Ireland’s burgeoning micro-brewery industry is producing a range of flavoursome ales and stouts of supreme quality that means the beer enthusiast is spoiled for choice.
And now visitors to the Emerald Isle can combine a visit to the beautiful south-west of the island with a tour of some of the micro-breweries that are reviving old, long forgotten brewing recipes and creating exciting new ones.
Brewery Hops of Ireland invites the traveller and beer enthusiast on a five-day holiday experience starting and finishing in Dublin, Ireland’s capital, taking in established and emerging micro-breweries en route.
The tour takes in seven micro-brewery visits in total along with the famous Kilbeggan distillery, the oldest pot distillery in the world, which dates back to 1757.
Among the highlights of the brewery tour is a visit to White Gypsy Brewery, Templemore, owned by Cualin Loughnane, one of the leading lights in Ireland’s brewing renaissance.
Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork is another high point on the Brewery Hops Trail. The award-winning brewpub was once a Franciscan monastery and well that dates back to 1219.
Other micro-breweries en route include O’Hara’s Carlow Brewing Company, Eight Degrees Brewing Company Cork, Dingle Brewing Company and Tig Bhric West Kerry Brewery, both in County Kerry and Roadside Tavern in County Clare.
The tour finishes back in Dublin with a complimentary beer taster menu at the Porter House, Temple Bar, the city’s first pub brewery.
"Brewery Hops of Ireland aims to offer a unique travel experience embracing Irish history, culture, music and food whilst supporting the growth of independent craft brewing in Ireland," says Mia Tobin, the company´s owner and founder.
“As well as the daytime activities the tours offer a lively evening program of music and ‘craic’ in traditional Irish pubs serving quality beer and good food,” she adds.
The Brewery Hops of Ireland tour combines an appreciation of Ireland´s emerging independent craft beer industry with visits to heritage sites, ancient ruins, medieval cities and picture-postcard villages.
It is also a chance to take in some of the island’s most spectacular scenery including the beautiful Dingle peninsula in County Kerry, the iconic Rock of Cashel and the historic cities of Kilkenny and Cork.