Our next stop in Ireland was a quick jaunt to Kilkenny and the Smithwick’s Brewery. This was a lot of fun for my sister’s and I because we had time to explore the town, walk the Medieval Mile, and catch a “football” game a the local pub.
Walking through the cobblestoned streets, we passed an outdoor film festival, and walked by ancient buildings and gardens. And while we enjoyed the history and rich cultural interests of the area, we made time to be silly and enjoy being tourists for a little while.
I knew absolutely nothing about Smithwick’s prior to travelling to Ireland. When I drink beer, I usually stick to American lagers (I did live in Philly for 6 years) and wheat beers. Upon arriving in Ireland, we stopped at a restaurant and after conferring with the waitress, she recommended I get a “Smiddix” and that was that.
“Smiddix” is a crisp lager that pairs perfectly with a meal or alone. So while Guinness is certainly the more well known, I felt Smithwick’s was vastly more drinkable. After talking about how much we enjoyed our Smiddick’s, Kelley booked us a tour at the Smithwick’s brewery in Kilkenny.
I have to say, Ireland really does a great job with these brewery/distillery/etc tours. The actual tour starts at the location of where the monks who originated what would become Smithwick’s lived, the Abbey of St. Francis. As you continue through these old halls and buildings your tour has an in-person guide who then interacts with interactive portraits who help tell the story of the brewery in a new and dynamic way. I found this to be a fun and different way to experience a tour.
And, of course, at the end we all got to sample the different beers made by Smithwick’s. I preferred the Ale to the Blonde, but I loved them both and I highly recommend this tour to anyone looking for a fun stop in Kilkenny!