In The Media

Beer and Cheese Tastings

13 October, 2020
St Tola’s Cheese and Beer Tasting Notes   When it comes to pairing food and beer, you can either compliment the flavours or contrast them. Taste buds are as individual as a fingerprint, so two people taste the same. There is no right or wrong pairing. They are a few classical pairings but again, everyone is different. Sweet and salty pairings, effervescent and creamy textures and matching intensity should all be considered when pairing beers and cheese.   St Tola’s Goat’s Cheese & Western Herd Blue Jumper IPA This is a pairing that on paper should not work; pairing a delicate cheese with a powerful IPA. But it is so good. The bitterness of the IPA cuts through the soft creamy texture of the goat’s cheese without overpowering the elegant cheese. The bitterness of the beer is the perfect counterbalance for the rich cheese. The carbonation of the beer melts into the creamy goat cheese to cleanse the palate while the acidity refreshes the palate.   St. Tola’s Hard Cheese & Western Herd Atlantic Red Ale The sweet honey and malty, breadiness of the beer is so good with the nutty flavours of the cheese. It’s like chocolate and peanut butter, classic and timeless. The toasty malts combined with the cheese create an almost praline effect. Beer and cheese work in harmony and it is oh so good!!!   St. Tola’s Greek Style Irish Goat’s Cheese & Western Herd Back Beat Witbier The salty, briney cheese is not going to be dominated and works well with lighter dishes. While the beer is light and full of character, the understated witbier allows the cheese to star. The sweetness of the orange peel in the Belgian style beer pairs perfectly with the salty feta. 

St Tola Autumn News

5 October, 2020
We were delighted to announce that we won a Gold Star at The Great Taste Awards for our St Tola Log! It is a great boost to our team here to be able to have something to celebrate after a difficult year so far. The log is available on deli counters at all good Supervalus, cheesemongers and delicatessens around the country as well as pre packed as the Original in our new green tub.  We were due to have a market stall  and offer a tour of our farm with the The Ennis Food and Drink Fleadh is once again due this weekend 10th and 11th October, however due to current COVID restrictions, these two events have now been cancelled.  We have been making our yummy hard cheese once again and this is now available in our on line shop and in all good gourmet shops in Ireland. We are so thankful for the amazing support that our customers have given to us and other Irish producers in the last few months.  Above all we want you all to stay happy, safe and healthy.   Siobhán and all the crew at St Tola.  



New Ways to Order St Tola

4 April, 2020

In the past week, we have been working with a number of local and national initiatives to try and boost our retails sales in these strange times we live in! We have lots of new ways to order St Tola and other lovely gourmet goodies on-line for home delivery and pick up at farmers markets these include : 

Burren Smokehouse are offering two Burren Baskets that include Burren Smoked Salmon and St Tola and locally produced puddings

Clare Local Delivery : Delivery to North Clare on a Friday for a range of goods and gourmet cooked meals including artisan bread, fresh vegetables and St Tola Cheese

Neighbour Food is a new way to do your weekly farmers market shopping in one go! Join your local market, pick and pay for your goods and pick up at the specified time! St Tola now selling for Limerick market (pick up on a Thursday eve) and Glasnevin (pick up on a Saturday)

Hussey Fruit and Veg in Dubin are a 4th generation distributoer of Fruit and Vegetables in Dublin. They do amazing home deliveries and are now supplying a range of gourmet and dairy products including St Tola!  see@jtattshotmailc1  on Twitter or ring 01 8644300 for details

And of course our on-line shop! We only launched this this last week and have been blown away by the response! The link is up the top of the page, delivery by courier is included and its great value! Thank you to all our loyal customers

Finally, have a listen to Siobhans interview with Brendan O'Connor this morning 4th April discussing the effects of COVID 19 on the Farmhouse Cheese Industry

Be Safe

26 March, 2020

We wish all our loyal customers a safe time during this Covid19 crisis. As we can't find the off switch on our goats,  we have reduced our production of soft cheeses and we will soon be making our St Tola Hard Cheese. Please support Irish food producers at this critical time. Our soft cheeses are available on a 20% discount from today at Supervalus Nationwide! Stay safe. from Siobhan and all the crew at St Tola x

in the meantime, here is Petru our Farm manager and some lovely kids from earlier in the year! x 

St Tola Irish Goats Cheese

26 February, 2020

Spring has sprung and there is kidding to beat the band out on the farm! We had a very succesful public tour last Friday, loads of people came with their 2 legged kids to see our 4 legged ones and a great time was had by all! We will do another tour again at Easter so watch out for dates here and on social media.  

In other news we are on promotion with our logs, divine, original and greek in all Supervalus across Ireland until Wednesday 4th March and Gráinne had a great time meeting customers old and new in Supervalu Castletroy a few weeks ago. 

Come along this Friday from 11am to 3pm to Sheridans in Galway - our Gráinne will once again be tasting out our cheeses to all you Galweigans! Also Siobhán will be in Sheridans in Cork on the Sheridans counter in Dunnes in Bishopstown.  



Public Tour

18 February, 2020

Mid term Goat Therapy! So our kids can meet your kids come along to our public tour this Friday 31st February at 10.30am! Its a one hour tour and you get to see our lovely goats and kids and taste all our delicious goats cheese! €10 adults, €5children or €30 for a family of 2 adults and 3 children. All welcome!

Christmas News!

13 December, 2019

What a year at St Tola! Siobhan celebrated her 20th Anniverary in style here at the farm and more visitors came to see us than ever before! 

As our St Tola Ash (which wins all the awards!) is difficult to come by in the market place we have decided to have the farm open to the public from Monday 16th December to Monday 23rd December from 9am to 4pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10-12noon.  Pre-order if possible to guarentee orders.  We will have the full range of our St Tola cheeses,  specially designed St. Tola Cheeseboards, Sheridans crackers, & other Irish Farmhouse Cheeses to make up delicious hampers! Ring Carmen or Grainne on 065 683 66 33.

We wish all our customers a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year 2020


13 August, 2019

Public Tours are still running here at St Tola! Come along every Wednesday at 10.30am for a tour of the farm, a simple cheesemaking demonstration and a taste of all our cheeses! SSo that is the 14th, 21st and 28th August!  €8 adults, €5 children or €25 family ticket. Great craic whatever the weather!

Awards and more

14 May, 2019

Delighted to announce our St Tola Salad cheese is now available in Dunnes Stores all over Ireland! This is a firm cheese with a salty bite and great in salads and sandwiches! We are also delighted to have won 2 awards at the recent Artisan Cheese Awards in the UK. Silver for the ash log and GOLD for the Classic Log!

Lots of events coming up including Sheridans Food Festival in Meath and the   Taste the Loop Festival in Kilkee Co Clare


May Day Open Day

26 April, 2019

We can't promise Brian will be in full pagan gear but come and join us at our May Day Bealtine Public Tour on Wednesday 1st May at10.30 for a one hour tour! €8 adults, €5children €25 family ticket!

Don't just visit the Burren, Taste It!

23 April, 2019

Video from Rebecca Bingham

23 April, 2019

Lovely video from a few years back from visitor Rebecca Bingham!

Easter Open Day

17 April, 2019

Public Tour on Wednesday 24th April, see all our lovely goats and taste our delicious cheese too! Gates open at 10.15am for 1 hour tour starting at 10.30am sharp! €8/adults, €5/children ad €20 family ticket. See you then!

Spring has Sprung

13 March, 2019

Spring has really sprung here at St Tola! Our goats are kidding well and there are lots of lovely babies and of course lovely fresh goat milk and cheese!

Some calendar dates to remember:

Sheridans Cheesemongers Galway 23rd March 11-4pm,

Burren Food Trail Long Table events 07/06, 06/09 and 21/11 see for more details

Slow Food Clare Festival 11/12 May

Sheridans Food Festival 26/05/2019

Open Day here at St Tola Wednesday 24th April from 10.30 to 12noon! gates open at 10.15 for tour starting sharp at 10.30, €8/adult,  €5/children €20 family ticket




Happy New Year!

18 January, 2019

It might be a little late in January but Happy New Year to all our customers, friends and family! Best wishes and good health to all of you! We are looking forward to 2019 - Siobhan is 20 years in business here in Inagh and we are looking forward to some celebrations here in March! Watch this space as they say!

We are once again open for tours at our farm, we do full farm tours to groups of all sizes so drop us a line on and let us see how we can accomodate you!

We were delighted that so many of our collegues in North Clare in the Burren were featured in Decembers National Geographic! Now the world can really see what delicious foodie wonders we have to offer in our beautiful county!



Christmas News Letter!

28 November, 2018

What a year it has been for St Tola Goats Cheese! Never before have we won so many awards as 2018!  Firstly the much coverted Irsh Food Writers Guild Environmental Award for our sustainability ethos which we are so very proud of.  St Tola was also one of only 5 Irish Cheesemakers to win 2 Stars at the Great Taste Awards - one of the finest international food competitions in the world!  Our St Tola Ash log also won both Gold at the Blas na hEireann award in Dingle in October and Bronze at the World Cheese awards this month!

As our St Tola Ash (which wins all the awards!) is difficult to come by in the market place we have decided to have the farm open to the public from Monday 3rd December to Friday 21st December from 9am to 4pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10-12noon.  Pre-order if possible to guarentee orders.  We will have the full range of our St Tola cheeses, including the rare and just released St Tola Hard Cheese, specially designed St. Tola Cheeseboards, Sheridans crackers, Burren Kitchen Garden Winter Jelly & other Irish Farmhouse Cheeses to make up delicious hampers! Ring Carmen or Grainne on 065 683 66 33.

GOLD AT Blas na hEireann

10 October, 2018

Delighted to have won Gold at the this years Blas na hEireann Awards this year for our Ash Log! Also Silver for our Raw Milk! A great boost to the team and well done to all the finalists and organisers for such a great Food Festival in Dingle this year!


If you would like to taste our award winning cheeses please join us on our public tours Weds and Fri at 2.30pm €15.00 per head adults or €6 children.

Hope to see some of you at the Burren Food Fayre in Lisdonvarna on the 30th October!

GOLD AT Blas na hEireann

10 October, 2018

Delighted to have won Gold at the this years Blas na hEireann Awards this year for our Ash Log! Also Silver for our Raw Milk! A great boost to the team and well done to all the finalists and organisers for such a great Food Festival in Dingle this year!


If you would like to taste our award winning cheeses please join us on our public tours Weds and Fri at 2.30pm €15.00 per head adults or €6 children.

Hope to see some of you at the Burren Food Fayre in Lisdonvarna on the 30th October!

Autumn News!

26 September, 2018

We had a super busy summer here at St Tola and we are now looking forward to some great events coming up this Autumn.

Our delicious logs, divine and greek style are on special offer at Supervalu right now - so get your cheese while stocks last!

Siohan will be representing us the first Cork Cheese Festival this weekend. The Cork Cheese Fair will be held at the Cork Aiport Hotel this Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5.30pm. There will be a huge range of Irish Cheesemakers and more details on 

Sinead from The Cheese Press in Ennistymon wll also be attending a special market this Sunday dedicated to cheese at The Fumbally Market in Dublin as part of it's 2018  eat-ith festival more details

We will also be opening our doors for some public open tours here at farm...details to follow!



Tour Dates for St Tola

23 August, 2018

Just a reminder to all that we are not taking any farm tours until Wednesday 5th September. We will book dates after that if you contact us by e-mail  Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays only! Thanks!


24 July, 2018

OPEN MORNING !  Come along to our public open session, Wednesday 24th July for a tour of the farm, tasting and lovely cuddles with our kid goats! Gates open at 10.30am for a tour at 10.45 sharp, adults €8, 2 legged kids €5 and family ticket €20. All welcome for a great morning out!

Spring has Sprung

14 February, 2018

Spring has sprung here after a very long, cold and wet winter. We are finally starting to see some kids on the farm, it so beautiful to see them with their mothers and of course we are looking forward to some great spring milk and some super fresh goat cheese!

We are delighted to have teamed up with Cully and Sully, fabulous Irish soup makers to launch this delicious Beetroot and St Tola Goat cheese Soup. Yum Yum! It's very pretty too, a  gourgeous pink colour and just perfect for Valentines Day! Available from today in all good shops!



World Cheese Awards

23 November, 2017

We are delighted here to announce that we have won awards at the 2017-18 World Cheese Awards

Our lovely Ash Log won Best in Class and Overall Best Irish Cheese!

Great news and a super boost to the team here just before Christmas!


Siobhan x

Blas na Eireann Winners and FOTE lunch

25 October, 2017


On Thursday 12th October, we were delighted to host a mixture of 55 international Michelin starred chefs, journalists, academics, authors and food influencers, to a 5 course lunch, in the barn at St Tola Goat Cheese!

The meal was organised as an excursion following the “Food on the Edge” International Symposium that had been held in Galway on Monday and Tuesday.
Guests included JP McMahon (organiser of Food on the Edge and Chef from Aniar Galway), Michellin starred chefs Bo Bech and Elise Kornad and food journalists Kat Kinsmann and Joanna Blythman.

The laid back goats at St Tola looked on as the lunch was prepared by Peter Jackson and Carol O’Brien from the Armada Hotel Spanish Point, and Viv Kelly from Kierans Kitchen at The Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna. The menu consisted of a starter of St Tola Goat Cheese with salad and vegetables from the Armada Farm, a main course of slow cooked goat curry and a dessert of Goats Milk ice cream. A cheese course of St Tola Goats cheeses was presented with preserves from the Burren Kitchen Garden, coffee from Anam Coffee, wines from the Wicklow Way Wines and beers from the Western Herd Beer Compan
We were deeply honoured to have hosted this meal at the very heart of our farm and hope that our visitors left with not only with a full stomach, but also a lasting impression in Ireland of the connection between our food and the land.

We were also delighted to have been awarded 2 awards at the recent Blas na hEireann awards in Dingle recently Gold for our delicious raw milk, and silver for Dunnes Stores St Tola Cream Cheese!


20 September, 2017

If you get down to Lidl before the Sunday 24th September, you will be able to buy St Tola Divine instore in Lidl nationwide as part of the KICKSTART Lidl promotion - plenty of other amazing Irish products too! Our Divine is also available in Dunnes stores, Tesco and Supervalu also. Watch out for Grainne in Dunnes in Ennis this Friday and Saturday!

We have had a great summer welcoming visitors here at St Tola, but our public sessions have now finished up for the season. If you like to book a private tour or join one of our pre-booked tours, please send us an e-mail on

Public Sessions

30 August, 2017

We have had a very busy summer here at St Tola! We had Public tour sessions on a Wednesday morning and due to popular demand, we will continue them for September! Tour includes a tour of the goats, a look at the milking parlour, a cheesemaking demo and a full tasting of all our awardwinning goats cheeses. €8 adults, €5 children and €20 family ticket.

We have also launched our St Tola Divine into Dunnes Stores! Grainne willl be doing regular tastings so keep your eye on Facebook for more details and dates.

Finally, we do hope that some of you made it to the Fleadh in Ennis! We certainly did! The photo here is Siobhan being interviewed as part of TG4 coverage of this great event. !



Open Tour Dates

30 June, 2017

Due to popular demand, we are going to be having Open Tour dates here at St Tola Goat Farm from this Wednesday the 5th July and every Wednesday in July and August. Tours will start at 10.30am sharp and will include a tour of the farm and a cheese making demonstration with tasting. Adults €8, children €5 family ticket (2 adults and 2 children €20. Tours wil start prompt at 10.30 so make sure you are on time! We are just off the main Ennistymon to Ennis road and well sign posted.

Hope to see some of ye on Wednesday!



Rare Breeds and Pancakes

27 February, 2017

Have you been watching Rare Breed on TV3 on Tuesdays at 7.30pm? Here's a chance to catch up on a recent episode (7th February) its the April edition as the series follows 12 farms around Ireland throughout the farming year. Our Siobhan and Petru are on from about 2mins 15 seconds!

Other episodes are available on the TV3 player

Don't forget tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday and officially the tastiest day of the year and heres a few ideas for you pancakes and to whet your appetite!

+Caramelised apple slices,  St Tola and thyme leaves

+Onion marmalade, St Tola and pepery rocket leaves

+Blackberry chutney, crumbled up cooked black pudding and St Tola

+Honey, butter fried pear slices, lots of freshly ground black pepper and St Tola

Our farm shop will be opening this Wednesday from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday. If you want to call to the farm at the weekend there will be someone there from 10 to 12 noon only (no Bank Hols!) Our full range of cheeses are available as well as raw and pasteurised milk. 

Yum Yum! 

Rare Breeds!

11 January, 2017

In case you missed it, we delighted to announce that St Tola are featuring in TV3s monthly farming programme "Rare Breeds" throughout 2017. The first episode was on yesterday at 7.30pm... catch up by watching it on the 3player here!

World Cheese Awards & Christmas Craft Fair

26 November, 2016

We are delighted to announce that St Tola Ash Log won Gold in its class at the recent World Cheese Awards! It's a great way to end the year and great for the team to get recognition for a great product!

The National Craft Fair at the RDS will be getting under way this coming Wednesday 30th November until Sunday 4th December. It is a stunning show with a log of amazing Irish talent on display. We will be in the Food Emporium so come along say hello and get some fantastic cheeses for Christmas!

See you there 


Recipes and more....

21 May, 2016

Those lovely people at Sheridans cheesemongers have been happily fiddling with our cheese again! The wonderful Franck has come up with a delicious St Tola and Beetroot Quiche and it is as tasty as it is good looking!

Dont forget Sheridans have their big day out, their annual Food Festival in Viriginia Road Station in Co Meath next Sunday 29th May. A feast of fun and food for everyone!

Next weekend is also the Annual Burren Slow Food Festival. A superb line up this year includes a champagne and oyster picnic under the Clffs of Moher, Whiskey and Chocolate Tasting, Champagne and Smoked Salmon Tasting,  speakers including JP McMahon and Catherine Cleary as well as the usual producers market and festival banquet.

And we are so looking forward to Bloom this year...come and see us with our friends from Cashel Blue 2nd to the 6th June 2016

The sun is finally out here in Co Clare so get out and see our beautiful country and get tasting some lovely Irish Food!

Siobhan x 

St Tola featured on RTE's Big Week on the Farm

19 April, 2016

Delighted to have welcomed the television crew to our goat farm to film a segment for RTE's Big Week on the Farm. Check out the video clip!

St Tola featuring on RTE's Farm Live

5 April, 2016

Watch out for St-Tola on 'Farm Live' on RTE 1 Tues 5th of April at 7 p.m.

St Tola featuring in Food & Wine Magazine

17 March, 2016

We will be featuring in the April edition of Food & Wine Magazine as part of The Burren Food Trail.

Mmmm Pancakes!

8 February, 2016

Who doesn't love pancakes? So easy to make and an endless variety of toppings and here are few new ideas to try with St Tola Goat Cheese,·     

Dot each pancake with around 30g of St Tola, 4 caramelised apple slices, (just fry the apples for a few minutes in lots of Irish butter until they start to brown)  a few bashed walnuts & a few thyme leaves.

Or  spread some good quality red onion marmalade over each pancake, dot with 30g of St Tola & some peppery rocket leaves

Or spread each pancake with about 30g of St Tola Divine,  some light Irish honey, & a sprinkle of nuts & dried fruit

Happy Shrove Tuesday!


St Tola in the Sunday Times

27 January, 2016

We had some super coverage over the weekend in a great article by Katy McGuinness... we are so lucky to be working with such a forward thinking group as Bord Failte. Heres hoping that the 2016 season is a healthy one for all of us. 

Have you spotted any St Tola in the Wild?! Have a look at our Facebook page for the latest pictures sent in by chefs and tasters...we love to know what beautiful creations our cheese ends up in! 

For those of you really going Wild...have a look out for St Tola in Business Class in Aer Lingus in the month of February - we are delighted to have been chosen again this Spring. 

I'll be posting a few nice recipe for Valentines soon - so watch this space!

Siobhan x

St Tola on The Seven O'Clock Show

14 January, 2016

Did you see The Seven O'Clock Show on TV3 on Wednesday Evening? Chef Gary O'Hanlon made a beautiful and healthy looking Kale and St Tola Salad! For those of you that missed it, here is the link:

and I will be posting up the recipe later in the week. Can't wait to try it!


Happy New Year

10 January, 2016

Happy New Year!

I hope that you all had a peaceful and restful Christmas Season and are looking forward to a Happy and Healthy 2016. We had a few little Christmas surprises on the farm, early kids!We were very surprised but they are doing well and looking bonny and healthy. 

Chefs and customers alike have been kindly sending in photos of St Tola in the Wild - in other words wonderful creations from Chefs around the country using St Tola in creative ways. Have a look at our Twitter page @StTolaCheese and our Facebook for the latest updates   If you spot St Tola in the Wild - send us in a picture, we love to see what is happening out there!

News broke last week of the latest SuperFood - our very own Black Pudding! We have long been a fan of the black stuff,  check out our simple idea for using this with St Tola on our recipe page - makes a perfect late supper!

Our lovely Sinead is back selling at markets after a little winter break (and a horrible incident in the recent floods) Come and meet up with her at Limerick Milk Market on Saturday Mornings, she is some woman to talk!

Siobhan xx


St Tola in the Financial Times!

3 December, 2015

Great write up recently in the Financial Times, honoured to be named as one of the 5 best cheeses in Britain and Ireland!

We were delighted recently to win some awards in the World Cheese Awards,  bronze for our Divine, and a brilliant Silver for the Ash Log!

The AIB JUNIOR Bake Off is to be held locally this coming Sunday in the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point, come along between 2-5pm and support some up and coming local talent. We wil be manning as stall on the day so you can get your Christmas Cheeses selection in as well!

Siobhan x

Winter at St Tola

3 November, 2015

Winter opening hours: Our farm shop is now closed for the season,  but visitors can stlll come to the farm gate, Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm to buy cheese! Private tours can be arranged on request - see our tours page for more details. 

We are delighted the awards that St Tola has been associated with this year including, 2 Stars at the Great Taste Awards and of course winning the EUROTOQUE PRODUCER OF THE YEAR!  We are very proud also to be part of the Burren Food Trail, European Destination of Excellence Award and Foodie Town of Ireland.  Well done to all involved!


Open Day - Last of the the Year!

24 October, 2015
Fancy taking a look behind the scenes here at St Tola? Then come along this Thursday at 2.30pm for the last Open Tour of the Year! Visitors will get to see and pet our lovely goats, hear all about sustainable farming and breeding, get to find out about the history of cheese making in Ireland, see a simple cheese making demonstration and of course get to taste the full range of our delicious award winning cheeses! The event is free and open to all ages. Gates will Open at 2.30pm and the tour will start at 2.45pm sharp. So dress up nice and warm (wellies are a good idea as well if you have them) and come along and see us! Siobhan x

Autumn Events coming up!

29 September, 2015

As the evening draw in ever closer each night, you'd think things would be slowing down here on the farm wouldn't you?! The fine weather means that thankfully we are still busy producing cheese and there have been plenty of visitors to the farm this autumn. 

There are some fabulous events coming up in the next few weeks:

The superb Dingle Pennisula Food Festival is coming up this weekend 2nd to the 4th October, a vast range of events, cookery demonstrations and awards - unbeatable fun and craic this weekend in Kerry! have a look at the website  for more details 

Food on the Edge is an incredible International Food Symposium (October 19th to 20th October at various places around Galway) with chefs and lecturers from all over the globe attending. The multi-talented and Michellin Star restauranteur J.P.McMahon is the brains behind the action and all the details can be found at

The annual Winterage Festival is again on in the Burren this October 22-25th- a beautiful and life affirming festival celebrating our unique food and farming heritage here in Clare. 

And finally, the last planned Open Day of the year will be here at St Tola Goat Farm on Thursday 29th October. Gates will open at 2.30pm and a tour will start at 2.45pm. All welcome and its free!! 

Siobhan x

St Tola in the News!

1 September, 2015

We are delighted to announce that our lovely St Tola Divine was a 2 Gold Star winner at the recent Great Taste Awards! These awards are considered the Oscars of the Food World and it is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team here that produces such fine cheese! A full list of Irish winners can be seen here

We have some amazing visitors to our farm over the summer including Peter Morrell that writes for a range of websites including the Huffington Post. Details of Peters visit to The Burren in the summer can be read  many thank Peter for your kind words and we are delighted that you came to visit us. 


The inaugural Food on the Edge Symposium is to take place this October 19th and 20th in Galway.  The ever busy J.P. McMahon (we don't know how he finds the time) has arranged a coming together of top international chefs and food leaders for a 2 day symposium. There are some amazing events and speakers during the event, full details can be found on and a great article by Rebecca LeHup writing for the Huffington Post can be found here


Siobhan x 



Open Day Dates

18 August, 2015

A quick reminder of the dates of the last of our summer Open Days. The next one will be this coming Wednesday 19th August and the last one will be next Friday 28th August.  On both days there will be a full tour of the animals, a talk on farming, the history of St Tola Cheese and cheese making in Ireland, a simple cheese making demonstration and a full tasting of the range of St Tola Cheese! Both events are free and visitors of all ages are welcome. Gates open at 2.30pm and tour starts at 2.45pm sharp! Hope to see some of you there!


29 July, 2015

We have had some great visitors lately... most notably Peter Morrell from The Huffington Post, Hannah Thompson from the Caterer and Rose Prince from The Telegraph, many thanks to Bord Bia for organising such interesting visitors to Ireland.  We will be posting some articles from these journalists later in the year. 

Our Discover Farmhouse Cheese Open Days are proving very popular with young and old alike...our next Open Day is Monday 10th August, gates open at 2.30pm and the tour starts at 2.45pm sharp..all welcome and its free! The next Open Day after that is Friday 28th August, same times, it will be Heritage week so a last chance to get some culture before the school term starts!

The best news however is of course the news that The Burren Food Trail was the proud winner of the EDEN award - European Destination of Excellence award for gastronomy. This is the second time if 5 years that Clare has won this award and we are so delighted to be part of this amazing group and the award  is testement to the hard work of all involved. Check out our Facebook page for photos of the fabulous lunch at Hotel Doolin last week.  

Hope to see some of you at our next Open Day!










Open Day!

24 June, 2015

Just a quick reminder that our next Open Day is next Monday 29th June from 2-4pm Tour starrts promptly at 2pm,  there will be a full tour and tasting of all our cheeses.  

If you are out and about, keep an eye out for our Sinead at markets, Tuesdays in Ennistymon,  Fridays in Kinvara and Saturdays in the Milk Market in Limerick City! Sinead has a great range of cheeses (including all the lovely St Tola cheeses!) olives, oils nuts and of course you can practise your Irish at the same time with the Queen of Cheese! 

Dont forget this months Easy Food Magazine, there is a lovely new St Tola recipe in there for the summer!

Siobhan x 


15 June, 2015

Clare-based Artisan wins Prestigious Award from Top Chefs

Bumper year for Euro-Toques Ireland’s EirGrid Food Awards

Top chefs organisation receives most nominations since Awards’ inception

Small producers increasing in number and leading in food innovation

The annual EirGrid Euro-Toques Food Awards took place this Monday 15th June. The awards are voted on by the members of Euro-Toques Ireland, a community of cooks and chefs established in 1986 by Myrtle Allen, who subscribe to the highest standards in sourcing ingredients and culinary excellence. Members include top chefs such as Ross Lewis, Kevin Thornton, Derry Clarke, Sunil Ghai, Neven Maguire, Guillaume LeBrun, Wade Murphy, Gary O’Hanlon and Darina Allen. 

This year the awards received the highest number of nominations from chefs for artisan food producers since the awards’ inception in 2005. The nominated producers covered an astounding array of categories, from artisanal beers and spirits to hand-cooked crisps, brand new farmhouse cheeses, and grass-fed poultry. The winners ranged from brand new businesses to multi generational.

One winner was Siobhan Ní Ghairbhith of Inagh Farmhouse Cheese for her St Tola Irish Goat Cheese range, made in Ennistymon, County Clare in the West of Ireland, St. Tola Irish Goat Cheese has achieved exceptional critical acclaim since its launch over twenty-five years ago. From young, fresh crottin through to mature, year old Gouda, all their cheeses are handmade and matured to suit customers’ individual requirements. As such, cheese from the St. Tola range is now among the most sought-after artisan produce in Ireland. St. Tola Irish Goat Cheese has been made in the townland of Inagh just south of the Burren in County Clare since the early 1980s.

Speaking after receiving the award, Siobhan Ní Ghairbhith commented: “St.Tola is a successful business because we continue to stay true to ourselves. We produce our cheeses at a very high quality, are innovative by creating new products based on the feedback we get from our customers and are good communicators of what we do to the market place. The best advantage of being an artisanal producer is that what we produce is unique, producing products with true provenance reflecting the sustainable environment in which our St.Tola range is made and by whom it is made. By being artisanal we are protecting the long-term future of the environment and all those who live on it, which makes it all worthwhile.”

Speaking about the awards, Euro-Toques Ireland Commissioner General Wade Murphy said: “The artisan sector in Ireland has grown so much in the last 10 years, there’s almost nothing Irish artisans don’t produce at this stage. This year’s awards have really shown where the standard is at in this country and I expect to see even more new producers and new products this time next year.”

Fintan Slye Chief Executive at Awards sponsor EirGrid, commented: “In our business we come into contact with every sector but we’re especially proud to support these awards. Small business owners are the lifeblood of the local economy and small producers in particular are the lifeblood of the rural community. They truly are amazing people in what they contribute to food, the economy, the environment and life in Ireland and we’re delighted to be able to recognise their enormous achievements, as individuals and as a sector.”

Siobhan Ní Ghairbhith for her St Tola Irish Goat Cheese (a range which includes unique products such as the mature raw ‘St Tola Log’ and the multi-award-winning ‘St Tola Ash Log’)

Sinead O’Brien for ‘Mungo Murphy’s (hand-harvested) Seaweed (a brand so innovative many people believe the woolly-headed seaweed guru ‘Mungo’ actually exists, including customers of ‘his’ sea spaghetti, sea lettuce, pepper dulse, kombu, dillisk, Atlantic wakame and Carrageen moss, to name a few)

Shana Wilkie for her ‘bean to bar’ organic chocolate (formerly on the production desk of the Tribune, Shana swapped newspapers for single origin organic criollo cocoa beans from Peru. Knowing her cocoa farmers by name, Shana was the first in Ireland making chocolate from bean to bar)

Rod and Julie Calder-Potts for their Highbank Orchards ‘Orchard Syrup (from the fourth generation Kilkenny farm, whose organic orchard produces some fine brandy-style apple spirit, gin and cider, Rod and Julie have created Ireland’s answer to maple syrup with this unique and original product that chefs can’t get enough of)

Padraig and Anthony Farrelly’s for Farrelly’s Butchers and Abattoir (one of the few butchers in the country with their own abattoir, the Farrelly brothers offer breeds, cuts and carcasses to order. They know the farmers and the animals they work with and even explore experimental breeds from time to time)

Irish artisan foods have lately been the subject of international media attention. In 2014 US Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern was blown away by his trip to Cork, especially the Gubbeen family farm. In 2009 Saveur Magazine founder Colman Andrews wrote a book about Irish food following his first visit here, linking the artisan revolution in Ireland with the “invention of modern Irish cooking.” Just this week Irish cheeses were entered for the first time in the prestigious Mondial du Fromage international concourse and came up trumps – Cashel Farmhouse Cheese and The Little Milk Company both sweeping up multiple prizes.

There are currently over 3,500 small to medium sized food businesses operating in Ireland. Euro-Toques chefs work directly with the small producers and credit this produce that comes through their kitchen doors every day with the success of their award-winning restaurants. Furthermore, supporting small local food businesses benefits the local economy too: A study by the New Economics Foundation in London found that every €14 spent at a local food business is worth €35 for the local area, compared with just €20 when the same amount is spent in a supermarket or wholesaler.

“Given that our Award Winners are from Galway, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Cork and Clare, the local socio-economic value of these producers delivering their produce directly in through our kitchen door is definite and quantifiable for the local community and the real economy of Ireland,” said Evan Doyle, Chair of the Food Council of Euro-Toques Ireland.

Euro-Toques Ireland is part of Euro-Toques International which was also founded in 1986, by Gualtiero Marchesi from Italy, Juan-Mari Arzak from Spain, Paul Bocuse from France, Cas Spijker from the Netherlands and Myrtle Allen from Ireland. Euro-Toques is a community of cooks and chefs who uphold a charter to protect and promote authentic artisan and high quality produce, and high culinary standards in their kitchens. There are 16 European countries in Euro-Toques International, with a membership of over 3,000 dedicated chefs.

Euro-Toques Ireland is governed by its Board of Commissioners, headed up by current Commissioner General Wade Murphy (chef-proprietor 1826, Adare). The annual EirGrid Food Awards are overseen by the Food Council of Euro-Toques Ireland, headed up by Chairman Evan Doyle (proprietor Brooklodge Hotel, Co Wicklow).

EirGrid plc is a leading Irish energy business, dedicated to the provision of transmission and market services for the benefit of electricity consumers, ensuring a steady and consistent supply to homes and businesses all over Ireland. EirGrid has supported the annual Euro-Toques Food Awards since 2010. It is a state-owned commercial company, committed to delivering high quality services to all customers, including generators, suppliers and consumers across the high voltage electricity system and via the efficient operation of the wholesale power market. It puts in place the grid infrastructure needed to support competition in energy, to promote economic growth, to facilitate more renewable energy, and to provide essential services.

Smaller food companies are generally more labour intensive than large manufacturing food firms. From 1998 to 2007 industrial employment fell by 4% in Ireland. During the same period employment in agriculture, forestry and fishing fell by 16%. During this time, however, small food firms expanded their employment level from 600 people to 3,000 people, largely through start up and growth (TASTE Council of Ireland).

2010, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) reported a 50% increase in enquiries regarding the starting up or establishment of new food firms in 2009 compared to 2008 (TASTE Council of Ireland).

Biogs and Quotes from Award-Winners

Farrelly’s Butchers, Delgany was established in 1958 and still has its own abattoir and beef farm. Brothers Anthony and Padgraig Farrelly run a progressive butcher’s shop that ticks all the boxes for restaurants and consumers, with butchered to order cuts  that have true provenance. While Ireland is losing its small abattoirs to large-scale facilities every year, Farrelly’s continues to demonstrate the advantages of a small independent operation. 

Tony Farrelly, Farrelly’s Butchers, commented: “Having our own abattoir means we work with the whole animal, we can give the customer exactly what they, no matter cut they’re after. We can also stand over the quality because we go to the farms and source the animals ourselves. This allows us to see what breeds are out there and try new things, with the confidence of knowing that we can guarantee the customer that quality.”

Farrelly’s Butcher’s. Delgany, Co Wicklow. T: 01-287 4211

Mungo Murphy's Seaweed Co. was officially established in December 2013 by Sinead O'Brien and Kevin Moore Murphy. The inspiration for the business came to Sinead late one night as she was writing a terrible story about a periwinkle farmer called Mungo Murphy who lived in a cottage down by the sea, who subsisted on, and bathed in, seaweed. Sinead then realized that she habitually bathed in and ate seaweed (ever since she was forced as a teenager to spend  her summer holidays collecting seaweed in Ros a Mhíl to feed her mother's abalone farm). And so she thought, if she enjoyed consuming seaweed then maybe others might enjoy that luxury too.

Sinead O’Brien said: “I think that our customers in Ireland and abroad like the story of Mungo Murphy and the fact that our seaweed products come from Connemara, in the "West of Ireland" which gives them peace of mind as to the quality and safety of the produce as the seaweed comes from a pristine, clean environment. Unfortunately for Japanese seaweed producers, there has been a certain level of distrust and concern over the safety and quality of seaweed originating from Japan in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster and that has also contributed to the growing interest in our seaweed products as well as for our abalone and sea cucumber products.”

Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Co. Barna, Co Galway.

Made by Siobhan Ní Ghairbhith of Inagh Farmhouse Cheese in the West of Ireland, St. Tola Irish Goat Cheese has achieved exceptional critical acclaim since its launch over twenty-five years ago. From young, fresh crottin through to mature, year old Gouda, all their cheeses are handmade and matured to suit customers’ individual requirements. As such, cheese from the St. Tola range is now among the most sought-after artisan produce in Ireland. St. Tola Irish Goat Cheese has been made in the townland of Inagh just south of the Burren in County Clare since the early 1980s.

Siobhan Ní Ghairbhith, St Tola Irish Goat Cheese said: “St.Tola is a successful business because we continue to stay true to ourselves. We produce our cheeses at a very high quality, are innovative by creating  new products based on the feedback we get from our customers and are good communicators of what we do to the market place. The best advantage of being an artisanal producer is that what we produce is unique, producing products with true provenance reflecting the sustainable  environment in which our St.Tola range is made and by whom it is made. By being artisanal we are protecting the long-term future of the environment and all those who live on it, which makes it all worthwhile.”

Inagh Farmhouse Cheese, Maurices Mills, Ennistymon, Co. Clare.

Highbank Organic Orchard was established in 1969 in Farmley, Co Kilkenny, on fertile Kilkenny limestone soils uniquely suited to produce delicious apples and apple juice. They have been producing organically since 1994, to the strictest of organic standards: no chemicals are sprayed on the apples, neither are any herbicides or chemical fertilizers used. GMOs are shunned to the extent that they avoid the use of manure from animals fed on GM food. Highbank Orchard Syrup, hailed as Ireland’s answer to maple syrup, is a completely unique product with diverse uses. Combined with their other great produce – their Dabinette Apples, their cider and juices, and now brandy-style spirits and gin from their new Distillery (opened 2014) – Highbank is the epitome of artisan innovation and creativity.

Speaking about the product, food writer John McKenna wrote: “When they perfected their Highbank apple syrup and launched it in 2010, they created one of the new defining artisan foods…their dynamism is ferocious, their creativity unbridled, and they are amongst the defining producers of the age.

Highbank Organic Orchards, Farmley, Co Kilkenny. /

Shana Wilkie established Wilkies Organic Chocolate in 2012, with the aim of producing a premium quality organic chocolate, high in cocoa content and using only natural, organic ingredients. Today she is an Irish chocolate-maker that truly ticks all the boxes from bean to bar. Shana practices true artisan chocolate making fundamentals. She purchases her organic cocoa beans from single estate ‘fully traceable’ Peruvian farms. The farmers there ferment and sun dry the beans before shipping. When it arrives here, the cocoa is first sorted (all debris removed), then roasted, winnowed and conched. Roasting helps release acids and develop the chocolate flavours. Conching further develops this. So it's a balancing act to expose the natural flavours and aromas of the bean. Three to four days later a batch is ready for tempering. At present everything is still hand wrapped. Zero emulsifiers or flavourings are added. It is also 100% dairy, gluten, nut and soy free.  Shana is only one of only five such ‘bean to bar’ chocolatiers in Ireland and less than 50 true Artisan Chocolatiers worldwide.

“For me it started with an interest in the history of chocolate and developed into utter fascination with what I found. I never knew what a cacao tree, pods or seeds looked like or that there are different bean varieties with different natural flavours. That's what fascinated me most. The idea of pure natural flavoured chocolate.  I am always tinkering with different techniques to get the best out of a bean. A lot of my machinery is old style (nuts and bolts) and a roaster that's nearly 100 years old so I've become fairly handy at DIY. I have to admit I love all the DIY it's one of my favourite parts of the job!”

Wilkie’s Organic Chocolate. Knockgriffin, Midleton, Cork. www.wilkieschocolate

News Update!

3 June, 2015

Congratulations to all our fellow members of the Burren Food after the sustainainable tourism initiative was named was named winner of the 2015 European Destiantion of Excellence (EDEN) award! We are honored to be part of such a amazing group. Well done to all those working hard behind the scenes especially the tremdendous work by Tina O Dwyer. 

We were delighted here in North Clare to have the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles visit the Burren. Prince Charles is a keen supporter of sustainable farming and we were very proud to have our cheese presented to him with the finest of Clare ingredients in a hamper.  

Finally we are super proud to annouce that St Tola will be in the Aer Lingus business class menu for June ! 



26 May, 2015

Our latest Disover Farmhouse Cheese Open Day was this morning here at St Tola. We have a great morning with a good number of visitors and the sun even came out for a change! Our next Open Day here is 19th June...I'll post up the times shortly. Come along and see our goats and taste our unbelievably good cheese! 

In the Media this week!

19 May, 2015

Just a quick update on a few things that are happening here this week. 

We are delighted that The Prince of Wales will be visiting our beautiful county today and we are delighted that our cheese will be on display for him to sample!

The Burren Slow Food Festival is in full swing this week and there are a huge number of events to choose from including festival markets and foraging and tasting dinners and lunches.

We have made the RTE guide this week! Super article and photo with Siobhan in the EAT supplement. We are also in this months EASY FOOD, with a great recipe from JP McMahon of Aniar, Cava and Eat in Galway.

Our next Open Day is next Tuesday 26th May. Come along at 10.30 for a tour of the farm followed by a tasting of all our cheeses!