This blog post was updated on March 15, 2021.
If beer’s your passion, then you surely know that Ireland is the place to be! But, while Guinness might be Ireland’s best-known brew around the world, don’t forget that there are plenty of other wonderful breweries all around the country. When looking for a different way to enjoy Ireland while celebrating St. Paddy’s Day, these are the places you have to visit. Sláinte!
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 original brewery in 1996 in Carlow town but, after critical acclaim, an expansion was necessary and the brewery moved into its present location. Its philosophy maintains the traditions of old in terms of brewing. You can recognize the beers for their symbol of the Celtic Irish warrior’s sword and shield. In order to experience the behindthe scenes action at O’Hara’s, you will need to make an appointment. The brewery aims to set up a tour time when all brewers can participate, explaining anything you need to know about the brewing process from start to finish. Samples of their award winning beers are also provided!
Dungarvan Brewing Company
Dungarvan Brewing Company might be a newcomer to the craft brewery scene in Ireland, but it’s quickly winning over beer lovers with its alterative brewing techniques. This brewery believes in bottle-conditioned beer in order to achieve the purest product. That means their beers are not filtered or pasteurized ,and thank nature instead for their carbonation. Located in the historic market town of Dungarvan in southeast Ireland, you can arrange for a tour by getting in touch with the company before you arrive. Once there, you can sample the brewery’s key beers like the Copper Coast Red Ale and the Black Rock Irish Stout.
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If you make your way to Kilkenny, prepare to 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 includes a look at the 12th century abbey, along with a visit to the working brewery. All tours include a sampling of Smithwick’s in the Cellar Bar. Just be sure to check out the schedule before booking those cheap international flights, as it varies during summer and winter!