Bushmills Salmon & Whiskey Festival 2023

The Bushmills Salmon & Whiskey Festival will make a welcome return this autumn to celebrate the food, drink and local heritage of the area.
The village will host the festival on the weekend of 6th – 8th October, with lots to look forward to from a variety of fantastic food demonstrations, entertainment, live music, fishing activities and outdoor fun for children to enjoy. Foodies will be able to indulge locally produced food and drink, with a focus on salmon and whiskey.
Visitors will enjoy the local warm hospitality of the village at both the Bushmills Distillery and the Naturally North Coast & Glens Artisan Market. The distillery will be open during the festival weekend, while the market will offer the opportunity to meet the makers behind the local produce, purchase unique handmade crafts and more.
Many independent businesses are involved to help make the festival a success, as well as involvement from local chefs, including Gary Stewart from Tartine at The Distillers Arms, who is an integral part of the weekend. Celebrity chef Paula McIntrye will be attending over the weekend and will be hosting several cookery demonstrations.
The festival is part funded by DAERA – NI Regional Food Programme, supported by the Bushmills Business Association.
Friday, October 6
A unique Coast & Countryside tour will be available throughout the day, exploring the bespoke offering Bushmills has to offer. This will be guided by the wonderful Wendy Gallagher (pre-booking required via causewaycoastfoodietours.com).
The highlight of Friday evening is the Bushmills ‘Dine around Town’, a unique food and drink experience created to indulge visitors with bespoke menus using the finest quality local produce. Musical performances in select venues will set the mood to kick-off the festival weekend. This is a ticketed event with limited places. More details on how to book will be announced later.
Saturday, October 7
Enjoy wandering around Bushmills and guide yourself through the Taste Trail, taking in the smells and flavours on offer. The many great restaurants and cafes in the village welcome you to try a variety of fresh local dishes embracing locally sourced ingredients, especially Salmon and/or Whiskey. Bushmills Distillery will be open during the weekend and hosting tours. The Visitor Information Centre will host a taste showcase of products from local artisan producers. Various establishments will also host music and entertainment into the evening.
Sunday, October 8
The Outdoor (STREAT) programme will consist of Naturally North Coast & Glens Artisan Market stalls, Bushmills Distillery whiskey tastings and tours, cookery demonstrations with celebrity chef Paula McIntyre and various talented local chefs, musical acts, and entertainers. There will also be a quiet time session for children with additional needs.
Main Street carpark will host an afternoon of live cookery demonstrations and the ‘Whiskey Hub’, a brand-new experience for the Whiskey enthusiast. A select range of local distilleries will host a taste and information session across Sunday afternoon, allowing visitors to taste and experience the fine whiskeys on offer in Northern Ireland.
With many ways to enjoy unique food experiences, this festival is not one to be missed!
DAERA has advised Council that, due to budget constraints, it is unable to open up the River Bush Salmon Station to the public as part of this year’s festival, as it had done in the past.