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Top Breweries & Distilleries to Visit in Kilkenny

Smithwick’s Experience

So you have visited the castle, toured the medieval city, sampled the flavours of Kilkenny's finest bars, cafes and restaurants and now want to try something different while in Kilkenny!

Brewing and distilling is deeply embedded in the industrial fabric of Kilkenny. Kilkenny leads the way in product innovation and no visit to the place synonymous with Ballykeefe is complete without taking a distillery tour or sampling a tincture from a local micro-brewery. From pip to sip and grape to grain, Kilkenny producers are delighted to welcome visitors to explore the science and folklore of this ancient craft. 

Ballykeefe Irish Gin


Ballykeeffe Distillery is an artisan family-farm Irish Whiskey distillery located in picturesque countryside, just 15 minutes outside the medieval city of Kilkenny. A tour of Ballykeeffe Distillery is a must for anyone with an interest in Kilkenny’s historical association with Irish Whiskey. The guided tour enables guests to explore our distillery and discover the ancient art of Irish Whiskey making and the craftsmanship that goes into each of our casks. Experience first-hand the sound, smell and feel of a fully operational distillery, with a behind-the-scenes tour teaching the fine art of distilling and of course a tasting of our signature spirits.

Smithwicks Kilkenny2

Smithwick's Experience

The Smithwick’s Experience is located in the heart of Kilkenny city and less than a 5 minute walk from Kilkenny Castle. Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny brings you through over 300 years of history behind Ireland’s most loved ale. Nothing beats getting stuck in and experiencing the brewing process for yourself firsthand. As part of your tour, you’ll have the chance to mill the malt, stir the mash and smell the hops, just as they do in the famous brewery. It’s also the perfect way to enjoy a pint of your favourite Smithwick’s Ale, right in the heart of Kilkenny.

Highbank Orchard


Highbank Organic Farm in Co. Kilkenny was a 17th-century farmyard and the present farm house was built by our family in the 19th century. The first apple orchards were planted by the family, in 1969, to compliment the hop gardens. The varieties of apples are specially chosen for their juicing properties which are uniquely complex and full of health giving vitamins and minerals. Highbank Orchards is home to the original and innovative and multi award-winning Highbank Orchard syrup. We also produce several delicious Apple juices, including our acclaimed Christmas organic mulling apple juice.

Kilkenny Whiskey Guild


The Kilkenny Whiskey Guild is a collection of 10 establishments throughout Ireland’s Medieval capital. Each premises will stock a minimum of 60 Irish Whiskeys and will assist in the customers experience through knowledgeable staff, tasting flights, food pairings and mixology. Why not join a whiskey tasting Kilkenny event which will be held in each of the Guild Houses designed to heighten the public’s knowledge of Irish Whiskey history production and various styles. The guild aims to make Kilkenny the leading Whiskey tourism destination in Ireland. Kilkenny Whiskey Guild Members include: Brewery CornerBilly Byrne’sThe Dylan Whisky BarLangton’sLanigan’sLeft BankMatt the Miller’sParis TexasThe Hibernian Bar and The Wine Centre.

Visit: kilkennywhiskeyguild.com to see upcoming events and dates.

Sullivans Taproom Kilkenny

Sullivan's Brewing Company & Tap Room

Soak up the atmosphere and savour the ancient craft of independent artisan brewing at Sullivan’s visitor centre in Kilkenny, Ireland, located at 15 John Street Kilkenny. Established in 1702 at The Malting’s on James’s Street, Kilkenny, the brewery survived a fire in 1880 and was lost on horse bet in 1918 before being revived in 2016 by members of the Sullivan and Smithwick families. Sullivan’s Brewing Company is now back stronger than ever producing award-winning beer – The Malting’s Red Ale was voted Best Draught Ale in the world 2017/18! Sullivan’s Taproom also boasts rotational taps allowing you to sample a variety of craft beer each time you visit, as well as a new and improved heated outdoor dining area, including the extremely popular 8-person outdoor pods. Combine internationally award-winning craft beer with a delicious daily menu containing items such as wood-fired pizzas, burgers, tacos, wings and more!