On our fun and informative brewery tours, you’ll sample your way through Ireland’s best craft breweries, meet fellow beer lovers, chat with the brewery staff, enjoy beer tastings, and maybe even learn a thing or two!
If there’s one thing the Irish do well, it’s brewing a good pint. While Guinness and Beamish remain big names within the brewing industry, there an explosion in the number of independent craft breweries in Ireland over the last 10 years. What’s more, these breweries are bringing unique flavors and personalities to the market. Get Away To Educate has put together an itinerary which every beer connoisseur will thouroughly enjoy. With the best breweries spread around the country, a brewery tour is the perfect way to not only wet your whistle, but also take in the beauty of Ireland.
Open Gate Brewery
It’s hard to mention brewing in Ireland without first mentioning Dublin, the home of world famous Guinness beer. You could safely say no beer lover would visit Dublin without stopping off in St.James’s Gate, home of the black stuff. But with craft beer in mind there will be an added dimension. After visiting the Guinness storehouse we will go across the street to The Open Gate Brewery, which is within the Guinness complex. Ever wondered where the Guinness brewers invent new beers? The Guinness Open Gate Brewery is a hidden secret just waiting to be discovered. Visit the taproom and beer garden, sampling experimental beers you won’t find anywhere else. It’s like the candy garden in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, except for beer lovers.
The following day there will be a guided tour of one of Dublin’s most popular and award winning craft breweries, Rascal’s. Owned by craft beer loving Emma Devlin and Cathal O’Donoghue, Rascals Brewing Company is quickly becoming a household name in Dublin and Ireland for their charismatic beers and funky design.
Later that evening, there will be a stop in Urban Brewing, which is a new and unique concept in Dublin. It combines a brewery with two kitchens and two bars along with a sunny terrace. The aim is to offer an unmatched dining, drinking, and brewing experience, offering great quality products and excellent service in a unique environment. The underground vaults alone are an architectural masterpiece and worth visiting and make for an unrivalled atmosphere and setting.
From Dublin we will head South to County Laois and join brewery owner and 13th generation farmer, David on a tour of award-winning Ballykilcavan brewery. Then, walk through the historic stone farmyard and into the on-site working brewery to hear his family stories and learn the artful process behind crafting beer. Finish up with a tutored tasting of four different Ballykilcavan beers within a restored 19th century mill house.
Our next stop is County Tipperary and a visit to Whitefield brewery. Owner and Brewer Cuilan Loughnane is one of the early pioneers of Irish brewing. He has built up a great reputation for his quality beers aged in French and US virgin oak. He will talk us through his unique style focusing on sustainability and quality.
In the evening we head for the medieval city of Kilkenny. Go back in time and explore Ireland’s Medieval Mile, linking the 13th century St. Canice’s Cathedral to the Anglo-Norman Kilkenny Castle. Overnight in the city which is packed with excellent pubs and restaurants.
Day 4 will begin with a visit to the Rock of Cashel, one of the oldest and most impressive archaelogical sites in Ireland and the seat of the ancient High Kings Of Ireland.
From here we will move further South. Eight Degrees Brewing is an award-winning Irish craft brewery based in Mitchelstown, Co Cork.
Renowned for its innovation and experimentation, it was established at the foot of the majestic Galtee mountains by Scott Baigent and Cameron Wallace in 2011. The team at Eight Degrees Brewing are passionate about producing exciting and adventurous beers using natural ingredients.
From here we will journey into Cork City, Ireland’s second city which the locals cheerfully refer to as the ‘real capital’. It’s a liberal, youthful and cosmopolitan place. There’s a bit of a hipster scene, but the best of the city is still happily traditional – snug pubs with live-music sessions, restaurants dishing up top-quality local produce, and a genuinely proud welcome from the locals. Here, we will pay a visit to one of Ireland’s most renowned craft breweries, Franciscan Well. The Brewery has combined modern technology with age old tradition, brewing classic beer styles including lager, ale, stout, and wheat beer. Putting innovation at the forefront of the brewing process. Seasonal and special brews that pass the brewer’s standards are served up at the Brew Pub. The most popular ones are then sent further afield.
Brewpub, Franciscan Well
The following day travel west to the kingdom of Kerry. Visit Tom Crean’s brewery in the beautiful town of Kenmare. A family run business, Tom Crean’s grand-daughter Aileen runs the restaurant while her husband Bill brews the beer and regales the history of this famous Antarctic explorer.The brewery produces many different styles of beer which can be sampled in the brewery taproom.
Relax in the cool surroundings amongst the Tom Crean memorabilia and imagery.
Stay that night in the picture postcard town of Kenmare, on the Ring of Kerry. The evening will be free to enjoy the many restaurants and pubs of Kenmare with live traditional music.
Ring Of Kerry
Dingle, Co. Kerry
From Kenmare we will travel around the beautiful Ring of Kerry on the way to one of Ireland’s most charming towns, Dingle. En route, there will be a stop in Killarney National Park and Torc waterfall, where you can take a horse and carriage ride through the Muckross estate to visit Muckross Abbey.
Heading out on the Dingle peninsula, we will make a stop at Inch Beach. This long flat stretch of beautiful sands and shallow waters is perfect for swimming. A swim in the chilly waters of the Atlantic is the perfect way to dust off the cobwebs from the night before.
Enjoy one of Ireland’s most scenic drives around the Slea Head Drive with plenty of photo opportunities. This is where we will find Ireland’s most westerly brewpub called West Kerry Brewery. This is a real hidden gem, brewing beer in very small batches – some in cask being served in the adjoining pub. Adrienne, the brewster is a passionate artist and takes pride in her garden also using botanicals in the brewing process where possible. The summer ale uses rose hips and the autumn stout uses blackberries both creating great aroma and flavours. This cosy pub is a place you could get lost in time and forget entirely about the world.
Dingle is one of Ireland’s most charming towns and is a highlight for many. It’s a bright and colourful town packed with local arts and crafts shops with a pub thrown in at every opportunity. Overnight in Dingle, enjoy a choice of award-winning restaurants, pubs and live traditional music. The craic agus ceol is always flowing in Dingle.
Cliffs of Moher
The last full day of the tour will be a drive to Bunratty for lunch in the infamous Durty Nelly’s pub. A 1620-era thatched cottage with lanterns and sawdusty floors, once a bar for castle guards.
It’s time to head for the Burren Co. Clare where we’ll pay a visit to legendary Clare man, Peter Curtin. A well known local character in the Roadside Tavern & Brewery in Lisdoon. This traditional pub has been run by three generations of Peter’s family since 1893.
Peter added the Burren brewery to the pub which was highlighted as amongst the best craft beer locations to visit in Lonely Planet’s Global Beer Tour. If you’re lucky, you may even get to taste Peter’s Euphoria beer, which is harvested using wild yeast cultivated in the Burren region and contains no hops. We will spend the night in the town of Lisdoonvarna and the next morning we will visit the world famous Cliffs of Moher, before returning to Dublin in the afternoon.
We laughed so much over our 5 day tour and got to taste some really great beers…so much fun! I’d highly recommend this tour.