractions such as the Butter Museum and Shandon Bells as well as Activity Days and a storytelling group – the Gab. They celebrate the quality fresh local foods of the area, which is the breadbasket of Cork.

As part of Taste the Island the Old Butter Roads group will have a tasting platter of Old Butter Roads Produce at member restaurants in the week 4-10th November as well as other events in member businesses. An Old Butter Road Harvest Gathering family day will take place on 23/09 at Ballyhass Lakes with artisan Food and Drink as well as a day of fun activities. The Square Table restaurant in Blarney will hold a Menu showcasing the producers on 9th November and Ballyvolane House will host a Game day. Activity Days will have food trail during the week in November and a Cork Cheese trail on 8th November where you will get a chance to meet the makers of the cheese. For further details look at












Contact Activity Days Ireland to organise a food experience for your group. The festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19. The festival hopes to be back in action in 2022 with the best food producers, eateries and visitor attractions in Cork.



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