Sarah Roarty | Litfest A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe

Sarah Roarty of N17 Beer launched the first pair of her N17 brews in 2014. The N17 Oatmeal Stout won a medal at the Alltech International Craft Beers and Food Festival, and the Chili Porter has won Gold at the Alltech International Craft Beers Festival in 2016.

Sarah is a Chemistry graduate, having worked in both the UK and Germany in roles ranging from R&D to large scale manufacturing, before returning to Ireland where she specialised in Quality systems for multinational medical device industries. When her daughter Clara was born with a rare disorder known as Angelman Syndrome, a career change was necessary and this saw her take over the role as CEO of a local Chamber of Commerce before turning her hand to brewing and the life of an entrepreneur.

Craft beer is enjoying a rise in popularity worldwide but Sarah's company called N17 is a craft brewery with a difference.  “We are a brewery that squeezes every last drop out of the brewing process. So far, we've found another eight products we can make, all from the by-products from brewing the humble pint. At the heart of what N17 do is offer employment opportunities to people of all abilities, helping individuals find jobs that are right for them based on their skills, jobs where they can add value and be valued in the workforce. Many of the N17 staff at Craft Beer Festivals are adults with Down Syndrome, who have the ideal skillset to offer excellent customer service while pulling a pint.”

The social impact of the business and the rich story that accompanies it captures the hearts and minds of consumers turning people into advocates for the brewery and its unique business model. With several international medals and awards for their range of ales, stouts and porter it’s true to say that not only does the beer taste good, it inspires imagination and does good too.

“We are going back to a process where you utilise everything. Beer is the envoy, but N17 is really a way of doing business, a way of looking at things differently”.

Sarah was Ireland’s first female beer sommelier, graduating from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in London and was awarded the prestigious gold medal.

As an international beer judge Sarah has judged the Global Craft Beer Awards in Berlin and the Overall Best of British Awards in the UK.

John McKenna writes “The brilliance of Roarty’s N17 can be expressed simply: this is a vision of health that is truly inclusive: for individuals, for business, for the planet. It is a sustainable Irish food philosophy, as seen through a glass, brightly.”

Years at Litfest: 2017
Type: regular


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About Litfest

Litfest - A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe is a weekend filled with fascinating facts, inspirational stories, intriguing discussions, incredible knowledge, fantastic music, fabulous dancing and of course, delicious food and drinks.
It is the only festival of its kind in Ireland and has created an important hub for food and drinks enthusiasts worldwide to meet and share ideas with each other.

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