I wove my way up to the top of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. I had reached the brewery’s crowning glory, a pint of Guinness on top of Dublin at the Gravity Bar. I quickly discovered that I better glug down that Guinness as more and more people crowded in, making for a not so peaceful environment for beer sampling. While Guinness might be good for you and Ireland’s best-known brew, there are several other breweries in this country that provide a pint of a different Ireland. Book your flight today!
Carlow Brewing Company: Located in the town of Bagenalstown in County Carlow, Carlow Brewing Company also operates under the name of its founding family, O’Hara’s Brewery. The O’Hara family founded the brewery in 1996. The original brewery sat in Carlow town, but after critical acclaim, an expansion was necessary and the brewery moved into its present location. The Carlow Brewing Company philosophy maintains the traditions of old in terms of brewing beer. You can recognize the beers for their symbol of the Celtic Irish warrior’s sword and shield. In order to experience the behind the scenes action at O’Hara’s, travelers will have to make an appointment. The brewery aims to set up a tour time when the brewers can participate. Tours detail the brewing process from start to finish. Samples of their award winning beers are also provided on a tour.
Dungarvan Brewing Company: Dungarvan Brewing Company might be a newcomer to the craft brewery scene in Ireland, but it is quickly winning over beer lovers with its different brewing techniques. The brewery believes in bottle-conditioned beer in order to achieve the purest product. Their beers are not filtered or pasteurized and thank nature for their carbonation. Located in the historic market town of Dungarvan in southeast Ireland, you can arrange for a tour of the brewery by getting in touch with the company before you arrive. You can sample the brewery’s key beers like the Copper Coast Red Ale and the Black Rock Irish Stout.
Smithwick’s Brewery: If you make your way to Kilkenny, you can tour through the brewery of one of Ireland’s classic beers that is still not Guinness. Smithwick’s Brewery is located on the site of an old monastery, the St. Francis Abbey. John Smithwick selected the site to be his brewery in 1710. However, the Franciscans were brewing here long before Smithwick. A guided tour of the brewery includes a look at that 12th century abbey along with a visit to the working brewery. All tours include a sampling of Smithwick’s in the Cellar Bar. Travelers should be sure to check out the times of the brewery tours as they vary during summer and winter.
Dingle Brewing Company: Travelers that head for the west of Ireland shouldn’t miss the chance to sample the fruits of this breathtaking land. Dingle Brewing Company sits at the base of Conor Pass, just outside of the village of Dingle. What makes a brewery tour here truly unique is that the brewery is housed in a creamery from 1888. Dingle Brewing Company has kept many of the original features from the old creamery. Their brewing philosophy is all about staying fresh and natural. The signature lager is Tom Crean’s Premium Irish Lager. You can arrange a tour of the premises to see some of the equipment used and to sample the product in the tasting room.
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