I am not a big beer drinker. I just never really warmed up to the stuff. (Perhaps I didn’t have enough fun in college?). My husband on the other hand loves to try new brews when he gets the chance. Of course that means he usually tries a few samples while we are in Ireland.
During one of our trips, we were in a fabulous pub in Letterkenny, Donegal, The Brewery Bar, and Joe asked the bartender for a recommendation. He ended up with a wit beer from the White Hag Brewing Company located in Sligo. He was in love. He actually still talks about this beer. It got me thinking…
There are dozens of local breweries in Ireland. Many of them offer tours including the big ones like Guinness Storehouse (of course!) and small microbreweries that you’ve never heard of. I thought I would do a little digging and compile a list of brewery tours in Ireland (at my own peril—Joe will want to see them all).
If you are up for something a little different, I’d highly suggest doing a tour of a small brewery. One that requires you to email or call the brewery in advance to book. Yes, it will be scheduled so you will have to make room for it in your itinerary, but it will be intimate, detailed and so much fun to hear the story behind the drink from the people that poured their lives into it (see what I did there? Poured. Ha! I crack myself up).
Of course all of them end with at least a taster, which is always fun (just make sure you drink responsibly and have a designated driver—Ireland has a lower alcohol limit than the US at .05%). Now the list:
Brewery Tours in Ireland
Carlow Brewing Company Ltd (O’Hara’s)
Tours are Friday afternoons at 1:30 by appointment or contact for additional times if you have a group
Royal Oak Road, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, Ireland
9 White Deer
Tours are Monday-Friday 9:30 am- 5 pm. Book in advance.
Killeen, Ballyvourney, Co. Cork, Ireland
Blacks of Kinsale
Book in advance. Tours beginning May 2017
Farm Lane, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland
Cotton Ball Brewing Co.
Book in advance (includes, pizza, t-shirt & branded glass!).
18 Old Youghal Rd, Mayfield, Co. Cork, Ireland
Book in advance. Their website says: Phone, text, email, tweet, pm, dm or write us an old fashioned love letter (I think I like their style already!). Payment in cash.
Unit 2F, Youghal Business Park, Parkmountain, Youghal, Co. Cork, Ireland
Book in advance. See website for specific dates and times. Payment in cash.
Aughavannon, Rathmullan, County Donegal, Ireland
Buy tickets online for a discount and a set entry time or in person when you arrive.
St. James’s Gate, Dublin 8, Co. Dublin, Ireland
West Kerry Brewery
Book in advance.
An Riasc, Ballyferriter, (Dingle,) Co. Kerry, Ireland
Killarney Brewing Company
Book tickets online. Tours resume March 2017.
Muckross Road, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Rye River Brewing Company
Tour runs at 6:30 PM on Fridays or 3:00 PM on Saturdays. Book tickets online.
Donaghcumper, Dublin Road, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland
Highbank Orchards (Ok not a brewery but Cider, which way more up my alley)
Book in advance.
Highbank Farm, Cuffesgrange, Co Kilkenny, Ireland
Smithwicks Beer Tour
Tours operate daily from March – October 10 am – 6 pm (last tour at 5 pm), from November – February 11am – 5pm (last tour leaves at 4 pm). Recommended to buy (discounted) ticket online in advance.
44 Parliament St, Gardens, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
Carrig Brewing Company
Book in advance. Learn how to pull the perfect pint!
The Food Hub Road, Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim, Ireland
JJ’s Craft Brewing Company
Call or email to book tour.
Kilmallock Enterprise Centre, Bruree Road, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Jack Cody’s Brewery
Check website for updated tour times and dates. Book in advance online.
Unit 4 Boyne Business Park, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland
Tours starting in 2017. Contact for more information.
Lagavooren, Platin Rd., Drogheda, Co. Meath, Ireland.
Tours operate Tuesday-Friday: 10 AM-4 PM. Book in advance. Contact for more information.
Dunelty Inniskeen, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
Black Donkey Brewery
Tours operate Thursday & Friday: 10:30 AM -12:30 PM. Book in advance.
Srah, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, Ireland
Lough Gill Brewing Company
Tours operate Wednesdays 5 PM – 7 PM and Saturday 12 PM- 3 PM or private tour can be arranged. Tours last one hour. Book in advance.
Unit 1, Cleveragh Business Park, Cleveragh, Co. Sligo, Ireland
Tours operate on Fridays at 4:00, 5:00 and 6:00 PM. Email to book in advance.
14 Tycor Business Centre, Tycor, Waterford, Co. Waterford, Ireland
Clever Man Irish Craft Beer (Drew Fox Brewing Company)
Book in advance.
Unit 8, West Point Business Park, Clonard, Wexford, Ireland
Book in advance.
The Bell Tower, Manor Kilbride, Co. Wicklow, W91 AE09, Ireland
Email to book in advance.
Galtrim Park, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Book online in advance at 5:00 PM daily.
Main Street, Redcross, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below. Happy touring!