The Irish people are justifiably proud of the fine beer created in their country. You can sip local productions in every pub in Ireland, but for a full understanding of the cultivation and culture of the country’s famous tipples, you’ll need to journey to the source. These breweries located around Ireland, are open to the public and offer comprehensive tours and tastings.
Guinness Storehouse – Dublin
The most famous beer in Ireland is Guinness, and many people claim it just tastes better in its home country. The Guinness Storehouse at St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin offers self-guided tours that culminate with a free beer at the Gravity Bar, a glass-enclosed bar offering 360-degree views of the city. Discounts are offered for seniors and students, and if you book online, you’ll get an additional 10% off and first place in line.
St. Francis Abbey Brewery – Kilkenny
The St. Francis Abbey Brewery produces Smithwick’s beer, and offers tours weekdays at 3pm. The Brewery is the oldest in Ireland, founded on the site of a Franciscan Abbey in 1231. The tours are free, but visitors need to pick up a ticket at the security gate. A short audio visual presentation is followed by a tasting session of the freshly brewed beer.
Biddy Early Brewery – Inagh
The Biddy Early Brewery, in County Clare, is an independent microbrew-pub that brews four beer varieties (plus seasonal specials) onsite. The brewery offers guided tours of the production facility, an explanation of the brewing craft, entertaining folk tales like the legend of the brewery’s namesake, Biddy Early, and a sample of the finished product. Come for the tour, and stay for a few more pints in the brewery’s pub.
Carlow Brewing Company – Carlow
The Carlow Brewing Company crafts several award-wining beer varieties, including a stout, wheat beer and red ale, using traditional Celtic methods. They offer daily tours of the brewery facilities by appointment-only, so it’s important to plan ahead.
Kinsale Brewery – Cork
The Kinsale Brewery, on the southern coast of Ireland, also offers daily tours of its brewery. Tours are conducted by the brew masters and are quite comprehensive, offering an overview of the entire brewing process and in-depth demonstrations of brewing techniques. Of course, like all great brewery tours, it ends with a few samples of the quality beer crafted onsite.
Written by Katie Hammel For EuropeUpClose.com