A good drink is a huge part of the Irish culture. Drinking culture, for the Irish, is not as much about alcohol as it is about the good times, music, dancing, and “craic” that go along with it. Many alcohol brands have created a way to allow people the chance to enjoy their alcohol through an experience- learning about its origins and the process of brewing or distilling. A visit or tour of these breweries and distilleries is the perfect activity for a group traveling to Ireland. While most tourists will know of the typical breweries and distilleries, we’ve compiled a list that showcases incredible smaller businesses that the tourist guides may have missed.
Tullamore D.E.W Distillery- County Offaly
Enjoy the Tullamore D.E.W Distillery Experience, with a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of their state-of-the-art Distillery. Located in County Offaly, the custom-built distillery offers a guided tour of its space, followed by an Irish coffee and whiskey tasting. For those who’d like to try their hand at crafting their own unique blend of Tullamore D.E.W., you can bottle and take your creation home with you.
O’Haras Brewery- County Carlow
O’Hara’s is home to a number of craft stouts, ales, wheat beers, and lagers. Sometimes referred to as Carlow Brewing Company, they are an independent Irish family-owned brewery located in the heart of Ireland’s historical malt-growing “Barrow Valley” region. Meet the Carlow Brewing Team and walk through the brewing process with their brewers as you learn about one of Ireland’s oldest crafts. There is of course a visit to the tasting room at the end of the tour.
The Shed Distillery- Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin- County Leitrim
Located on the edge of a river in Drumshanbo, County Leitrim, The Shed Distillery is home to the famous Gunpowder Gin, and its younger siblings Single Pot Still Whiskey and Sausage Tree Vodka. The experience invites visitors to explore the mind of P.J. Rigney, the founder of the company, and learn how the gin with the iconic bottle came to be. The tour is fully guided and at the end, you can relax with a Gunpowder Gin and tonic at the Honey Badger Bar, in the majestic botanical glasshouse. Reflecting the Eastern influence in their gin, the space they occupy is an oriental paradise, with colorful rugs, lamps, and a tent that guests can relax in outside.
Pearse Lyons Distillery- County Dublin
The Pearse Lyons Distillery is located in Dublin’s historic Liberties, where they create their award-winning, small-batch Irish whiskey, in a restored 18th-century church. The brand, named after the late Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder, and whisky innovator, opened its doors to the public in 2017. The distillery experience takes you on an immersive journey where you can explore the craft of whiskey distillation and the unique culture of Dublin’s Liberties. There are a number of experiences you can book, including the standard experience, afternoon tea, whiskey tasting, and an extended tour that teaches visitors about the art of blending and distilling. For those who aren’t fans of whiskey, you can pay a visit to the Gin School, which is located on the same grounds.
Galway Hooker Brewery- County Galway
Galway Hooker is Connacht’s oldest existing brewery. They pride themselves on creating “authentic, refreshing, vibrant beers that embody the Wild Atlantic Way.” They opened the doors of their brewery in 2006, to encourage people to experience beer the way it was intended, with friends and family. They give visitors an insight into the craftsmanship that goes into producing our beers and an opportunity to taste the first-ever-produced Irish Pale Ale.