Monday 5 December 2016

Brew up a storm on a thirst-quenching craft beer break in Ireland!

Published 19/11/2015 | 11:15

We are no longer home to just the black stuff – there are dozens of artisan breweries producing delicious craft beers, ales and ciders in stunning parts of the country.

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You can also get into the spirit of things and check out craft distilleries which are producing world-class whiskies. Here is a guide to some of the top micro breweries in Ireland – check out more www.discoverireland.ie #thisisLIVING

Hop to the Sunny South East

Hop to the heart of the south east for a craft brewery experience that won’t leave you thristy. First stop is the Metalman Brewery Company in Waterford City, named after the infamous Metal Man figure erected on the coast in 1823 to guide seafarers. They produce American style pale ale and release a seasonal beer every month – so you will never get bored! The Dungarvan Brewing Company, specialise in traditional bottled ales and stouts made with the limestone rich water of West Waterford. Further inland the Carlow Brewing Company is based in the malt and hop growing Barrow Valley region and produces the well know O’Hara brand.

In neighbouring Kilkenny, Smithwicks ale has been brewed for 300 years. Do the Smithwicks Experience - a fascinating interactive tour. Kilkenny is also the home to crafty cider and a visit to Highbank Orchards in Cuffesgrange is a must.  As well as Medieval Cider they also have a refreshing non-alcoholic Drivers Cider and they always welcome visitors.

Get crafty in Cork

Plan a crafty break to Cork, home to some excellent artisan brewers. The quaint fishing town of Kinsale is the base for delicious Stonewell Irish Cider, packed with rich apple flavours and perfect with some of the great food that Kinsale serves up. Also in Kinsale check out Blacks Brewery which does tours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Friday afternoons.

In Cork city make a pit-stop at The Franciscan Well Brewery, built on the site of an old Franciscan Monastery dating back to 1219. In Mitchelstown in North Cork, Eight Degrees Brewing is producing craft beer from Irish malt. They scooped the prestigious 2015 Beer of the Year Award from beer consumer organisation Beoir.

If you like a whiskey get into the spirit of things at the Jameson Experience in Midleton, bringing you on a journey through history seeing old kilns and mills. You get to have a taste too!

Brew up a crafty break along the Wild Atlantic Way

Call time along the Wild Atlantic Way taking in micro breweries serving up delicious craft brews. The Galway Hooker Brewery in Oranmore produce exciting and innovative beers bursting with flavor. In Mayo meet a real Irish Blonde (a beer!) at The Reel Deel Brewery in Crossmalino. This blonde is actually a red head and is made from a combination of European and new world hops which gives a spicy herbal tone. The White Hag Brewery in Ballymote, in the heart of Yeats country in Co. Sligo, has been brewing up a storm since it launched a year ago. Down on the coast in Kerry, The Dingle Whiskey Distillery has rekindled the tradition of independent distilling and its unique Dingle Whiskey matures perfectly in the mild, moist climate of Ireland’s south-west coast.

Sip some beer outside the pale!

While Dublin is best known as home of the world famous Guinness there are lots of small micro breweries a stones throw from the capital. The guys behind Trouble Brewing in Allenwood, Co. Kildare, believe craft beer should be presented in a humorous way – hence the name!. The Wicklow Brewery in the quaint village of Redcross boasts an authentic Beer Hall and don’t miss its ‘Hooley in the Brewery’ nights. Bru Brewery in the Boyne Valley in Co. Meath was inspired by the magnificent Brú Na Boinne (Newgrange) and is brewing a few new legends of its own. Westmeath is home to the Kilbeggan Distillery which is producing the world famous Kilbeggan Whiskey. Enjoy a tipple after being transported back two centuries on their tour.

Join the craft beer trail in the Midlands

It’s not a long way to Tipperary when there is a great brew at the end of the journey! The White Gypsy Brewery in Templemore, Co. Tipperary, produces excellent craft beer from locally grown malt and hops. Black Donkey Brewing in the village of Ballinlough in Roscommon brings Irish, European and American brewing influences together under one roof. And you can’t leave the midlands without a visit to the home of the legendary Tullamore Dew which has a tour catering for the inquisitive, who want to truly get to know their favourite whiskey.

Get into the spirit of a capital break!

Old Jameson Distillery, Bow Street Dublin
Old Jameson Distillery, Bow Street Dublin

If whiskey is your thing then plan a tour of Dublin’s favourite distilleries. Be sure to include the Old Jameson Distillery in Smithfield and learn how three ingredients make the number one Irish whiskey in the world! Guided Tours last just under one hour and include a Jameson comparative tasting and a complimentary signature Jameson drink.  Experience the spirit of Dublin for yourself with a tour of Teeling Distillery in Dublin City. And you’ll learn all you need to know about the intriguing story of Irish whiskey from its humble beginning, inevitable downfall, and current revival at the Irish Whiskey Museum.

Find lots more inspiration at www.discoverireland.ie or find Discover Ireland on Facebook #thisisLIVING

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